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With all due respect...

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

Submitted by Adam J. Bernay (United States), May 1, 2005 at 02:57

With all due respect to Master Chief White and all the other survivors of the LIBERTY -- and I do respect and honor them for their proud service -- but how can they know it was intentional? They were the ones being attacked, but they had no direct access to the plans, the thoughts, etc., and it is doubtful they heard the inter-fighter radio traffic... and even if they did, did the radio operator understand Hebrew? They cannot know whether or not the attack was deliberate. It is wrong to castigate them as anti-Semites. I cannot see that their positions are racially motivated. They are more likely motivated over the natural tendency to want their pain and suffering to have a tangible cause they can fight against. If they admitted it might've been a mistake, then they might see their wounds and their sacrifices as being in vain; not that they should, as they were incurred in proud and noble service to this country, no matter the reasons for the assault.

As for whether or not the attack was deliberate, there is evidence on both sides. In fact, the evidence I've seen leads me to believe that: 1) Israel was guilty of gross negiligence in target identification, which is tragic and stupid but understandable in the fog of war, 2) the LIBERTY wasn't where it was supposed to be by JCS orders, but possibly didn't receive the orders, and 3) there is no reason to point fingers over this. However, we just don't know. A new investigation, open and honest, with independent and unbiased investigators from both countries, should probably occur, just to lay the matter to rest.

People naturally want to assign blame. It's a natural tendency of a human being. I think we need to look past all that.
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