LIBERTYGATE The coverup uncovered, in three parts. It has been twenty-two years since the

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LIBERTYGATE The coverup uncovered, in three parts. It has been twenty-two years since the military forces of the State of Israel attacked the U.S.S. Liberty. It has been 43 years since Hitler's atrocities. If Congress can spend our money chasing senile Nazis, after all these years, it's about time they spend a little money investigating the Liberty coverup. The only way it will ever happen is if YOU write your representatives and insist on a full investigation. ------------------------------------------------------------ The following article appeared in *Defense Electronics*, October 1981. ------------------------------------------------------------ Editor's Note: This article is printed by *Defense Electronics* as an example of a direct attack on U.S. forces by a nation that has access to advanced western military equipment, and which is an ally. In light of the Libyan-U.S. air clash in August and the loss of advanced equipment in Iran, the danger of western technology being used against U.S. forces by a hostile Third World nation is apparent. This article is presented in unabridged form and represents only the views of its author. ------------------------------------------------------------ Part One Israeli Attack on U.S. Ship Reveals Failure of C3 By James M. Ennes, Jr., Deck Officer of the USS Liberty --------------------------------------------------------- Fourteen years ago, the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli Warplanes and ships, resulting in the deaths of 34 Americans and the wounding of 171 others. The attack lasted 2 and 1/2 hours and ended the Navy's program of dedicated electronic intelligence collection ships. --------------------------------------------------------- Fourteen years ago, one of the most serious peacetime American naval disasters occurred, and perhaps the most serious since the sinking of the battleship *Maine* in 1898. But while every bright schoolchild remembers some details of the explosion that led to the Spanish-American War, hardly anyone can recall the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, which cost the lives of 34 Americans, wounded 171 others, and brought a premature end to the Navy's program of dedicated electronic collection ships. The attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli forces on the fourth day of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War is not widely known because the facts are politically and diplomatically awkward. The truth about the attack includes evidence that this was a planned, carefully coordinated and deliberate attack by a friendly power upon a known American naval vessel, and a botched exercise of Command, Control, and Communications. But such knowledge is politically unwelcome in the United States, so the facts about the attack were witheld from the American people. In 1967, the US Navy operated a worldwide fleet of electronic intelligence collection ships under tasking from the Department of Defense. These consisted of United States Ships *Oxford*, *Georgetown*, and *Jamestown*, which operated on converted Liberty hulls; *Belmont* and *Liberty*, on Victory hulls; *Banner*, *Pueblo*, and *Palm Beach*, on converted 180-foot AKL hulls; and civilian-manned United States Naval Ships *Private Jose E. Valdez* and *Sergeant Joseph P. Muller*, on converted 338-foot T-AG hulls. In May 1967, as tension built rapidly toward what would soon become the "Six Day War," USS Liberty was diverted from her usual patrol area on the west coast of Africa to patrol a section of the Gaza Strip in the Eastern Mediterranean. The trip required 16 days of hard steaming, and when Liberty arrived at her assigned station, the war was four days old and almost over. I was Liberty's electronic materials officer. A 34-year-old former enlisted man, I took special pride in my Navy commission, my lieutenant's rank, and my specialty in cryptology. I was soon to be assigned officer of the deck for special sea detail and general quarters. And as the ship arrived on station 13 miles from the Israeli and Egyption coasts, I was to be officer of the deck for the forenoon watch. Throughout the Night The ship had been reconnoitered throughout the night by Israeli military aircraft. Well before midnight, Liberty's crytologic operators had detected fire control radar directed steadily at the ship by orbiting Israeli aircraft. But the supervisor on duty refused to believe that Israeli forces would direct fire control radar at an American ship, and so he insisted that the operators must have misinterpeted the signal. The signal went unreported. 0700 Hours At about 0700, as I relieved the watch on the bridge, I was told that a "flying boxcar," later identified as an Israeli Nord 2501 Noratlas reconnaissance aircraft, had circled the ship from a distance at sunrise. I checked out colors, found them dirty and ragged after several days of high-speed steaming, and ordered them replaced. Two extra lookouts were stationed above the bridge, and I ordered them to keep an eye on the flag to assure that it never fouled. 0900 Hours At 0900, the ship reached point "alfa," the northernmost point of our assigned patrol track. I turned south and slowed to five knots, and at that moment we were reconnoitered by a single jet aircraft. I immediately checked the flag and saw it clearly displayed in a good breeze. We were headed almost directly into a four-knot wind, giving us nine knots over the decks, which was more than enough to hold the flag aloft. For the next several hours, the wind increased steadily, reaching 12 knots over the deck before the ship came under attack. 