June 8, 1967 Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

This project is to document the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty as completely as possible from sources subject to the Freedom of Information Act as well as other similar laws and regulations.

On June 8, 1967 while steaming in international waters off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula the USS Liberty was attacked without warning by the combined forces of the Israeli Air Force and Navy.

According to USS Liberty survivors the forces attacking the ship used unmarked aircraft, jammed Liberty’s radios on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies, machine gunned usable life rafts Liberty crewmen had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship.

Additionally USS Liberty survivors’ accounts reveal that the attacking torpedo boats slowly circled the burning and torpedoed ship while firing from close range at USS Liberty crewmen who were either trapped topside or who ventured topside to help their fallen shipmates.T

Further, two flights of aircraft launched from the Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers to come to the defense of the USS Liberty were recalled while the USS Liberty was still under attack and calling for help.

To add insult to injury the US government has never conducted a complete and comprehensive public investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty.

The US government’s position on the attack is that it was just as the Israelis claim it to be – a mistaken attack on a ship that was mis-identified as a 40-year-old, rusted-out Egyptian tramp steamer that was chained to a pier in Alexandria, Egypt waiting to be sold for scrap at the time of the attack. Regardless, the US government has accepted without question the account of the forces who attacked the ship and have refused even to listen to the account of USS Liberty survivors.

Members of Congress and the Department of Defense have taken the unprecedented step of including in their boilerplate response to those who inquire about the attack on the USS Liberty a script that is taken directly out of the Israeli playbook and that bares no resemblance to reality. In their boilerplate they insist that the US government has conducted 10 official investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty when no such investigation of the attack has ever been conducted.

When USS Liberty survivors contact the DoD or Members of Congress with a request that they include text from the American survivors of the attack instead of from the forces who attacked their ship their request is totally ignored.

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