Time for the truth about the U.S.S.LibertyTue Jun 12, 2007 01:25
Time for the truth about the U.S.S.Liberty
By WARD BOSTON JR.
The San Diego Union-Tribune Friday, 8 June 2007
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 8, 1967, bombing of the Navy intelligence ship Liberty.
On that sunny, clear day 40 years ago, Israel's combined air and naval forces attacked the Liberty for two hours, inflicting 70 percent casualties. Thirty-four American sailors died, and 172 were injured. The 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 Adm. Isaac C. Kidd — president of the Court of Inquiry — that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert 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?
Today, survivors of Israel's cruel attack will gather in Washington, D.C., 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 defense and president of the United States, I follow them. However, attempts to rewrite history and concern for my country compel me to share the truth.
Adm. 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 the 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.”
Adm. 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 Department of Defense and rewrite portions of the court's findings. He said, “Ward, they're not interested 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 at the Court of Inquiry and including 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 it kills 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 40 years is long enough to wait.
Boston served as chief counsel to the Navy's Court of Inquiry into the attack on the U.S. Navy intelligence ship Liberty. He also served as a naval aviator in World War II on the carrier Yorktown and as an FBI agent prior to his assignment to the Navy's Judge Advocates General Corps. He is a graduate of the the College of William and Mary School of Law and a resident of Coronado.
Continuing the fight for a better world —
PO Box 270486
Milwaukee WI 53227
The USS Liberty Cover-Up
A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says ...
BBC Documentary on the USS Liberty:
"Dead in the Water"
6/12/07 - SPECIAL RADIO PROGRAM
THE CHARLES GOYETTE SHOW...6 AM TO 9 AM 1100 AM KFNX PHX AZ
USS LIBETY ... GUESTS...
Listener Line 602-277-KFNX ... Charles Goyette, recently honored as "Best Phoenix Talk Show Host" by the New Times, is a familiar voice to radio listeners ...
Producer: Dave Lucas firstname.lastname@example.org
A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says former President Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident.
In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Capt. Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy's inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."
It was “one of the classic all-American cover-ups,” said retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who spent a year investigating the attack as part of an independent panel he formed with other former military officials. The panel also included a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins.
Torpedo hole in USS Liberty
“Why would our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own?” Moorer asked from his wheelchair at the news conference. He was chief of naval operations at the time of the attack.
Moorer, who has long held that the attack was a deliberate act, wants Congress to investigate. [Newsday]
Israel claims the USS Liberty was mistaken for the out-of-service Egyptian horse carrier El Quseir - can you spot the difference?
Main Page -
Message Board by American Patriot Friends Network [APFN]
APFN MESSAGEBOARD ARCHIVES