GORDON DUFF: LAW NEEDED TO PROTECT THE USS LIBERTY SURVIVORS
IT MAY HAPPEN AGAIN
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
In 1967, an American ship was attacked in daylight in the Eastern Mediterranean. It flew a huge flag, was easily identified but was subjected to bombings, strafings, torpedo attacks and the survivors were machine gunned in the water. There is no question about what happened, none whatsoever. Because this was done by Israel, there was a preliminary attempt to cover it up but the facts are there and no sane person can deny them. Israeli pilots admit taking part, including officers describe the attack in great detail and there nobody can say it was a mistake. We may be late, maybe very late, perhaps even too late, but the lessons we learned from how Israel has dealt with those who deny the holocaust must be applied for exactly the same reasons.
If attacks like this are covered up, it will only lead to more attacks on Americans, more lives lost, perhaps even in the thousands next time. Thus I am requesting that a law be drafted to make it a crime for anyone to deny that the attack on the USS Liberty occurred exactly as described by the survivors:
IN JUNE 1967 jet aircraft and motor torpedo boats of the Defense Forces of the State of Israel brutally assaulted the American naval intelligence-gathering ship, USS Liberty, while in international waters off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack was preceded by more than six hours of intense lowlevel surveillance by Israeli photo reconnaissance aircraft, which buzzed the ship as low as 200 feet directly overhead. The carefully orchestrated assault that followed was initiated by high performance jet aircraft. This was followed by slower and more maneuverable jets carrying napalm, and was finally turned over to lethal torpedo boats, which blasted a forty-foot hole in the ship’s side. The attack lasted more than two hours, deliberately killing 34 Americans and wounding at least 171 others. Over 821 rocket, cannon and machine gun holes were inflicted. When the Liberty stubbornly remained afloat despite her damage, Israeli forces machine-gunned her life rafts, firefighters, stretcher bearers, and sent troops carrying helicopters to finish the job, no survivors were to be taken.
Statements of any other kind should be a criminal act, not only in the United States but any and all decent nations of earth. As with the other “holocaust,” any lawyer representing a violator should be arrested and imprisoned for disputing facts that are undeniable. Israel is right. If a country is allowed to massacre Amercian citizens and get away with it, it will do it again. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
There is a long history to the coverup of the USS Liberty incident. There are no current disagreements on the facts. This is what Captain Ward Boston, USN/JAGC had to say:
I, Ward Boston, Jr. do declare that the following statement is true and complete:
For more than 30 years, I have remained silent on the topic of USS Liberty. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defense and President of the United States, I follow them.However, recent attempts to rewrite history compel me to share the truth.
In June of 1967, while serving as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, Department of the Navy, I was assigned as senior legal counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the brutal attack on USS Liberty, which had occurred on June 8th. The late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, president of the Court, and I were given only one week to gather evidence for the Navy’s official investigation into the attack, despite the fact that we both had estimated that a proper Court of Inquiry into an attack of this magnitude would take at least six months to conduct.
Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., then Commander-in-chief, Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR), at his headquarters in London, had charged Admiral Kidd (in a letter dated June 10, 1967) to “inquire into all the pertinent facts and circumstances leading to and connected with the armed attack; damage resulting therefrom; and deaths of and injuries to Naval personnel.” Despite the short amount of time we were given, we gathered a vast amount of evidence, including hours of heartbreaking testimony from the young survivors.
The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. Each evening, after hearing testimony all day, we often spoke our private thoughts concerning what we had seen and heard. I recall Admiral Kidd repeatedly referring to the Israeli forces responsible for the attack as “murderous bastards.” It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident.
I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors, who had ordered the attack, were well aware that the ship was American. I saw the flag, which had visibly identified the ship as American, riddled with bullet holes, and heard testimony that made it clear that the Israelis intended there be no survivors. 10. Not only did the Israelis attack the ship with napalm, gunfire, and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned three lifeboats that had been launched in an attempt by the crew to save the most seriously wounded — a war crime.
Admiral Kidd and I both felt it necessary to travel to Israel to interview the Israelis who took part in the attack. Admiral Kidd telephoned Admiral McCain to discuss making arrangements. Admiral Kidd later told me that Admiral McCain was adamant that we were not to travel to Israel or contact the Israelis concerning this matter.Regrettably, we did not receive into evidence and the Court did not consider any of the more than sixty witness declarations from men who had been hospitalized and were unable to testify in person.
I am outraged at the efforts of the apologists for Israel in this country to claim that this attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”In particular, the recent publication of Jay Cristol’s book, The Liberty Incident, twists the facts and misrepresents the views of those of us who investigated the attack. It is Cristol’s insidious attempt to whitewash the facts that has pushed me to speak out.
I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of “mistaken identity” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Admiral Kidd told me, after returning from Washington, D.C. that he had been ordered to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Defense Department, and rewrite portions of the court’s findings.
Admiral Kidd also told me that he had been ordered to “put the lid” on everything having to do with the attack on USS Liberty. We were never to speak of it and we were to caution everyone else involved that they could never speak of it again. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that statement as 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 off 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 I 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. Finally, the testimony of Lt. Painter concerning the deliberate machine gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given at the Court of Inquiry and included in the original transcript, is now missing and has been excised.
Following the conclusion of the Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kidd and I remained in contact. Though we never spoke of the attack in public, we did discuss it between ourselves, on occasion. Every time we discussed the attack, Admiral Kidd was adamant that it was a deliberate, planned attack on an American ship.
In 1990, I received a telephone call from Jay Cristol, who wanted to interview me concerning the functioning of the Court of Inquiry. I told him that I would not speak to him on that subject and prepared to hang up the telephone. Cristol then began asking me about my personal background and other, non-Court of Inquiry related matters. I endeavored to answer these questions and politely extricate myself from the conversation. Cristol continued to return to the subject of the Court of Inquiry, which I refused to discuss with him. Finally, I suggested that he contact Admiral Kidd and ask him about the Court of Inquiry.
Shortly after my conversation with Cristol, I received a telephone call from Admiral Kidd, inquiring about Cristol and what he was up to. The Admiral spoke of Cristol in disparaging terms and even opined that “Cristol must be an Israeli agent.” I don’t know if he meant that literally or it was his way of expressing his disgust for Cristol’s highly partisan, pro-Israeli approach to questions involving USS Liberty.
At no time did I ever hear Admiral Kidd speak of Cristol other than in highly disparaging terms. I find Cristol’s claims of a “close friendship” with Admiral Kidd to be utterly incredible. I also find it impossible to believe the statements he attributes to Admiral Kidd, concerning the attack on USS Liberty.
Several years later, I received a letter from Cristol that contained what he purported to be his notes of our prior conversation. These “notes” were grossly incorrect and bore no resemblance in reality to that discussion. I find it hard to believe that these “notes” were the product of a mistake, rather than an attempt to deceive. I informed Cristol that I disagreed with his recollection of our conversation and that he was wrong. Cristol made several attempts to arrange for the two of us to meet in person and talk but I always found ways to avoid doing this. I did not wish to meet with Cristol as we had nothing in common and I did not trust him.
Contrary to the misinformation presented by Cristol and others, it is important for the American people to know that it is clear that Israel is responsible for deliberately attacking an American ship and murdering American sailors, whose bereaved shipmates have lived with this egregious conclusion for many years.
Dated: January 9, 2004
at Coronado, California.
Ward Boston, Jr., Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Senior Counsel to the USS Liberty Court of Inquiry
NO AMERICAN SOLDIER OR SAILOR SHOULD EVER BE SUBJECTED TO THIS KIND OF DISRESPECT
Imagine walking up to a death camp survivor and telling them that Hitler was their friend and trusted ally. Try telling them they didn’t see their friends murdered by butchering Nazi bastards, inhuman criminal monsters. Tell them that people who try to push lies down their throats don’t need to be silenced, even bombed out of existence. This is the basis for the foreign policy of Israel, a policy AIPAC in the US supports and one backed up by a number of other nations, to a degree.
Thus, it is demanded that such social niceties and legal protections that are afforded others, especially in the European Union and Canada, be afforded American victims as well. Further, it should be included that denial of participation in a cover up of these crimes also be considered a criminal act and that the brand “war criminal” be worn by any involved in such actions, be they a President of the United States, a naval Admiral or a news commentator.
LESSONS OF HISTORY
There is little worry that the survivors of the crew of the USS Liberty will arm themselves and begin attacking their neighbors. They seldom use their massive economic power or control of Congress to destroy those they oppose or wrap themselves with wealth and influence. They don’t control the news we see, they don’t fill our TV shows with continual grumblings except for, maybe, the Military Channel, Discovery, A & E, the History Channel and other “fringe” cable channels watched by nerds and liberal elitists.
If we protect the strong from the weak, and we seem to do that with so much vigor nowadays, perhaps we could show a bit of loyalty to our own United States Navy. Who knows, it might get to be a habit.
Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=22430
Posted by Gordon Duff on Mar 20 2010, With 0 Reads, Filed under 9/11, WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.