The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

USS Liberty demo

The Arab American News:

Washington — Americans will gather in Washington on June 8th at 4:00 p.m. at the Navy Memorial Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue to honor U.S.S. Liberty veterans on the 40th anniversary of Israel's unprovoked attack on their ship.

The American intelligence ship sustained 70 percent casualties but remained afloat due to the heroic actions of its crew after Israel's two-hour attack. Thirty-four sailors and marines were killed and 172 wounded in the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II.

According to the Department of the Navy, the only official American government investigation of the event was a 1967 Navy Court of Inquiry that found the attack to be a case of "mistaken identity." That hastily conducted investigation has since been discredited by its chief attorney, Captain Ward Boston, as a cover-up ordered by the Johnson White House.

"It was a political thing. We were ordered to 'put a lid on it.' The facts were clear. Israel knew it was an American ship and tried to sink it and murder the entire crew. The outrageous claims by Israel's apologists who continue to claim the attack was a mistake pushed me to speak out. The official record is not the one I certified," said Boston, a former FBI agent. "My initials are not on it."

According to senior naval officers, Johnson personally ordered the Navy to recall its aircraft and cancel its rescue mission while the Liberty was still under attack by Israeli forces before ordering the cover-up (