Home / Be The Change / Antiwar / 49 Years Ago the US Covered Up an Israeli False Flag Attack that Killed 34 Americans, Wounded 173

49 Years Ago the US Covered Up an Israeli False Flag Attack that Killed 34 Americans, Wounded 173

On June 8, 1967, 34 American servicemen were slaughtered and 173 more wounded after Israeli forces repeatedly attacked the USS Liberty in international waters. The Liberty was not a battleship and was entirely unable to defend itself as the hours-long assault took place.

For decades, the US government threatened the survivors with jail if they spoke about it and kept the truth from the public.

Although Israel apologized for the devastating attacks and maintained that a simple misidentification caused the strikes, startlingly new evidence has surfaced that refutes Israeli claims that this attack was done in error and that the Israelis were unaware they were attacking an American Navy vessel.

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a U.S. Navy intelligence ship in international waters about 12.5 nautical miles from the coast of the Sinai Peninsula, north of El Arish, by Israeli fighter planes and torpedo boats.

It occurred during the Six-Day War, a conflict between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Israeli attack killed 34 U.S. servicemen and wounded at least 173. The attack was the second deadliest against a U.S. Naval vessel since the end of World War II and marked the single greatest loss of life by the U.S. Intelligence Community.

The new evidence exposed in a documentary called “The Day Israel Attacked America,” by award-winning British filmmaker Richard Belfield, includes audio that proves the Israelis knew they were attacking a U.S. ship. Survivors of the attack have long maintained that Israel intended to kill the entire crew and sink the USS Liberty as a means of scapegoating blame for the incident onto Egypt.

“Earlier this year, I acquired a copy of the audiotape of the attack as it had unfolded, the real time conversations between Israeli Air Force pilots and their controllers back at base. It had never been broadcast before. I went to talk to Al Jazeera and after careful consideration, the network commissioned the film.” – Richard Belfield

But why would Israel want the U.S. to believe that Egypt was responsible you ask?

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The answer would be found in what is know as a ‘false flag’ attack, which was meant to shift the blame for an incident as a means of drawing President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. public into declaring war on Egypt.

The attack on the USS Liberty lasted for over two hours, but just sixteen minutes after the attacks had begun audio evidence confirms that the Israelis knew the identity as that of an American vessel.

These recordings can be heard in the documentary, which aired on Al Jazeera.

“To what state does she belong?” (Answer): “American”

Yet the attacks continued for another hour and forty-five minutes!

Five minutes prior to the commencing of the attack, Israeli Air Force pilots can be heard questioning whether the ship was an American vessel.

“Is it an American ship?” “What do you mean American?” “No comment.”

The first torpedo hit the USS Liberty twenty minutes after a ground controller confirmed to Israeli Air Force pilots that the ship was indeed part o the U.S. Navy. Incredibly, even after the confirmation that it was an American ship, a voice can be heard clearly confirming that the ship is to be destroyed – remember this is after the ship has been identified as American craft.

“The torpedo is taking care of the ship now.”

After the initial torpedo struck the Liberty, torpedo boats circled and strafed the vessel with machinegun fire, gunning down American sailors attempting to flee the damaged vessel in lifeboats — a war crime according to the Geneva convention.

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Over a decade ago, a journalist named Arieh O’Sullivan from the Jerusalem Post was given access to these same audio recordings and published a transcript of the Israeli military transmissions that could be heard directing the ongoing attack. His analysis of the recording was almost exactly the same as that of the documentary, as sixteen minutes after the attack started, just as in the recording obtained by Al Jazeera, O’Sullivan’s transcript reveals the same exchange.

“Kislev, what country?” (Answer): “Apparently American.”

Oddly, the O’Sullivan’s transcript ends here even though the attack continued for another hour and a half.

An independent commission tasked with investigating the incident, and headed by Navy Admiral Thomas Moorer, who served this country as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations, publicly released the commissions shocking findings in 2003.

-The attack, by a U.S. ally, was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill its entire crew.

