Dean Rusk Writes about USS Liberty

Dean Rusk, Johnson's Secretary of State (in the only known instance where he disagreed with the President) wrote:

"We also lost 34 American lives when, on June 8, the fourth day of the war, the U.S. communications ship Liberty came under air and naval attack. We were meeting with President Johnson in the White House situation room, considering the implications had the Soviets or Egyptians attacked the ship, when we received word from Tel Aviv that Israeli forces were responsible. That didn't please us, although an Israeli attack on Liberty was far easier to deal with. But 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. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn't believe them then, and I don't believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous."

Rusk's memoirs: "As I Saw It" (W.W.Norton, 1990) p388

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Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors

USS Liberty