69 million page views

Author's response

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

Submitted by A Jay Cristol (United States), Jan 2, 2003 at 15:53

The negative user comments posted in response to the Daniel Pipes review of my book "The Liberty Incident" have one thing in common. They all are from persons who have their minds made up and it appears most are not interested in the facts and have not read the book. If after you read the book and visit my website and then disagree with my conclusion that the attack was a tragic mistake, it is a free country. You should know that the conclusion of tragic mistake is not mine alone.

The U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry convened just days after the event made 52 findings of fact. Three of the most important findings are:

1. Available evidence combines to indicate the attack on Liberty on 8 June was in fact a case of mistaken identity,

2. The calm conditions and slow ship speed may well have made the American flag difficult to identify, and

3. There are no available indications that the attack was intended against a U.S. ship.

The 727 page record, including 155 pages of sworn testimony by the commanding officer of the ship, William McGonagle, and other Liberty crew members, may be obtained from the Navy Judge Advocate General. Admiral John McCain, the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Naval Forces Europe (and father of Senator McCain), endorsed the Court of Inquiry:

The foregoing comments by the convening authority lead to an overall
conclusion that the attack was in fact a mistake.

The Central Intelligence Agency in a letter from its director to a United States Senator dated February 27, 1978 stated the position of the CIA:

It remains our best judgment that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty
was not made in malice toward the United States and was a mistake.

Clark Clifford, Chair of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, reported to the President

"Information thus far available does not reflect that the Israeli High
Command made a premeditated attack on a ship known to be American."

Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1967 that there was

"No evidence that the individuals attacking. . .knew they were attacking
a U.S. ship."

In 1981, the National Security Agency blamed Israeli miscalculations and American communications failures for the tragedy. Eight U.S. Presidents, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush, have all agreed that the Liberty incident was a tragic case of mistaken identity.

My book, "The Liberty Incident," is a collection of all the official investigations plus my own investigation and an analysis of the many contradictory conspiracy theories endorsed by some of the negative commentators. I merely suggest the reasonable approach to reaching a conclusion on this matter is to read the book before making a decision.

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".

Submit a comment on this item

<< Previous Comment      Next Comment >>

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

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Author's response by A Jay Cristol

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)