PHILIP GIRALDI: The USS Liberty Wins One!

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PHILIP GIRALDI: The USS Liberty Wins One!

Originally appeared at The Unz Review

On June 8th 1967 the United States Navy intelligence ship the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked in international waters by aircraft and vessels belonging to Israel. Thirty-four sailors, Marines and civilians were killed in the attack. The deliberate Israeli air and sea onslaught sought to sink the clearly identified intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. It was in truth the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time. In addition to the death toll, 171 more of the crew were wounded in the two-hour assault, which was clearly intended to destroy the intelligence gathering vessel operating in international waters collecting information on the ongoing fighting between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Israelis, whose planes had their Star of David markings covered up so Egypt could be blamed, attacked the ship repeatedly from the air and with torpedo boats from the sea. When one Israeli pilot hesitated, refusing to attack what was clearly an American ship, he was instructed to proceed anyway.

Most Americans are completely unaware that a United States naval vessel was once deliberately targeted and nearly sunk by America’s “greatest friend and ally” Israel. The attack was followed by a comprehensive cover-up that demonstrated clearly that at least one president of the United States even back nearly fifty years ago valued his relationship with the state of Israel above his loyalty to his own country.

The most disgusting part of the tale relates to how U.S. warplanes sent to the Liberty’s aid from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean were called back by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara acting under orders from President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who declared that he would rather see the ship go to the bottom of the sea than embarrass his good friend Israel. Ironically, the first ship to reach the foundering Liberty and offer assistance was from the Soviet Union, an offer that was declined.

The incredible courage and determination of the surviving crew was the only thing that kept the Liberty from sinking. The ship’s commanding officer Captain William McGonagle was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic role in keeping the ship afloat, though President Lyndon Baines Johnson broke with tradition and refused to hold the medal ceremony in the White House, also declining to award it personally, delegating that task to the Secretary of the Navy in a closed to the public presentation made at the Washington Navy Yard. The additional medals given to other crew members in the aftermath of the attack made the U.S.S. Liberty the most decorated ship based on a single engagement with hostile forces in the history of the United States Navy.

The cover-up of the attack began immediately. The Liberty crew was sworn to secrecy over the incident, as were the Naval dockyard workers in Malta, and even the men of the U.S.S. Davis, which had assisted the badly damaged Liberty to port were ordered to be silent. A hastily convened and conducted court of inquiry ordered by Admiral John McCain interviewed only a few crewmen and did not seek to determine what had actually happened, instead, acting under orders from Washington, it moved quickly to declare the attack a case of mistaken identity. The inquiry’s senior legal counsel Captain Ward Boston, who subsequently declared the attack to be a “deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew,” also revealed that Admiral Isaac Kidd, who presided over the inquiry, had told him that “President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him [Kidd] to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” The court’s findings were rewritten and sections relating to Israeli war crimes, to include the machine gunning of life rafts, were excised.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Senator John McCain of Arizona has used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to effectively block any reconvening of a board of inquiry to reexamine the evidence. The documents relating to the Libertyincident from the White House perspective of McNamara and Johnson, if they have not been destroyed, have never been released to the public in spite of the 50 years that have passed since the attack took place.

In retrospect, one might well have expected little better from the likes of Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara and either Admiral John McCain or his son, but the cover-up that has endured for fifty years involving the national media as well as politicians from both parties is perhaps even more disgraceful because it has established the principle that even when Israel targets and kills American military personnel it will never ever be held accountable. Such is the power of the Israel Lobby in the United States.

Even if one is not exactly surprised by the behavior of Washington’s own apparatchiks there has been one constituency that has been steadfast in its support of the U.S.S. Liberty and its surviving crew and that is America’s veterans. Or at least that has been true with one major exception, consisting of the largest veterans’ organization, the American Legion. The second largest veterans’ group the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) has long demanded a proper investigation into what happened to the Liberty as have also the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled Veterans of America, and the Retired Officers Association, but the Legion has long been actually hostile to any attempts to establish accountability for the Liberty survivors.

