Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The USS Liberty: The Secret War against the Jews; A Litany of Lies

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The USS Liberty: The Secret War against the Jews; A Litany of Lies

Article excerpt

The USS Liberty: The Secret War Against the Jews; A Litany of Lies

By James M. Ennes, Jr.

One of the first lessons learned by people directly involved in a major media event is that reporters, writers and some who call themselves investigative journalists are often seriously wrong, if not irresponsible, in what they write. Israel's attack on the USS Liberty is such an event. Much incredible nonsense has been written about the 1967 attack by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats on the American intelligence ship USS Liberty, and the treatment of this matter in The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus and Mark Aarons (St. Martin's Press, 1994) is a striking example.

Loftus and Aarons boast a long list of "investigative" reports, mostly about Nazis, Jews, and plots against Jews. The Secret War Against the Jews, one more effort in this growing genre, devotes more than 500 pages of text and an additional 120 pages of source notes and bibliography to "exposing" a catalog of mostly unprovable crimes against the Jewish people and the Jewish state, told confidentially by anonymous and unidentifiable "old spies."

According to the authors, "The major powers of the world have repeatedly planned covert operations to bring about the destruction of Israel." During the Six-Day War of June 1967, they maintain, "The U.S. and British governments, while pretending to be on Israel's side, were giving all of Israel's secrets to the Arabs." Therefore, one chapter, the subject of this report, deals with the USS Liberty, which Israel attempted to sink during the Six-Day War.

According to Loftus and Aarons, the USS Liberty was the most sophisticated intelligence vessel in the world and was a major player in this secret war against world Jewry. "All of the published versions of the Liberty incident are wrong," they write. "The State Department's Middle East policies had a pronounced anti-Semitic tilt." The only reason the ship was sent to the Sinai coast, they say, was to spy on Israel so that the U.S. government could curry favor with Arab leaders.

The Loftus-Aarons Version

According to the authors, the USS Liberty was operating near Egypt when she was suddenly removed from Navy control, placed under the direct control of the National Security Agency, and told to "ignore all orders from the Joint Chiefs of Staff" in order to support the Arab war effort against Israel.

Soon the ship was augmented with Hebrew linguists and ordered to steam in circles off the Israeli coast. A major from the National Security Agency, identified as one Alan Blue, was in charge. Blue consulted frequently with Captain McGonagle, the commanding officer, who was forbidden to enter the intelligence spaces.

Israel never asked about ships in the area until after the Liberty attack.

Liberty's real task, Loftus and Aarons want us to believe, was to monitor the low-power, short-range radio transmissions of Israeli tanks and small infantry units in the desert. Those transmissions were then relayed by satellite to British intelligence teams in Cyprus who, using sophisticated voice print matching equipment, could identify and locate every Israeli unit in the war. British intelligence then relayed this vital information to the Egyptian government.

When the Israelis learned of this treachery, we are told, they asked the United States to explain the presence of an American vessel in the area. But the Americans lied, denying that the ship was American.

To save itself, Israel had no choice but to eliminate the ship. Because Israelis regard all human life as precious, they got approval from the highest levels of government to conduct a pinpoint attack by torpedo on the precise compartment housing the intelligence team. That, they decided, would stop the threat to Israel with the least loss of American lives.

And when the Joint Chiefs, whose orders Liberty had been told to ignore, tried desperately to order this ship away from the area, not a single message got through the ship's sophisticated communication center for two days. …

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