-The attack included the machine-gunning of stretcher-bearers and life-rafts .

-The White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of the USS Liberty.

-This was the first time in naval history a rescue mission had been cancelled while an American ship was under attack.

-Surviving crew-members were later threatened with court-martial, imprisonment, or worse if they talked to anyone about what had happened to them; and were “abandoned by their own government.”

In what CIA analyst Ray McGovern called the ‘most detailed and accurate account of the Israeli attack,’ John Crewsdon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, published his in-depth analysis for the Chicago Tribune only to be fired a year later – after being employed there for 24 years.

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“Israeli messages intercepted on June 8, 1967, leave no doubt that sinking the USS Liberty was the mission assigned to the attacking Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats as the Six-Day War raged in the Middle East. Let me repeat: there is no doubt – none – that the mission of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was to destroy the USS Liberty and kill its entire crew.” – former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Free Thought Project recently attended a speaking event by Jack Beattie and Bryce Lockwood, a Naval seaman and a Marine who were on the USS Liberty when it was attacked.

In the video below, Beattie gives his description of events that occurred that day. He confirms that the ship was clearly labeled as American and the flag was flying. He also recalls how the fighter jets were firing on people in life rafts and how the ship was almost completely defenseless.

At the end of his talk, Beattie then explains how everyone on the ship was told that if they talk about what happened, they will be thrown in prison. Here is the real story of the USS Liberty.

  • katz ro

    the only reason they stopped bombing was because some of the ship crew had managed to rig a communications system to get word out they were being attacked and by who

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  • billdeserthills

    Disgusting acts Israel,

    BTW– I’m glad people don’t follow me around, reminding me of all the stupid things I did 50 years ago

    • kevinbaja

      …and how many of those “stupid things” include killing 34 people…???

      • billdeserthills

        You think I’m gonna incriminate myself?

        • kevinbaja

          …just askin’….

    • Robert Saltzman

      It’d probably be different if the Israeli government was held accountable back then or had stopped the practice of false flag attacks

  • David Lester

    threatened to keep quiet, just like 9/11 whistleblowers….nothing has changed!

  • jgarbuz

    The NSA antisemites, supporting Arab oil, turned the Liberty into an anti-israel spy operation to help Egypt stop the Israelis from taking the Suez Canal. In the process Egypt, with not much of an air force left, suddenly knew from which direction IDF troops were coming from. Rogues in the NSA declared war on Israel. That is why the ship had to be silenced. The ISraelis were in a hot war with Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The idea that Israel would start a war with the United States too is insane. In fact, it was NSA rogues who tried to pull a fast one on Israel, and caused this tragedy to happen.

    • katz ro

      do you even believe yourself?? Israel was in a big push for more illegal land grabs and even individuals within the Israeli intellegence at that time have come forth on the the premeditated provocation to do exactly what they did

      • jgarbuz

        Don’t be ridiculous. There are limits to how much Palestinian propaganda people are willing to swallow now. For 19 years, from 1949 to 1967, Israel endured thousands of Arab guerrilla strikes, but remained within the armistice lines. And in all those 19 years, Israel did not grab anything. But when the Arabs thought they saw another chance in 1967 to wipe out the Jewish state, they gambled again, and lost again. Jordan attacked Israel with Long Tom cannons to help Nasser, and that is why the IDF had no choice but to enter the West Bank to kick out the Jordanian army firiing on them. All of this can be confirmed on non-Arab or Nazi propaganda sites, such as in Wikipedia. There are a few sites that tell the truth. Not many though. Israelis are outnumbred by hundreds to one.

        • katz ro

          if that were the case how come there were 200 Jewish casualties to the 2000 Arab?

          • jgarbuz

            How come in WWII there were only about 100 US civilians killed in bombings versus hundreds of thousands in Japan and Germany?

