I am one of the Americans waiting in Athens for the Freedom Flotilla
to get underway in our effort to deliver humanitarian supplies to the
people of Gaza. I was also on the Flotilla last year and was aboard
the USS Liberty when the ship was attacked by Israel on June 8, 1967.
A few years ago at my request you issued a proclamation honoring the
crew of the USS Liberty.
When I submitted the request I ensured you were aware of the
atrocities that were committed against us. I made sure you were
aware that we were attacked by unmarked aircraft; that our radios were
jammed on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress
frequencies; that our life rafts were deliberately machine gunned in
the water by the attacking Israeli torpedo boats; that when they
ceased their attack the Israeli torpedo boats departed the scene for
over an hour leaving the crew of a torpedoed and sinking ship with no
chance of survival had our ship gone down.
I also ensured you were aware that two flights of rescue aircraft that
had been launched from nearby Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers were
recalled while we were still under attack and calling for help which
allowed the Israelis to continue their attack unhampered by the threat
of Sixth Fleet intervention.
I understand that you have urged U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to
take legal steps to stop the Americans from taking part in the Freedom
Flotilla or to prosecute us if we make the attempt.
When you issued the USS Liberty proclamation you expressed absolutely
no concern that we were attacked by unmarked aircraft; that our radios
were jammed on both US Navy tactical and international maritime
distress frequencies; that our life rafts were deliberately machine
gunned in the water; and, that we were ordered to be abandoned by the
US Sixth Fleet while we were still under attack and calling for help.
When you issued the USS Liberty proclamation you didn’t follow it with
any press release condemning the barbaric acts that were committed
Governor Perry, why are you recommending prosecution of the Americans
trying to deliver humanitarian supplies but not of those who machine
gunned our life rafts in the water or ordered us to be abandoned while
we were under fire?
Governor Perry, why does the attempted delivery of humanitarian
supplies to Gaza elicit your condemnation but the deliberate machine
gunning of American life rafts in the water doesn’t elicit even a
modicum of concern?
Joe Meadors is a veteran and survivor of the USS Liberty attack in 1967. He plans to participate in Free Palestine Movement’s delegation of US citizens as part of the Freedom Flotilla II, set to depart to Gaza in coming days.