June 8th 1967 Israel launched an unprovoked attack on an American Naval ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 US seamen and injuring 174. Today is the 50th anniversary of that attack, a fact not one corporate media outlet will bring to the attention of the American people.

It was “one of the classic all-American cover-ups,” said retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who spent a year investigating the attack as part of an independent panel he formed with other former military officials.

Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities.

"I'm angry! I'm seething with anger! Forty years, and I'm seething with anger!"

Lockwood was aboard the USS Liberty, a super-secret spy ship on station in the eastern Mediterranean, when four Israeli fighter jets flew out of the afternoon sun to strafe and bomb the virtually defenseless vessel on June 8, 1967, the fourth day of what would become known as the Six-Day War.

Aircraft on the horizon

Beginning before dawn on June 8, Israeli aircraft regularly appeared on the horizon and circled the Liberty.

The Israeli Air Force had gained control of the skies on the first day of the war by destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground. America was Israel's ally, and the Israelis knew the Americans were there. The ship's mission was to monitor the communications of Israel's Arab enemies and their Soviet advisers, but not Israeli communications. The Liberty felt safe.

Then the jets started shooting at the officers and enlisted men stretched out on the deck for a lunch-hour sun bath. Theodore Arfsten, a quartermaster, remembered watching a Jewish officer cry when he saw the blue Star of David on the planes' fuselages. At first, crew members below decks had no idea whose planes were shooting at their ship.

Thirty-four died that day, including Blue, the only civilian casualty. An additional 174 were wounded in the air and sea assault by Israel, which was about to celebrate an overwhelming victory over the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and several other Arab states.

For most of those who survived the attack, the Six-Day War has become the defining moment of their lives.

Some mustered out of the Navy as soon as their enlistments were up. Others stayed in long enough to retire. Several went on to successful business careers. One became a Secret Service agent, another a Baltimore policeman.

Several are being treated with therapy and drugs for what has since been recognized as post-traumatic stress disorder. One has undergone more than 30 major operations. Another suffers seizures caused by a piece of shrapnel still lodged in his brain.

After Bryce Lockwood left the Marines, he worked construction, then tried selling insurance. "I'd get a job and get fired," he said. "I had a hell of a time getting my feet on the ground."

With his linguistic background, Lockwood could have had a career with the NSA, the CIA, or the FBI. But he was too angry at the U.S. government to work for it. "Don't talk to me about government!" he shouts.

U.S. Navy jets were called back

An Israeli military court of inquiry later acknowledged that their naval headquarters knew at least three hours before the attack that the odd-looking ship 13 miles off the Sinai Peninsula, sprouting more than 40 antennas capable of receiving every kind of radio transmission, was "an electromagnetic audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy," a floating electronic vacuum cleaner.

The Israeli inquiry later concluded that that information had simply gotten lost, never passed along to the ground controllers who directed the air attack nor to the crews of the three Israeli torpedo boats who picked up where the air force left off, strafing the Liberty's decks with their machine guns and launching a torpedo that blew a 39-foot hole in its starboard side.

To a man, the survivors interviewed by the ChicagoTribune rejected Israel's explanation.


50 years ago TODAY Israel ATTACKED  American NAVAL Ship KILLING and Injuring 208 Americans


PatriceBaylor's picture
PatriceBaylor 43 weeks 5 days ago

I am glad that we remember those, who died in that terrible day. I agree with you that we must pay tribute to those sailors who have suffered through this shameful attack. I must write a rrview for my ultius blog in honor of these courageous people.

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 43 weeks 5 days ago

Thanks, zapdam, for remembering. For more on the infamous incident go here:


The very last on the list is a documentary film, worth anyone's time.

zapdam.'s picture
zapdam. 43 weeks 3 days ago

PatriceBaylor , thank you for being aware and remembering and Alberto as always a big thumbs up and thanks for the link.

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 43 weeks 3 hours ago



USS Liberty Survivors Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Israeli Attack

Despite ample evidence that Israel intentionally attacked the clearly marked U.S. ship in international waters during the 1967 Six-Day War, officials in Washington and Tel Aviv insist the attack was a mistake. Following the attack, President Lyndon Johnson oversaw a cover-up of the affair, ordering the Naval Court of Inquiry to conduct a sham investigation intended to absolve Israel of guilt. The president also ordered the Liberty crew to never speak of the incident publicly. Congress has also refused to conduct an official investigation into the attack.

As Liberty survivors convened for their annual commemoration this year, there was a palpable sense of frustration and despair. Ordinary Americans who loyally served their nation feel betrayed by their government.


Whatever Israel wants, Israel gets.

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 43 weeks 3 hours ago



134 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 2,160 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

Starting in 2019, the U.S. will give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years – $3.8 billion per year, which is $10.41 million per day. Read more


And more here:


rs allen 41 weeks 3 hours ago

Nelson Mandela quote,

"Palestine is the greatest moral issue of our time."

'Why Palestine still matters' from Counterpunch,


It can not be said too many times, any moral person must support the BDS movement.


rs allen 40 weeks 6 days ago

News from Israel via Counterpunch.


And Amerika supports this shit.

ronsears 40 weeks 4 days ago

It important to ask the question why Israel ordered this strike of the USS Liberty.

The story I have heard from past reading and Navy vets is Israel did not want any outside power, including their US allies, to have formal records of what they were actually doing at the end of the Six-Day War. It is very unlikely there was some "fog of war" problem here. This attack seems clearly intentional with orders coming from very far up in the Israel command. Given the political dangers it presented to US-Israel relations, logically there must be a significant state secret lurking somewhere behind all of this.

If we want to honor the memory of all the lost and injured, we need to keep asking the question why.

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