The NSA intercepts show only that the helicopter pilots may not have been aware of the ship's identity until they arrived. These were not the attacking forces; they were helicopters sent out to clean up as the air attack concluded. Intercept of the attack itself, not released and said not to exist but which has been seen by senior NSA sources we have identified, show that in fact they did know they were attacking an American ship.
NSA Releases 1967 helicopter intercept transcripts
Haaretz claims they prove the attack was an accident
They prove no such thing
The plain truth is that, despite the arguments sent by spokesmen for Israel, most people who look carefully at this attack agree that it was deliberate. Moreover, the top minds in the American intelligence community agree that solid evidence is overwhelming that it was deliberate! Supporters.txt lists some of those names. One really must look carefully when such leading lights as Dean Rusk, Marshall Carter, Richard Helms, Lou Tordella, Tom Moorer, Rufus Taylor, William Odom, Bobby Ray Inman, John Morrison, George Ball, Clark Clifford, Lucius Battle, Merlin Staring and others including even LBJs own press secretary George Christian all say almost with one voice that it was deliberate and that the evidence says so. Four former NSA directors agree that deliberateness of the attack was not a debatable issue; it was agreed fact. None of these men are the sort to adopt wild or irresponsible positions.
We survivors say the attack was deliberate because what we saw argues that it was: Prolonged, low-level pre-attack reconnaissance in which the recon pilots were heard telling their HQ that we were American; an extended close air attack with large colors flying throughout; selective jamming of the very frequencies we needed to call for help; torpedo boats that examined the ship and flag from 50 feet away and continued to fire from close range for another 40 minutes; machinegunning of our liferafts in the water. Then they lied about everything and claimed that they recognized us as American even while the torpedoes were in the water and never fired again. Nonsense. They claim falsely that the boats called in the air attack because they miscalculated our speed from 32 miles away when in fact their maximum radar range was 16 miles and that they judged our speed at 30 knots when we were moving five knots. Nonsense. They claim we flew no flag. Nonsense. If it was a mistake, at least they could tell the truth. If they didn't know we were American, why did they jam American radio frequencies?
Yet the evidence goes far beyond those things; it is virtually absolute. Recently I called Oliver Kirby, a former NSA Ops boss who was called back to NSA in 1967 to look into the circumstances of the attack. He has never before discussed this with anyone outside the confines of the NSA complex, but the first words out of his mouth were, "I can tell you for an absolute certainty that they knew they were attacking an American ship." How did he know? He saw transcripts of Israeli communications during the attack. There was a Navy EC121 overhead (reported recently by Jim Bamford) and an Air Force C130 a few miles away. Both were recording communications. The Navy intake was merely recorded; the Air Force product was sent securely in real time via the CRITICOMM system to Air Force intelligence centers worldwide where it was seen by hundreds of people. Now many of those people are coming forward to describe what they saw. These are the same intercepts that were seen by Oliver Kirby and other top analysts and officials at the National Security Agency. These transcripts are the reason so many top intelligence officials are certain that this attack was no accident.
NSA now denies there were airplanes overhead during the attack or that the attack was intercepted or recorded. Those denials are contradicted by very credible people who were there, including the navigator of the EC121 who is talking to us.
NSA can deny that such intercepts exist because shortly after the attack all such evidence of a deliberate attack was ordered destroyed. But fortunately for the historical record a great many people saw those things before they went into the burn bag, and many of those people are now speaking out.
People are just learning that the Court of Inquiry was falsified. The Court's own legal counsel, Captain Ward Boston, now says publicly in Navy Times and elsewhere that the court actually believed that the attack was deliberate but reported otherwise falsely because it was so ordered by Washington.
Why would Israel bite the American hand? We may never know. As Dean Rusk once said, it must have been ordered by someone fairly high up to be able to coordinate all the different forces involved. Richard Helms and Admiral Moorer have supposed that it was done to delay American knowledge of the pending Golan invasion. General Morrison agrees that it could have been to assure that we didn't learn of the executing of POWs then underway at El Arish. We may never know the real reason, but anyone who wonders about this should look carefully at the circumstances before allowing the improbability of such an attack to weigh against the very solid evidence that the attack was deliberate.
A recent article in Naval Institute Proceedings discusses these things in some depth. You will find this in the June 2003 issue of Naval Institute Proceedings at http://www.usni.org/proceedings/Articles03/PROwalsh06.htm.
This conservative and trusted publication, known as the voice of the US Navy officer corps, does not bite carelessly on weak positions.
Jim Ennes, September, 2003