Israel attacked the USS LIBERTY June 8th 1967

Aljazeera aired a show on Fri eve Oct 31st called, The Day Israel Attacked America about the American spy ship, the USS Liberty in waters off the Egyptian coast that was deliberately attacked by allied Israeli ships, planes and torpedoes without warning killing 32 American men an injuring 170 others. Aljazeera has never before heard tapes of the Israelis giving the count down to attack which shows the Israelis KNEW they were attacking an American ship. The control tower confirms to the pilot of the plane that it’s an American ship in the tape.
 Dave Lucas, one of those on board the liberty in charge of Deck Force, still wants to know “WHY it happened and WHO made it happen”. The survivors hold an annual event at the Navy memorial in DC to commemorate those who lost their lives on the ship.
 Summer 1967, during much unrest in the U.S. over the Vietnam War many cities in the U.S. were in major upheaval. Tension was also growing between Israel and it’s Arab neighbors. Israel promised the White House they would not attack first but, by June 5th they jammed radar sets at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv so Americans could not attack their jets taking off to launch a surprise assault on Egypt. The USS Liberty was moving across the Mediterranean right into the war zone. Lloyd Painter, research officer of the Liberty, called the ship the “listening ship”. “The Liberty could receive Any signal that was out there, high band, low band, intercepting it, recording it, and immediate translation of what was going on.” “We even bounced signals off the moon back to NSA”, said Lloyd. “We were Spies’, said John Kavanah of the Liberty, “to protect the United States interest so that no one was conspiring against us”.
 Linden B. Johnson knew the Russians already had significant military influence in Egypt and needed to find out what they were going to do next. Not have Russia siding with the Arabs while the U.S. backed Israel. Bryce Lockwood, Russian linguist aboard the Liberty, said his primary purpose was to “Intercept communications of the Russian Spy aircraft as it was at Alexandria Egypt”. “We were not targeted against the Israelis”. The war had 2 days left and Israel had taken the old city of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Egypt was near defeat, only Syria held out. John Kavanah says the Israelis knew an American ship had come into the area, “They knew who we were”. At 5:15am first light, June 8th, those aboard the liberty noticed an Israeli photo reconnaissance plane flying over the ship that reported the Liberty as an American Spy ship hull # GTR5. John Scott, the Liberties damage control officer said the plane circled and flew back to Israel. Then, more Israeli planes flew over the Liberty ALL morning. Their technology was almost as sophisticated as we were in terms of surveillance and technology”, said John Kavanah, “We supplied them with technology, to this day”. “It was a secure feeling to see them, they were our friends” felt Kavanah. The Liberty had a Huge American Flag flying high on the ships mast which the 5-10 knots of wind proudly displayed fully.
 At 1:53pm the Israeli pilots asked base control about the ship. Jim Scott, damage control and engineering on the Liberty said, “We didn’t know what hit us until they started firing”. “The Israelis were jamming both of our distress frequencies”, “the tactical frequencies was alright but, the international distress frequencies was in Violation of National Law to jam”, said Bryce Lockwood. John Kavanah says, “Who would know the frequencies other than an ally and who is the ally in the war, not Egypt, it was Israel?”
 The SS Liberty was completely cut off and defenseless. What the crew didn’t know was at 3 mins past 2pm the Israeli pilots were ordered to use a new and deadlier kind of weapon. The Israeli pilots dropped napalm on the deck of the Liberty scorching the bridge of the ship and set it afire. After nearly running out of ammunition, the Israeli pilots were instructed to fly down and confirm the identity of the ship. At 12 past 2pm the Israelis knew it was an American ship, same as their confirmation they received at 5:15 am that morning. The Israeli reconnaissance planes left and Israeli Navy torpedo boats moved in. Because the Liberty was a Spy ship it was instructed to destroy everything on board in case it ended up in enemy hands. At 2:35pm Israeli torpedo boats fired 5 torpedoes, 4 missed! In a single moment 25 American men would die. The torpedo blew a hole 39ft by 24ft in the hull and the room where John Kavanah was. “It was just luck” John says, that he didn’t get hit. The entire room filled with water and Oil and John only had about 10 inches above where he could catch his breath. The Israeli Torpedo boats were machine gunning the Liberties life rafts, the crew was trapped. The Israelis came closer torpedoing the Liberty.
 The attacked stopped after a radio man manged to take a reel of collapsed cable to a whip antenna and took some shrapnel in the process. he was able to get a nearby American 6 Fleet aircraft carrier, 500 miles away, to pick up their signal. Once the Israelis knew the American jets were airborn they summoned the American Naval attache and told them there had been a “Terrible Mistake”. The American jets were recalled and Israeli helicopters flew out to the Liberty, one carrying Israeli Gov personnel. The U.S naval attache dropped a brown package onto the deck of the Liberty next to a severed leg of one of the ships personnel with a note reading, “Do you have casualties?” The package was brought to the captain of the Liberty. When the captain read the note he looked up and gave the helicopter the finger.  


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