1000 Hours At about 1000, the ship was circled three times at low level by two armed Israeli Mirage jets, each carrying 18 rockets under each wing. One of the pilots was heard reporting by radio to Israeli headquarters that we were flying the American flag, but this was no news to the Israeli war room. Duty officers in the war room had identified the ship long before and had plotted her track on a large wall chart, along with her name, her top speed, and a reference to her intelligence mission. And according to several reports, Israel's immediate reaction to the ship's presence was to complain bitterly to the United States via the Central Intelligence Agency, demanding that the ship be moved. The United States made several serious, almost frantic attempts to move the ship. As the Liberty approached Gaza, the Joint Chiefs of Staff first sent a priority message ordering the ship to move 20 miles from the coast; the message was swamped by higher precedence traffic and was not processed until long after the crisis had ended. Hours later, a JCS duty officer phoned naval headquarters in London to relay an urgent JCS order to move the ship 100 miles from the coast; the telephone call was ignored, and Liberty's copy of the confirming message was misrouted to the Philipines before being returned to the Pentagon, where it was again misrouted, this time to Fort Meade in Maryland, where it was lost. Eventually, at least six critical messages were lost, delayed, or otherwise mishandled. Any one of those messages might have saved Liberty. None reached the ship. During the next four hours, the ship was visited five more times by Israeli reconnaissance aircraft, usually flying at very low level, and always close enough that I could readily see the pilot. On one occasion, the captain was on the bridge when the Noratlas approached at masthead level, causing him to warn me of a posible bombing run; the aircraft passed overhead at such low level that the deck plating shook. The continued close surveillance was reassuring. Israel was an ally and, although several Arab states were then hostile toward the United States, Israel clearly dominated the sky, and we were comforted to be watched so closely, as this seemed to assure that there could be no mistakes. 1400 Hours After being relieved of the watch at noon, I spent most of the noon hour on the bridge preparing for a general quarters drill scheduled for 1300. Finally, at 1400, all drills and bridge duties were completed, and I was preparing to go below after nearly seven hours on the bridge when three aircraft and three high-speed surface craft were simultaneously picked up on radar, all approaching the ship from starboard quarter. Moments later, the ship came under severe and continued attack, first by Israeli Mirage jets that momentarily knocked out our four puny 50-caliber machine guns and disabled all radio antennas, then by slower Israeli Mystere jets, which plastered the stack, gun mounts, open bridge, and superstructure with an inferno of napalm. When technicians jury-rigged an antenna in order to call for help, radiomen found the frequencies blocked by buzz saw signals from the jets. Radiomen worked on their hands and knees and held microphones close to the deck to escape smoke and heat from fires nearby, and in less than nine minutes, they broke through the jamming. The carrier *Saratoga*, operating about 500 miles away from the Sixth Fleet near Crete, was first to answer. On the bridge of the Saratoga, Captain Joseph Tully promptly turned his ship into the wind and relayed Liberty's message to the Sixth Fleet commander, Vice Admiral William Martin, who was on the bridge of his flagship conducting maneuvering exercises. Because of the emergency, Captain Tully addressed the message directly to Admiral Martin with his personal callsign on the Primary Tactical Maneuvering Circuit (PRI-TAC), and then he duplicated the transmission by teletype and flashing light with information copies to naval headquarters in Washington and London. Admiral Martin immediately directed carriers *Saratoga* and *America* to launch aircraft to defend Liberty, but when the launch order was executed, only Saratoga launched. Except for some F-4 Phantoms that were eventually sent up to defend the fleet, *America* did not respond. She had, according to some reports, been authorized to relax from an alert posture that was imposed on much of the rest of the fleet. (The aircraft *America* did launch for air defense were thought by some to have been armed with nuclear weapons, since it was widely known that nuclear-armed weapons were in alert status, but it is now clear that no such aircraft were launched.) Captain Tully sent a flashing light query to Captain Donald Engen on the America, and got no reply. Moments later Saratoga's aircraft were recalled without explanation by Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, who commanded the carrier task force. America, which had no appropiate conventional armament in position, started bringing up weapons from below decks, while Saratoga, which *was* prepared to defend Liberty was required to wait -- apparently for White House permission. Meanwhile, unobstructed by Sixth Fleet air power, the three Israeli torpedo boats arrived on schedule to finish the job. The target was already in flames after 25 to 30 minutes of aerial strafing and napalm bombardment by perhaps a dozen aircraft. The boats approached at high speed and fired torpedos from 2,000 yards but, owing to a near collision between two boats at the moment of firing, the first shots went wild. One torpedo passed safely astern, where it missed by a bare 25 yards. Another passed so close ahead of the ship that it vanished under the bow, "sounding like amotorboat" to Petty Officer Rick Aimetti, who stood, astonished, on the forecastle. And one torpedo made a direct hit on the ship's crytologic spaces, where it killed 25 men and momentarily trapped at least 50 more in the flooded compartment. to be continued.............. If you have had it with the "best congress money can buy", e-mail to arf and I will send you info on how to do something about it. DO IT NOW! ***************************** ARFNET: A Network of concerned Americans utilizing computer and ham radio communication links. Unix: arf@lopez Amateur Radio Forum (ARF) NR9Q Thurs 09:PM CST 3950 KHZ Jack Schmidling for County Commissioner NEVER VOTE FOR THE INCUMBENT! VOTE SOLIDARITY

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