This Day in History: Israel Attacks The USS Liberty, Killing 34 Americans, Wounding 171
By FRANKIE STOCKES
On June 8th, 1967, Israel attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans and wounding 171 more.
On June 8th, 1967, Israel launched an air and sea attack using fighter jets and torpedo boats against the USS Liberty, an American Navy ship with ties to the NSA that was sailing in the Mediterranean Sea near the Sinai Peninsula during the Six-Day War, in which America politically supported Israel’s fight against neighboring Arab states. The attack killed 34 Americans and wounded 171 more.
The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty remains shrouded in secrecy decades later and most files documenting the attack and its aftermath remain classified. What is known, is that the Liberty was sailing through international waters, monitoring radio chatter during Israel’s Six-Day War with the Arab states, when Israeli rockets tore through the ship. Israeli forces even deployed Napalm against the Americans.
Despite the ship clearly marking itself as an American vessel and flying a large American flag, the Israeli attack came without warning and persisted even after American distress calls were made.
While for decades the attack has been labeled as accidental by the US and Israeli governments, CIA documents that remain partially redacted and were published by numerous news agencies, including the Israeli outlet Haaretz, show that Israeli pilots were ordered to attack the Liberty, even after telling their commanders that the ship was American.
“This is an American ship. Do you still want us to attack?” an Israeli pilot asked the “IDF war room” in a communication obtained by the United States.
“Yes, follow orders,” the war room responded.
“But sir, it’s an American ship – I can see the flag!” the pilot said back.
According to the USS Liberty Veterans’ Association:
“At 1400 hours, while approximately about 17 nautical miles off the northern Sinai coast and about 25 nautical miles northwest of El Arish, USS Liberty’s crew observed three surface radar contacts closing with their position at high speed. A few moments later, the bridge radar crew observed high speed aircraft passing over the surface returns on the same heading. Within a few short moments, and without any warning, Israeli fighter aircraft launched a rocket attack on USS Liberty. The aircraft made repeated firing passes, attacking USS Liberty with rockets and their internal cannons. After the first flight of fighter aircraft had exhausted their ordnance, subsequent flights of Israeli fighter aircraft continued to prosecute the attack with rockets, cannon fire, and napalm.”
At no point during the Israeli attack on the Liberty did the Americans return fire.
The attack left 34 Americans dead, including 31 sailors, 2 Marines, and 1 civilian employee of the NSA. 171 Americans were wounded, some for life.
Aside from a Naval Board of Inquiry investigation that led to an Israeli “apology” for the carnage and pawned the entire attack off as an accident, the US government never bothered to get to the bottom of the attack on the Liberty. According to the US government itself, Congress never even conducted an investigation into it. Veterans of the Liberty have long said that the Naval investigation into the attack was unsatisfactory, and more closely resembled a coverup than it did an actual inquiry.
The narrative of the attack on the USS Liberty remains tightly controlled to this very day, and as of June 8th, 2023, a Wikipedia page documenting the attack, which Wikipedia refers to merely as an “incident”, is locked, stopping Wikipedia users from editing the page or providing additional information on the attack.
As a result of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, Israel offered the United States an “apology” and paid some restitution.
“BIGGEST COVER-UP IN HISTORY”: Learn More About The Israeli Attack On The USS Liberty In The Stew Peters Show Broadcast Below: