Robert McNamara on USS Liberty

Excerpt from doctoral dissertation by Dr. John Borne:

Even at the top levels of the Johnson administration, where one might expect a consensus on the basic facts, we find opposing opinions on the fundamental question of whether the attack was accidental or deliberate. Lyndon Johnson in his memoirs called the attack "a tragic accident." Robert McNamara, his Secretary of Defense, has stated "I didn't believe [the attack] was intended at the time, and I don't believe it now." Dean Rusk, Johnson's Secretary of State (in the only instance where he disagreed with the President) has said "I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink LIBERTY precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it to this day. The attack was outrageous."

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Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors

USS Liberty