Breaking report: US/Israel military drill cancelled, after US tells Israel to back off

Israel/Palestine
on 144 Comments
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US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey

Huge news.   Israel Hayom (Sheldon Aldeson’s Israeli newspaper) has just reported that the military drill with Israel entailing the deployment of thousands of American troops this spring has suddenly been canceled.

Israel Hayom based its report on an Israeli Radio report this afternoon:

Set for May, “Austere Challenge 12″ was supposed to be the largest drill ever held between the two countries • U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to arrive in Israel later this week to receive assurances from Israel that it won’t strike Iran.

The cancellation– if true– has huge political significance. It would be the culmination of a war of words between Israeli officials and US officials in recent days. Two days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US had warned Israel to back off in its actions and rhetoric re Iran.

Following the Wall Street Journal report,  the Jerusalem Post  republished an announcement first made in December  regarding the deployment of thousands of US troops in a military exercise in Israel next spring although, it has now been edited to read “later this year”. The announcement of the deployment was hardly covered in the US media.

 Israel Hayom:

A large joint U.S.-Israeli military drill, scheduled to take place in the coming months, has been cancelled due to budgetary constraints, Israel Radio reported on Sunday afternoon.

It was unclear from the Israel Radio report which side cancelled the drill. The radio report said that the drill would likely be held toward the end of the year.

Set to take place in May, the drill called “Austere Challenge 12″ was supposed to be the largest ever held between the two countries, and was designed to improve defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli military forces. Just on January 6th the IDF spokesperson, commenting on the future joint drill with the U.S., said thousands of U.S. and Israeli soldiers from different units would take part. He said the drill would test multiple Israeli and U.S. air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets. Israel has deployed the “Arrow” system, jointly developed with, and funded by the U.S., designed to intercept Iranian missiles in the stratosphere, far from Israeli airspace.

UPDATE:

Jerusalem Post now reporting “officials cite technical, logistical issues” as the reason the drill was cancelled. Claiming both “Israel and the US canceled a missile defense drill”.

The parties were scheduled to simulate missile defense scenarios with the objective of creating a high level of interoperability so that, if needed, US missile defense systems would be able to work with Israeli systems during a conflict.

Officials refused to elaborate on the reasons behind talks to postpone or cancel the drill, but said they were mostly “technical and logistical.”

Talks about postponing the drill took the Americans, as well as the Israeli Air Defense division, responsible for missile defense, by surprise. Just last Thursday, top IAF officers had said that the drill was scheduled for this spring.

This year’s drill was expected to be unique in its size and scope and also mark the first time that commander of the US European Command, Adm. James Stavridis, would participate in the simulations. In the event of war, the EUCOM commander will be responsible for approving Israeli requests to deploy US missile defense systems in Israel.
 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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144 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    January 15, 2012, 1:45 pm

    I wonder if the Israeli’s cancelled it. Barry and the O’s were planning on running on this – highlighting this type of military integration in its pitch to jewish americans, I wonder if Bibi isn’t messing with him – taking away one of his campaign angles.

    Paranoia must also play a part, I could see the Israeli’s not wanting US troops snooping around….either way, an interesting development…

    • Annie Robbins
      January 15, 2012, 1:47 pm

      no way, jpost was humping this just hrs ago and it hadn’t even been announced in the us press yet. this is the US pushing back.

      • American
        January 15, 2012, 2:12 pm

        no way- is right.
        Israel didn’t cancel this, the US did…..nothing Israelis like more than being able to parade around the US military as being’ one and the same’ with Israel…or even the US military ‘as part of Israel’.
        No way did Israel cancel this one.
        This was a message to Israel…from either Obama …or from the US Military.
        As in the US Military “telling Obama” there were some technical issues that made this drill impractical right now.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 2:32 pm

        american, i saw this yesterday right after it was published and it was framed so much differently.
        link to mondoweiss.net

        i was astounded at the time they would respond to the WSJ article by republishing news of the deployment, especially since the US msm had hardly even reported it at all. and i swear the article had much more bragging vibe to it. i didn’t even save the headline, just the byline.

        yesterday am when i was scouring for news i first ran into the iran accuses cia news and it was released by jpost first. jpost has changed their text i think.

        note my comment hmmm war rhetoric, steppin it up. they were more specific about the date. may,

        i don’t see anything about may in there any more.

      • American
        January 15, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Yep I saw your comment yesterday……the rhetoric is flying these days…and subject to change every day…lol

      • CloakAndDagger
        January 15, 2012, 3:13 pm

        The scuttlebutt is that the military brass is openly revolting. Seems they have been pushed as far as even they will go…

      • peeesss
        January 15, 2012, 8:38 pm

        American. if this was a “message” , why even go there. Sending thousands of troops and then cancelling.? To send a message. Just don’t send the troops . c’mon.

      • MLE
        January 16, 2012, 2:22 am

        I think it’s really about the events this past week. The Iranian scientist plus the Foreign Policy piece. It’s just too much.

        I don’t think the US is really going to start changing its stance on Iran, or it’s relationship with Israel, but had they gone through with the doing the military excercise, then it’s another provocation Iran can add to the list of: Evidence that the United States and Israel want to go to war with us. The United States really does not want this war. Nobody can say that besides Ron Paul, because they are all chasing AIPAC dollars and votes, so the Republican candidates will bluster on about how Obama is weak on Iran, while Obama keeps his finger in the dike hoping that he doesn’t have to change his policy of “seriously concerned about the Iranian situation” until Novemeber. The Likud government in Israel knows this is what he’s doing so they’re going to keep up the pressure and hope that a crisis with Israel and Iran will lead to Obama’s defeat.

        I don’t have a lot of hope left for Obama, but if he wins in November, my one wish is his first phone call is to curse out Bibi and spend the next four years sticking it to him every chance he gets. When he writes his memoir, he needs to include a chapter called 101 reasons Bibi is a dick.

      • American
        January 16, 2012, 9:32 am

        “American. if this was a “message” , why even go there.”

        This drill was set up long ago…before the assassination of the Iran scientist and before the leak about Mossad impersonating the CIA.
        Don’t know about anyone in O’s adm knowing about the Mossad thing but reasonable to think O and military fed up with Israel’s provocations of Iran and this cancellation of drill was a slap down for Israel.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 2:18 pm

        how can you make such declarative statements?

        we, all of us, dont know anything…. yet

        It could also mean that the US is just trying to protect its troops etc – in preparation for something popping off….not wanting them to be in israel if they do attack iran

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 2:34 pm

        or maybe it has something to do with the 12,000 troops the US is sending to Libya…… any number of things

      • American
        January 15, 2012, 2:38 pm

        “how can you make such declarative statements?”

        Experience and long observation my dear Watson…lol
        But I did also say that it could be something else related to Iran.
        Regardless…the cancellation ‘could be’ viewed by Iran and others as a message to Israel by the US and maybe the US wanted to send that message for their benefit to tamp down the likihood of Iran or Israel popping off.
        Who knows?.. but this what seems ‘most’ likely right now since we’re all just opinionating.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 2:45 pm

        dan, don’t you find it a tad odd the announcement was made just days before dempsey’s arrival in israel in the middle of accusations flying about the assassination. obama didn’t even want the draconian sanctions pushed by aipac that congress gobbled up during an election year @ 100-0 vote in the senate.

        he was being pushed.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 2:52 pm

        but it also comes days after the US’s official state propaganda organs all pointed the finger at Israel saying all the recent events were their fault. just sayin, this cuts both ways….

        obama also “wanted” the public option, a repeal of bush tax cuts, a reinstatment of habeas corpus and said he supported the employee free choice act……

        i dunno, either this guy is the biggest push over in the history of push over’s or he and his inner circle are less than honest about the real agenda – im kind of leaning toward the latter…..

        and the thrust of his disagreement with the sanctions was that they limited executive power – it makes him go before congress for exemptions etc – this is what he was against, not the sanctions themselves

      • American
        January 15, 2012, 3:00 pm

        Huummm…we are sending troops to Libya? Hadn’t seen that.Why?

