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Best planned mistake in the history of warfare

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

Submitted by James Ennes (United States), Nov 1, 2002 at 22:17

Cistol (and Pipes) fail to explain the Israelis could have fired by mistake from close range for 40 minutes after examining the ship and its flag and marking from less than fifty feet away. Cristol says that didn't happen, but 200 survivors are prepared to testify under oath that it did. None of the apologists can explain why such key American leaders as Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Director or Central Intelligence Richard Helms, Director of National Security Agency Marshall Carter, Deputy Director Lou Tordella and nearly ever other senior member of the administration except Robert McNamara all call this a deliberate attack.

Cristol claims the intercepts between pilots and Israeli HQ now prove that the attackers did not know the ship was American. But a new book, "History of Israel" by Ahron Bregman, shows that indeed the Israelis did know the ship was American and lied about what happened, which is what survivors have unanimously said for 35 years. Meanwhile, more and more senior intelligence analysts are coming forward to say they heard the same conversations Bregman describes, and that they prove that Israelis knew the ship was American.

And while Cristol claims multiple investigations exonerate Israel, that is simply not true. The ONLY investigation to interview survivors was the Navy Court of Inquiry. The rest were fruit of this poisoned tree. And the legal counsel to the court told Navy Times last June 26 that the Court of Inquiry was a sham and a fraud which signed off on a false conclusion that it was an accident because they were ordered to do so by Washington and "officers follow orders".

Survivors have offered for 35 years to testify under oath before Congress. We are still willing to do that.

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