A new report released on Capitol Hill today by former officials from the highest level of the American military and government reveals that Israel "committed acts of murder against American serviceman and an act of war against the United States" when it deliberately attacked the American Navy Ship USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 and wounding 172 American crewmembers. Israel had alleged that the two-hour attack with napalm, missiles, and torpedoes was a mistake.
The release of the Independent Commission of Inquiry’s findings is a major step in debunking the myth that Israel is a friend to the United States and the American people, said Alison Weir, Executive Director of If Americans Knew, an organization dedicated to providing information on issues misreported in the American media.
"The fact that this Independent Commission of Inquiry was made up of prestigious American leaders will encourage the largely misinformed American public to take a closer look at the relationship between Washington and Israel. It is likely that once they examine this ‘friendship,’ Americans will demand a change in their government’s policies, which empower the brutal oppression of the Palestinians," Weir said.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and four-star Admiral Thomas Moorer is outraged at the cover-up of the attack and the fact that this is the only attack on a US ship that has never been investigated by Congress.
"Why would our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own?" Moorer asked. "Does it continue to do so? This is an important issue that should be investigated by an independent, fully empowered commission of the American government. Our own Independent Commission of Inquiry findings have grave implications for our national security and for the American people. In order to confront this problem, the American people and our elected officers will need to overcome their fear of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States."
Members of the Independent Commission of Inquiry have now been joined by the Chief Attorney in the Navy’s original 1967 Court of Inquiry into the case. After remaining silent for more than three decades, Captain Ward Boston describes in a sworn affidavit how he and many others were ordered to never speak about the attack on the USS Liberty.
"I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral 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’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary," states the affidavit.
Captain Boston said he felt compelled to "share the truth" because of "recent attempts to rewrite history."
"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… 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," the affidavit continues.
In addition, Boston said he is motivated by his opposition to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. In an interview, he spoke of the sorrow he feels for the Palestinian people and expressed disgust at Israel’s policy of targeting children.
"It is terrible what is being done to those [Palestinian] children."
SARAH WEIR is Projects Director If Americans Knew. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information read Jeffrey St. Clair’s investigation into the attack on the Liberty: Rockets, Napalm, Torpedoes and Lies, an excerpt from CounterPunch’s hot new book, The Politics of Anti-Semitism.