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Dan, I, through an unbelievable piece of serendipity, was able to talk to one of the highest military officials of one of the countries in the region (and they have nukes) last weekend and again early in the week. I agreed not to quote him directly by mentioning his name because of his dealings with SoS Clinton.

        He characterized the current standoff with Iran as “very, very, very, very serious.” Four verys. He called it “A Cuban missile crisis,” and said that the American public are completely unaware of the seriousness of the situation, and called the media criminally negligent for failing to alert the public by protecting Israeli involvement. He predicted that US intel and military officials would be breaking protocol, in the media’s stead, to alert the sentient (my word) section of the population capable of reading geopolitical tea leaves to the seriousness of the situation and what Israel was doing. Sure enough, Mark Perry published on Friday the 13th, and Hillary Clinton sent a loud message. (Perry also went on al-Jazeera and made firm declarative statements.) He called the Israeli political leadership ‘batshit insane’, and said they had no real military strategic geopolitical experience other than to act as regional gangsters. He said Israel seriously endangered US troops in Afghanistan and the entire military operation there because of the visceral anger Pakistanis now feel towards America (Pakistan has been protecting our supply line). He called the Israelis snakes under the rug without a periscope, and he predicted that the US military would make it iron clear to Obama what was at stake. He said to watch whether Obama sends the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to Israel to read them the riot act. Well, guess what? It just happened.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 3:20 pm

        just sayin, this cuts both ways….

        uh huh/not

        The drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany – with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces in the event of a large-scale conflict in the Middle East.

        The US will also bring its THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and shipbased Aegis ballistic missile defense systems to Israel to simulate the interception of missile salvos against Israel.

        how does this ‘cut both ways’ for the US?

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 3:27 pm

        yes, yes it did MRW – the chairman going there, but again, we can only assume (or believe the US press) that its to read them the riot act….

        I guess I am holding out for more info….. all these clowns are full of sht, bibi, barack all of them — but isnt it amazing that the most powerful country in the world would have to send a guy to israel rather than hold a press conference and blast away at the israelis? well, maybe it isnt amazing

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 3:40 pm

        annie – i was referring to the media back and forth….both countries want to look good to their domstic constituencies….

        and also, it may very well have been the US telling bibi and co – go F yourself. for sure. that could easily be the case. BUT, isn’t part of israeli propaganda a “we’re on our own” sensibility – doesnt this action kind of reinforce that (if weilded by bibi to scare the israeli population) – I mean, if the US is “backing out of” military exercises, certainly they can not be relied upon to do what is necessary with regards to Iran….you can probably see where Im going with this – just like sanctions strengthen dictatorial regimes, an action like this could strengthen bibi…..

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 5:22 pm

        Joint Chief McMullen went there twice to tell them to back off before he retired last Sept. Netanyahu, obviously, doesn’t give a shit.

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 5:26 pm

        Dan, assume? Someone got up awfully early in the White House this AM and cancelled a major joint operation. I’ll bet Dempsey is still in Israel–didn’t he leave the US on Friday?–and this is the result of intransigence he encountered.

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 5:28 pm

        Let’s see if the US takes some of their materiel and military stock out of Israel.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 5:58 pm

        do we know that for sure? that it was cancelled out of the white house? (please dont send me some debka whatever or “leroys blogspot” links)

      • peeesss
        January 15, 2012, 8:48 pm

        Annie, Obama speaks proudly about the “toughest ” sanctions against Iran that he supports and is pushing Europe and Asian allies to implement. His administrations threaten Iran daily with war{no options off the table} The US has sent drones {spy planes} over Iran 24/7. His spokesmen constantly denigrate Iran. Add all this up, isn’t the Obama administration seeking to provoke an Iranian respoonse that will be considered a cause belli to bomb and destroy Iran’s military , nuclear ifrastructure.?

      • Hostage
        January 16, 2012, 2:17 am

        do we know that for sure? that it was cancelled out of the white house?

        The exercise was originally announced by Andrew Shapiro, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Politics-Military Affairs. The announcement took place at AIPAC’s Washington Institute for Near East Policy. link to latimesblogs.latimes.com

        Neither the Chairman of the JCS nor the Commander of United States European Command are self-employed. The cancellation of the exercise at this stage would have required White House approval.

      • seafoid
        January 16, 2012, 4:49 am

        Dan
        I think they are all borgs but that doesn’t rule out a borg power struggle ;)

      • kalithea
        January 16, 2012, 2:21 am

        You’re dreamin’. This is the U.S. keeping all its resources strike-ready.

    • American
      January 15, 2012, 3:03 pm

      I would bet Dan that the US knows (almost) everything going in Israel…but the Russians know even more.

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 3:25 pm

        Of course they do. Their satellites are directly over Israel. Those satellites that can see Netanyahu take a shit in his own house. Can’t remember the name of them but it was in Jane’s Defense Weekly.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 3:41 pm

        lol!

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 3:51 pm

        hahahaha!!!

        ba-doom-ching! nice one american

      • marc b.
        January 15, 2012, 8:06 pm

        and what do we know about all of those ‘jewish’ russians that emigrated to israel? not a russian intellgence asset in the bunch, i’m sure.

  2. rensanceman
    January 15, 2012, 1:57 pm

    We will have to await more signs like this to determine if the wise and sage Obama will emerge from the evil clutches of the lunatic state known as Israel/AIPAC. For those of us who closely follow these events and observe the takeover of our Foreign Policy by the Zionist forces, this could be a breakthrough event in line with the Reagan/Baker denoument after the Iraq nuclear facility bombing and the Bush, senior withholding of aid to Israel ?

    • yourstruly
      January 15, 2012, 2:35 pm

      buoyed by popular support for having defied israel, the obama administration will be able to steadily increase its pressure on the zionist entity. meanwhile, israel’s supporters, despite their anger at the turn of events, will keep a low profile for fear of publicly being branded israel-firsters. and next november, after president obama wins in a landslide, people will be saying, “who would of thought that his reversing course on the me conflict would get him reelected?”

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 3:32 pm

        It appears that the highest level of our military are pissed. I call that a game-changer.

      • Danaa
        January 15, 2012, 4:41 pm

        I agree with MRW. The steady ramble of serious irritation from the military echelons is deafening. Anyone can hear it just by putting ear close to the tracks.

        It seems Obama has had to listen to some earfuls of warnings from the military brass, as well as the intelligence community.

        Here’s my favorite theory: Obama administration has finally figured out that the entire ratcheting up of the bomb Iran scenario is fueled by a not-so-secret gambit from the yahho corps to derail his re-election. It must have become obvious to the israeli Likudites – as it has to many of us – that given the clown circus of the Republican candidates, the total lack of enthusiasm for the Romney so-not-bandwagon, even a very modest improvement in the economy would be enough to re-elect Obama, possibly in a near landslide. That despite the fact that so many democrats are disenchanted with him. Their lack of enthusiasm will be more than matched by the indifference to Romney on the other side (and that even without the potential of a Ron paul spoiler).

        If you are an Israeli right-winger, and you fear an Obama second term more than anything, what are your choices? attacking Iran seems like the best way out – not only because it’ll change the terms of the political discourse in the US, but because it’ll tie the US in endless knots, drag them into a costly adventure that’ll play poorly to their base, and – most significantly – put a damper on any economic improvement, thus weakening Obama’s hand.

        Looking at it this way, all the arrows seem to line up one way for the Israeli yahoos. if you were them you’d see it as either bomb Iran now, or live with an Obama second term, which they dread (irrationally so, but that’s another story).

        So now, the only question is – if Obama figured this out, what’s the next step? how to counter the Israeli plan without aggrevating the lobby too much? It’s an interesting match of wits. One can only hope that the israeli side is still willing to retain a semblence of rationality. Of which I am, alas, not so sure. So I hope obama uses the services of a capable expert on collective bipolar disorders.

      • Bumblebye
        January 15, 2012, 5:14 pm

        The “Look! Scary Iran!” theme also effectively diverts political and media energy from the Palestine UN bid, and media energy (such as it is) from noticing increasing violence and land theft in the OPT. 3 birds with one ‘stoning’ as it were.

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 5:43 pm

        Danaa: “how to counter the Israeli plan without aggrevating the lobby too much?”

        That one’s easy. The military gives him cover. Ditto intel. I saw this in Baer’s calm demeanor on Hardball last Thursday (?). Baer has never directly accused Israel of anything before. Engel hemmed and hawed, but Baer fired the shots. It was as if he were on a mission.

        The Lobby can go up against anyone–including toying with our intel–except the US military. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on some important walls in DC this weekend? I can just hear those wagon wheels creaking as the US military round up for the first time in two decades. I would even go far enough to say that a lot of people are going to lose their access. The other amusing thing is that the Republican candidates cannot come out and denigrate Obama for doing this.

      • MRW
        January 15, 2012, 5:46 pm

        Bumblebye: “The “Look! Scary Iran!” theme also effectively diverts political and media energy from the Palestine UN bid”

        But it gives cover to other countries to now back the UN bid. If I’m right, it will prove how much Israel does not understand how consequences work, which I believe it doesn’t.

      • Charon
        January 15, 2012, 6:08 pm

        The rational next step IMO would be to exploit the media apparatus and any means of influencing public opinion, preferably ones not in Israel’s back pocket.. Unfortunately they’re probably all in Israel’s back pocket so you got to play the game theory by way of deception (which is how Israel play the game anyways).

        This is what I believe is already happening. Obama and co. are painting Bibi and co. to be dangerous leaders. Dangerous to Americans and the world, but more importantly dangerous for Israel and Israelis. The latter intended to sell the message to Israel-firsters and the lobby. That way they can continue saying support for Israel is ‘unshakable’ and that concern for Israel’s leadership is a concern for Israel. Criticism of the Likudites being support for Israel’s security all by itself.

        This is just my speculative opinion. Superficially, Obama and co. have done next to nothing to make us trust that they aren’t in Bibi’s back pocket. This whole thing could be a ruse. The administration lies and the media lies. Speculating that behind the scenes, Obama means well and is trying to break free of the chains is still speculation with only a teeny tiny bit of proof to back up that it’s true and far more surface elements indicating they are comfortable with the status quo. As soon as they start backing up words with actions, I’ll change my mind. Cancelling this drill is an action I guess, I just hope we see more of it. If history is any indication, I won’t be holding my breath.

      • yourstruly
        January 15, 2012, 7:10 pm

        given, that deservedly or not the military is the most popular institution in america, the israel lobby, when the top military brass steps to the plate and once again says something to the effect that “israel’s intransigence is why they hate us”, that’ll shrink the lobby down to a size that can be put in a toilet and flushed.

      • Hostage
        January 15, 2012, 9:26 pm

        if Obama figured this out, what’s the next step? how to counter the Israeli plan without aggrevating the lobby too much?

        Until the neocons tried to revive the brain-dead concept of expensive preventative wars, US national policy was based upon strategic deterrence and mutually assured destruction.

        After the disastrous neocon wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the resulting turf wars over the budget, the DoD is facing across the board cuts that will almost certainly eliminate acquisition of weapons systems, military pensions, and medical benefits. So it goes without saying that we don’t have the money to underwrite public relations exercises with the Israelis aimed at stirring-up more trouble in the region. The truth is that the DoD has never had an unshakable relationship with the Zionist State and Israel is threatening the economic survival of the US, the EU, and the free flow of oil in the region.

      • seafoid
        January 16, 2012, 1:23 am

        “I hope obama uses the services of a capable expert on collective bipolar disorders”

        Wonderful

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 2:24 am

      “the wise and sage Obama” MY ASS. “withholding of aid to Israel” aye! Totally off track.

  3. HarryLaw
    January 15, 2012, 2:30 pm

    The US does not want a war in this region at this time, they are engaged in a game of high stakes chicken, the threat to close the Gulf of Hormus is the ace the Iranians have and whatever the US says about keeping them open is just hot air, I was Intrigued by a story in ‘ Atlantic Wire’ see here
    link to news.yahoo.com
    This is about General’s bragging about using dolphins to keep the straights of Hormuz open I saw another story in Salon, see here
    link to salon.com
    This is about the Russians supplying the Iranian navy with dolphins for the same purpose. What terrifies me and what should terrify all God fearing Americans is that our pusillanimous and penny pinching Generals should allow a ‘dolphin gap’ to develop. Do not ignore Gen ‘Buck’ Turgidsons warnings! I propose the Pentagon close that gap with a massive increase in the defence budget.
    unless we spend billions more, those I-ranians will be impurifying “all of your precious bodily fluids”. Be warned!

    • Mndwss
      January 15, 2012, 3:40 pm

      At the Sign of THE UNHOLY THREE

      link to upload.wikimedia.org

      Are you willing to PUT IN PAWN to the UNHOLY THREE all of the material, mental and spiritual resources of this GREAT REPUBLIC?

      FLUORIDATED WATER
      1—Water containing Fluorine (rat poison—no antidote) is already
      the only water in many of our army camps, making it very easy for
      saboteurs to wipe out an entire army camp personel. If this happens, every citizen will be at the mercy of the enemy—already within our gates.

      POLIO SERUM
      2—Polio Serum, it is reported, has already killed and maimed children; its future effect on minds and bodies cannot be gauged. This vaccine drive is the entering wedge for nation-wide socialized medicine, by the US Public Health Service, (heavily infiltrated by Russian-born doctors, according to Congressman Clare Hoffman.) In enemy hands it can destroy a whole generation.

      MENTAL HYGIENE
      3—Mental Hygiene is a subtle and diabolical plan of the enemy to transform a free and intelligent people into a cringing horde of zombies.

      Rabbi Spitz in the American Hebrew, March 1, 1946: “American Jews must come to grips with our contemporary anti-Semites; we must fill our insane asylums with anti-Semitic lunatics.”

      FIGHT COMMUNISTIC WORLD GOVERNMENT by destroying
      THE UNHOLY THREE ! ! ! It is later than you think!

      KEEP AMERICA COMMITTEE
      Box 3094, Los Angeles 54, Calif. H. W. Curtois, Secy. May 27, 1955

      ********************

      This could be used today, just need to change:

      COMMUNISTIC WORLD GOVERNMENT to MUSLIM CALIPHATE

      • Charon
        January 15, 2012, 8:35 pm

        When a friend first introduced me to the fluoridated water controversy, it sounded pretty crazy because of being conditioned to believe it was good for your teeth. My friend has well water and goes out of their way to avoid it if they can help it. They suggested I get a filter which I am considering even though they are expensive. Most of the research concluding that it is beneficial was conducted by groups with ties to the same corporations which profit off it. These are biased studies. Only a fool would trust them, just like the same fools who trust neocons and Zionists to be ‘mediators’ in the ‘peace process’ like Dennis Ross. Those who say otherwise are just masters of deceptive rhetoric.

        Anyways, it collects in an area of your brain called the pineal gland which is said to be important for Eastern-style meditation. The pineal gland has a role in the creation of melatonin and also a role in dreams. Fluoride collects there and even calcifies the gland. I’m guessing that is probably a bad thing.

        Anyways, I’m partially convinced that America has already been ‘conquered’ and the communists won the Cold War. Today they call themselves neoconservatives. The zombie apocalypse is real and already here. Jersey shore and the people glued to the TV watching it and other similar shows are proof of this.

      • dumvitaestspesest
        January 15, 2012, 9:44 pm

        Oh, do not read too much, because it does get too be too frustrating to handle. I’m surprised that we are not shining yet in the darkness with all those chemicals that we are exposed to on daily bases ( from food, air, water etc).
        If you add the effects of Fukushima then it is even a sort of miracle that we are alive and somewhat healthy.
        The fluoridated drinking water is banned in most of Europe for a very good reasons. I buy a toothpaste without fluoride. A small thing ,but I feel a little better.
        Read about aspartame that is found in most of so called diet/no sugar stuff.
        Quite a chemical.

    • Charon
      January 15, 2012, 7:07 pm

      I coincidentally have been reading quite a bit on Cetacean (Dolphin) intelligence the past few weeks. I always heard of military-trained dolphins, but didn’t really know anything about them. Such programs are classified, so there isn’t a whole lot of knowledge on what they are used for other than speculation (like finding underwater mines or as ‘suicide’ bombers). There is also some unverifiable accounts about military dolphins used for mind control and also that some of these dolphins ‘escaped’ during the flooding caused by hurricane Katrina. Some say these dolphins are responsible for the ‘psychopathic’ dolphins who bully and even kill Porpoises for fun. If the escapee story is true, I’m not sure how they would survive in the wild. The ‘psycopathic’ killer dolphins on the other hand is actually a fact, but that doesn’t mean it’s related.

      Anyways, I’m not saying I believe any of this, but it is entertaining to read. It might sound silly, but IRL if that were the case the Russians would have the upper hand. Russians have more experience training dolphins. There are even water birth clinics in Russia where dolphins are used as ‘midwives’. Something to do with dolphin echolocation being able to ‘see’ the baby while still in the womb. Some Russians adapted to cold weather, able to swim in icy cold water, even have myths about being related to dolphins. I’m not making any of this up.

    • RoHa
      January 15, 2012, 11:17 pm

      Straits.

      Not a difficult word.

  4. justicewillprevail
    January 15, 2012, 2:55 pm

    It is obvious that the administration is horrified at the prospect of being dragged into another trillion dollar debacle at the behest of belligerent little terrorist state Israel and its lunatic leadership. However, like nearly all administrations since the elder Bush, they have sought to placate a lobby which is openly boastful about running Congress, which gives it the ability to outflank the president. Allied with the near total submission of the corporate media to Israel’s vicious agenda of apartheid and war, most presidents might rail in private but acquiesce in public, knowing that the political capital they would have to expend on standing up to the bullies would probably wreck their term of office. It is this stranglehold which urgently needs to be broken, before Israel drags us all into the dystopia it craves. It appears that the administration has peered over the cliff edge, and is appalled at the prospect (as would any sane person, contemplating attacking a state which offers no threat whatsoever to the US). Trying to play both sides, appeasing Israel by going along with its murderous intent, while privately seeking to string it along without real action, is proving disastrous. The real danger is that Israel will once again try a USS Liberty and set up a terrorist incident which will bind the US into a war which nobody wants except the paper tigers in Tel Aviv, who have absolutely no intention of suffering any damage themselves, or even risking any Israeli life. Israel is absolutely treacherous, views the US with ill-disguised contempt and presumes it can manipulate it to suit its apocalyptic fantasies. Time to call it out.

  5. Henry Norr
    January 15, 2012, 2:58 pm

    DebkaFile’s version of this story is very interesting, starting with the headline: “US, Israel in open rift over Iran: Big joint military drill cancelled.”

    Some excerpts:

    US-Israeli discord over action against Iran went into overdrive Sunday, Jan. 15 when the White House called off Austere Challenge 12, the biggest joint war game the US and Israel have every staged, ready to go in spring, in reprisal for a comment by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon in an early morning radio interview. He said the United States was hesitant over sanctions against Iran’s central bank and oil for fear of a spike in oil prices.
    The row between Washington and Jerusalem is now in the open, undoubtedly causing celebration in Tehran.

    The exercise was officially postponed from spring 2012 to the last quarter of the year over “budgetary constraints” – an obvous diplomatic locution for cancellation. It was issued urgently at an unusually early hour Washington time, say DEBKAfile’s sources, to underscore the Obama administration’s total disassociation from any preparations to strike Iran and to stress its position that if an attack took place, Israel alone would be accountable.
    Israel’s Deputy Prime minister further inflamed one of the most acute disagreements in the history of US-Israeli relations over the Obama administration’s objections to an Israel military action against Iran’s nuclear sites in any shape or form.

    The friction was already fueled last week by the deep resentment aroused in Israel by Washington’s harsh condemnation of the assassination last Wednesday, Jan. 11, of the nuclear scientist Prof. Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, and absolute denial of any US involvement.
    Although Tehran has since accused the United States of the attack, the White House treated it as the defiant sign of an approaching unilateral Israeli military operation against Iran to which the administration is adamantly opposed.
    Friday, Jan. 13, the Pentagon announced the substantial buildup of combat power around Iran, stationing nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait – two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – and keeping two aircraft carriers the region: The USS Carl Vinson, the USS John Stennis and their strike groups.
    DEBKAfile’s military sources report that a third aircraft carrier and strike group, the USS Abraham Lincoln, is also on its way to the Persian Gulf.
    This massive military buildup indicates that either President Obama rates the odds of an Israel attack as high and is bolstering the defenses of US military assets against Iranian reprisals – or, alternatively, that the United States intends to beat Israel to the draw and attack Iran itself.

    The “budgetary constraints” pretext for cancelling Austere Challenge 12 is hard to credit since most of the money has already been spent in flying 9,000 US troops into Israel this month. Although the exercise in which they were to have participated was billed as testing multiple Israeli and US air and missile defense systems, the exercise’s commander, US Third Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, announced that the event was more a “deployment” than an “exercise.”
    Its cancellation leaves Washington and Jerusalem at loggerheads in four main areas:
    1. President Obama believes he is rushing through the sanctions against Iran’s central bank CBI and oil restrictions with all possible speed. He needs time to persuade more governments to support him. Israel sees little real progress in the crawling diplomatic bid for backers and is impatient for action. At the rate the sanctions are going through, they will not be in place before the end of 2012 and by then, Iran will have already acquired a nuclear weapon.
    Israeli leaders also suspect that the Obama administration may be foot-dragging deliberately in the hope of encouraging Iran to enter into negotiations and so avoid a military showdown. They point out that all previous rounds of talks were exploited for Iran’s forward leaps in their nuclear weapon drive, free of international hassle.
    2. President Obama insists on the US acting alone in attacking Iran with no Israeli military involvement. This would leave him free to decide exclusively when and how to stage an operation. He is counting on the tightened military and intelligence cooperation he has instituted between the two armed forces and agencies to safeguard Washington against the surprise of a lone Israeli action.
    But Israel has declined to make this commitment – even in the face of US officials’ efforts at persuasion.
    3. US military strategists are counting on an Iranian reprisal for an attack on its nuclear sites to be restrained and limited to certain US military assets in the region, Israeli targets and oil installations in the Persian Gulf, including a temporary and partial closure of the Strait of Hormuz, through which one fifth of the world’s oil passes.
    They expect Israel to refrain from striking back for Iranian attacks and to leave the payback option entirely in American hands. US officials have said they fear an Israeli overkill would tip the entire American military operation into imbalance and generate unforeseen consequences.
    The incoming US troops were therefore armed with the sophisticated missile interceptorTHAAD systems (easily transportable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense hit-to-kill weapons) to show the Israeli government that the US would stay on top of all the military moves against Iran – offensive and defensive alike.
    On these three points, the US and Israel disagree. …

    • Annie Robbins
      January 15, 2012, 3:46 pm

      “the White House called off Austere Challenge 12

      i knew it! not that debka file is the best source by netanyahu’s paper said they didn’t know who called it off, that means it was the US.

      edit, now that i have read that i find several sections of it far fetched.

  6. JTJT
    January 15, 2012, 3:23 pm

    The Lobby is going to go absolutely bonkers over this.

