Statement of Richard S. Sturman

              Statement of surviving USS Liberty radioman
              Richard "Rocky" Sturman:

              From the web site

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              TO COMMAND...
                                      In each ship there is one 
                                       man who, in the hour of
                                    emergency or peril at sea, can
                                         turn to no other man.
                                      There is one who alone is
                                    ultimately responsible for the
                                     safe navigation, engineering
                                         performance, accurate
                                   gunfire and morale of his ship.
                                    He is the Commanding Officer.
                                           He is the ship!
                 Captain William Loren McGonagle, USS LIBERTY AGTR-5, CMH, USN
                   In June 1982, fifteen-years after the attack, the survivors who
                   could be located reunited for their first time in Washington, D.C.
                   During that emotional, soul wrenching, and at times traumatic
                   weekend, time and again what was discussed with incredulity was how
                   our government, without challenge or dispute, was allowing the
                   State of Israel to present their version of the attack to the
                   American people as fact.
                   One result of that weekend was that the USS LIBERTY VETERANS
                   ASSOCIATION came into being so the remaining survivors and former
                   crewmen could be located, to pay tribute to our Commanding Officer,
                   Captain McGonagle and to our proud ship, USS LIBERTY.  But more
                   importantly, we gather to sustain the memory of our 34 friends and
                   shipmates who gave their lives in the service of their country.
                   Disgracefully, before awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to
                   our Commanding Officer for his heroic deeds our government first
                   asked the government of the State of Israel if they had any
                   objections.  The Medal of Honor was then presented in a Washington,
                   D.C. Naval Shipyard by the Secretary of the Navy.  Hours later,
                   then-President Lyndon Johnson awarded similar Medals of Honor at
                   the White House with all the pomp and circumstance accorded the
                   recipient of our country's highest award for Valor.  Furthermore,
                   Captain McGonagle, is the only recipient of the Congressional Medal
                   of Honor in United States history who has not been accorded White
                   House recognition.
                   So not to embarrass the State of Israel for attacking the USS
                   Liberty, there is no mention in Captain McGonagle's Medal of Honor
                   Citation or in any Citation awarded the USS Liberty and her crew as
                   to the identity of the attackers.
              "CLAIMS, FACT and COMMENTS" concerns the 2pm, 8 June 1967 attack by the
              Israeli Defense Forces of the State of Israeli on our United States Navy
              intelligence-gathering ship USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5) , 4th day of the
              Arab-Israeli Six-day-war.
              By former Radioman 2nd Class (E-5) and survivor:
                Richard Samuel Sturman "Rocky"
                28-50 45th Street.
                Astoria, New York 11103-1212
              Home: (718) 728-5241   Fax: (718) 278-6169
              I can not emphasize strongly enough that there is not one shred of
              evidence or documentation which our government has released, or admitted
              to, which would show that the attack was indeed accidental or a case of
              mistaken identity.  To this day our government's response to queries
              concerning the attack is that "Israel apologized and paid compensation
              claiming the attack was accidental and a case of mistaken identity."
              ISRAEL CLAIMED:     The USS LIBERTY had no identification markings or
              distinguishing features - whatsoever! 
              FACT:  The two photos of the USS
              Liberty were taken during rescue operations and the evacuation of our
              dead and wounded - little more than 24 hours after the attack.  They
              show our 10 foot high hull number and ship designation on the bow plus
              smaller hull and designation on the aft end - to be quite clear and
              FACT:   On the USS Liberty's main-deck aft (the back end) was an 20 foot
              wide, 35 foot high, 10,000 Watt, TRESSCOMM (Technical Research Ship
              Special Communications) Microwave antenna.  An antenna futuristic and
              odd in 1967 but today seen around the world, in backyards and on
              roof-tops was an antenna we call today a SATELLITE DISH.  A Satellite
              dish antenna which only the USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5) and sister ship USS
              BELMONT (AGTR-4) had in 1967!
