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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.


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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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