As it relates to the making and sustaining of the Arab-Israeli conflict, there is no better or more shocking example of how the truth of history has been suppressed than the Liberty Affair. Israel’s attack, on 8 June 1967, on America’s most sophisticated spy ship; an all-out attack which was originally intended to kill all of the Liberty’s crew and sink the vessel but which, when the attack was called off, had killed “only” 34 American sailors and wounded 172 others.
On 8 June this year I received from America’s Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNI) the text of an op-ed carried by the San DiegoUnion Tribune of that day. It was headlined Forty Years Later, Searching for Truth. The writer of it was Ward Boston, Jr. (Who he is, and what he was, in a moment).
For this posting I am going to reproduce the text of the op-ed; then briefly summarise the results of my own search for the truth as set down in Volume Two of my book Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews; and I will conclude by addressing the question: Why the cover-up, by the media as well as the Johnson administration?
Text of the San Diego Union Tribune’s op-ed (my emphasis added)
Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II. As senior legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry it was my job to help uncover the truth regarding Israel’s June 8th1967 bombing of the USS Liberty.
On that sunny, clear day 40 years ago, Israel’s combined air and naval forces attacked our American intelligence-gathering ship for two hours, inflicting 70 percent casualties. Thirty-four American soldiers died and 172 were injured. The USS Liberty remained afloat only by the crew’s heroic efforts.
Israel claimed it was an accident. Yet I know from personal conversations with the late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, president of the Court of Inquiry, that President Johnson and Secretary of Defence McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”
The ensuing cover-up has haunted us for 40 years.What does it imply for our national security, not to mention our ability to honestly broker peace in the Middle East, when we cannot question Israel’s actions, even when they kill Americans?
On June 8th, survivors of Israel’s cruel attack will gather in Washington DC to honor their dead shipmates as well as the mothers, sisters, widows and children they left behind. They will continue to ask for a fair and impartial congressional inquiry that, for the first time, would allow the survivors themselves to testify publicly.
For decades I have remained silent. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defence and President of the United States, I follow them. However, attempts to rewrite history and concern for my country compel me to tell the truth.
Admiral Kidd and I were given only one week to gather evidence for the Navy’s official investigation, though we both estimated that a proper Court of Inquiry would take at least six months.
We boarded the crippled ship at sea and interviewed survivors. The evidence was clear. We both believed with certainty that this attack was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew.
I am certain that Israeli pilots and commanders who had ordered the attack knew the ship was American. I saw the bullet-riddled American flag that had been raised by the crew after their first flag had been shot down completely. I heard testimony that made it clear the Israelis intended there be no survivors. Not only did they attack with napalm, gunfire and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned at close range three life rafts that had been launched in an attempt to save the most seriously wounded.
I am outraged at the efforts of Israel’s apologists to claim this attack was a case of “mistaken identity”.
Admiral Kidd told me that after receiving the President’s cover-up orders, he was instructed to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Defence Department, and rewrite portions of the Court’s findings. He said, “Ward, they are not interest in the facts. It’s a political matter and we cannot talk about it.” We were to “put a lid on it” and caution everyone involved never to speak of it again.
I know that the Court of Inquiry transcript that has been released to the public is not the same one that I certified and sent to Washington. I know this because it was necessary, due to the exigencies of time, to hand correct and initial a substantial number of pages. I have examined the released version of the transcript and did not see any pages that bore my hand corrections and initials. Also, the original did not have any deliberately blank pages, as the released version does. In addition, the testimony of Lt. Lloyd Painter concerning the deliberate machine-gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given to the Court of Inquiry and included in the original transcript, is now missing.
I join the survivors in their call for an honest inquiry. Why is there no room to question Israel, even when they kill Americans, in the halls of Congress?
Let the survivors testify. Let me testify. Let former intelligence officers testify that they received real-time Hebrew translations of Israeli commanders instructing their pilots to sink “the American ship.”
Surely uncovering the truth about what happened to American servicemen in a bloody attack is more important than protecting Israel. And surely forty years is long enough to wait.
I salute the courage and integrity of three parties: Ward Boston Jr. for writing that; the Editor of the San Diego Union Tribunefor publishing it; and the Copley family which owns the newspaper and allows it to be a beacon of light in an otherwise very dark and menacing mainstream media landscape. (I’m a former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent, and it’s my view that the mainstream media, out of fear of offending Zionism, is not only complicit in Zionism’s suppression of the truth of history, but is betraying democracy).
