The following sixteen facts, prepared and presented by an
experienced prosecuting attorney, are undisputed:
1. At all times on June 8, 1967, during the fourth day of the
Arab-Israeli "Six Day War," USS Liberty, a neutral ship, remained in
2. USS Liberty carried no offensive armament and only four .50 cal.
machine guns as a defense against boarders.
3. On the morning of June 8, 1967 USS Liberty was over flown by
Israeli reconnaissance aircraft, and POSITIVELY identified by an
Israeli pilot not just as a U.S. Navy ship, but as USS Liberty
4. The Hague Convention on Naval Warfare prohibits attacks on
neutral ships on the high seas.
5. The government of Israel stated that they ordered ships and
aircraft to the location of USS Liberty because they had received
reports that IDF forces on the shore were being shelled from the sea.
6. The Israeli motor torpedo boats (MTBs) claimed to have detected
USS Liberty on their radar initially at a distance of approximately
28 miles. The maximum range of the MTB radar units was just 16 miles.
7. The MTBs calculated the speed of USS Liberty initially at 30
knots and then a few minutes later at 28 knots. The maximum speed of
USS Liberty was 20 knots, and the ship was at that time barely making
way at five knots.
8. The Israeli aircraft, which should have been looking for a ship
with offensive armament with sufficient range to bombard the shore 15
miles away and traveling at high speed, instead found a converted
cargo ship, with no offensive armament, and moving at approximately
9. USS Liberty presented no obvious offensive threat, nor was she
attempting to flee the scene. Indeed, US sailors were sunbathing on
10. Prior to the start of the attack (1358 local time), USS Liberty -
still in international waters - was never positively identified as a
11. Rather than wait for the MTBs to arrive and positively ID the
ship, the aircraft launched an attack on USS Liberty.
12. The pilots of the attacking aircraft claimed that they were
unable to see the 5' by 8' red, white, and blue US flag flying
approximately 100 feet above the bridge of the ship, yet one of the
pilots stated that he saw a .50 cal machine gun, painted gray, on the
13. The Israelis claim that the aircraft finally saw a U.S. flag on
Liberty at approximately 1422 and they called off the attack.
14. At 1436, the MTBs launched a torpedo attack on USS Liberty,
launching five torpedoes, one of which hit USS Liberty amidships,
killing 25 men.
15. The MTBs continued to circle USS Liberty, firing on the ship
until at least 1510, when they claim that they saw Liberty's US flag
for the first time.
16. The Israeli attack was broken off almost immediately following
an unencrypted broadcast by USS Saratoga that she had launched
aircraft to come to the aid of Liberty.
The Israeli government has never explained why it was necessary to
attack an unthreatening ship on the high seas without waiting a few
more minutes until their surface ships arrived to positively identify
it. This was a gross violation of the laws of war. There is simply no
rational explanation for the attack having been anything other than
planned and deliberate.
Reference was made to Mr. Cristol's website www.libertyincident.com.
When visiting this site, please keep in mind that while Mr. Cristol
traveled to Israel 15 times to interview IDF personnel, he had only
brief conversations with a few USS Liberty survivors. He has claimed
to have interviewed quite a few individuals who dispute that they
were ever interviewed by Cristol. The facts alleged on Cristol's
website are often contradictory.
One of the individuals who disputes ever having been interviewed by
Cristol about the attack on USS Liberty, is Captain Ward Boston, the
JAG officer for the court of inquiry. He has recently broken his
silence on this subject. In a recent published interview, Captain
Boston contradicted Cristol's claims of comments attributed to
Admiral Isaac Kidd and stated that Kidd has opined to him that he
thought that Cristol was "an Israeli agent."
Also bear in mind Cristol's somewhat misleading biography, which
suggests that he was a combat pilot during the Korean war (he