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Tall tales, etc. continue

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

Submitted by Mike Weeks (United States), Nov 5, 2002 at 21:39

When former Liberty crew member Jim Ennes wrote his book he stated he already knew the attack was deliberate murder by June 14, 1967 as he lay wounded in the Naples hospital (pg. 137.) That pretty much sums it up for him regarding the incident. Ennes would rightly claim on pg. 181 that "During the attack, hardly anyone was aware of what was happening beyond his own little sphere."

Yet he's now stating 200 survivors (well, sometimes it's 250) all now are claiming to have all witnessed the same event ... quite a feat - especially when there's sworn direct testimony from Commander McGonagle, Ensign Lucas, Chief Thompson (all on the bridge), and Lt. Painter, which don't mention any such "event" (the machine gunning of the damaged life rafts in the water, some 35-40 minutes following the torpedo attack.)

Nor do the hand-written quartermaster and CIC logs (all exhibits to the court of inquiry) record any such event. Somehow something so significant got over looked? That's very doubtful.

So it's not "Cristol (and Pipes)" who claim it didn't happen, it's the Liberty crew, back in 1967. Today 35 years later apparently Ennes attempts to speak for one and all to a much different remembrance.

The factual errors are numerous in what Ennes would have one believe, but his posted title is the best. If the attack did indeed last 2 1/2 hours as Ennes has claimed in all the years he's been writing about this incident, he's yet to address how the IDF didn't end up sending the ship to the bottom, with all hands. "Best planned ..." indeed.

As to "offered for 35 years" to testify to Congress, well, that does seem a bit strange, as that means he's claiming the crew was doing such since 1967. Perhaps since 1982, when the LVA was formed, might be a more reasonable claim to make.

One is also left wondering why Ennes doesn't also mention that then-CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner was quite clear on 27 Feb. 1978 when he stated it was the official position of the CIA that the attack was "was not made in malice toward the United States and was a mistake." This, unlike some opinions expressed which turn out to be nothing but personal ones, and following input from the vocal Liberty survivors who formed the LVA.

Cristol's book destroys the myths, tall tales and red herrings which have grown up around this tragic incident. It's just too bad it took so long for it to come about, with Ennes having a 20-year head start, as it were.

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