The attack on the Liberty was ordered by Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, Israel’s charismatic, one-eyed warlord and master of deception. (I knew this Moshe well enough to have private conversations with him. If asked today to describe him in retrospect, I would say that he was a most engaging war criminal).
Like so much else to do with the making and sustaining of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the motive for the attack on the Liberty has to be deduced from what happened in the countdown to the 1967 war (one could say the countdown began when the fighting of 1948 ended), and what happened during the war.
In Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews, the story unfolds in two chapters of Volume Two, Chapter 24, which is titled America Takes Sides, War with Nasser Act II; and the Creation of Greater Israel; and Chapter 25, which is titled The Liberty Affair, “Pure Murder” on a “Great Day” and includes a very graphic and detailed account of the attack.
The key to more or less complete understanding is knowledge of the Liberty’s capabilities and what its mission was as it patrolled off the Mediterranean coast of Israel and the Sinai Peninsula. The essence is summarised in nine paragraphs of my Chapter 25 as follows:
The Liberty’s naval designation was AGTR-5, meaning that it was the fifth ship in a series undertaking “Auxiliary General Technical Research.” It was, in fact, a converted World War II Victory ship, the former Simmons Victory. It had been refitted by the NSA (National Security Agency) for use as a signals intelligence (SIGINT) “platform”, a floating listening post. It had a very sophisticated system of radio antennae including a “Big Ear” sonar-radio listening device with a clear capability range of over 500 miles. Up to that distance the Liberty could intercept virtually any form of wireless communication, including military and diplomatic traffic, telemetry data, rocket guidance and satellite control, among others. It could then decode and process the intercepted messages and relay them back to the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland, via short-wave radio or through a very special communications system called TRSSCOM, using a 10,000-watt microwave signal bounced off the surface of the moon. The USS Liberty was America’s most advanced spy ship.
Below decks the communications areas which housed the computers, listening and decoding devices manned by linguistic experts and other personnel who were changed according to the ship’s mission, were off-limits to the crew, including Captain William McGonagle. The communication areas were under the direct control of an NSA technician (managing spook). The on-board NSA controller for the Liberty’s June ’67 mission was known to the crew as “the Major.” With two other civilians he joined the Libertyat Rota in Spain shortly before the spy ship sailed from there for the Middle East on 2 June. The day after Dayan became minister of defense. (A coincidence?)
The Liberty’s movements were controlled by the JCS (Joints Chiefs of Staff) and NSA in Washington. With a top speed of 18 knots it was faster than most ships of its kind. On both the forecastle and deckhouse aft of the bridge there were two pedestal-mounted 0.50-caliber Browning machine guns. These four guns, on open mounts without shrapnel shields, were the spy ship’s only defences. Strictly speaking the Liberty was not an unarmed vessel but for all practical purposes it was. Another sitting duck if attacked.
The Liberty’s mission was TOP SECRET and has not been acknowledged to this day.
It was on patrol, listening, because some in the Johnson administration, perhaps Defence Secretary McNamara especially, did not trust the Israelis to keep their word with regard to the scope of the war.
The Johnson administration had given the green light for Israel to attack Egypt and only Egypt. It was understood that the IDF would have to respond to Jordanian intervention if it happened, but on no account was Israel to seek to widen the war for the purpose of taking Jordanian or Syrian territory. Apart from President Johnson’s public statement that he was as firmly committed as his predecessors had been to the “political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations in that area”, Washington’s fear was what could happen if the Israelis occupied Syrian territory. If they did there was a possibility of Soviet intervention (for face-saving reasons). Soviet leaders could just about live with the Egyptians being smashed by the IDF but not the Syrians too. Through the CIA the Johnson administration was aware of the IDF’s secret agreement with the Syrian regime. So it, the Johnson administration, was reasonably confident that the Syrians would not seek to widen the war by engaging the Israelis in any serious way. The name of the U.S. counter-intelligence game was therefore preventing Israel from attacking Syria. That was the Liberty’s mission.
When the Liberty was ordered to the Middle East, everybody who needed to know did know that the Israelis would have only a few days in which to smash the Egyptians because the Security Council would demand a quick end to the fighting and Israel would have to stop when it was shown the international red card. Which meant that when Israel went to war with Egypt, it would be assigning the bulk of its armour to the Egyptian front. The point? If Israel then decided to widen the war to grab the West Bank and Syrian territory, it would have to re-deploy, very quickly, from the Egyptian to the Jordanian and Syrian fronts. The orders for such redeployment would be given by wireless from Dayan’s Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv to the commanders in the field and they, naturally, would talk to each other. If there was such radio chatter, the Liberty would pick it up and pass it urgently to the NSA in Washington. President Johnston would then demand that the Israelis abort their intention to grab all of the West Bank and attack Syria. So long as the Liberty was on station and functioning, the U.S. would have some control of Israel.
