Who is Jim Ennes?


1952                                1962                                2005

Who is Jim Ennes and why is he telling these awful lies about Israel?

Jim Ennes (James Marquis Ennes, Jr.), a survivor of the 1967 attack by Israel on the American intelligence ship USS Liberty and one of the creators of The USS Liberty Memorial Web Site, is an American citizen and a retired career US Naval Officer. He was born in New Jersey in 1933 and was raised in New York, Texas, Illinois, Washington State and California.

He attended high school in Alameda, California, and Irving, Texas, where he left in his senior year year during the Korean War to enlist in the US Navy. He subsequently served in naval communications in Yokosuka, Japan, and later as Navy Mail Clerk aboard the USS General G.M.Randall (TAP-115), a troop transport ship operating under the Military Sea Transportation Service.

Following his enlisted tour, he worked as an investigator for Retail Credit Company (now known as Equifax Corporation) while attending San Francisco State College at night on the GI Bill. Upon receiving his degree in business administration he applied for Naval Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in 1962. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest since he retired from the Navy in 1978.

During his commissioned service, Ennes first served aboard the USS Westchester County, an LST then permanently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. He then applied to the Naval Security Group for duty and subsequently served tours in the Pentagon, one year on the staff of Vice Admiral Kleber Masterson, then Commander U.S. Second Fleet aboard the heavy cruiser USS Newport News, a brief tour aboard the USS Liberty as the ship's electronic materiel officer, a three year assignment in Bremerhaven, Germany, and three tours at Naval Security Group Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Ennes has long been a champion of free speech, civil liberties, and ethnic understanding. During his last Navy assignment in Washington, DC, he volunteered as a collateral duty to direct the new human rights and race relations education program for the large naval station employing several thousand people. The program he designed and managed was recognized by the Navy Inspector General as "unexcelled elsewhere in the Navy". During the same three year period, Ennes's large communications department achieved a previously unprecedented record of no lost messages during the three years of his tenure. For these accomplishments was awarded the "Navy Achievement Medal" for sustained exceptional performance. For comparison, when Liberty was attacked, part of the blame was attributed to the fact that six messages to the ship directing her to move from the area were all lost or mishandled.

He researched and wrote the book Assault on the Liberty during the period between the attack in 1967 and his retirement from the Navy as a lieutenant commander in 1978. The book was accepted for publication by Random House in 1978, and was released for sale in February, 1980, after very extensive legal and factual review and verification. "Assault on the Liberty" has sold more than 110,000 copies in six hardcover printings by Random House, one paperback edition by Ballantine Books, an overseas Arabic language edition by the Language Management Institute in Cyprus and four privately reprinted "perfect bound" editions by Reintree Press and printed by Signature Book Printing Company of Gaithersburg, Maryland . Many people in the industry believe that sales have been severely restricted because of sabotage in the distribution pipeline which caused delays and blockages in production and distribution.

Assault on the Liberty went out of print with Random House in 1993 and was subsequently reprinted by Reintree Press in 2002 with an addendum that updates the story. It is available from amazon.com, pulsetv.com, wrmea.com, or (for a signed copy) directly from the author by sending a check for $30 to James Ennes, POB 789, Woodinville, Washington 98077.

Since 1978 Ennes has devoted himself primarily to writing about a variety of subjects including photography, web design, and collecting books and memorabilia by and about the author Don Marquis who died in 1937. His collection of Marquis books and memorabilia is one of the most extensive and complete in the world, consisting of several hundred items including many rare, one-of-a-kind items. For more about this see www.donmarquis.org. Understandably, most requests are for him to write about the USS Liberty experience. He has contributed to Writer's Digest, The Washington Post, The San Diego Union, The Retired Officer Magazine, and other publications. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. For some of his reporting for The Washington Report see www.ussliberty.org/wrmea.htm. He has served as a researcher and consultant for 60 Minutes, Readers Digest, The Story Behind the Story, The History Channel, BBC's "USS Liberty: Dead in the Water" documentary, Sligo Production's "USS Liberty Survivors: Our Story" video and others, and has routinely helped numerous authors, students, reporters and scholars probing the Liberty story. With Master Chief Petty Officer Stan White, he helped organize the original USS Liberty Veterans Association. For seven years he was the editor of The USS Liberty Newsletter, a responsibility now handled by Master Chief White.

While promoting Assault on the Liberty, Ennes participated in over 300 radio talkshows including a two hour radio interview with Larry King, dozens of television interviews, college and luncheon talks, newspaper interviews with such popular writers as James Kilpatrick, Georgie Anne Geyer, Norman Kempster, William J. Small, Jack Anderson, Les Whiten, Alexander Cockburn, David Smyth, Philip Geyelin, Brad Knickerbocker, Robert Caldwell, Rowland Evans, Robert Novak, Stephen Green, Donald Neff, James Bamford, David Kahn, Noam Chomsky and many others. He made three major coast-to-coast talkshow book promotion tours. He was a fairly naive consultant for the misbegoten Thames video documentary on the USS Liberty and also for the unfortunate report on the attack by NBC's "The Story Behind the Story". He assisted Sligo Productions in the creation of the "USS Liberty Survivors: Our Story" video that is marketed by Fusion Video and International Historic Films and sometimes seen on cable television. He declined to participate in or support the production of the "Loss of Liberty" film created by Howard Productions of Front Royal, Virginia, because he anticipated the disaster that the film became. He assisted John Borne and Walter Jacobsen in the research for their doctoral level theses on the USS Liberty. He was a consultant for the film, "USS LIBERTY: Dead in the Water" which was nominated for best documentary at the 2002 Vancouver International Film Festival. He declined to be interviewed by Ahron Jay Cristol when it became clear that Cristol was preparing an unobjective polemic seeking only to discredit the stories and recollections of USS Liberty survivors and others familiar with the story.

Ennes was married for 42 years to the former Teresa Ellen Latshaw, who died of breast cancer in 1997. They have three grown children and four grandchildren. In 2008 he married the former Sheila Anne Carlisle formerly of Alberta, Canada. Mrs. Ennes edited the 2004/2007 addendum to Assault on the Liberty, and was an editor of Attack on the USS Liberty (Aegean Park Press, 1993) by William Gerhard, not to be confused with Assault on the Liberty (Random House, 1980) by James Ennes.

He is frankly weary of the USS Liberty story and prefers that it should consume less of his time. However, as long as Israel's supporters claim that the attack was a tragic accident and that we survivors are lying about what happened, Ennes feels that he must help his shipmates to tell the truth about what happened to the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, and about the cover-up that followed. Even then, he might let this story rest, but the constant complaints that survivors are bigots and liars inspired by ethnic bias and anti-Semitism strike him as so hollow and viciously wrong that he continues to tell his story whenever he can.

Last updated: February 5, 2009

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