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Response to American Israeli

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

Submitted by David Smyth (United States), Jun 4, 2003 at 20:46

In response to an American-Israeli, who says:

"David Smyth says that his job is to report facts. Yet all he does is report the OPINIONS of certain high-ranking people, without bringing forth any evidence (i.e. facts) to support these opinions. Perhaps he could have spared us all some grief if he
had asked his star witnesses, who were not present at the time of the attack, whether they have anything with which to back up their opinions. Until then, we must conclude that Mr. Smyth has no evidence.

What I said was this:
About twenty years ago I did an AP story on the USS Liberty incident that was published by the Los Angeles Times and a large number of other US newspapers.
I spoke to the following officials (their titles correspond to the positions they occupied at the time of the Liberty incident) and they all told me that the Israeli attack was deliberate, not an accident: Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Thomas Moorer, CIA Director Richard Helms, NSA Deputy Director Louis Tordella.

  An American Israeli says these are OPINIONS. But the officials quoted had at their disposal the intelligence-gathering capabilities of the State Department, the CIA and the NSA, so it may be presumed that they had solid grounds for their conclusion.
I would still like to know what led them to this unanimous conclusion, but obviously you have no hope of finding out by questioning the nation's top intelligence and security officials. The information is classified and they are not going to tell you. However, I was struck by the fact that they all stated their conclusions clearly, forcefully and without any qualifications, hedging or ambiguities.
Thirty six years have gone by since the USS Liberty was attacked. Is it not time for US government agencies to release whatever classified information is in their files and clear this matter up once and for all?

David Smyth

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