The Legion’s history of opposition to any examination of what happened to the U.S.S. Liberty is interesting in that it demonstrates how one or two individuals can work insidiously within a large organization to prevent the endorsement of policies overwhelmingly favored by most of its members. The American Legion did, in fact, decry the Israeli attack on the Liberty shortly after it occurred. In August 1967, after the conclusion of the flawed Admiral John McCain directed inquiry, the American Legion adopted Resolution 508 declaring that the published report “fails to provide the American public with a satisfactory answer as to the reason for the attack.” It asserted that “The American Legion denounces and condemns Israel’s irresponsible attack” and demanded “a complete and thorough investigation of the incident.” Immediately after the passage of the resolution there were complaints and pressure coming from Jewish groups and individuals, which is why the resolution was unfortunately never acted upon at a time when it might have had some impact on a congress that was not yet completely Israeli occupied territory. The 1967 resolution was rescinded by the Legion’s National Executive Committee in 1984.

There followed more than thirty years of futility as Liberty survivors and veterans groups sought to reintroduce their demand for a proper inquiry as an active American Legion resolution, but the group’s National Executive exploited a number of stratagems to block every attempt to introduce a new resolution, including rejecting proposals in committee, changing convention rules and physically confronting and expelling those who objected. Indeed, the Legion’s executive did its best to drop the U.S.S. Liberty story down a memory hole. An article written by James Ennes, an officer wounded in the attack, was commissioned for publication in the Legion magazine but was pulled at the last minute because it was “too controversial.”

Efforts by the Legion’s Michigan Department in 2012 to introduce a new resolution resulted in some heated exchanges with senior Legion officials who clearly were the driving force on blocking any action relating to the Liberty. The Legion’s Judge Advocate General Phil Onderdonk confronted the Michigan delegate Ted Arens and angrily informed him that “Your resolution is going nowhere” before describing the Liberty survivors as “anti-Semites.” He also said that “The ship should never have been there. It was a spy ship.” Onderdonk was true to his word about the resolution going nowhere. He reportedly personally removed Arens’ name from the foreign affairs committee agenda to block him from either speaking or presenting his resolution.

Onderdonk’s name pops up regularly in the reminiscences of those who have been advocating for a new Liberty resolution. Indeed, he appears to have been the Legion point-man for dealing with the U.S.S. Liberty inquiries. He is a lawyer from Indiana who served as a “contracting officer” during the Vietnam War. Onderdonk was obviously badly informed regarding the facts in the case as the Liberty was in international waters and clearly marked as an American vessel. And if it was a spy ship, that spying was being done under orders from and to benefit the United States government. And, of course, the claim of anti-Semitism is as ever the last refuge of a scoundrel who has nothing better to say, particularly if one is allegedly representing a patriotic organization and is discussing a surprise attack by a foreign government in which 34 American sailors, Marines and civilians were killed.

I should also note that Onderdonk has been the Legion Judge Advocate General since 1983, shortly before the original Liberty resolution by the Legion was rescinded. If past interaction with Liberty survivors is anything to go by, it can be assumed that he will do everything in his power to block any recognition for the ship and its crew. He is, unfortunately, still the Legion Judge Advocate General and it is at least somewhat ironic that a Religious Liberty Award has been named in his honor and recently presented to Senator Ted Cruz.

Also in 2012, two Liberty survivors were turned away from the annual convention where they had expected to man a booth for the Liberty Veterans Association, which they had paid for. They were forcibly ejected from the convention hall and the Legion’s conference coordinator Dick Holmes turned on Arens and told him “I am sick of you bastards and am going to throw you out on your ass.” In 2013, Liberty survivors’ application for a booth was similarly rejected without any reason being offered. In the following year, the Legion reached out to the VFW and tried to convince it to ban the Liberty survivors from its own gatherings. The VFW rejected the appeal.

So the attempt of the U.S.S. Liberty survivors and their supporters to get the American Legion on board for an inquiry seemed doomed to fail – until this year, the 50thanniversary of the attack. A new resolution was adopted in March by Post 40 in Seattle Washington and was later passed unanimously at the State of Washington’s own American Legion convention, thus placing it on the agenda of the national convention. It was then endorsed by the Iowa delegation, which introduced it to the Foreign Relations subcommittee. Gunnery Sergeant Bryce Lockwood, who received a Silver Star for gallantry during the Israeli attack, worked the August 17-24 national convention in Reno and performed heroically for a second time on behalf of his shipmates, shepherding the draft resolution through in spite of resistance from the American Legion Executive and Foreign Relations subcommittee chair William Flanagan.

One of the participants in the process described how the critical vote came at the National Security Committee level, which was where previous draft resolutions had been derailed. The National Executive had recommended against the resolution and there was considerable opposition from the leadership on the Foreign Relations subcommittee, but the rank-and-file on Foreign Relations did not back down and were successful in a 27-11 vote. The Security Committee then passed it on an overwhelmingly favorable voice vote, with Gunny Lockwood working hard from the sidelines on both committees as well as on the convention floor. When the resolution finally was presented to the full membership it easily passed on another voice vote, revealing that there was strong support from the Legion membership.