In short, the Liberty was the Johnson administration’s insurance policy. It was there to prevent Israel’s hawks going over the top and, on a worst case scenario, provoking Soviet intervention and possibly World War III. (One could have said then, and one could say with even more point today, that with the Zionist state as its friend the U.S. does not need enemies).
From Dayan’s perspective.. Before he could have a completely free hand to take all of the West Bank and order an invasion of Syria for the purpose of grabbing the Golan Heights, the Liberty had to be put out of business.
For ITN I was in the Sinai covering Israel’s “turkey shoot” advance to the Suez Canal and I witnessed the re-deployment of some IDF units, with Israeli soldiers cheerfully admitting that they were on their way to other fronts.
The attack on the Liberty ought to have been a sensational and headline-grabbing news story, but beyond the fact that an accident had happened and that Israel had apologised, it did not get reported by American (or other) news organisations. If it had been an Arab attackon an American ship, it would have been an entirely different matter, of course. In that event there would have been saturation coverage with demands for retaliation. With Zionist and other columnists and commentators who were pro Israel right or wrong setting the pace and the tone.
There is no mystery about the reason for President Johnston’s decision to order a cover-up. It was entirely in keeping with an earlier decision he made. Less than 15 minutes after the start of the Israeli attack, Captain Joseph Tully launched planes from the American aircraft carrier USS Saratoga to go to the aid of the Liberty. Johnson ordered the planes to be recalled. There was to be no engagement with the Israelis, even if that meant letting Americans die.
Johnson didn’t want any kind of confrontation with the Zionist state of Israel and its awesomely powerful lobby in America. He knew better than anybody else that if the lobby mobilised American Jews against him and the Democratic Party, he and it would be in very deep trouble. Very many Democrats who run for election are dependent on campaign funding organised by the Zionist lobby and, in six states in close election races, they can also be dependent on organised Jewish votes. (One problem with what passes for democracy in America is that it’s for sale to the highest bidders; and Zionism is one of the highest, if not the highest, bidder. An eminent Jewish American said recently that the Democratic Party would not be able to come up with a foreign policy different from that of Bush and Cheney “unless it ends its intellectual and financial dependency on the Israel lobby.”)
But why, really, was the media a party to the cover-up of an Israeli act of war on America?
I think there are four parts to the answer.
One is that many columnists and commentators who have regular and prime access to the most influential American media organs are Jewish and pro Israel right or wrong. (That observation is not a criticism of the fact that there are a disproportionate number of Jews in positions of media power and influence. That reality is a tribute to the fact that Jews are, generally speaking, the intellectual elite of the Western world).
Another is that editors and other media managers who are hostages to commercial pressures fear that if they offended Zionism too much, they would be punished by the withdrawal of advertising, which in terms of lost revenue would be catastrophic for many media institutions. The bottom-line is that rather than risk offending Zionism too much, the media censors itself.
Another is that media people in general (excluding only those who peddle Zionism’s line) don’t want the hassle of being accused of anti-Semitism. The false charge of anti-Semitism is the blackmail card which the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust enables Zionism to play to silence criticism of Israel and suppress informed and honest debate.
But in my view a main motivation for media complicity in Zionism’s suppression of the truth of history is the unspeakable belief that the truth about Israel’s behaviour (from the first round of its ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948) could provoke Holocaust II, shorthand for another great turning against Jews everywhere. This is a general point as I make it in the Preface to Volume Two of Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews. But let’s now take that general point and ask a particular question.
What would have been the reaction in America in June 1967 and after IF Americans had been told the truth about Israel’s attack on the Liberty?
There might well have been a manifestation, even an explosion, of classical anti-Semitism. And that’s the problem with telling the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It could provoke classical anti-Semitism.
In the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian or Western world, where most of the world’s Jews live by choice as citizens of many nations, the term anti-Semitism is used as though it had only one meaning – prejudice against, and loathing or even hatred of, Jews just because they are Jews. In fact, Arabs are Semites and to be anti-Semitic is actually to be anti Jews and anti Arabs. That’s why I use the term classical anti-Semitism to indicate that I am referring to prejudice against Jews.
The obvious next question asks itself.