              COMMENT:  One photo gives the reader a perspective as would be seen by
              the Israeli pilots flying over the Liberty.  The other, as would be seen
              by the torpedo boat crews during their part in the attack. After
              examination of those photos, could the USS LIBERTY have been mistaken
              for anything other than what she was "an extremely elaborate
              state-of-the-art intelligence gathering platform."  And could that 20
              foot wide, 35 foot high mass of steel and hydraulics TRESSCOMM antenna
              have possibly been mistaken for a cargo boom to those highly trained
              Israeli Air and Naval Forces?  Extreamly improable!  
              ISRAEL CLAIMED:    They requested information from the American Embassy
              in Tel Aviv on U.S. ships operating off the Sinai - prior to attacking
              the USS LIBERTY.  Also, former Head of Israeli Air Force Intelligence,
              General Yeshayeah Bareket, stated: "I personally called the American
              FACT:   This State Department document totally refuting those claims was
              declassified and released 09\22\82, states: 
              STATE GRNC
              C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 4178
              REF: STATE 211695
              FACT:   The document which generated that "CONFIDENTIAL TEL AVIV 4178"
              was declassified and released 10\26\82, states:
              ACTION: Amembassy TEL AVIV   IMMEDIATE. 
              STATE 211695.  
              ATTACK ON USS LIBERTY.  
              FACT:   A June 1967 letter from then-President Lyndon Johnson to
              Congressman Joseph M. McDade (R-Penn), declassified and released  27 Jan
              82, stated: "I have seen a report alleging that the Israeli Government
              had asked us about the presence of the ship prior to the attack, but
              that report is not true."
              COMMENT:   Why didn't our Government immediately admonish the Government
              of Israel for issuing such a blatantly false statement (Washington Post)
              and demand a retraction if they knew it to be false?
              FACT:   A TOP SECRET National Military Command Center document,
              declassified May 1979 states in paragraph 4: "At 081045 EDT, a message
              from the United States Defense Attach‚ Office in Tel Aviv stating that
              Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats had erroneously attacked a
              vessel in the Mediterranean sea at 080800 EDT, which was thought to be
              U.S. Navy ship."
              FACT:   Then-American Ambassador to Israel, W. Barbour, was, if nothing
              else, a staunch Israeli supporter who spent much of the war in the
              Israeli war room and, a declassified cable on file in the LBJ Library
              shows that "hours after the incident he (Barbour) reported that Israel
              did not intend to admit to the incident."
              COMMENT:  The above declassified NMCC document not only lends credence
              and support to the declassified cable on file in the LBJ Library, it
              dispels any notion and claim Israel immediately notified our government.
              Time wise, as Israel is 7 hours ahead of Washington, D.C. time, the
              government of Israel did not notify our government until 5:45 PM their
              time - 3 hours and 45 minutes after the attack.  Our government then
              demanded through diplomatic channels that Israel assume responsibility
              for the attack, pay compensation to the families of the dead, the
              survivors and for the loss of the USS Liberty.
              FACT:       The Government of Israel then for over 13 years nickel,
              dimed and procrastinated in the payment of that compensation with the
              final payment being made on terms and conditions stipulated by the
              government of Israel - not the United States.  
              FACT:   A 14 Nov. 1986 letter from Congressman Gary Ackerman (NY), to a
              constituent:  "However, submarine photography taken during the incident
              indicates that the Liberty may have been under siege for approximately
              two hours.  Further, it was later discovered that the Israelis had
              warned the U.S. to keep all intelligence ships away from their coast
              during the war.  In fact, after the arrival of the Liberty, the Israelis
              warned Washington to order the ship to leave the area." 
              COMMENT:   The admission by Congressman Ackerman of a submarine
              following the USS Liberty and photographing the attack, was not the only
              such report.  James Ennes, Jr., author of "Assault on the Liberty" and
              survivor, documents that fact in his book.  Survivor, Joseph Lentini,
              while in the hospital recovering from his wounds was approached by a
              crew member of that submarine, who stated to him "we took pictures of
              the attack through our periscope."   Who was that submarine?  What was
              it doing there?  Why didn't the Commanding Officer of that submarine
              turn those photos over to our government?  If he did in fact do so, why
              does our government refuse to acknowledge the presence of that
              submarine?  The only known fact about the submarine is that it was
              equipped for the insertion and recovery of frogmen.  Interesting!  WHY
              frogman?  What purpose would an American submarine serve, along with its
              frogmen following the USS Liberty and off the Gaza strip?
              FACT:  Information provided by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
              during a TOP SECRET closed door investigations committee hearing
              disclosed that the 1967 government of Israel informed the United States
              24 hours prior to the attack  "get that ship out of there - or we will
              attack it." ISRAEL CLAIMED:  That the town of El-Arish was being shelled
              from the sea for hours-on-end as another reason for the attack.
              FACT:   On the morning of 8 June, the airfield at El-Arish was already
              functioning as an advanced Israeli air base.  As a matter of fact,
              Israel's hold on El-Arish was so complete a flight of Egyptian fighter
              aircraft landed at its airfield, deplaned, then walked right into
              Israeli Defense Forces arms and were captured without a shot or
              COMMENT:  Israel recanted the claim of bombardment after the LVA (USS
              Liberty Veterans Association) proved it to be false.  As all Israeli
              claims have been proven to be false.
              ISRAEL CLAIMED:   They "mistook" the USS LIBERTY for the Egyptian - El
              FACT:   The El Quseir at 275 feet, was 180 feet (1/3rd) shorter than the
              USS Liberty's 455 foot length.  Additionally, the El Quseir at 2,640
              gross tons, was 8,040 tons (4/5ths) less than the USS Liberty's 10,680
              gross tonnage.  Plus, the El Quseir was 20 feet narrower than USS
              Liberty's 62 foot beam (width).
              FACT:   Research into the El Quseir "mistake" claim proved the El Quseir
              was not only tied to a pier in Alexandria, Egypt, the entire Six-day-war
              - it was unable to move. That was confirmed in late 1976 by Major
              General, Mohamed A. Abou Ghazald, of Egypt.  And, it has also been shown
              our CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) knew the El-Quseir was in
              Alexandria, Egypt, at the time of the attack (The USS LIBERTY:
              DISSENTING HISTORY VS OFFICIAL HISTORY, By Doctor John E. Borne, Ph.D,
              Reconsideration Press, 1995). Though it has been proven the El-Quseir
              was in Egypt at the time of the attack, I have included a photo of the
              El-Quseir from the July 7, 1967 issue of Time Magazine, pg.15.  I
              believe the reader will see that the only similarity between our two
              ships is that, we are both in the water.
              ISRAEL CLAIMED:   "The USS LIBERTY was moving at 28 knots," and their
              battle doctrine dictated "any vessel moving over 20 knots was a
              legitimate target."  
              FACT:   The USS Liberty could not move at 28 knots, having a maximum
              speed of 18 knots and cruising at the time of the attack at 5 knots.
              The El Quseir could not move at 28 knots either, having a maximum speed
              of 14 knots - 4 knots slower than the USS Liberty.
              COMMENT:   A legitimate target even though in International waters?  How
              absurd!  There is no precedent in International law which would condone
              or justify such a statement, or action.  If the USS Liberty could not
              move at 28 knots and, the El Quseir was tied to a pier in Alexandria,
              Egypt, at the time of the attack - I let you draw your own conclusion!
              FACT:   Israeli Intelligence having done their homework prior to the
              outbreak of hostilities admitted: "knew the exact locations of all
              opposition forces and equipment - military and civilian."   
              PRELUDE TO THE ATTACK:  In all, there were 13 over-flights of the USS
              LIBERTY on 8 June 1967.  8 of those over-fights were low-level
              reconnaissance with Israeli jets and reconnaissance planes - passing as
              low as 200 feet above the USS Liberty's main-mast.  Our personnel were
              not only able to distinguish the features of the pilots, they waved at
              them - which they returned.  The USS LIBERTY was positively identified
              by the Israeli pilots who reported that fact to their headquarters in
              Tel Aviv, where we was designated and marked on the Israeli war-room
              plot-board as a "Neutral American Vessel."  
              ISRAEL CLAIMED:  They removed the USS Liberty's marker "because the data
              was old." 
