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Letter to Knight Ridder on Israel's USS Liberty Attack

Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

Press Release
Contact: Toby Heaps, 202-441-6795, toby@votenader.org

Nader Submits Letter to Knight Ridder News Service to Clarify His Position Regarding Israel’s 1967 Assault on the USS Liberty:

Dear Sir,

Jim Siegel’s October 31 Knight Ridder story, "Nader puts spotlight on 1967 ‘cover-up,’" fails to note some important facts that are pertinent to why it is important for Senator McCain to shed some light on Israel’s unanswered attack against the USS Liberty.

During the Israel-Egypt War in 1967, Israeli planes, helicopters and torpedo boats attacked in multiple waves a defenseless US Naval communications ship clearly marked and identified as such. The attack killed 34 American sailors and wounded more than 170 men. They did this while President Lyndon Johnson was airlifting military supplies to the Israelis.

The assumption is that the Israelis were concerned that the USS Liberty was intercepting military signals from Israeli command pertaining to the Israel-Egypt War.

Admiral Thomas Hinman Moorer (former Chief of Naval Operations) believed that the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was deliberate and that President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the cover-up to maintain ties with Israel.

A sample of others* who believed the attack was deliberate (as cataloged by http://www.gtr5.com/ — a site maintained by survivors from the USS Liberty) include: former US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, former CIA Director Richard Helms, and NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby.

Senator McCain’s much avowed sense of honor, duty and loyalty to the armed forces of our country would seem to merit a reevaluation of his position that the attack was just an accident that befell the US Navy.

Submitted for publication

For verification: Toby Heaps, 202-441-6795

*Statements on the cover up of Israel’s bombing of the USS Liberty:

"I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation… Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous"

-US Secretary of State Dean Rusk

"…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty."

-CIA Director Richard Helms

"I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship."

-NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby

For further elaboration on this topic, please see the below web site maintained by survivors of the attacked USS Liberty