ON JUNE 8, 1967, while patrolling in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was savagely attacked without warning or justification by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of a crew of 294 officers and men (including three civilians), the ship suffered thirty four (34) killed in action and one hundred seventy three (173) wounded in action. The ship itself, a Forty Million ($40,000,000) Dollar state of the art signals intelligence (SIGINT) platform, was so badly damaged that it never sailed on an operational mission again and was sold in 1970 for $101,666.66 as scrap.
The attack included:
The jamming of our radios on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies;
The use of unmarked aircraft by the forces attacking the USS Liberty;
The deliberate machine gunning of life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship; and
The recall of two flights of rescue aircraft that had been launched from Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers. After those flights were recalled, Sixth Fleet personnel listened to our calls for help as the attack continued knowing they were forbidden to come to our assistance.
Information is also contained in the War Crimes Report we filed with the Department on June 8, 2005 which is contained at http://www.usslibertyveterans.org/files/wcr.pdf with the referenced exhibits at http://www.usslibertyveterans.org/files/WCRExhibits.pdf.
We respectfully submit that actions that took place during and following the attack are in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2441 .
We further allege that certain actions that took place during the attack are in violation of Article 99 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice .
Despite its obligation under the Department of Defense Law of War Program the Department of Defense has refused to investigate the allegations contained in the War Crimes Report. Indeed, it is our position that the Department of Defense should investigate the allegations contained in the War Crimes Report notwithstanding any official or legal requirement to do so.
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WHEREAS, on June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, while operating in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean, was the target of an attack by Israel war planes and torpedo boats; and
WHEREAS, this attack killed 34 members of the USS Liberty’s crew and wounded 171 other United States personnel on board in addition to causing extensive damage to the ship; and
WHEREAS, a controversy continues to surround the attack on the USS Liberty in that some Americans believe the attack was deliberate while others believe the attack was a mistake by the Israeli military; and
WHEREAS, aircraft dispatched from U.S. aircraft carriers to aid the USS Liberty were recalled, and this action may have resulted in the death and injury of additional American service members; and
WHEREAS, the sailors and Marines and their families should have closure of this tragic attack and its aftermath; and
WHEREAS, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty is the only such naval incident to have never been investigated by Congress; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we call upon Congress to immediately investigate the attack on the USS Liberty that was perpetrated by the armed forces of the State of Israel on June 8, 1967, in order to determine the truth behind the attack, and bring closure to the families and crew; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support the efforts of the USS Liberty Veterans Association calling for an investigation to unmask the truth.
I urge you to implement the provisions of this resolution and immediately begin the process that leads to a Congressional investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty.