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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