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The defence of Israel in AJ Cristol's book is a fraud, starting from the front cover.

Reader comment on item: The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Spy Ship

Submitted by Nick Adler (United Kingdom), Apr 20, 2013 at 11:20

In 2002, AJ Cristol published "The Liberty Incident", the most detailed defence of Israel's position ever presented.

In 2004, evidence was produced that the picture on the front cover of this book, claimed to have come from Kursa flight leader's gun camera, was highly suspicious. The photo appeared to be part of a series taken by the US Navy. Not in the Mediterranean and not from the gun camera, but from a helicopter in Virginia weeks after the attack. Not only did the people on the deck appear to be the same in both pictures, but the ship in the photo was not on patrol, it was unladen. The bow-wake in the photo was air-brushed in, and the strange smudge of smoke where the Liberty had never been hit was in fact covering a tug-boat. See http://www.usslibertyinquiry.com/essays/guncameracristol.html

In 2005, the Israelis wrote and confirmed that all the pictures in AJ Cristol's book (except one of Moshe Dayan) were in fact from the US Navy. See the Israeli letter at http://www.scribd.com/doc/13755008/IDF-On-Cristol-Photos?autodown=pdf

In others words, a very deliberate fraud. Not only was it the wrong picture entirely, but it had been further air-brushed to deceive us.

Astonishingly, this was the second time this bizarre "mistake" had been made by the IDF, since there is a picture in an IDF history of 1982 which is also supposed to be from the gun camera - but is actually a different ship altogether.

AJ Cristol, author of this disturbingly unpatriotic book has never commented on how on earth he could have presented such a fraud to the American people this way.

Nor has he ever commented on the fact that almost all of his "13 investigations that exonerate Israel" are either non-existent or were not not investigations of anything. The only true investigation ever undertaken is the very rushed one by the US Navy. Instead of the 6 months or so it would have taken, it was wound up after just 2 weeks. Only 3 days had been spent with a handful of witnesses, who were deeply unhappy about the use of their testimony. The results of this investigation were then totally discredited when, outraged by Cristol's book and the claims he was making, Captain Ward Boston, chief counsel to the Navy's 1967 Court of Inquiry of Liberty attack, declared the investigation of which he'd been a central part to have been a sham. See http://www.thelibertyincident.com/docs/boston-comments.pdf

It is high time that Israel and Israel-firsters within the US dropped this shameful pretence that their attack was an accident. Israel set out to sink a ship of the US Navy, killing 34 American sailors (and wounding a huge number of others) and the American people deserve an explanation, not only of how this came about, but of why their own people, witness to what happened, were never heard. There's been the most horrific cover-up.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I asked A. Jay Cristol if he wishes to respond to this broadside and he did, as follows, on April 26, 2013:

Mr. Nick Adler is woefully misinformed about my book The Liberty Incident.

The book is not a "defense". When I set out to research the subject I did not know the answer to its primary question: "Did Israel know that it was attacking an American ship?" The resulting book is a compilation and analysis of all the evidence of the tragic event that was available in 2002, including over 500 interviews and over 3000 documents. The original documents and official reports may be viewed at www.thelibertyincident.com or on the official National Security Agency website, www.nsa.gov.

The documents include the official positions of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, and the Central Intelligence Agency to name but a few.

In 2002, I sued the National Security Agency under the Freedom of Information Act, prevailed, and in 2003 NSA declassified and released audio tapes of intercepts confirming the fact that the attack on the Liberty was the result of a tragic case of mistaken identity. Less than a year later the Department of State released Volume XIX of the Foreign Relations of the United States, further confirming the information in my book. Mr. Adler's reference to photos included in my book are either erroneous, incomplete or out of context.

Ever since the 1967 tragic event, a number of conspiracy theorists who have no interest in facts or the truth, have claimed that I am part of a conspiracy against the American people and that my co-conspirators are the National Security Agency and the United States Department of State. I am honored to be in such distinguished company!

A second edition of The Liberty Incident will be released in August-September 2013; it contains five new chapters and an appendix with the declassified material released after the original publication. The NSA represents to me that all related documents have now been released.

I suggest that reading the book or viewing the original documents will allow one to make up his own mind on whether the book is an apology or an honest compilation about and analysis of the tragic event.

Mr. Adler is either misinformed or is one of the conspiracy theorists promoting his own agenda with no interest in truth. If he belongs to the latter, he knows the answers BEFORE he asks the questions and will not allow anyone to confuse him with facts.


