Taking Sides
by Stephen Green

Evidence of Prior Knowledge

Excerpt: Page 215:
Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening of June 7, probably just after the routine "move" order was given, the NSA learned, from an intelligence report emanating from the Office of the US Defense Attache in Tel Aviv, that Israel was planning to attack the Liberty if her course was not changed. The NSA reacted quickly, initiating through the JCS Joint Reconnaissance Center an extraordinary effort to warn and reposition the Liberty. The NSA and or the Chief of Naval Operations contacted Captains Merriwell Vineyard and Sam Rorex, Jr., at JCS-JRC, who in turn ordered Major Breedlove in their office to phone US Naval Headquarters in Europe to get the ship moved. This time, the Liberty was to stay 100 nautical miles away from the coasts of Israel, Syria, and Egypt.

Excerpt: Page 239:
Representative Robert L. Sikes was particularly interested in the Liberty matter, as it seems to him to be a perfect example of the potential human cost of Defense Department Communications dysfunction. Sikes recalls that a representative of the CIA testified to the working group that the frantic efforts by the NSA and JCS to move the ship on the evening of June 7 were prompted by an intelligence report from the Office of the US Defense Attache in Tel Aviv. The report indicated that the IDF planned to attack the Liberty if she continued to operate in Israeli coastal waters.

On the basis of this and other testimony given to the working group, the full House Appropriations Committee on August 14, 1967, asked its Surveys and Investigations Staff to "examine the effectiveness of the DOD worldwide communications system." The staff then produced a 2 volume study entitled "A Report to the Committee on Appropriations -- US House of Representatives on the Effectiveness of the Worldwide Communications Systems and Networks of the Department of Defense." This document is still classified "Top Secret", but according to Representative Sikes and other committee sources, it includes the CIA testimony described above.

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Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors

USS Liberty