  7. seafoid
    January 15, 2012, 3:35 pm

    “Austere challenge” is an interesting name. The US has a hopeless budget deficit and austerity is the name of the game for the 99%. It is only foreign buyers that keep the bond market going. This will have serious implications for Israel down the road.

  8. split
    January 15, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Israelis backed off – They don’t want to be caught with their pants down. After all US Armed Forces are not a defenseless Palestinian sheep herders ;) ,…

    • CloakAndDagger
      January 15, 2012, 4:14 pm

      Although the rumors indicate that we are the ones who cancelled this, you do raise an interesting speculation. What if the US forces were really a subterfuge for a peace-keeping force?

      Nah – Obama is not that smart.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 4:30 pm

        did you read the original post we had about this (3rd link in the article)

        The US will also bring its THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and shipbased Aegis ballistic missile defense systems to Israel to simulate the interception of missile salvos against Israel.

        i think it is logical to assume if the Israelis would not guarantee they would not take unilateral military action against Iran (and they would not give that assurance which was widely reported, check 1st jpost link in article Dempsey said Israel would likely not update the US ahead of such an operation.) the US was not going to put itself into a situation where “interception of missile salvos against Israel” was intended not as an exercise but as an intent of israels to support them in a pre emptive strike.

        that, seems like a no brainer for me. nobody, including myself, least of all iran could have any certainty the US wasn’t going there under the guise of a ‘drill’ to start a war if one just happened to break out while we were there.

      • CloakAndDagger
        January 15, 2012, 5:10 pm

        You are probably right on this.

      • justicewillprevail
        January 15, 2012, 6:05 pm

        There is also the possibility that US Intelligence found out that Israel intended to use the ‘exercise’ as a lure with the intention of triggering Iran into a strike of some kind which would implicate the US in a war of Israel’s making. I wouldn’t put anything beyond these war loving nutjobs in Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 15, 2012, 6:35 pm

        justice, yes, that is along the same vein as my guestimation

      • justicewillprevail
        January 15, 2012, 7:11 pm

        yep, just imagine a strike on a US ship from unknown assailants, but ‘obviously’ the Iranians. Well it nearly worked with the USS Liberty, and Israel got away with it then.. Israel has never been more convinced of its own immunity from justice or the consequences of its terrorism – that is why it is so dangerous.

      • split
        January 15, 2012, 6:29 pm

        They’re still licking their wounds inflicted by Hezbollach sheep herders in Lebanon in 2006. They never faught a real soldier with up to date equipment and weapons. My brother was in UN peace keeping forces on Sinai Peninsula in ’70′s and have seen Soviet junk from early ’50′s that the Egyptian had against the newest toys from US. All of them had a cirillic alphabet dashboards ,…

  9. dbroncos
    January 15, 2012, 5:27 pm

    If the US ends up in a war with Iran, the Israel uber alles crowd will be in the spotlight in a big way – much more so than they ever were over the Iraq war disaster.

  10. Nevada Ned
    January 15, 2012, 5:59 pm

    US aid to Israel wouldn’t have continued for so long and at such a high level unless the US ruling class and the Israeli ruling class thought they had interests in common:
    At least, in the long run and for the most part.

    There have been some developments that are impossible to explain without understanding that the interests of the US and Israel sometimes conflict.

    This latest development (cancellation of US/Israel war games) is an example of the diverging interests of US and Israeli interests. There have been others: for example, the 1956 Suez crisis. (Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt, but the US and the USSR forced the three aggressors to surrender their conquests.)
    Want another example? The Lavi fighter airplane, an Israeli-developed fighter jet. The US and Israel put in a lot of money into developing the airplane, but then it was cancelled: the Lavi never went into production. Why not? It would have competed in the world market with US fighter jets.
    Want another example? Every election US politicians promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. After the election everybody forgets all about it. Until the next election.

    While these are the exceptions, it is worthwhile re-stating the rule: the common interests that both the US and Israel have in combating Arab nationalism. The US wants to control the oil of the middle east. “Control” is not the same as “access”. If the US has control, it can threaten to cut off oil to Europe, Japan, China, anybody.

    US leaders see Arab nationalism as the chief threat to US control. And Israel has its own interest in opposing Arab nationalism: Israeli society was formed by ethnically cleansing the Palestinians, Israel has a system of racial discrimination against Palestinians, and Israel has waged periodic wars with Arab countries to enlarge its territory. So the US and Israel have interests in common.
    Although Iran is not an Arab country, the same considerations apply: the US treat Iran as an ally when the Shah ruled it. The US and Israel oppose Iranian nationalism.

    Mondoweiss does a good job in documenting the activities of the Israel Lobby, but even if the Lobby didn’t exist, the common interests between the US and Israel would exist. In their public pronouncements, of course, politicians pronounce their interest in democracy and freedom, not the importance of oil and US imperialism. The Israel Lobby matters, but oil is also a very important factor, which is much less discussed in public. It’s not either/or: oil or the Israel lobby. In the real world, it’s both.

    • yourstruly
      January 15, 2012, 9:47 pm

      excellent summary

    • split
      January 16, 2012, 2:50 am

      ‘It would have competed in the world market with US fighter jets’ – Give us a break , Chinese J10 based on Lavi design and developed with the assistence of engineers who worked on Lavi program has much shorter range than F16, it’s not competitive even with the Su-27s/30s not to mention US F16 and it’s a maintenance nightmare.

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 2:52 am

      “The US wants to control the oil of the middle east. “Control” is not the same as “access”. If the US has control, it can threaten to cut off oil to Europe, Japan, China, anybody.”

      China and Russia, because even if Russia is a top oil producer, Russia is very territorial, can put the brakes on U.S. escalation and an Israeli attack. For the Chinese, an attack on Iran should be considered a game-changer leaving China out in the cold and begging for oil down the road.

      As far as Russia’s concerned, it’s more about the U.S. gaining more ground and influence in their backyard and a strategic region for maintaining or upsetting balance of power.

      So if anyone can hold back the U.S. and Israel from making a crazy move on Iran; it’s China and Russia and they better start asserting their power soon.

  11. Justice Please
    January 15, 2012, 6:26 pm

    The fact that there even ARE US drills with the very same military that killed US sailors on the USS Liberty is shameful. The US government should try everything in its power to extradite the Israelis responsible for the Liberty massacre and convict them for life, and make the Israeli government pay reparations.

    • Charon
      January 15, 2012, 8:57 pm

      They also baited (by way of deception) “Muslim extremists” into blowing up the barracks in Beirut back in 1983. That is of course unless they didn’t do it themselves or have their Sayanim pull it off. Either way you look at it, they’re guilty of the crime. Murdered American and French soldiers. A semi-kooky banker/politician named Peter Beter wrote about it a year before it even happened. His banking buddies told him that Israel would get the American military involved in that war, kill American soldiers using a bomb, and blame it on Muslim extremists. In return, it would make Israel’s enemies America’s enemies and involve our military to fight in their wars. Many Hollywood films from the 80s talk about Beirut as if it was the most dangerous place on Earth which also has an effect on public opinion. Hollywood and the banksters are tied to the hip.

      Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent, mentions the Mossad involvement of the Beirut barracks bombing in his book “by way of deception” which the establishment tried unsuccessfully to stop from being published. Ostrovsky has been historically retconned to a lesser role in Mossad than he claimed to have been in his book. Similarly, Peter Beter has nearly been erased from history. Even Jimmy Carter believes today that Israel is guilty of the bombing. Some people operate in a sick mind that believes even if this were true, the guilty party is still Muslim extremists. That’s a bunch of nonsense. If that were true, the establishment wouldn’t assassinate master minds. All it does is cover the perpetrator, which again is Israel.

      Now here is a ‘crazy’ theory. Maybe the US backed off of this drill because they were tipped off regarding a major ‘terrorist attack’ against Israel that would be carried out simultaneously while the drill was going on. A ‘terrorist attack’ that would be linked to Iran and involving Iranian missiles. This isn’t what I believe, just speculative theory. Because at least two major 21st century terrorist attacks have occurred during drills that ‘coincidentally’ emulated the real ‘terrorist’ attacks. And the methods of these clandestine terror networks have not changed one bit in recent history.