Resolution 40 begins by making the case for the Liberty in 11 “Whereas” paragraphs. It then states: “RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Reno, Nevada, August 22, 23, 24, 2017, that The American Legion calls upon the 115th United States Congress to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath and to commence its investigation before the end of 2017, the 50th anniversary year of the attack.”

Whether Congress can be induced to do the right thing by the Liberty remains to be seen, but the adoption of the resolution was a major victory brought about by a confluence of factors as well as a lot of hard work on the part of the Liberty survivors and their supporters. And certainly, it is no time to relax as the Israel Lobby never sleeps, never gives up. The resolution is posted on the American Legion website but one should assume that there will still be some pushback against actually doing anything about the resolution being exerted by senior officials within the American Legion bureaucracy. Israel meanwhile will certainly use all the resources that it has at hand, and they are considerable, to make sure that Congress never looks into the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in any capacity.

We Americans who care for the Liberty and are concerned by the 50 years of lies, cover-up and general obfuscation regarding it can do our bit by calling or writing our members of Congress to remind them that all major veterans groups now are expecting action. We should also tell them that the investigation into what happened on that day is way past due. Sometimes even Senators and Representatives listen.

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  • Brother Ma

    You wont believe it fellow readers.

    I left a comment on RT website andbit waa deleted within thirty seconds.literally!

    I simply commented that Kate Middleton Princess Kate was Jewish through an unbroken chain of descent through her mothers mother mother. Well that was it! Gone in thirty secss.

    Thinking it was a Russian site i stupidly thought i would be insulated from such shennanigans but i was wrong! A kindly reader pointed out that RT platform was controlled by spot info or some crap and it was an Israeli company. Well there you go!

    The Zuonist Mosaad shuts me down and it was not racist just a truth it does not suit them for the world to know! Disgusting!

    • FlorianGeyer

      Truth has always been the enemy of those who seek to control is. When Truths have finally been acknowledged by the masses the result has usually been large numbers of dead Elite.
      The judgement time for the Zionist Khazars around the globe is fast approaching when a global pogrom should create some justice for the victims countless deaths this vampire cult are responsible for.

      • Brother Ma

        Yep.It just proves again what Paul Craig Roberts said about telling the truth.Too dangerous. These Neo con pricks have too much power and need to be taken down a peg or two at the least. Where is God to do a Sodom and Gomorrah act on a few buildings housing some power cliques there?

        • FlorianGeyer

          The just rewards for their crimes have always seen the elite’s throughout history dangling from ropes’ for their nefarious deeds. Its just a matter of time.

          • Brother Ma

            Yep .i hope so.certainly all involved in causing the syrian war should be swinging in the breeze as well as those talking- heads part of bush area that got us into iraq and afghan as well!

          • FlorianGeyer

            As the world ages the time span of major upheavals have generally shortened, so with luck we may both witness the current corrupt Western Elite being culled in a pogrom.

    • MeMadMax

      Yeah… nice try dude.

      RT IS owned by Novosti, a Russian State news agency….

      • Brother Ma

        So what if it is owned by RTNovosti? What does that have to do with what i am saying? What are you saying ? That russia and Putin does not have powerful Zionists? Do a little reading mad max and dig deeper.

        On another note see my comments to grumpy carpenter.

        • John Whitehot

          in proportion, not as powerful as those that Ukraine has, be assured.

          • Brother Ma

            Yes.the ukrozionazis are a ferocious bunch .russians say that their ginger male leader was in chechnya helping headchop russian guys.imagine that, a jewish guy helping a headchopping islamist kill people.shame!

          • John Whitehot

            ofcoz.
            I don’t need much imagining effort to see that “zionists” are in bed with wahabists, with nazis and with crooked western intel agencies.

            It’s always been like that, they have always tried to divide the non-jew peoples around the world, putting Sunnis against Shias in the muslim sphere. Dividing the christian powers is also a top priority for them, in fact they are making a big effort in fueling hostilities between Russia and the US.

            Because you know, the outlook on their plan of world subjugation would be bleak, if the US, Russia and Europe would start defending the real interests of Christians.

      • Gary Sellars

        So what? They have contacted the comments to an Israeli company and they are RUTHLESS in removing comments that offends their zionist proclivities.

        • Brother Ma

          Yes i just experienced it.it was true and i will always say this is what happened to me!

