Friday, June 08, 2007

Assualt on the Liberty

Forty years ago today I was sitting in a communications operations center high in the mountains of Eritrea, East Africa. It was a stressful time, as we were in the middle of the 6 Day War and working 12 hours on and 12 hours off with no break days in between.

A friend came running into our room at the Ops Center and told us to go to a certain radio frequency and put it on our speakers. My room (Search and Development) was one of the only rooms with speakers; everyone else had to use headsets plugged into our Collins R-390 receiver's.

The Israelis had just bombed the USS Liberty and what we were listening to was a call for help from the crew. These were Navy guys doing the same job that we did; Communications Intelligence. We could hear yelling and screaming in the background. The words that I remember hearing the most are “We’ve been hit”. It was repeated over and over again.

The crew of the Liberty was primarily a bunch of non-combat geeks, the same as we were up on “the mountain”.

At first we believed that the Arabs did it. This was a logical assumption as Israel was our ally. Why would they attack an American ship that was basically unarmed? Later that night through intelligence sources we found out that it was indeed the Israelis that attacked the Liberty leaving over 30 dead and over 100 wounded.

This was during the Johnson Administration and Secretary of Defense McNamara rushed to cover it up because of all of the problems that we were having in Viet Nam. The Israelis issued a statement saying that they thought the Liberty was an Arab ship. Bull, all US ships are clearly marked and fly our flag high on the mast.

A friend, Jim Ennes, a Liberty survivor, has written an excellent book about the events on June 8, 1967 called “Assault on the Liberty”. He is also quoted in James Bamford’s second book about the No Such Agency – Body of Secrets. Jim's website is at USS Liberty Memorial It’s worth a look!

Previously classified tapes (intercepted) of the Israeli Pilots that attacked the Liberty have now been made public. These tapes inexplicably prove that the Israelis knew that they were attacking an American ship. They saw our flag!

I have received many emails today about the Liberty and about the events that happened 40 years ago today. We (who were in Asmara on that day) all remember the event too vividly; these are memories that will be etched in our minds forever.

I have been accused of being anti-Semitic. I’m not, I am anti-Israeli. Why? Because of the unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty 40 years ago and the loss of many American lives. I will never forget nor forgive the events of June 8, 1967.

The Beach Bum

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link for an indepth documentary program on the Liberty by the bbc transmitted in 2002.


Sat Jun 09, 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous davee5 said...

A good memorial, and one I hope you will do every June 8. If the truth behind this doesn't come out in the next few, I have a feeling it may never come out.

Sat Jun 09, 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

Hi this is some interesting stuff you're posting. I will always remember a cab ride I once had with an Ethiopian driver. He told me some v interesting things about that region...
btw I don't remember a country called Eritrea from my childhood, I'm going to google it right now find out more....
keep up the great site & take it easy
feel free to drop by mine: gledwood2.blogspot - my online daily journal
all the best
"vol 2" ...

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