        • katz ro

          and wiki is no longer the site it used to be they are having issues that they themselves have had t acknowledge of individuals getting on there and trying to “change” history to their tastes. They have needed to go in and remove content or analyze it repeatedly lately

          • jgarbuz

            You can change it but you have to back up your changes, or someone will challenge it. Wikipedia is as close to the truth as anything can get. I changed something in wikipedia. There was repeated reference to the “British Mandate” ini Palestine, and I corrected it to read “The League of Nations Mandate FOR Palestine” which appointed Britain as administrator or “Mandatory power.” And I explained my change, and it was accepted because it is true. The British didn’t create the Mandate. The League of Nations created the Mandates.

          • Wendy Colby

            Regardless, actual history books, documents written by the United Nations at the time and many other observers who lived through it are a better source than wiki so it doesn’t matter how correct it is.Look into it and stay away from propaganda from both sides you can decide for yourself and I am confident you will agree with most of the Israeli side when you are done

  • JdL

    Why anyone today ever trusts the government to tell the truth is a puzzle.

  • Yes, but I’ve always thought that Johnson was involved in some fashion.

    I think the Israelis were quite possibly carrying out something which had been agreed beforehand.

    The ship should have sunk, but it didn’t and Johnson had to quickly backtrack.

    Possibly we’ll never know, but it is hard to credit Israel’s attack without some American complicity at the top.

    Johnson was a completely dishonest and manipulative man so it is believable that there was a dirty deal beforehand.

    As for Israel, it got to carry out its plan for the Six Day War – it was planned and deliberately incited by Israel who knew it could win – which was to take everything it wanted.

    Perhaps Johnson wanted to blame Russia if the Liberty went to the bottom? And launch a huge war? Who knows, but Johnson’s simply covering everything up is hard to swallow unless he was a party.

    The parties involved have played dirty games for decades to get what they want. Why not here?

    • Rufus Peckham

      Johnson had a lot of stock in Bell Helicopter too….

      • Georgann Putintsev

        One reason why the Vietnam lasted as long as it did. The MIC elites had to get their monies worth, while our Military pays the ultimate price.

  • Dr opingo
  • anarchyst

    The Israeli “six-day-war” was a pre-emptive strike–NOT a response to an attack. The crew of the USS Liberty was aware of this…

    • jgarbuz

      So what’s your point exactly?

      • anarchyst

        one cannot believe what is written in history…the history books treated it as a response to an attack…that never was…

        • Wendy Colby

          Read the autobiography of Dr. Prince and his family English citizens who lived through the entire time first under the British and not leaving until after the 67 War.You will see how Britain and the US betrayed over and over the Jews who were in Palestine ,in fact THEY were the Palestinians because any Arab asked would never admit to being Palestinian.It was synonymous with Jew.They all said the country they came from whether it was Syria,Trans-Jordan,and Egypt.One cannot believe anti-Israel propaganda that even overlooks the words recorded from famous mouths of the Arab world because it doesn’t fit the narrative made up since Israel took a piece of barren desert no one was cultivating and made it prosper.Read Mark Twain and others about what they saw and heard traveling the Middle East….maybe not you might hear the truth for a change.

          • katz ro

            seriously? “Israel ” was illegally handed over land to the Jews by the English of an already occupied area of Palestinians and Bedouins. It was the second land offer to the Jews by the English the first being in an occupied area of Africa and the fourth place brought up by “world powers” for a Jewish homeland. Specifically to still have a stronghold in an area they were being pushed out of. The first individual that brought up Palestine as such was none other than Adolf Hitler. Stalin had brought up a place near Siberia first. The late 1880s some Jewish people had gone there and were able to buy land and live peacefully by the majority. It was about as legal as the allowance of Russia taking all those other countries surrounding it after ww2

          • jgarbuz

            The only piece of land not inhabited is Antarctica, and if they gave that to the Jews, there would another PLO – the Penguin LIberation Organization. First of all Britain didn’t “give it” to the Jews. The Europeans who destroyed the Jewish state in 135 AD returned the land to its rightful heirs. It’s the return of stolen property. The Arabs, the Bedouins, were all living as squatters on stolen Jewish land. Now they are living on Jewish land again. But no one forces them to stay if they are not happy with it.