              FACT:   The last reconnaissance over-flight - was 1 hour prior to the
              FACT:  Two Israeli pilots, commencing their strafing-run, reported to
              their headquarters that the USS LIBERTY was an American ship. They were
              ordered to attack nonetheless!   Those two pilots, refusing to attack,
              returned to their base, were arrested, court marshaled and given harsh
              jail sentences.
              COMMENT:    Research into this aspect disclosed one of the pilots was so
              badly brutalized while incarcerated, he may never be released from the
              facility he is being detained in.  The fate of the other pilot is
              FACT:  An American intelligence intercept station in Germany over-heard
              the Israeli pilots conversations, as did the USS Liberty's
              Communications Technicians who turned over their tapes and transcripts
              of those conversations to Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd who was in charge of
              the investigation aboard the USS Liberty.  Also, then-American
              Ambassador to Lebanon, Dwight Porter, came forward in 1991 and stated
              "U.S. Embassy monitors in Lebanon over-heard the radio conversations
              between the Israeli pilots and their headquarters as well."
              THE ATTACK:  The attack lasted a total of slightly over 2 hours, not the
              5 minutes as reported by our government.  Additionally, our government
              reported only 1 torpedo being launched and striking the USS LIBERTY. 
              FACT:   In all, there were 5 torpedoes launched.  1 torpedo struck to
              blast a 40 X 42 foot tear-drop shaped hole in the research and intercept
              compartments below the water-line, killing 25 of our 34 total dead. 171
              of the Liberty's 294 man complement were wounded (almost 70% of our
              complement - dead or wounded).  There were over 821 rocket, cannon and
              machine-gun hits inflicted. Napalm was used. All above deck water-tight
              hatches (doors), destroyed or damaged. All antennas, destroyed. The
              Captain's-gig (wood boat), rendered totally inoperable. The crew's
              motor-launch (wood boat), totally destroyed.  All the Liberty's rubber
              life-rafts, except 3 - destroyed. Those 3 remaining life-rafts were put
              in the water in response to "prepare to abandon ship," were
              intentionally machine-gunned at close range by an Israeli torpedo boat
              crew. An action on their part which was, and still is, a violation of
              the Geneva Convention II for the Amelioration of the Conditions of
              Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked members of the Armed Forces at Sea of 1949
              (1991 edition, volume 64,  INTERNATIONAL LAW STUDIES, THE LAW OF NAVAL
              OPERATIONS. published by the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island,
              article titled "NAVAL TARGETING: LAWFUL OBJECTS FOR ATTACK" By Sally V.
              and William T. Mallison).  One of the torpedo boats then took aboard
              their craft our now useless life-rafts depriving us of any means or
              chance of survival had the USS Liberty sank to the bottom of the
              international Mediterranean waters we were lawfully operating in.  As to
              the attack on the USS Liberty itself, it has been shown that under
              international law - Israel had absolutely no right in attacking a
              non-beligerent vessel in international waters (Naval Law Review, Winter
              U.S.S. LIBERTY"  LT.CMD. Walter L. Jacobsen, JAGC, USN).
              COMMENT: Could the infliction of the amount of damage and destruction
              done to the USS LIBERTY have been just pure luck?  Or, putting those
              reconnaissance over-flights to good use as to what and where to hit so
              as to insure the Israeli Air and Naval forces could inflict the most
              possible damage, and hopefully, sink the USS LIBERTY?
              FACT:  The USS Liberty's OPERATIONAL RADIO FREQUENCIES along with the
              INTERNATIONAL DISTRESS FREQUENCY were radio-jammed to prevent our
              Radiomen and Communications Technicians from sending a distress call for
              COMMENT:    How would the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) know what range
              of frequencies to initiate their radio-jamming on if they had not been
              using, prior to attacking, sophisticated RDF (Radio-Direction-Finding)
              equipment to scan for and locate our encrypted and unencrypted radio
              transmissions.  A procedure, considering the equipment of that era, took
              quite some time.
