|Israeli Pilot Speaks Up
The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a neutral United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli jet fighter planes and motor torpedo boats on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 and wounded more than 170 crew members, and damaged the ship severely. The ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nautical miles (47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.
attack ended, Israel informed the U.S. that its
forces had attacked the Liberty in error -- a friendly fire
incident. An Israeli inquiry by Colonel Ram Ron concluded that the
attack was caused by a chain of mistakes by Israel Defense Force (IDF)
The IDF, in its History Report about the attack, says that an IAF
(Israel Air Force) 'Nord'
reconnaissance aircraft discovered a ship approaching the war-zone
area, during early morning hours.
A marker for the ship's location was placed on an IDF control table.
ship was eventually identified as USS Liberty.
At about 1100 (local time), the Liberty's marker was removed
from the control table because the ship's current location was unknown.
On June 5th, the United
States government was asked to inform the IDF of any U.S. ships in
the area, they were not told of Liberty's mission.
During the attack, the IDF air and naval forces, respectively,
misidentified the Liberty as an unknown destroyer and the
Egyptian cargo ship El Quseir.
of Israel's explanation say that no credible motive existed
for Israel to initiate a surprise attack against an important ally and
the possibility of such mistakes were inherent in the tense atmosphere
of the Six-Day War.
The United States government was concerned about such dangers and ordered the Liberty farther away from shore but the order was not received in time due to a series of communication failures.In the IDF's History Report about the attack, it points out that that "though the attack on the armed forces of a friendly nation is a most regrettable and painful occurrence, incidents of this kind do occur in war-time."
|ChicagoTribune - John Crewdson
An Israeli military court of inquiry later acknowledged that their naval headquarters knew at least three hours before the attack that the odd-looking ship 13 miles off the Sinai Peninsula, sprouting more than 40 antennas capable of receiving every kind of radio transmission, was "an electromagnetic audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy," a floating electronic vacuum cleaner.
The Israeli inquiry later concluded that that information had simply gotten lost, never passed along to the ground controllers who directed the air attack nor to the crews of the three Israeli torpedo boats who picked up where the air force left off, strafing the Liberty's decks with their machine guns and launching a torpedo that blew a 39-foot hole in its starboard side.
To a man, the survivors interviewed by the Tribune rejected Israel's explanation.
Nor, the survivors said, did they understand why the American 6th Fleet, which included the aircraft carriers America and Saratoga, patrolling 400 miles west of the Liberty, launched and then recalled at least two squadrons of Navy fighter-bombers that might have arrived in time to prevent the torpedo attack -- and save 26 American lives.
J.Q. "Tony" Hart, then a chief petty officer assigned to a U.S. Navy relay station in Morocco that handled communications between Washington and the 6th Fleet, remembered listening as Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, in Washington, ordered Rear Adm. Lawrence Geis, commander of the America's carrier battle group, to bring the jets home.
When Geis protested that the Liberty was under attack and needed help, Hart said, McNamara retorted that "President [Lyndon] Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors."
Then Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara and President [[Lyndon B. Johnson]] ordered Admiral Isaac B. Kidd, the President of the Navy Court of Inquiry into the attack on June 8, 1967 of the USS Liberty, to conclude that "the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary." (1) Capt. Ward Boston USN, JAG (retired), states that "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...".
(1) U. S. Congress. House (2004) Representative John Conyers, Jr. Speaking on the "Findings of Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, the Recall of Military Rescue Support Aircraft while the Ship was Under Attack, and the Subsequent Cover-up by the United States Government". 109th Cong., 1st Session. Congressional Record 150, No. 130, Daily Edition (11 October 2004): E1886 (2) ibid, E1887
This information, in addition to being in the Congressional Record here, is also the subject of a BBC article (here), and an extensive Chicago tribune article.
But Jayjg wants it out, and no "Reliable Source" is going to convince him otherwise. In those diffs, he throws the wiki-book at the two sentences, labeling them "dubious POV" and "WP:NOR and WP:BLP violations" while reverting 3 (but not 4!) times. At the same time he (stalks WorldFacts over to the Robert McNamara page and) again reverts three times (here, here, and here), his last reversion the one that stands as of this writing.
But that's not all! Jayjg then tells WorldFacts that "this is your last warning" (turns out also his first warning), and labels the IP involved a sockpuppet of "FearNoTruth", a user with only three edits back in March'08. Also interestingly, we see admin Balloonman parachuting (no pun intended) into the situation to supply reverts and warnings without any previous involvement or notification. Jayjg, in placing the sock tag on FearNoTruth, simply cites the McNamara page as "evidence" for this socking charge, despite posessing the checkuser bit, a tacit acknowledgment that he has no evidence.
He then marks the IPs page and WorldTruth's as "patrolled" (I have no idea what this means, but it is more than vaguely menacing).
Now, certainly people can disagree over the historical record regarding the USS Liberty. Veterans of that incident claim, with near unanimity, that the attack was deliberate, and Israel denies it, mostly with a "why ever would be do that?" defense. The US government, in its more official pronouncements, has denied a cover-up. But the text being inserted is from a notable US Senator reading into the Congressional record a sworn statement from a Navy JAG officer with contemporaneous knowledge that "I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd 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.". Whether one accepts that evidence or not, the statement certainly seems "reliably sourced"!
And if you look into Jayjg's edit history, you can find an incident this blatant every month or so -- simply hammering down on facts in the encyclopedia that he doesn't like, using threats of banning and any other tool at his disposal to make the editor go away. The concern here is for exactly the opposite of either truth or verifiability -- it is to exclude opposing viewpoints and including his own. In virtually all of these cases, Jayjg prevails.
Yet another reason not to trust anything you read in Wikipedia. Obvious vandalism may be funny or offensive, but this kind of thing is sneaky and pernicious.
The Attack on USS Liberty
The following summary is from the jacket of the book, Assault on the Liberty by James M. Ennes, Jr.; Random House, New York, 1979, ISBN 0-394-50512-3:
In June 1967, jet aircraft and motor torpedo boats of Israel brutally assaulted an American naval vessel, the USS LIBERTY, in international waters off the Sinai Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack was preceded by more than six-hours of intense low-level surveillance by Israel photo-reconnaissance aircraft, which buzzed the intelligence ship thirteen times, sometimes flying as low as 200 feet directly overhead. The carefully orchestrated assault that followed was initiated by high-performance jet aircraft, and was followed up by slower and more maneuverable jets carrying napalm, and was finally turned over to lethal torpedo boats, which blasted a forty-foot hole in the ship's side.
The attack lasted more two hours-killing 34 Americans and wounding 171 others-and inflicted 821 rocket and machine-gun holes in the ship. And when the LIBERTY stubbornly remained afloat despite her damage, Israeli forces machine-gunned her life rafts and sent troop-carrying helicopters to finish the job. At this point, with Sixth Fleet rescue aircraft finally enroute, the government of Israel apologized and the attacking forces suddenly withdrew. Only then did the identity of the assailants become known.