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        It’s true about that being contracted to a Israeli company , have dealt with this online many times before nothing new. There are certain things you can’t say in regards when Israeli companies are monitoring.

    • El Diablo

      ? My comments are never accepted on italian press sites if you are interested. Also Sports sites :D

    • santiago

      Happens all the time it has happenned for many years in çRT the have also repeatedly through several platforms censored words like Jew.

      This is…yawn very old news.

      • Brother Ma

        Thanks santiago .it is first time for me though.

        You wont believe it though..they brought it back again. Just before i answered your post.

        This is what i responded for those interested.
        :
        ” So my post on kate and her origins is back.so what happened?was it computer glitch did new moderator come on duty? Did head editor over ride? Or did you all decide that you deleting it was overkill especially as i was nt anti semitic anyway?”

        So my post is back up on article after like a miracle!

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          There are words when translated to Hebrew are dirty slang words it was a hard uphill battle to use some normal every day words, but that has changed I think they can actually understand English now.

          • Brother Ma

            Thanks Terracotta.Well let’s give them the benefit of the doubt in this case anyway.

    • John Whitehot

      It’s a known fact that RT moderation is entrusted to an Israeli company.

      There seems also to be a tendency to suppress comments overly critical of Russia, which is indicative of somebody trying to make Russia appear as suppressing criticism towards it.

      I don’t know who does that, if said company or hackers who may be anyone, yet the perceived effect seems to be the one I described, so who does it it’s basically against Russia and not with it.

      • Brother Ma

        Thanks Whitehot.So then RT is stupid allowing such a company ro handle its comments.at very least all our names and thoughts are being logged in Israel.Just saying.

        If I was channel trying to differentiate myself from nato fake news neocon agenda i certainly would have comments handled by russian company so deep links do not go back to hostile false flag trickster nations.

        In stupid UK the secret service website for terrorist suspicions goes to us companies direct.so there goes any chance of any citizen making a denunciation to uk gov about inapprriate behaviour by us personnel in UK.ie captcha logs every uk citizen making complaint even before uk service does!

        • John Whitehot

          jeez dude. stupid this stupid that. jew this zio that. the world doesn’t work like that you know.

          • Brother Ma

            I dont get it whitehot. What are you saying to me? I did not mention zio anywhere in post and dont you think it is silly for Rt to have its comments outsourced to israel in these days of syria war?

          • John Whitehot

            I’m saying it’s a naive way to reason.
            It’s naive to think that things at such levels are done in “silly” ways.

            Also, it’s naive to be so trenchant.

            I mean, if you think that outsourcing the moderation is silly, I’d say it’s even sillier to think that it’s been done without taking such things into consideration.

            You may not have witnessed how the internet has changed in these years. I was there in the 90ies when it was blossoming and I guarantee it was something very promising.

            Nowadays it’s a sewage, it’s full of rats, shit and other stinking things. RT comment section is no different, although there are some nice and clever people commenting there.

          • Brother Ma

            Ok . I get it now and you are right.thanks and until next time.

    • Gue Bjuen

      we all should learn from HISTORY!!!
      STOP YELLING NAZI PIG as the jews told you to do so but think why jews hate hitler and national socialist germany. why do you think jews loved the yeltsin russia but absolute hate the putin russia.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-UFlHtWrLA

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyeR3YnZyzA

      • Brother Ma

        Who says Jews hate Putin? Apparently he has many Jewish friends and on good terms with Jewish community there and in expat russian jewa in israel.

        Dont know enough about yeltsin and jews but i know he was a fool who was planted in there and oversaw destruction of peoples living standards because he was bought and sold by nato types.

        • John Whitehot

          actually is one of the most pathetic courses of zio propaganda, trying to make Russia appear similar to nazi Germany.

          They don’t seem to appreciate how much they vilify and disrespect those who suffered and die because of nazis; they appear to be willing to exploit and manipulate even the things that they admittedly repute the holiest.

          Try thinking a moment about the implications. For me it’s a conduct that makes me wanna vomit.

      • Brother Ma

        Did you call me nazi pig?

  • Brother Ma

    Yep. Should have known .RT according to wiki was conceived by Mikhail Lesin one of Putins pals. He is dead now, died of blunt force trauma to the head in an unsolved murder in USA? i think. And yes he was Jewish. So obviously a holdover there at RT.
    Southfront is probably hacked or breached/ controlled by Mossad as well.Who knows? It is probably a honeypot to catch all those who dont go along with the Zionist way.So anti semites and /or people who do their own thinking…beware!

