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The Swine Flu & Treason

Part 3: The USS Liberty

John S. Torell

 

CHAPTER NINE

THE USS LIBERTY

The attack on the USS Liberty can be laid at the feet of the President Lyndon Baines Johnson. It is the most shameful act by an American president since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when Franklin D. Roosevelt set it up for the Japanese to come and kill more than 3,000 American service men. Any American reading about this attack cannot help but be outraged that an American president was willing to go to any length to cover up the murder of 34 American service men on an American Navy ship.

Here is the background: In 1967 Israel had planned a war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria for some time and all four nations had been massing troops and tanks at their borders. The Soviet Union was aligned with the Arab nations and the United States was a supporter of Israel. The World Government had given the green light for Israel to start the war and the United States was invited to take part in it and would be given unlimited access to oil in the region as a reward by the World Government.

The Soviets were angry; they had been rebuffed in Cuba just a few years earlier and were not about to be aced out of the Middle East. But in order for the U.S. to get into this war, there had to be an incident like the attack in 1964 on American Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Since a lot of Americans had become suspicious of the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Johnson and his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara (right), decided an American ship must be sunk, the entire crew killed and the attack blamed on Egypt so Johnson could declare war on Egypt and there would be nothing the Soviets could say about it.

A SINISTER PLOT

The USS Liberty was the ship selected; it was a WWII freighter which had been converted into an intelligence vessel by the National Security Agency (NSA). As the day for the Six-Day War to start got closer, the USS Liberty was sent into the Mediterranean Sea and positioned close to Egypt in international waters. The American military command was told that the ship would monitor the situation in the Middle East in case war broke out.

President Johnson trusted that the Israeli Air Force and Navy would sink the ship and make sure there were no survivors. Once the ship was gone, the blame would be laid upon Egypt, and since the American Sixth Fleet with two carrier groups was close to Egypt, it would not take long for the U.S. to attack Egypt and exact “revenge” for sinking an American warship. 

THE 1967 MIDDLE EAST WAR BEGINS

On June 5, 1967, at 7:45 A.M. Middle East Time and 1:45 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, the Israeli Air Force attacked airfields across Egypt and in less than two hours the Egyptian Air Force did not exist anymore.

One hour after the air war had begun, intelligence operating centers in the Middle East alerted the NSA security advisor Walt Rostow (right) that war had broken out and that Egypt was getting beaten badly. Rostow arrived at his office in the White House in the middle of the night and contacted Secretary of State Dean Rusk (left) who had also been alerted to the war. An hour after Rostow called the private quarters of the White House and woke up President Johnson and informed him that the war had started.

About the same time that President Johnson was informed about the war, Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban (right) requested that American Ambassador Walworth Barbour come immediately come to his office.  Once Barbour arrived, he was informed that Israel had no option but launch a pre-emptive strike against Egypt since they had started to move tanks and soldiers toward the front in Sinai.

The Egyptian military forces had started to attack innocent Israeli soldiers and seemed bent on pushing toward Israel itself. This was a lie did not bother either of these men since they were simply role playing what had been agreed to in advance. This was done to create official documents which could then be used at the United Nations for public relations and for the Jewish controlled media to tell to the people in the world.

The meeting lasted for half an hour and at the end of the meeting Eban asked Barbour to request help from the White House to contain the Soviets and keep them out of the war even though Egypt had a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union. Barbour sent off a report to the State Department in order to continue to create official documents as soon as he arrived back at the embassy.

THE SOVIETS WEIGH IN

A hotline had been set up between Moscow and Washington, D.C. since the Cuban missile crisis consisting of a teleprinter and a secure phone line. Premier Alexei Kosygin (left) contacted the White House to find out what the American intension was in the war in the Middle East. The Soviets wanted President Johnson to put pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire and end the war. This was a game that had been played out before in previous wars, and as long as Israel was winning, the game plan was for the United States to block all efforts for a ceasefire at the United Nations as long as possible in order to give Israel a chance to grab as much land as possible and inflict maximum damage to the war capacity of Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

President Johnson called for stalling the Soviets as long as possible to make sure that no Soviet troops got involved in that war. In reality the Soviets were in no shape to intervene in the Middle East because their forces were too weak to project any military action to the war front and the only threat they could muster would be an all out nuclear attack on the West. They were not willing to do this since it would have meant a total destruction of everyone because American nuclear warheads would have pulverized most of the Soviet Union. The game of chess had begun with the players sitting in nice air conditioned offices while the cattle were dying in the trenches for a phony war that would not lead to any solution or change in the Middle East.