              FACT:        In Israeli supplied gun-camera footage of the strafing on
              the USS LIBERTY for a Thames Television Production, subsequently shown
              on 20/20's "Story behind the Story" and "Now it can be told" has their
              pilots saying:  "YOU HIT HER - YOU HIT HER GOOD" and "THERE'S OIL COMING
              OUT OF HER" 
              FACT:   The only way those Israeli  pilots could have seen oil coming
              from the USS LIBERTY would have been AFTER the torpedo was put into our
              starboard (right) side, rupturing our fuel oil tanks.
              FACT:   The Government of Israel in their account of the attack, stated:
              "their pilots departed the area before the torpedo boats arrived to
              commence their run-in and attack."
              FACT:  Observation of that Israeli supplied gun-camera footage reveals
              it to have been reversed from a POSITIVE image to a NEGATIVE image
              almost totally devoid of detail. And a negative image DOCTORED by the
              placing of a rectangular mask over the USS Liberty's 10 foot high hull
              number and designation on the bow in order to give the impression and
              coincide with Israel's claim that there were no identification markings
              whatsoever.  But to those familiar with the USS Liberty, detail, even in
              that doctored piece of celluloid can be discerned. Especially when
              knowing where and what to look for.
              COMMENT:  It is interesting to note that in the beginning of the Thames
              documentary gun-camera footage of Israeli jets strafing opposition air
              bases are clear, distinct and of  a positive image.  If  a doubt remains
              whether the footage has been doctored, I have reversed the image of the
              USS Liberty with the helicopter hovering over our forecastle.  Also, it
              should be noted that the commentary by the pilots during the strafing at
              the beginning of the gun-camera segment, states: "...a recreation of the
              pilots words..." To say the least, very self -serving.   
              FACT:  Mr. Michael Shiloh, Deputy Ambassador to Israel, Washington,
              D.C.,  in an attempt to placate insinuated that the attack was a result
              of   "FRIENDLY FIRE".
              COMMENT:  We could understand and forgive a friendly fire attack had it
              occurred during the dead-of-night and even in a jungle or desert
              scenario where men and equipment are camouflaged for protection.  But
              the attack occurred at 2pm., after 13 over-flights, on a day totally
              devoid of cloud and while we were 13 1/2 miles out in international
              waters.  And, as it was brought forth during the Naval Board of Inquiry:
              "the USS LIBERTY was the only non-Israeli ship in the area."  
              "Friendly Fire"  - I THINK NOT!
              FACT:   General Yeshayuah Bareket, former head of Israeli Air Force
              Intelligence, along with his aforementioned statement during the Thames
              documentary, stated:  "...the ship is an obstacle or is disturbing our
              operations in the area"
              COMMENT: I need not really comment, that statement by General Bareket
              says it all.  
              FACT:   Why has the Government of Israel been allowed to cast the
              aspersion that our United States Government was at fault for, and
              responsible for, the attack on the USS LIBERTY?  
              FACT:   An aspersion which has NEVER been addressed, answered to, or
              challenged by our government!  And why are the some 6000 odd-pages of
              documents concerning the attack being suppressed by our Government, and
              the media?  Suppressed, while documents and photos of investigations
              Congress sees fit to convene and the media deem appropriate to air are
              plastered across our tabloid headlines and shown for hours on end at
              top-of-the-hour news programs.
              While Israel and Israel's supporters in the United States consistently
              make reference to and claim "the attack was accidental," "It was a case
              of mistaken identity," "Israel claimed responsibility and paid
              compensation," plus then-Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara's,
              comment "It was the conclusion of the investigatory body, headed by an
              Admiral of the Navy in whom we have great confidence, that the attack
              was not intentional." 
              Those statements and claims do not accurately reflect the statements
              made at the time by other members of our Government.
              FACT:   The Navy Board of Inquiry: "the Navy inquiry confirms testimony
              of five member of the crew that they had personally observed the
              (American Flag) was hoisted.  Hull markings were clear and freshly
              painted."  The Judge Advocate General of the Navy concluded that: "The
              record discloses beyond any doubt that USS Liberty was, at the time of
              the attack, engaged in peaceful operations in international waters, and
              that the attack of Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats was entirely
              unprovoked and unexpected."  The attack took place on a clear day, and
              the Liberty was the only non-Israeli vessel in sight.  PLUS: Then
              Secretary of State Dean Rusk: "There is every reason to believe that the
              USS LIBERTY was identified, or at least her nationality determined by
              Israeli aircraft one hour before the attack," "I was never satisfied
              with the Israeli explanations.  Their sustained attack to disable and
              sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident..." as do Rusk's legal
              advisor Carl Salans a nd his assistant secretary Lucius Battle.  Clark
              Clifford, chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board is on
              record having told then President Lyndon Johnson in a closed National
              Security Council meeting that "the attack was deliberate..."  Gen.