    • MeMadMax

      Whatever drugs ur on… I WANT SOME…

      Sharing IS caring!

    • grumpy_carpenter

      Take an Ativan and put on your tinfoil hat and check for jews under your bed…….you’ll be fine.

      • Brother Ma

        Grumpy .I gave you the evidence …you draw your own conclusions.i am not going to do your homework for you as well….especially with that attitude!!!

        Where i come from we say ,you can take a horse to water but you cant make it drink! Get it?

      • Gary Sellars

        There are no jews under my bed. I’ve laid rat-traps, really big sharp ones…

        The snap of the trap and brief, strangled Yiddish shriek brings a moment of joy to my soul :-)

        • Brother Ma

          You are terrible Gary.

        • John Whitehot

          xD

    • Tudor Miron

      Lesin wasn’t Putin’s pal. You guys now very little about what is really going on here in Russia. I will post some details later.

      • Brother Ma

        Thanks Tudor.That is what wiki said.i took it at face value.
        I look forward to hearing your information.

  • Brother Ma

    What does that mean? i do not understand?

  • Brother Ma

    Why diablo, because you are saying hard right things or hard left? Maybe your sport talk is too hooligan? What would lega de nord say about your comments ..would they like? I have italian friend who says media in italy is too pro glabalisation,too liberal and too bow down to Nato usa. He says that media in italy always too soft etc even in days of rightist gov like mulrimillionare prime minister that has sixtwen year old girlfriend and said merkel has big bum.i forgot his name now. Very rich plenty plastic surgery.

    What do you think?

  • Bru

    superb, breath-taking article. All my thoughts
    for the dead as well as for the surviving veterans.

    • Brother Ma

      I tell you what.if if i was a relative of anyone on that ship they would have to tie me up,i would be so mad.

  • Ronald

    Thirty four American sailors denied justice for 50 years .
    The United States Navy , should be held accountable by litigation , not just the American Legion .

    • Brother Ma

      They will never get justice Ronald. You saw what pres lyndon said about better all the americans die than he lose friendship with Israel.No mass media event will ever occur….just like this syria fiasco.looks like us is losing this syria war so you watch whole episode get buried. You watch any us special forces or covert us operative now get the run around,no pension,no medical help no nothing.A us operative who worked for gov in syria will now be as welcome as a fart in a lift at all diplomatic events etc

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    They tried a faults flag blaming the USS Liberty on Egypt, and failed.
    Then Israel did the faults flag 9/11 and succeeded in blaming that on Arabs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bG3Q3bkH_0

    • Brother Ma

      Yes they did and they have gottwn away with it so far.What a shame!

    • bcbingram

      those attacks are also called “false flag”…..

    • bcbingram

      I’d bet my house the committee lied. But we have about as much chance to see justice as Santa coming down your chimney. Even when the crime is out in the open (Hilary destroys cell phone evidence) our top law dog’s do nothing.

  • Bob

    In reality Lyndon Johnson was a nasty piece of work – throughout his political career he was linked to several murders and a close associate was a known hit-man.

    • Brother Ma

      And to think he was on Democrats side.Supposedly Liberal and the side that is mean to care for people.just opposite side of same coin of power hungry brutes ruling our world.Clinton woman is a bloodthirsty so and so and so is Halley.

  • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

    Lying Baines Johnson and his weasel confederates wanted to start WW3 back then and Nuke Cairo, the Jewish agents of Israel controlled a lot of high positions in the government back then each had a code name the MOSSAD could reference. Today they have even more power than they did back then, and are more entrenched in positions of power.

    This will be another more arduous journey in trying to get it investigated properly ,if they manage to do so they will be politely informed the documents were all destroyed, as they will have already done or are currently destroying all records now.

  • John Whitehot

    Thanks for this article, it’s a subject that all too often gets suppressed.

  • RichardD

    Like the Pollard case, and others, if this incident and the cover up doesn’t show what a problem US Jews, their collaborators and Israel are, I don’t know what does.

    • PZIVJ

      But you said Alien beam weapons took down the towers.
      Perhaps the same beam weapons that scared your face when you where hunting the aliens in South Dakota? Come on, tell us where they will land! :D

      • RichardD

        Please don’t harass me with your lies, stupidity and immaturity.

      • John Whitehot

        xD But we could argue that it’s more likely that alien beams brought them down than burning AvGas melting all the bearing columns so that they snapped in the same precise moment, can we?