Orbiting satellites were in their infancy in 1967 and the Air Force AWACs were still 10 years in coming but the Air Force was operating a C-130 airborne listening platform that flew a figure eight pattern in the Eastern Mediterranean and eavesdropped on the radio signals from Israeli and Egyptian military communications. This airborne listening post was picked up on radar by Israel, Egypt, the American Sixth Fleet and Soviet warships. Thus, Israeli and Egyptian air craft could not fly undetected, so any officer in charge on either side would know in advance that the United States would be aware of any action in the air or on the sea. The American war operators could sit in their offices and listen in to radio communications from the war front.

THE SECRET SACRIFICE

Just as it had been in November 1941, when the attack on Pearl Harbor was set up, only a handful of CIA operators and the American president knew that the USS Liberty was going to be sunk in order for the United States to be able to declare war on Egypt and get involved in the war. Normally the ship was supplied by the U.S. Navy and directed by the National Security Agency (NSA), but prior to the war breaking out, the ship had been transferred to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and in turn been given over to the Joint Reconnaissance Center (JRC). Thus, any orders to Commander William L. McGonagle (left), Captain of the ship, were coming from the JRC.

Supervisors at the NSA K-group sounded an alarm that the Liberty was getting too close to the war zone but were unable to do anything about it. It did not take long for the Egyptian military command to pick up the Liberty on its radar and start to complain that the U.S. was aiding the Israelis.

The Soviets were rapidly building up their naval forces and around 20 Soviet warships along with their support ships and some nine submarines were heading toward the war zone in the southeastern Mediterranean Sea. There was the possibility of severe damage to the American warships in the Sixth Fleet if the Russians were to attack.

What the military commanders from the different nations didn’t know was that all the warring factions were controlled by the World Government and that this was a carefully orchestrated chess game.

On June 7th, two days after the war had started, the JRC staff began to look at the safety of the Liberty and an order was sent out at 6:30 p.m. EST to the Liberty that it was to pull back from the position of 12.5 nautical miles from the Egyptian coast line to 20 miles. This message was never received because someone at the Pentagon “made an error” and the message was never sent.

Around one hour later the JRC issued a new command for the Liberty pull back 100 miles from the Egyptian coast. Major Breedlove used a secure phone line from the JRC because time was of essence and called Navy officials in Europe to immediately send this order to the captain of the Liberty. A low ranking Navy captain refused to send the order until he had it confirmed. When it eventually was sent, the order was misrouted to a Navy installation in Hawaii and delayed 16.5 hours. In doing so, someone high up within the chain of command made sure that the Liberty would be placed in harm’s way and sacrificed.

THE ATTACK BEGINS

On June 8th as the sun rose over the Mediterranean Sea, the crew on the USS Liberty noticed a C-119 flying box car (manufactured in the U.S.) from the Israeli Air Force fly over the ship and make several circles around it. The aircraft then turned and flew east toward Israel. Since the Liberty was an advanced electronic surveillance ship the NSA crew picked up the aircraft on their monitors. Then another Israeli reconnaissance showed up about 45 minutes later at 6:30 A.M., flying at an altitude of 4,000 feet. The NSA 130 Hercules in the air and the NSA personnel on the Liberty picked up the radio conversation between the Israeli aircraft and its command center in Israel: The communications officer on the Israeli air craft reported that he could see the letters on the side of the ship and that they were “GTR-5,” which stood for “General Technical Research,” which was a cover for the NSA fleet of spy ships. 

A few hours later an Israeli Air Force Noratlas Nord 2501 flying at an altitude of around 120 feet circled the Liberty. The aircraft was clearly marked with the Star of David and by now the Israeli had clearly identified the Liberty with the American flag on the ship.

