Magazine article Kurdish Life

The USS Liberty, a Telltale

Magazine article Kurdish Life

The USS Liberty, a Telltale

Article excerpt

If ever there was evidence of the perverse attachment between Jerusalem and Washington, it lurks in the tragedy of the USS Liberty, an American Navy ship caught in the crosswinds between the U.S. and Israel during the 1967 war. Time and again the survivors have attempted to tell their version of the story--that Israeli airplanes deliberately attacked the ship and some 200 sailors were either killed or injured. Instead commission upon commission has done nothing but confirm Israel's version: the attack was simply a mistake.

In June yet another panel was mandated to investigate the issue. It was a blue-ribbon panel composed of a former US ambassador, a US Navy rear admiral, a Marine general, a four-star admiral and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A former ambassador who served as Chief of Mission in Iraq served as moderator.

In a report for Counterpunch, Alison Weir summarized the commission's findings: "That the attack, by a US ally, was a 'deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew;' that the ally committed 'acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States;' that 'the attack involved the machine-gunning of stretcher-bearers and life rafts;" that 'the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. navy from coming to the defense of the [ship];' that 'never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack;' that surviving crewmembers were later threatened with 'court material, imprisonment or worse' if they talked to anyone about what had happened to them, and were 'abandoned by their own government;' that due to the influence of the ally's 'powerful supporters in the United States, the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the American people;' that due to continuing pressure by this lobby, this attack remains 'the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress;' that 'the truth about Israel's attack and subsequent White House cover-up continues to be concealed from the American people to the present day and is a national disgrace;' that 'a danger to the national security exists whenever our elected officials are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation. …

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