      • Justice Please
        January 16, 2012, 6:11 am

        Charon, if everyone on this planet knew the history of false-flag attacks (not just those commited by Israel, but generally), we would be much better off. If I were responsible for public school curriculae, I would make false-flags. this a main topic in history classes. Without that knowledge, the public simply always is one step behind the true terrorists.

    • Robert Werdine
      January 16, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Justiceplease,

      Said you:

      ” The fact that there even ARE US drills with the very same military that killed US sailors on the USS Liberty is shameful. The US government should try everything in its power to extradite the Israelis responsible for the Liberty massacre and convict them for life, and make the Israeli government pay reparations.”

      It may be of interest to you to know that the Israelis took responsibility for the attack moments after it occured, offered medical attention to the survivors, apologized to the United States government, and paid some $12-13 million in damages to the government, Liberty survivors, and the families of those who were killed.

      Why is it just so impossible to believe that this attack was a mistake?

      I know that passions on this issue are strong, but I hope someday those who are so certain this attack was deliberate can be and will be persuaded by the available evidence that it was not.

      • Shingo
        January 16, 2012, 4:01 pm

        Israel only took responsibility and apologized because they were of the belief that US fighter planes were arriving on the scene.

        The first helicopter did not offer assistance, but wielded IDF troops carrying semi automatics. Eyewitnesses told the BBC documentary that they believed the Israelis had come to finish them off.

        The so called “damages” paid was a ruse. It came from the US taxpayer as US aid to Israel went up by over $3o million.

        It was clearly no mistake. Intercepts of IDF pilots conversing with HQ revealed they knew they were attacking a US ship. James Bamford revealed this in his book.

        That’s just one piece of the mountains of available evidence.

      • Robert Werdine
        January 16, 2012, 7:35 pm

        Shingo,

        Said you:

        “Israel only took responsibility and apologized because they were of the belief that US fighter planes were arriving on the scene.”

        This is completely false. Why would they have believed that US fighters were on their way?

        “The first helicopter did not offer assistance, but wielded IDF troops carrying semi automatics. Eyewitnesses told the BBC documentary that they believed the Israelis had come to finish them off.”

        I was not referring to the helicopters. I was referring to the MTB that signaled to the Liberty offering help 16 minutes after the attack ceased. The helicopters that came afterward were rescue helicopters, one of which carried the US Naval attache, but they were refused permission to land because the ship was listing too far to the starboard.

        “It was clearly no mistake. Intercepts of IDF pilots conversing with HQ revealed they knew they were attacking a US ship. James Bamford revealed this in his book.”

        This is absolutely false and you know it, and you know that Bamford’s book has been discredited too.

        Why do you continue peddling these falsehoods?

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 4:09 am

        Werdine, you are the one peddling falsehoods. We’ve gone over the USS Liberty incident and its coverup many times on MW, as anyone can see by perusing the MW archives, which are filled with your cut and paste crap from discredited sources; the issue of whether or not the IDF attacked the US ship intentionally or by mistake is still a very open issue, with the aggregate of the total evidence to date fairly clear and convincing said attack was intentional, and the coverup was, is intentional beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Shingo
        January 17, 2012, 7:02 am

        Robert,

        We’ve been through this before and your arguments were comprehensovely discredited.

        Why would they have believed that US fighters were on their way?

        They were given the US radio fequencies to listen to were they not? Come on buddy, has your brain gone to sleep?

        I was not referring to the helicopters. I was referring to the MTB that signaled to the Liberty offering help 16 minutes after the attack ceased.

        Oh right, the same MTB’s that had just fire 5 torpedos at the ship you mean? Yeah, makes perfect sense – just like a jackall doing a recon on a dead carcar to see if it’s still alive.

        This is absolutely false and you know it, and you know that Bamford’s book has been discredited too.

        Bamford’s book was never discredited. What ever gave you that silly idea?

        Why do you continue peddling these falsehoods?

        I was going to ask you the same thing.

      • Robert Werdine
        January 17, 2012, 3:41 pm

        Shingo,

        Said you:

        “Why would they have believed that US fighters were on their way? They were given the US radio frequencies to listen to were they not? Come on buddy, has your brain gone to sleep?”

        Uh, no. And they were not “given US radio frequencies to listen to.” What evidence is there that the Israelis were ever monitoring Sixth Fleet communications? None whatsoever. Where would they have been monitoring those communications? The Israeli naval presence in 1967 was confined to the coastal area and not the western Mediterranean where they would have to be to monitor such communications.

        If they had been listening, here is what they would have heard: Sixth Fleet Commander Admiral Martin gave the order for a launch of fighter aircraft from the USS Saratoga and the USS America at 2:50pm Sinai time—nine minutes AFTER the Israeli MTB’s cut off the attack. Martin ordered the launches for 3:39pm Sinai time with ETA of one hour and thirty minutes—giving the Israelis, if they had been listening, a good two hours and twenty minutes to finish off the Liberty without any outside interference if they had so desired. After learning that the attack was a mistake by the Israelis, Martin had the aircraft recalled at 4:40pm.

        “Oh right, the same MTB’s that had just fire 5 torpedoes at the ship you mean? Yeah, makes perfect sense – just like a jackal doing a recon on a dead carcass to see if it’s still alive. This is absolutely false and you know it”

        The Israeli MTB’s caught up with the Liberty as a sailor on board the Liberty opened up fire on them with .50 caliber machine guns (at 2:31pm according to the Liberty deck log), not receiving Liberty Captain McGonagle’s order not to fire on the approaching craft. The Israeli MTBs then returned fire with 20mm and 40mm cannon, and at 2:37pm (2:43pm in the Israeli account) fired back torpedoes. Four missed but one hit the Liberty’s starboard side midship, killing 25 sailors.

        At 2:41pm, after a few minutes of circling the craft, the Israeli MTB skipper cut off the attack. At 2:45pm the IDF Navy log reads “May be Russian nationality, based on writing on aft”; the Israelis thought they might be attacking a Russian vessel. When the Israeli boat captain got close enough to identify the hull markings of the Liberty, now listing badly, he recognized the Latin markings on the hull, and, according to the deck log of the Liberty and Captain McGonagle’s testimony, offered help and medical attention to the survivors at 3:03pm. The attack was over, and there was no subsequent exchange of fire after 2:45pm.

        This is confirmed by Marvin Norwicki, a Hebrew linguist aboard an American EC-121M Hawkeye recon plane patrolling in the vicinity that overheard the aftermath of the attack, and whose view that the Liberty was mistakenly attacked was misrepresented by author James Bamford, also commented on the Israeli MTB attack:

        “According to Ennes (James Ennes, Liberty crew member), the three MTBs left the port of Ashdod at 1200 local, some 125 miles away, heading for the Liberty at 35 plus knots. They commenced a machine gun attack and launched torpedos at 1435 local. Three minutes later, the sabras mysteriously broke off the engagement. If the boat commanders had wanted to sink the Liberty, they could have done so at this time. Instead, they ceased fire and retreated, returning later to offer assistance to the stricken Liberty. I contend it was during the attack the identification of the American ship became known to the Israeli war planners. I also believe our VQ-2 voice intercepts showed this identification causing the cease-fire. “

        Said you:

        “It was clearly no mistake. Intercepts of IDF pilots conversing with HQ revealed they knew they were attacking a US ship.”

        False and false. Both the IAF transcripts and the NSA transcripts of communications between IDF helicopter pilots and their HQ, recorded by Norwicki and his crew and declassified in 2003, contradict this completely.

        The IAF transcripts show that the first air attack (code named “Kursa”) of two Mirage fighters lasted from about 1:58pm to about 2:02pm, each Mirage completing three forward strafing runs each on the Liberty’s bow before their ammo was spent. The second air attack, code named “Royal,” commenced at between 2:04-2:06pm, was by a squadron of two Super Mystere B-2 fighters returning from bombing Egyptian infantry in the Sinai. They raked the Liberty with what they had—napalm canisters (three missed, one may have hit), and 30mm cannon fire.

        At 2:11pm transcripts of communications between the Israeli Royal wing leader and HQ show that after the second strafing run the Israeli pilot recognized the Latin markings on the hull of the ship: “Pay attention! Ship’s marking is Charlie Tango Romeo 5” (i.e., CTR- 5—the Israeli pilot in fact misidentified the hull markings; they were GTR-5) and adds, “She looks like a minesweeper.” An air controller named Menachem, Chief air controller at Air Control South in the Sinai, then unhelpfully garbled the pilot’s misidentification of the ship’s markings even further as “Charlie Senator Romeo,” i.e., CSR.

        When this is reported to HQ, Colonel Shmuel Kislev, the Chief air controller at the Kirya in Tel-Aviv, obviously now shitting himself with the prospect that they could be attacking a neutral vessel, now screams “Leave her! What ship is this?” He then immediately orders the Royal leader and his wingman to disengage, and cancels the third air attack deployment headed to attack the ship (which was code named flight mission “Nixon,” consisting of two French-built Mystere IV’s armed with 500lb iron incendiaries that would surely blown the Liberty right out of the water, and with all hands). This second air attack had lasted about five minutes.

        The IAF transcripts also show the intense rivalry between the air force and the navy. At 2:09pm, wishing their planes had bombs instead of just cannon and napalm, the Royal flight leader says,

        “Homeland, if you had a two ship formation with bombs in ten minutes before the navy arrives, it will be a mitzvah.”

        Then, adding dejectedly, “Otherwise the navy is on its way here.”

        Air Controller Menachem, perhaps sniffing an opportunity to steal some glory from the navy, then adds, “Before the navy arrives, it will be a mitzvah!”

        In fact, at this point the transcripts show that the air controllers at Air Control Central were, incredibly, still speculating about the identity of the craft an hour and thirteen minutes after she had been targeted:

        At 3:04pm:

        Robert: Is there any ID yet?

        Shimon: None yet.

        Menachem: Is it American after all?

        Shimon: That’s still not clear, Menachem.

        Menachem: Then why did they blast a torpedo?

        Shimon: They [the navy] probably can’t read English.

        (They probably can’t read English—another dig at the navy!)

        That is, in any event, what is said on the IAF transcripts. There is no mention of attacking an American ship. This is a fabrication.

        The NSA transcripts, which began monitoring the communications at about 2:30pm (19 minutes AFTER the air attacks had ceased) show that the IDF helicopter pilots en route to the point of action and their HQ were still confused about the identity of the ship.

        2:34 pm—(HQ) “Pay attention. Ship has now been identified as an Egyptian ship. You are returning home.”

        2:39 pm—(HQ) “Pay attention. You are going to the ship after all. You will try to pull people out of the water…For your info, it’s probably an Arab ship. It’s an Egyptian supply ship.”

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        2:59 pm—(HQ) “As soon as you begin picking up men, find out from the first man you pick up what his nationality is and report it to us right away. It is important that we know this.”

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        It is worth re-emphasizing: These NSA recordings are the only American record of communications of the Israelis concerning the attack on the Liberty. They record communications between rescue helicopters and their HQ from about 2:29 pm to about 3:19 pm. The transcripts speak for themselves.

        Said you:

        “Bamford’s book was never discredited. What ever gave you that silly idea?”

        Bamford’s source for his assertion that Israeli planes or ships attacking the Liberty saw an American flag and kept attacking, Marvin Norwicki, who was then a chief petty officer aboard an NSA aircraft spying on Israel, wrote Bamford a letter in which he stated in no uncertain terms his belief that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake. Said Norwicki in a March 3, 2000 e-mail to Bamford:

        “In this correspondence, I am concentrating on a
        single event that involved the USS Liberty in June
        1967. As you know, Jim Ennes and members of
        the Liberty crew are on record stating the ship was
        deliberately attacked by the Israelis. I think otherwise.
        I have first hand information, which I am sharing with
        you. I was present on that day, along with members
        of an aircrew in a COMFAIRAIRRECONRON TWO
        (VQ-2) EC-121M aircraft flying some 15,000 feet
        above the incident. As I recall, we recorded most,
        if not all, of the attack. Further, our intercepts, never
        before made public, showed the attack to be an
        accident on the part of the Israelis.”

        In a letter to the Wall street Journal on May 16, 2001, Nowicki wrote:

        “In regard to Timothy Naftali’s review of James
        Bamford’s book “Body of Secrets” (Leisure &
        Arts, May 9): Mr. Naftali doesn’t quite have it right
        concerning the book portion dealing with the Israeli
        attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. I know because
        I am the person to whom Mr. Natfali [sic] refers as
        the “chief Hebrew-language analyst” aboard the
        U.S. Navy (not Air Force) EC121 aircraft. He says
        that I recall one of my teammates telling me of
        hearing references to “a U.S. flag” from Israeli
        pilots.

        For the record, we (my teammate and I) both heard
        and recorded the references to the U.S. flag made
        by the pilots and captains of the motor torpedo
        boats. My personal recollection remains after
        34 years that the aircraft and MTBs prosecuted
        the Liberty until their operators had an opportunity
        to get close-in and see the flag, hence the
        references to the flag.

        My position, which is opposite of Mr. Bamford’s,
        is that the attack, though terrible and tragic
        especially to the crew members and their families
        on that ill-fated day in June 1967, was a gross
        error. How can I prove it? I can’t unless the
        transcripts/tapes are found and released to
        the public. I last saw them in a desk drawer
        at NSA in the late 1970s before I left the
        service.

        MARVIN E. NOWICKI, PH.D.
        Ashley, Ill.”

        It should be noted that Norwicki’s recollection is confirmed by the release of the IAF transcripts of the attack, and the NSA tapes declassified in 2003.

        Also, in addition to Norwicki and his teammate, mentioned by him above in the WSJ letter, there was a third Hebrew linguist on board the EC-121M recon plane, who, following the declassification of the NSA tapes in 2003 was revealed to be one Richard W. Hickman, and who testified to his own thoughts on the Liberty attack in 1981, when interviewed for the NSA report on the attack:

        “From the SIGNET picture I witnessed, I would tend to
        say that the Israelis did not know that they attacked a
        US vessel…”

        Also, James Bamford’s assertion that the Israelis attacked the Liberty to conceal a massacre of 1000 Egyptian prisoners in the Sinai is unsubstantiated by any evidence whatsoever. Journalist Gabi Bron and IDF historian Aryeh Yitzhaki, the two sources Bamford cites to prove this “massacre” contradict him completely, and have both stated that no such massacre ever took place. Along with Norwicki, Bamford thus knowingly and deliberately misrepresented the very sources he has cited to “prove” his conspiracy theories. He stands thoroughly discredited.

        Your witness.

      • Shingo
        January 18, 2012, 7:37 am

        And they were not “given US radio frequencies to listen to.”

        Actually they were. The Israel’s attack was preceded by the radio jamming of the ship, which is itself damning evidence that the assailants knew exactly whom they were attacking. Such jamming requires intimate knowledge of the target being jammed, obtained by extended monitoring of its signals. And this was selective jamming; it struck Liberty’s frequencies and no others.

        What evidence is there that the Israelis were ever monitoring Sixth Fleet communications? None whatsoever.

        Irrelevant. If they knew the frequencies the Liberty was using, they could have intercepted them.

        If they had been listening, here is what they would have heard: Sixth Fleet Commander Admiral Martin gave the order for a launch of fighter aircraft from the USS Saratoga and the USS America at 2:50pm Sinai time—nine minutes AFTER the Israeli MTB’s cut off the attack.

        False. The attack was still in progress at that time. The attack lasted for an hour and 15 minutes, so it would continue for another half an hour at least. We’ve already been through this and debunked your assertion Robert.