Shortly before 2 p.m., a group of Dassault Mirage IIIC (French built fighter jet) with no markings on them started to attack the Liberty. The only nation in the war zone who had these aircraft was the Israeli Air force. As the American gunners tried to man the four 50mm machine guns, they were blown to pieces and the ship lost all its defenses.

Radio operators on the Liberty began to call for help and informed the ships in the American Sixth Fleet that they were being attacked by unmarked fighter jets. In the meantime the Mirage jets kept strafing the ship until all the antennas had been destroyed and even though strong radio jamming was aimed at the ship by Israeli forces, a signal got through to the American fleet.

The NSA Hercules circling above heard the Israeli pilots report with joy that “the ship is burning, oil is leaking into the water.”

At 2:09 P.M. the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga acknowledged Liberty’s cry for help. After five minutes and no response from the Saratoga, the radio operator on Liberty again asked for help, and was told that he must use an authorization code before help could be sent. At this time, the ship was so badly damaged that the operator could not find the code book.

The Mirage jets emptied their ammunition and were running low on fuel were replaced by Super Mystere fighters that first raked the ship with its cannons, rockets and machine guns, then dropped 1,000 lb bombs. Then they dropped napalm bombs on the ship. When the ship was later surveyed, it had 821 hits on its hull and superstructure.

When this second attack was over, the Liberty was burning and most of its 200 plus crew were either dead or wounded. It was a miracle that the ship was still afloat and the surviving sailors tried to put out the fires.

At 2:24 p.m., three Israeli torpedo boats started to attack the Liberty. They were equipped with 40 mm and 20 mm cannons and two torpedoes. The Liberty was floating helpless in the water as they lined up like a firing line and started to shoot with their cannons. As the original American flag had been destroyed, Captain McGonagle quickly ordered another American flag hoisted to show the Israelis they were attacking an American navy ship. The American crew did not know that the Israelis were already aware that they were sinking an American ship and that this had been sanctioned by President Johnson. Next came a torpedo attack and a giant 44 foot hole was blown in the middle of the Liberty but the ship still didn’t sink because the crew had closed all hatches and isolated the area that filled with water. Since the crew didn’t know if the ship was going to sink, they began to launch life rafts which came under immediate fire from the Israeli torpedo boats. All the life rafts were shot to pieces including the ones still hanging intact on the ship. The surviving crew members must have realized by this time that the attackers wanted no survivors and they were all going to die.

HELP DENIED

At 2:50 p.m., fifty minutes after the Israelis had started to attack the Liberty, orders were given to the USS America to launch four A-4 Skyhawks and the USS Saratoga also launched four A-1 attack fighters to defend the Liberty. A radio message was sent to the Liberty, “Sending aircraft to cover you and surface ships on the way.”

At 3:p.m. the message reached the NSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. that Liberty was under attack; eleven minutes later the news arrived at the war room in the Pentagon and the duty officer was told that the Liberty had been attacked by unknown fighter jets. And after another eleven minutes President Johnson was informed about the attack. Instead of ordering all American forces to come to the aid of the Liberty, discussions followed with different top officials and advisors.

Military aids informed the president that the attack had been made by Israel and that the Israeli Defense Force Headquarters in Tel Aviv had called in the U.S. Naval attaché and informed him that Israeli fighter jets and ships had attacked the Liberty by mistake and they were very sorry about it.

At 5:29 p.m. Mediterranean time, President Johnson gave the order to recall all American war planes from aiding the USS Liberty. Johnson had no regard for the surviving American seamen on the burning ship; he wanted no witnesses and was very angry that the Israelis had not been able to do the job properly and quickly sink the ship before the attack became known in regular American military circles.

Rear Admiral Lawrence R. Geis, the American commander of the Sixth fleet was very angry and sent a protest message to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. The admiral didn’t know that it was President Johnson who had given the treasonous orders. What can an admiral do when the commander-in-chief is a traitor?