A. Jay Cristol

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Reader comments (53) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2"The Day Israel Attacked America" airing Friday on TV gives proof beyond a doubt Israel knew the ship was American [92 words]Jerry RobinsonNov 12, 2014 18:09219289
2There Was No Mistake About It [146 words]DaveAug 20, 2013 18:12209119
4The defence of Israel in AJ Cristol's book is a fraud, starting from the front cover. [477 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Nick AdlerApr 20, 2013 11:20205330
No response to photo fraud [30 words]DaveAug 21, 2013 18:03205330
4Interviews of Survivors [79 words]mikeDec 29, 2007 11:06117079
6Why does Israel and the US government fear an open honest investigation under oath if it was an accident? [81 words]Jeff DavisJul 24, 2007 00:48104504
DYING CONFESSION [212 words]Gene Thomas GomulkaMay 31, 2016 00:43104504
3Intent presupposes reason [182 words]DemetrisJun 28, 2007 08:51101855
1US / Israel were not 'allies' in 1967. [109 words]ajnnAug 17, 2012 00:25101855
AMERICAN LOSSES [63 words]marc melchioriFeb 15, 2006 12:4535800
1the logic of A. J. Cristol [271 words]BryanApr 9, 2006 21:0535800
5Cristol fabricated evidence (fake photos) and you think he is reliable? [136 words]Jeff DavisJan 2, 2011 20:1135800
1Photos [54 words]Steven LaxApr 26, 2018 16:2235800
3"Mistaken Identity" [217 words]Joseph GrazianoNov 18, 2005 16:3728598
2Easy Pickins! Prove Cristol's claim, win $10,000 [52 words]T. TaylorJun 8, 2005 06:4422604
USS Liberty and so-called congressional investigations [31 words]Frank G AndersonAug 13, 2013 07:5522604
With all due respect... [299 words]Adam J. BernayMay 1, 2005 02:5721911
Defending USA [88 words]GeraldineApr 16, 2004 11:2514731
2The motive [250 words]Holger SensAug 28, 2003 22:5210905
2And the beat goes on [245 words]Ronald G. KukalJun 25, 2003 08:169734
2Only opinions? Balderdash [170 words]James EnnesJun 24, 2003 20:169724
Barking up the Wrong Tree [25 words]American-IsraeliMay 9, 2006 17:039724
1What we expect [107 words]Bob OsborneDec 31, 2008 20:099724
Planes recalled [107 words]Steven LaxApr 24, 2018 13:579724
1Where there photographs taken during this attack? [175 words]Richard BrayJun 20, 2003 14:339660
2Response to American Israeli [317 words]David SmythJun 4, 2003 20:469395
Opinions, not facts [119 words]American-IsraeliMay 9, 2006 17:009395
Proff and Facts [115 words]Ronald KukalSep 12, 2006 11:099395
Cristol apparently has no need for an easy $10,000.00 [23 words]DaveAug 21, 2013 17:569395
Ed Toner [17 words]Kevin O'HallahanApr 14, 2003 19:078359
5Put up or Shut up [232 words]An American-IsraeliMar 19, 2003 06:597362
1American-Israeli Questions [147 words]DAVEAug 21, 2013 18:477362
David Smyth's imagined evidence [117 words]An American-IsraeliMar 19, 2003 06:377360
Army relay center germany [72 words]Mike QueenJan 26, 2003 14:495993
David Wolf (Nov. 7): "declared aggressive intent" toward US [103 words]david walshJan 14, 2003 12:165726
Irrelevant crticisms [100 words]Klee GluckmanJan 11, 2003 06:445668
1What is gained? [209 words]F. BurkeJan 4, 2003 12:015479
1Author's response [443 words]A Jay CristolJan 2, 2003 15:535428
Direct versus circumstantial evidence [377 words]Mike ScialesFeb 16, 2006 15:215428
3Cristol Didn't Verify His Israeli Sources [92 words]Joe MeadorsDec 27, 2002 13:135169
2Conspiracy Theories? [269 words]David SmythNov 22, 2002 08:484147
1The only attack uninvestigated by Congress [254 words]Jim GriffinNov 14, 2002 14:183913
To commenter Ed Toner [540 words]David WolfNov 7, 2002 23:223719
Tall tales, etc. continue [427 words]Mike WeeksNov 5, 2002 21:393665
Interview [27 words]Steven LaxApr 23, 2018 17:353665
2Unwarranted Israeli attack on USS LIBERTY [101 words]Jim KingNov 4, 2002 10:413586
2Cowards in Congress, and Sheep in the Pulpit/ Churches [114 words]M RoyesNov 4, 2002 02:043577
3USS LIBERTY, The Truth [152 words]Stan WhiteNov 3, 2002 13:073562
1The Liberty Incident [56 words]Ed TonerNov 3, 2002 09:413559
1Friendly fire happens for seconds not hours [169 words]Wayne McCarthyNov 2, 2002 21:003545
1"The Truth Shall Set Us Free" [78 words]Rev. Gary F. Taylor, Dr. Min.Nov 2, 2002 20:133543
7Best planned mistake in the history of warfare [288 words]James EnnesNov 1, 2002 22:173507
1What does Bamford say about this ??? [42 words]Saul PfefferOct 18, 2002 13:173135

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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