Remembering the USS Liberty: Four Decades Later
by William Hughes via rialator Saturday, Jun 9 2007, 12:55pm
[Ed. EVERYONE is expendable; the forces that control Washington and most of the world have no national allegiances, these organisations use nationalism and tribalism to achieve their ends, however, it should be clearly understood that these Transnational organisations have only one allegiance, PROFIT -- regardless of the cost in human lives!
The puppet Bush regime is the result of a devolution that started a long time ago; everyone is urged to investigate the USS Liberty and the Gulf of Tonkin 'incidents'. Know the nature of the beast and you will understand the nature of the game.]
USS Liberty remembered
On June 8, 1967, the Israelis attacked the USS Liberty killing 34 Americans. They insist it was an “accident.” Lt. James M. Ennes, Jr., a Liberty veteran and an author, said it was “deliberate.” A book, “Operation Cyanide,” claims the attack was a set up to blame the Egyptians and bring the U.S. into the 1967 Six Day War on the side of Israel. Will the U.S. Congress do the Liberty justice? Lt. Ennes doubts it, but he adds: “We can’t stop asking for it.”
“Anybody who couldn’t identify the [USS] Liberty could not tell the difference between the White House and the Washington Monument!” - The late Admiral Thomas Moorer
Arlington, VA - On a beautiful, but very humid morning, Friday, June 8, 2007, I joined about two hundred others at the National Cemetery, located here, on the south side of the Potomac River, opposite Washington, D.C. My invitation card read: “No Greater Love: The 40th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony: Honoring the 34 Americans killed on the USS Liberty.” (1) The proceedings began at 12 noon sharp, with a prayer given by U.S. Navy chaplain, Rev. Ray Houk. There was a presentation of colors, tributes, a roll call of remembrance, a wreath-laying ceremony, musical selections and the playing of taps. One of the keynote speakers was Stan White, the former Senior Chief Petty Officer on the Liberty (AGTR-5) on the fateful day in question. By the time he got done making his very touching remarks, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.
Background: On a clear afternoon, June 8, 1967, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombarded the Liberty, in international waters, 13 miles off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula, and tried to sink it and kill all 294 American on board the spy ship. They did so after several hours of close reconnaissance of the vessel. The Israelis have falsely claimed it was all just a “accident,” since they thought they were attacking an Egyptian vessel. This is the same phony “accident” line that they used after they ran over Peace and Justice activist Rachel Corrie, in Rafah, Occupied Gaza, with a 9-ton bulldozer. Few, if anyone buys their utter nonsense.
After the one hour ceremony, I rode with Lt. James Marquis Ennes, Jr. over to the luncheon sponsored by the USS Liberty Veterans Association, at the Officers Club, at Fort Myer, VA. It was only a short car ride away. Mrs. Pat-Blue Roushakes, whose husband, Allen M. Blue, was killed on the Liberty, was the driver. Mr. Blue was a civilian technician. He died, along with 24 crew members, when the first, ultra-deadly, Israeli torpedo struck the vessel. Lt. Ennes was also serving on the Liberty the day of the Israelis’ malicious strike. He was on the bridge of the vessel. His book, “Assault on the Liberty,” is a compelling eyewitness account of what really happened on June 8, 1967. It is in its 12th printing. I asked him after lunch, how he had felt during the ceremony earlier that morning: He answered: “The thoughts that always come back to me time and time again is that this ‘thing’ is still being covered-up after forty years. We know without doubt from the circumstances that it was a ‘deliberate’ attack. Anyone who looks carefully at the details knows that it was ‘deliberate’ and that includes such people as Dean Rusk, the Secretary of State, and all of the heads of all of the Intelligence organizations. But, the word that gets out is that we that we are still told...falsely...that there were 15 investigations...That claim is...absolutely totally false.”
Thanks to Peter Hounam’s expose, “Operation Cyanide,” more light has recently been shed on the Liberty controversy. The author, a veteran investigative reporter, believes the murderous Israeli attack was a set up to blame the Egyptians and to bring the U.S. into the 1967 Six Day War on their side. The Liberty was an easy target for the Israeli jet planes, which were loaded with rockets, napalm and machine guns, too. Couple that with the repeated attacks on the vessel by their death-dealing motor torpedo boats. The bloodbath, a War Crime, by any fair standard, lasted for over 75 lethal minutes, killing 34 brave Americans and seriously wounding 174 others. (2)
Question: Why didn’t the U.S. retaliate against the Israelis? According to Hounam, the White House knew within minutes of the Liberty attack, that the perpetrator was really Israel (p. 94). On two separate occasions, the White House recalled aircraft rescue missions for the Liberty. On the last attempt, President Lyndon B. Johnson told Rear-Admiral Lawrence Geis of the Sixth Fleet, “I WILL NOT EMBARRASS OUR ALLY.” The Liberty was then left “dead in the water,” without any assistance for over 16 hours. (3) At pp. 267-268, Hounam said: “Sinking the Liberty and blaming Egypt and the Soviets would have freed Johnson’s hand to do almost anything--even to drop an atomic bomb on Cairo. Trouble only arose when the Israel operation failed and the...ship stayed afloat.” From the beginning, a cover-up of what really happened to the Liberty was put in place at the highest level of government. One of the men who is alleged to have played a role in that cover-up was none other than the father of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)--the late Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. (4) Sen. McCain, like others in the mostly cowardly U.S. Congress, has refused to champion a full and public Congressional inquiry into the Liberty affair.
Hounam also disclosed some inside stuff on the “303 Committee.” It was working on a project called, “Frontlet 615.” It was later described as: “A secret political agreement in 1966, by which Israel and the U.S. had vowed to destroy [Egypt’s Gamal Abdel] Nasser.” The military name for the operation was, “Operation Cyanide.” At the time all of this was going down, LBJ’s popularity was hitting rock bottom because of the quagmire that was the Vietnam War. One of his closet advisors was a Zionist zealot, Walter W. Rostow, his then-Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Here is how Hounam described the Neocon-like Rostow: “A sinister, Svengali-like figure, or simply the biggest and best fixer? He was crucial in determining [for LBJ] which way the U.S. might respond to the threatened hostilities in the Middle East...Rostow was a hawk who believed in...the Vietnam War and... his Zionism was strongly felt and expressed...(He) had daily contact with the President.” Shades of Paul Wolfowitz and other Neocons, who helped to drive the U.S. into the Iraqi War. (5)
For the sake of speculation, just imagine this scenario: The U.S. President on June 8, 1967 was a patriot in the tradition of “Old Hickory,” Andrew Jackson. Instead of recalling our aircraft that were on their way to rescue the Liberty, he (or she) orders them to continue on their mission, not only to defend the vessel and to stop the massacre, but to retaliate against the Zionist thugs by bombing their naval base at the port of Ashdod, their military headquarters at Tel Aviv and Haifa, and for good measure, dropping a few MX missiles on Dimona, their then-secret Nuke-making facility, located in the Negev desert. If, only?
One Liberty veteran, who asked me not to use his name in my story, told me he was below deck on the day of the mass killings by the Israelis. He said: “When it was announced [on the intercom] to ‘stand ready to receive a torpedo,’ I chalked myself off. My whole life quickly passed before me. I thought for sure I was going to die. When the torpedo did hit, I thought it was going to sink the ship, it listed so badly.” He added, after pausing, “I loved that ship!”
Getting back to Lt. Ennes. He was the first member of the crew to spot the Israeli planes. He wrote at p. 60: “I pointed to a single delta-wing Mirage jet about 45 degrees above the water, paralleling our course in that pattern that had become routine.” Lt. Ennes, at p. 62, then recalled his injuries as a result of being hit by the first Israeli air strike: “My khaki uniform was bright red now from the two dozen rocket fragments buried in my flesh. My left leg broken above the knee, hung from my hip like a great beanbag. The taste of blood was strong in my mouth as I tested my good leg. Was I badly hurt?” Suffice to say, Lt. Ennes did recover from his physical injuries. But, there are other kinds of wounds, that one never recovers from, but can only live with. Knowing that your government abandoned you in your time of desperate need is surely one such severe psyche wound. What LBJ did to the men of the Liberty is a stain on our Republic!
Finally, as to whether the U.S. Congress will ever do anything to bring justice to the cause of the Liberty, Lt. Ennes answered: “I don’t really see that happening. But, we can’t stop asking for it.”
One of the 34 murdered victims on the USS Liberty was Petty Officer William B. Allenbaugh, a native of my home town, Baltimore, MD, and also a graduate of Calvert Hall H.S., my alma mater. Petty Officer Allenbaugh left behind a wife and two very young children: a daughter, Patricia; and a son William. I was pleased to meet his son, William B. Allenbaugh, Jr., and his family at the ceremony. His poem about his hero dad can be found here:
2. http://webzoom.freewebs.com/gidusko/Lva_press_release.pdf and http://www.freewebs.com/gidusko/report.htm
Keep in mind, that Israel has also been charged with War Crimes by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for their outrageous conduct in 2006, in Occupied Gaza and the West Bank, and in Lebanon, too. The result: Nothing! It’s like the state of Israel is completely immune to the Laws on the Planet Earth! See:
http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13767/index.php3. Check out an excellent documentary, “Dead in the Water,” on the USS Liberty, by the BBC. It’s available on DVD, at: http://members.aol.com/gidusko/flyer.gif
© William Hughes 2007.