          • katz ro

            I’m thinking you are trying to refer to 1095 and the Euroeans went into jerusalem and slaughtered everyone which was mainly Muslims or Palestinian [and further back Canaanite like the Jews] and Arabic along with the Jews that were there unless you are talking the Romans when once again the Jews were nt the majority of the populace at that time. And a quickie on the first shot, people can be antagonized to act or react actually and that was kinda a clear cut case of such but whatever. I would debate until the cows came home if there were any basis of it going anywhere but other than noting is not worth the energy or time. But as far as rightful anceseral homes there wee peoples there before the Jews as the religious [or racial if you wish] group that is now connotated

          • Wendy Colby

            In 1095 the Christians fought the Muslim hordes that had massacred the Christians who were there and had taken over the Holy Land by murder actually slaughter is a better word.They were destroying Holy places and replacing them with mosques.If you are going to quote the battles please include All of them.

          • Wendy Colby

            Those called “Palestinians” before 1948 were Jews,it was considered an insult to be an Arab and called Palestinian.That’s why written histories of people who went there such as Mark Twain who asked the very few Arabs he ran into where they were from described themselves as Syrian,Egyptian,Lebanese, and elsewhere.There has been a Jewish presence in Israel constantly since well before 70ad.History and even better read up on the subject from the many documents of the time saved by what became the UN.Statements from the Arab leadership during the Ottoman Empire straight through to Arafat are available online for anyone wishing to know the truth.But,most people don’t want the truth, it’s not trendy like the BS boycotts and the Palestinian narrative.Most adults figure out the truth never lies completely on the side of one or the other but a complicated moshpit of two sides both doing wrong and right -I hope more people educate themselves and grow up instead of swallowing propaganda.

          • Greg

            Please keep posting!

        • jgarbuz

          You can debate about Egypt, and who started shooting first, but there is no debate that Jordan hit Israel first. The Jordanian army attacked Israel with 155mm “Long Tom” cannons. Israel did not attack Jordan first.

  • Wendy Colby

    The truth is not as you describe .The official story was a lie and cover-up because the ship was being used by the Americans to send the Arabs the positions of Israeli fighters helping the Arabs attack and win. Israel warned the US to stop- doing many fly overs and talking directly to President Johnson who refused to stop the communications. That is why the ship was attacked.Thank the US government who decided oil profits were more important than any treaties or promises made to allies and even the lives of the sailors on the ship.

    • jgarbuz

      Well, Israel was trying for hours to contact everyone in the US, with no success. Everyone was claiming there was no US ship in the area.

      • Roseann

        They knew it was an American spy ship with no weapons and they wanted to draw America into the war with Egypt blow us up then say Egypt did it..get it..just like 9/11…or do you believe a few towell heads pulled that off too ..wise up

    • Roseann

      Typical Jewish double speak..

  • Prince

    The attack, by a U.S. ally, was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill its entire crew.
    The attack included the machine-gunning of stretcher-bearers and life-rafts.
    The White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of the USS Liberty.
    This was the first time in naval history a rescue mission had been cancelled while an American ship was under attack.
    Surviving crew-members were later threatened with court-martial, imprisonment, or worse if they talked to anyone about what had happened to them; and were “abandoned by their own government.”

    • jgarbuz

      There is no treaty of alliance between Israel and the US, because the US did not want to endanger its Arab oil interests. I dare you to find a treaty between Israel and the US. The US in 1954, when Ben Gurion asked for it, refused to give Israel a treaty of alliance. So Israel had to go nuclear instead. No choice.
      And of course the US threatened its own sailors, because the US knew what the sailors didn’t know. That the NSA was betaying Israel with the secret communications setup it had onboard. The sailors were just vacationing and having a good time.

      • Prince

        Where did I say treaty? Attacking a U.S.A. naval ship was an act of war, and should have been treated as such. Yet all the years later, America still gives Zionist / Talmudic false Israel millions in foreign aid.

