Thesis

The attack on the USS Liberty

Over 43 years after the incident, the official stance of the U.S. government on the attack of the USS Liberty on 8 June 1967 is still unsatisfactory, as testimonies from survivors speak of a government cover-up. Being the only major maritime incident not investigated by Congress, this paper presents layers of evidence supporting this claim and questions the openly accepted version that it was an accident. Research for this paper includes various international newspapers, personal files of the Liberty Alliance, including a letter from Senator John McCain, a BBC documentary by Liberty survivors with eyewitness accounts refuting government claims, a report on war crimes from the USS Liberty Veterans Association from 2005, recently published books, internet sources as well as phone interviews by the author. Discrepancies of reporting this attack are significant and bring up a myriad of questions: why did Israel claim it was a case of mistaken identity, why did the Johnson administration control the media reporting of the attack, why would Israel intentionally attack an ally vessel, why are some documents still classified, and most of all, why has every request for a congressional inquiry been denied? The Navy Court of Inquiry’s hasty investigation only lasted 5 days, missing vital testimony from survivors whose voices have yet to be heard in the mainstream media. Israel’s undocumented claim of a threat contradicts scores of eyewitness accounts, justifying a real and uncensored investigation.

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