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Lies and outrages... would you believe it?
by Robert Fisk via rialator - The Independent Saturday, Jun 9 2007, 2:56pm
When I was a schoolboy, I loved a column which regularly appeared in British papers called "Ripley's Believe It or Not!". In a single rectangular box filled with naively drawn illustrations, Ripley - Bob Ripley - would try to astonish his readers with amazing facts:
"Believe It or Not, in California, an entire museum is dedicated to candy dispensers ... Believe It or Not, a County Kerry man possesses an orange that is 25 years old ... Believe It or Not, a weather researcher had his ashes scattered on the eve of Hurricane Danielle 400 miles off the coast of Miama, Florida." Etc, etc, etc.
Incredibly, Ripley's column lives on, and there is even a collection of "Ripley Believe It or Not" museums in the United States.
The problem, of course, is that these are all extraordinary facts which will not offend anyone. There are no suicide bombers in Ripley, no Israeli air strikes ("Believe It or Not, 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon"), no major casualty tolls ("Believe It or Not, up to 650,000 Iraqis died in the four years following the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq"). See what I mean? Just a bit too close to the bone (or bones).
But I was reminded of dear old Ripley when I was prowling through the articles marking the anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Memoirs there have been aplenty, but I think only the French press - in the shape of Le Monde Diplomatique - was prepared to confront a bit of "Believe It or Not".
It recalled vividly - and shamefully - how the world's newspapers covered the story of Egypt's "aggression" against Israel. In reality - Believe It or Not - it was Israel which attacked Egypt after Nasser closed the straits of Tiran and ordered UN troops out of Sinai and Gaza following his vituperative threats to destroy Israel. "The Egyptians attack Israel," France-Soir told its readers on 5 June 1967, a whopper so big that it later amended its headline to "It's Middle East War!".
Quite so. Next day, the socialist Le Populaire headlined its story "Attacked on all sides, Israel resists victoriously". On the same day, Le Figaro carried an article announcing that "the victory of the army of David is one of the greatest of all time". Believe It or Not, the Second World War - which might be counted one of the greatest of all time, had ended only 22 years earlier.
Johnny Hallyday, France's undie-able pop star, sang for 50,000 French supporters of Israel - for whom solidarity was expressed in the French press by Serge Gainsbourg, Juliette Gréco, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterand. Believe It or Not - and you can believe it - Mitterand once received the coveted Francisque medal from Pétain's Vichy collaborationists.
Only the president of France, General de Gaulle, moved into political isolation by telling a press conference several months later that Israel "is organising, on the territories which it has taken, an occupation which cannot work without oppression, repression and expulsions - and if there appears resistance to this, it will in turn be called 'terrorism'". This accurate prophecy earned reproof from the Nouvel Observateur - to the effect that "Gaullist France has no friends; it has only interests". And Believe It or Not, with the exception of one small Christian paper, there was in the entire French press one missing word: Palestinians.
I owe it to the academic Anicet Mobé Fansiama to remind me this week that - Believe It or Not - Congolese troops from Belgium's immensely wealthy African colony scored enormous victories over Italian troops in Africa during the Second World War, capturing 15,000 prisoners, including nine generals. Called "the Public Force" - a name which happily excluded the fact that these heroes were black Congolese - the army mobilised 13,000 soldiers and civilians to fight Vichy French colonies in Africa and deployed in the Middle East - where they were positioned to defend Palestine - as well as in Somalia, Madagascar, India and Burma.
Vast numbers of British and American troops passed through the Congo as its wealth was transferred to the war chests of the United States and Britain.
A US base was built at Kinshasa to move oil to Allied troops fighting in the Middle East.
But - Believe It or Not - when Congolese trade unions, whose members were requisitioned to perform hard labour inside Belgium's colony by carrying agricultural and industrial goods and military equipment, often on their backs, demanded higher salaries, the Belgian authorities confronted their demonstrations with rifle fire, shooting down 50 of their men.
At least 3,000 political prisoners were deported for hard labour to a remote district of Congo. Thus were those who gave their blood for Allied victory repaid. Or rather not repaid. The four billion Belgian francs which was owed back to the Congo - about £500m in today's money - was never handed over. Believe It or Not.
So let's relax and return to Ripley reality. "Believe It or Not, Russell Parsons of Hurricane, West Virginia, has his funeral and cremation instructions tattooed on his arm! ... Believe It or Not, in April 2007 (yes, these are new Ripleys) a group of animal lovers paid nearly $3,400 to buy 300 lobsters from a Maine fish market - then set them free back into the ocean! ... Believe It or Not, in a hospital waiting room, 70 per cent of people suffer from broken bones, 75 per cent are fatigued, 80 per cent have fevers. What percentage of people must have all four ailments?" Believe It or Not, I don't know. And oh yes, "Geta, Emperor of Rome AD189-212, insisted upon alternative meals. A typical menu: partridge (perdix), peacock (pavo), leek (porrum), beans (phaseoli), peach (persica), plum (pruna) and melon (pepone)."
I guess after that, you just have to throw up.
© 2007 Independent News and Media Limited
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