If the truth of history could provoke classical anti-Semitism, does this mean that it, the truth, should not be told?
My answer to this question begins with a statement of what I think is most likely to happen if the truth of history is not told. I mean if it does not become available to more than a small number of citizens. The Zionist state of Israel, which has already become its own worst enemy (because its policies are counter-productive), will remain above and beyond the law and will pose an increasingly serious threat not only to the peace of the region and the world, but also to the best interests of Jews everywhere and the moral integrity of Judaism itself.
This perhaps is the most appropriate place for me to note in passing that I insisted on Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jewsas the title for my latest book because it reflects two related truths for our time in seven words. The first is that the giant of classical anti-Semitism is being re-awakened in the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian world. The second is that a prime cause of the re-awakening is the behaviour of Zionism’s aggressive and self-righteous child, Israel.
If that was only my Gentile view (or only the view of any Gentile), it could easily be dismissed and trashed by Zionism’s spin doctors. So on public speaking platforms as well as in my book, I almost always quote the warning words of a remarkable Israeli – Yehoshafat Harkabi. He was Israel’s longest serving and most enlightened Director of Military Intelligence. In a seminal book, Israel’s Fateful Hour, published in English in 1988, Harkabi wrote the following (my emphasis added). “Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewishstate is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.”
I am driven by the belief – it’s the reason why I devoted more than five years of my life to researching and writing Zionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews – that the only way to stop the monster of classical anti-Semitism going on the rampage again at a point in a foreseeable future if Zionism continues to have its way, is by telling the truth of history, to show, among other things, why it is wrong to blame all Jews everywhere for the crimes of a minority, hard core Zionists in Palestine that became Israel.
In my view, the real key to understanding is knowledge of the difference between Zionism and Judaism.
Zionism asserts that they are one and the samein order to make the charge, sometimes explicitly, sometimes by insinuation, that all criticism of Israel is a manifestation of anti-Semitism.
The truth is not only that Zionism and Judaism are total opposites, but that the return of Jews to the land of biblical Israel by the efforts of man was PROSCRIBED by Judaism. After my wife, my second best friend in the world is my very kosher Jewish accountant. Until this Gentile told him, he didn’t know that Zionism was proscribed by Judaism. I wonder how many other Jews don’t know.
I also wonder how many Jews, and Gentiles, are aware of the following. Many if not most of the Jews who went to Palestine in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection to the ancient Hebrews. The incoming Zionist Jews were mainly foreign nationals of many lands, descended from those who became Jewish by conversion to Judaism centuries after the fall of the ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel and what is called the “dispersal” into “oblivion” of its people. The notion that there aretwo entire peoples with an equally valid claim to the same land is an historical nonsense. The relatively few Jewswitha valid claim were, are, the descendants of thosewho stayed IN Palestine through everything. They numbered only a few thousand at the time of Zionism’s birth; they regarded themselves as Palestinians; and they were fiercely opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise because they rightly feared that it would make them as well as the incoming, alien Zionist Jews enemies of the Arabs among whom they had lived in peace and security.
Judaism is the religion of Jews and, like Christianity and Islam, it has at its core a set of ethical principles and moral values.
Zionism is not only a secular, colonialist ideology, it makes a mockery of, and has contempt for, the ethical principles and moral values of Judaism. Which is why those most often described as “ultra orthodox” religious Jews say, and I believe they are right, that Zionism is destroying Judaism.
For those who might wish to have a much deeper understanding of the difference between Zionism and Judaism, I recommend a recently published book A Threat From Within, A CENTURY OF JEWISH OPPOSITION TO ZIONISM. Its author is a Canadian Jew, Yakov Rabkin, who is Professor of History at the University of Montreal… When Yakov was here in London, I asked him a very explicit question: “Is it reasonable to say that the Jews of the world now have a choice to make – either to reaffirm their commitment to Judaism and renounce Zionism, or to reaffirm, or affirm, their commitment to Zionism and renounce Judaism?” He replied with one word, “YES!”
I have no doubt that editors and other media managers (and publishers and politicians) who are complicit in the suppression of the truth of history honestly believe that they are serving the best interests of the Jews (as well as their own short-term vested interests). But to them all I say, as I’ve said in the Preface to Volume Two ofZionism, The Real Enemy of the Jews:
You are wrong. Dangerously wrong. By refusing to come to grips with the truth of history and, in particular, the difference between Zionism and Judaism and why it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic, you are helping to set up all Jews to be blamed for the crimes of the relative few.