              Marshall Carter, Director of the National Security Agency and his deputy
              Louis Tordella, agree that "the attack was deliberate," so does their
              senior aide Walter G. Deeley.  Richard Helms, Chief of the Central
              Intelligence Agency and his former deputy George Carver are also on
              record as saying "the attack was intentional," as are Admiral Bobby
              Inmann, who headed both intelligence agencies; Dr. James Johnson, former
              undersecretary of the Navy, Gen. George Keegan, former Air Force Chief
              of Intelligence, Paul Warnke, then senior National Security Advisor to
              the Secretary of Defense. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm.
              Thomas Moorer "insists that the attack could not possibly have been a
              mistake."  And even Ronald Reagan once cited t he Liberty to his staff,
              as an example of Israeli untrustworthiness.
              FACT:    Mr. George Christian, special assistant to then-President
              Johnson, in a letter to Mr. James Ennes, Jr., (author, "Assault on the
              Liberty" and Survivor): "Frankly, there was considerable skepticism in
              the White House that the attack was accidental..." Plus, "....I became
              convinced that an accident of this magnitude was too much to swallow."
              And, "It was imperative that the United States maintain enough leverage
              with Israel to bring about a cease-fire."
              COMMENT:  Is the attack on the USS LIBERTY still being used today as a
              lever by our Government, as Mr. Christian stated above?  If that is in
              fact so, then we are surly being used as a pawn in the game of
              international politics.  Or, is it the well documented fear of reprisal
              along with the loss of political contributions by Israel's lobby in the
              United States?
              FACT:  Israel's claims were so outrageous and unbelievable, they
              requested our government classify them and not released to the American
              people or our media.  They also stipulated that, "if need be, their
              account of the attack could be released only to select members of
              COMMENT:   Who, their supporters !
              FACT:   The documents that have not been released which are still being
              held by our intelligence agencies, along with the White House and State
              Department are classified so highly Members of Congress and our
              government are refused access to them.         
              COMMENT:    What is there still to hide after 28 years? 
              FACT:    Article 1, Section 8 (10th paragraph in) of the Constitution of
              the United States of America, states:  to define and punish Piracies and
              Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of
              COMMENT:  Why, then, does our government violate our Constitution and
              refuse to abide by our laws by not investigating the attack?  In
              essence, has, since 1967 protected and put the interests and welfare of
              the State of Israel before America and Americans.   
              But unlike the Main, the Mayagues, Pearl Harbor, Tonkin Gulf, The
              Scorpion, The Thresher, The 1968 attack and seizure of the USS Pueblo by
              North Korea (seven months after the USS LIBERTY was attacked), The 1987
              cruise missile attack on the USS Stark by Iraq (members of Congress went
              to and stayed in Iraq to complete their 8 month investigation of that
              incident), The USS Iowa gun-turret explosion, The shooting-down by the
              USS Vincennes of a Iranian civilian passenger jet  The accidental
              launching of 2 missiles by the USS Saratoga into a Turkish ship killing
              5 of their crew during a joint NATO exercises, Watergate, Iran Contra,
              Iraq-gate, Tail Hook, White Water, the nuclear experiments on Americans
              in the early 1950's, The USS Mason along with the myriad of incidents
              Congress did and does see fit to investigate - the attack on the USS
              LIBERTY (AGTR-5) by the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) stands to this day
              as the only major Maritime Naval disaster in United States history which
              has not be en accorded a FULL, COMPREHENSIVE and IMPARTIAL investigation
              by Congress.