A MIRACLE

The Israeli forces retreated once their cover had been blown and a lone Soviet warship showed up near the Liberty. The ship was listing to starboard, 32 of its crew members were dead and 171 were wounded. Commander McGonagle stayed on the bridge even though he was wounded and slowly guided the ship out of the war zone toward Crete.

Two American destroyers intercepted the Liberty sixteen and a half hours after the attack had begun. Helicopters were used to pick up the more seriously wounded and fly them to the USS America and from there they were flown by airplane to Athens, Greece and then to the naval hospital in Naples, Italy.

The NSA was concerned that secret documents might leak out from the ship and so the destroyers were told to make sure that Soviet ships trailing the Liberty were not able to pick up any floating debris.

Four days later on June 14th, the USS Liberty arrived at the island of Malta.  President Johnson had ordered a total news blackout and the surviving crew members were told that they would be put in prison without trial and left there until they died if they spoke to anyone about what had transpired. Crewmembers could not tell their families what had happened but they weren’t even allowed to discuss it among themselves. However, after some time, crewmembers began to speak about the attack and the American people began to find out what had taken place. There are survivors alive 42 years after this attack on the Liberty and they are still talking and demanding justice. The Internet is full of information and eyewitness accounts from the sailors who survived this attack.

As an American adult, I was alive when this attack in 1967 occurred but very little information was given to us by the news media. This event in history shows us yet again that we cannot trust our own government or the military. They will lie and deceive, and if they perceive that truth might come out, they will kill us. American presidents, senators and congressmen have lied in the past, are currently lying and will continue to lie in the future. All this is done in the name of national security, which should be called by its real name, their security to stay in office and live a lavish lifestyle.

Remember, if you do not know that something exists, you are not going to look for it. When I bring up these events in history, you know this happened and can search for it on the Internet and find out that what I have told you is truth. Are you afraid of the truth or are you a truth seeker?

The content of the story of the USS Liberty has come from my memories, reading The Spotlight newspaper many years ago, documents printed from the Internet and verification from the book, “Body of Secrets.”[1] 

TOO LITTLE – TOO LATE

The government of Israel initially declared they would not compensate any of the American victims on the USS Liberty. The surviving crew members and the families of those who died started negotiations and hired private attorneys to negotiate with attorneys representing the State of Israel. Instead of the State Department telling the Israelis to pay up, the American government abandoned the crew with its failed cover up. About a year after the attack, the Israeli government compensated each family who had lost a loved one with $100,000. A year later each surviving crew member received a settlement of $20,000, which mostly went to pay attorney fees.

The USS Liberty cost the United States some $31 million to convert a WWII freighter to an electronic surveillance ship. The Navy put in a request for $7.6 million from the Israeli government to reimburse its loss and for the next 13 years the Israeli government stalled and refused to pay. The interest alone had accumulated to $10 million. In December of 1980, as Jimmy Carter (right) was on his last leg as president with just a few weeks to go, Israeli ambassador Ephraim Evron suggested that if the U.S. was willing to drop all interest payments and settle for $6 million, Israel would accept the deal and the case would be closed. President Carter with less than 25 days left in office accepted the offer; it was another shameful act committed by an American president.

What the average American doesn’t know is that since the Israelis attacked the USS Liberty in 1967, Israel has received more than $100 billion in free aid from the United States courtesy of the American taxpayers. Every year the United States gives billions of dollars to prop up the nation of Israel which cannot financially exist without American support.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SHIP?

The island of Malta used to have a large British navy installation, and when the USS Liberty arrived at Malta, it was put into a dry dock. All classified equipment was removed and sent back to the U.S. and the ship sailed by its own power to the U.S. Navy Base in Norfolk, Virginia after temporary repairs. The NSA tried to get $10.2 million from the Pentagon to refurbish the ship, but the request was turned down. The ship was decommissioned on June 28, 1968 and in 1973 the ship was sold for scrap and cut up at the Baltimore Curtis Bay Shipyard.


 


[1] BODY OF SECRETS: ANATOMY OF THE ULTRA-SECRET NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, James Bamford, 2002, pp.185-239

 

 

Volume 16, 2010