        • jgarbuz

          It was an act of war by the NSA against the Jewish state to help Egypt while Israel was fighting all alone against half a dozen Arab states. The US gives no cash to Israel. It goes to US defense companies to build planes for Israel, in order to make it politically easier to sell its Arab enemies three times as many planes.

          • Prince

            No fan of NSA, but the ship was in international waters. Also, strafing lifeboats is a violation of The Geneva Convention and is a war crime.

          • jgarbuz

            Doesn’t matter. In 1967,if an Israeli spy ship was 13 miles off the coast of Vietnam, listening to US combat forces going north , watching the skies for US aircraft, and transmitting the information to Hanoi so that they could kill US troops, I would have supported destroying the Israeli spy ship and wouldn’t care how far out in the ocean they are. IN wartime there is no “international waters.” The US spy ship belonged off the coast of Vietnam, not off the coast of Israel. Or if it was supposed to help Israel, it should have been off the coast of Alexandria.

          • Prince

            None the less, they were sent there by U.S. Gov. no matter the reason. They should have been assisted by every single U.S. Navy vessel in the vicinity, and false Israel of 1948 should have been immediately attacked and made to pay for their transgression.

          • jgarbuz

            This story of strafing life boats is a claim Israel repudiates.

          • Prince

            False Israel of 1948 can repudiate it all it wants, I believe the survivors as they had no reason to lie and make up stories.

          • Wendy Colby

            The survivors are quoted in The Secret War Against the Jews and include not only US officials from the time and the statements made but eyewitness accounts for the Arabs also.Best read a non-arab publication on the subject ,maybe look up some independent documentation.

          • Prince

            Regardless, attacking a U.S. Navy ship was an act of war. I read statements by survivors that said they were shooting at seamen on stretchers and in life rafts.

          • jgarbuz

            The survivors are Jew-haters. Israel could easily have sunk the boat and sent them all to their deaths. The fact is, that Israel tried hard to spare lives and just silence the spy ship from sending their intel to the Arabs. That is why only 34 died as opposed to all of the 300+ sailors aboard. This is all antisemitic Jew-hatred. Israel compensated the families and paid for the ship. Keeping this incident alive is pure anti-Jewish racism and nothing more.

          • Roseann

            You are sickening…just reading your racist lies makes my skin crawl.Your Jewish racism and supremacy are unbelievable and disgusting..good thing you don’t believe in hell

          • jgarbuz

            Spying on Israeli IDF troops IN WARTIME and sending the intel to Israel’s enemies is an act of war.

          • Wendy Colby

            What would you do if your supposed ally was giving your positions away causing the death of your soldiers and the loss of battles?They were warned many times,even strafed to show they were serious and yet the messages kept being sent.Would you have sat back and done nothing?

          • Roseann

            Oh yea secret war against the Jews who cares what your lying propaganda tells you ..the survivors tell the truth and hopefully one day you will all pay for your crimes against humanity

  • Pat Enery

    “Even the best of gentiles should be killed.” Soferim 15, Rule 10 The Talmud. They were merely following orders concerning something they believe.

  • Pat Enery

    “Jews may use subterfuges to circumvent a goy.” (gentile) Babba Kamma 113a, the Talmud. Their lies, when asked what happened.

  • Pat Enery

    “If a Jew murders a goy (gentile) there will be no death penalty.” Sanhedrin 57a, The Talmud. They believe that they are the only humans. All other humans are lower forms of life without souls. This is how they justify the killing of Palestinian women & children. Ever wonder why it’s so hard to gain access or to purchase (at a very high price) a copy of their Talmud?

  • Roseann

    Disgusting and continues today! You have to be a true idiot not to smell the Ju stink on 9/11..they do whatever they want to us, and then we pay them! all in our gov who collude with these demonic fucks should be jailed or executed. Money rules the world and these Devils control the money…. These filthy murderous Devils are no ones ally