              Before closing CLAIMS, FACT and COMMENTS I would like to add that
              Americans (those of the Jewish faith and Gentile alike) who support the
              State of Israel have denounced the USS LIBERTY VETERANS ASSOCIATION, the
              survivors, the families of our dead and our supporters of being
              transmogrified into an Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic cult.  They have also
              voiced that: "any memorial to the USS Liberty or her dead is a slap in
              the face and an insult to the State of Israel."    
              Though the supporters of Israel denounce us as Anti-Semitic, how could
              we be!  For those that are ill- or misinformed, we had shipmates and
              friends killed in the attack who were of the Jewish faith.  And many of
              us, the survivors, the families of our dead and our supporters are of
              the Jewish faith. 
              And why is offense taken by those that support Israel to the erecting of
              memorials to the USS LIBERTY and our dead?  We have many memorials in
              the United States to those of the Jewish faith killed during WWII, and
              even to Israelis. So, why, then, is offense taken and condemnation
              voiced by those that support Israel because of the memorials to the men
              of the USS LIBERTY who were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces - who's
              religion happens to be Jewish? 
              Please keep in mind that an investigation is warranted because of the
              years of research along with the declassified TOP SECRET, SECRET and
              CONFIDENTIAL documents that have been obtained under the FOIA (Freedom
              of Information Act). Documents and research which not only call into
              question Israel's explanations of an "accidental" and "mistaken
              identity" attack altogether, they go to take them apart piece-by-piece.
              And an investigation is needed not only because of the many
              discrepancies and versions in Israel's own accounting of that attack but
              the comments and actions by the then-Johnson administration in knowing
              who our attackers were - before our attackers admitted doing so. Along
              with then-Secretary of Defense McNamara's duplicity in informing members
              of Congress the attack was accidental even before an investigation was
              undertaken.  There were a certain few within the 1967 Israeli government
              who planned, coordinated and carried out the attack on the USS LIBERTY.
              They are the ones th at are responsible, not the entire State of Israel
              and her people.
              As to any and all claims and charges of being Anti-Israel.  I don't
              think I have to point out that- Israel is not our country.  As
              American's, we do not have to love, give allegiance or profess loyalty
              to a country and government not our own.  Furthermore, as we can
              criticize, denounce, protest and take to task our government along with
              our leaders, as well as other governments and their leaders, we can
              criticize, protest and take to task the government of the State of
              Israel. I do hope that takes care of any perceived Anti-Israel rhetoric
              on my part (or our part) for wanting to take the government of the State
              of Israel to task for their attack on our ship and, for their killing of
              our friends and shipmates. 
              But the charges of being Anti-Israel and/or Anti-Semitic by those that
              support Israel have and are used quite effectivly to keep our
              government, the media and the American people from looking closely at
              the attack on the USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5).  As they are used to keep the
              American people from delving into and looking closely at the
              America-Israel relationship as a whole.
              What came to light just prior to our 28th anniversory/reunion was what
              we were tasked by the National Security Agency to determine.  Also, what
              came to light was that we did not have any Hebrew linguists on board.
              We did have Arabic and Russian linguists, as our mission was to
              determine if Russian nationals (pilots) were flying Egyptian TU95's
              during the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six-day-war. 
              But, as to linguists, that's not to say that our friends of the Jewish
              faith who were killed in the attack did not speak Hebrew.  
              I have been informed that just prior to 1 of the 5 Israeli torpedo
              launched at us, our intercept operators picked up those Russian pilots
              conversations while flying around in the Egyptian TU95's.
              But an interesting turn to this information was a conversation with a
              coworker (of Russian nationality, who was a lieutenant in their Army)
              who said to me "Yes, you are correct!" after I told him of the Russian
              pilot story.  It seems my coworker, in 1969, was sitting around with his
              military buddies doing what all military personal do when gathered and
              swapping stories - drinking. After many glasses of refreshment, his Air
              Force friend, Igor Shelagov, admitted flying Egyptian planes during the
              Six-day-war.  He did swear all his friends to secrecy, though.
              While it does not change the fact Israel's attack was intentional and in
              violation of International law, I just thought this interesting turn of
              events would be appreciated by the reader.       

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Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors

USS Liberty