        As the BBC documentary explained, while the planes were being recalled for the first time, the Liberty was still under attack by the MTB’s.

        When the MTB’s arrived and continued the attack, they fired five torpedoes, with one hitting and killing 25 men. They then leisurely circled the defenceless ship for 40 minutes, pumping hundreds of 40mm, 20mm, and 50cal. rounds at wounded men on deck, stretcher bearers and fire fighters. Thinking the ship was about to sink, the crew threw life rafts over the side; the attackers machinegunned those too. With increased radio activity from the U.S. Sixth Fleet indicating an impending U.S. response (many of the Fleet’s messages bore “Flash” precedence), the Israelis suddenly contacted the U.S. embassy and informed it of this “accident.” It was probably the longest “accidental” attack in the history of naval warfare an hour and 15 minutes.

        Martin ordered the launches for 3:39pm Sinai time with ETA of one hour and thirty minutes—giving the Israelis, if they had been listening, a good two hours and twenty minutes to finish off the Liberty without any outside interference if they had so desired. After learning that the attack was a mistake by the Israelis, Martin had the aircraft recalled at 4:40pm.

        The aircraft were recalled twice. Secondly, even if they had one hour and thirty minutes (not 2:20) to finish off the Liberty without any outside interference, they knew the word had reached the US fleet that the ship had been attacked.

        The Israeli MTB’s caught up with the Liberty as a sailor on board the Liberty opened up fire on them with .50 caliber machine guns (at 2:31pm according to the Liberty deck log), not receiving Liberty Captain McGonagle’s order not to fire on the approaching craft

        False. No MTB pilots interviewed by the BBC in 2002, mentioned anything about being fired upon by the Liberty on the BBC documentary. The pilot who was interviewed put the machine gunning of the ship down to the crew being inexperienced and trigger happy.

        The firing of the torpedos was not a response but an escalation.

        according to the deck log of the Liberty and Captain McGonagle’s testimony, offered help and medical attention to the survivors at 3:03pm

        McGonagle was unconscious by that stage, so he couldn’t have said that.

        This is confirmed by Marvin Norwicki, a Hebrew linguist aboard an American EC-121M Hawkeye recon plane patrolling in the vicinity that overheard the aftermath of the attack, and whose view that the Liberty was mistakenly attacked was misrepresented by author James Bamford, also commented on the Israeli MTB attack:

        False again. The claim that Bamford misrepresented Norwicki’s view is a lie. After Norwicki posted his statement, the paper that published it issued an apology to Bamford for a) not allowing him to respond and b) overlooking the fact that Bamford made it clear in his book that Norwicki held the view the attack was a mistake, but that other crew of the American EC-121M Hawkeye believed it was a deliberate attack.

        “According to Ennes (James Ennes, Liberty crew member), the three MTBs left the port of Ashdod at 1200 local, some 125 miles away, heading for the Liberty at 35 plus knots. They commenced a machine gun attack and launched torpedos at 1435 local.”

        Which kinda debunks your suggestion that the Liberty fired on them first. Furthermore, Ennes explains that while they were firing on the ship, the MTB’s were only 50 feet away and continued to fire from close range for another 40 minutes; machinegunning the liferafts in the water.

        Surely by this stage, the MTB’s would have had no problem whatsoever identifying the ship, but they continued to attack anyway.

        “ I contend it was during the attack the identification of the American ship became known to the Israeli war planners. I also believe our VQ-2 voice intercepts showed this identification causing the cease-fire. “

        Which also refutes your claims that the Israelis were not listening in on the Liberty.

        False and false. Both the IAF transcripts and the NSA transcripts of communications between IDF helicopter pilots and their HQ, recorded by Norwicki and his crew and declassified in 2003, contradict this completely.

        No, false and false on your part.

        The BBC documentary interviewed a US radio intelligence analyst who was following the radio intercepts of the attack.

        “The communications I had in my hand originated from an Israeli flight commander. Evidently from his questioning to ground control, once can deduce that he had been given specific orders to attack that ship before he left the ground. And when he saw it was an American ship, he questioned those orders. And he questioned those orders to his ground control. That same conversation that I had in my hands specifically noted that ground control said – proceed with the attack – and here was still doubt in the Israeli pilot’s mind and he said – note this is American, repeat those orders again and he was told flat out – do attack this ship

        So clearly, the Israeli HQ knew by that stage they were attacking a US ship and ordered their pilots to proceed.

        (They probably can’t read English—another dig at the navy!)

        So why was no one reprimanded or court-martialled over this recklessness? The IDF’s investigation records are clear: the IAF fighter pilots willfully and repeatedly attacked an unidentified ship, and the torpedo boat pilots ignored orders to not attack. A clear case of gross negligence causing multiple homicides and personal injuries, for which nobody was punished; i.e., standand operating procedure for the IDF.

        It was definitely not a case of mistaken identity, so the best one could possibly say in Israel’s defense is that it was a case of failure to identify, but even if that were true, attacking an unidentified ship is prima facie gross negligence.

        That is, in any event, what is said on the IAF transcripts. There is no mention of attacking an American ship. This is a fabrication.

        As Jim Ennes wrote in 2003, “The NSA intercepts show only that the helicopter pilots may not have been aware of the ship’s identity until they arrived. These were not the attacking forces; they were helicopters sent out to clean up as the air attack concluded. Intercept of the attack itself, not released and said not to exist but which has been seen by senior NSA sources we have identified, show that in fact they did know they were attacking an American ship.

        As I have pointed out already, the orders to attack an American ship is beyond dispute. The US radio intelligence analyst who was following the radio intercepts explained that the wing commander told HQ repeatedly that he was looking at an American ship and was told repeatedly to attack it.

        If they didn’t know the Liberty was an American ship, why did they jam American radio frequencies?
        Case closed.

        The NSA transcripts, which began monitoring the communications at about 2:30pm (19 minutes AFTER the air attacks had ceased) show that the IDF helicopter pilots en route to the point of action and their HQ were still confused about the identity of the ship.

        Again, the helicopter pilots were never part of the attacking group, so what they knew or otherwise is not evidence of anything.

        First of all, the NSA transcripts contain no communications that occurred during the attack. Still, they are revealing:
        Some actual key points in the communication transcript’s content:
        - Ground controller for post-attack helicopters appears confused about ship’s nationality.
        - Helicopter pilot sees and reports American flag on ship.
        - Helicopter pilot asks torpedo boat pilot the meaning of “GTR5″ (ship’s ID number) on the ship’s bow. Torpedo boat pilot responds: “It means nothing.”
        Of course, none of this has anything to do with communications during the attack, between the attack-pilots and their ground controller.
        To add weight to this allegation, the former NSA Director retired Army Lieutenant General William Odom on 3 March 2003 in an interview for Naval Institute Proceedings said that:
        “That the attack was deliberate “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the National Security Agency”
        In addition to Odom, four other former NSA directors agree that deliberateness of the attack was not a debatable issue; it was agreed fact. So please explain to us Robert, how it is that the NSA does not dispute the attack was deliberate if the so called transcripts suggested otherwise?

        Oliver Kirby, a former NSA Ops boss who was called back to NSA in 1967 to look into the circumstances of the attack had this to say:
        “I can tell you for an absolute certainty that they knew they were attacking an American ship.”

        How did he know? He saw transcripts of Israeli communications DURING THE ATTACK.

        So much for your false claim that the released NSA recording as the only American record of communications of the Israelis concerning the attack on the Liberty.

        … Norwicki, who was then a chief petty officer aboard an NSA aircraft spying on Israel, wrote Bamford a letter in which he stated in no uncertain terms his belief that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake. Said Norwicki in a March 3, 2000 e-mail to Bamford:

        Said Bamford in response to that letter in July 25, 2001

        “In fact, I specifically noted in my book that Nowicki came to the opposite conclusion: “At the time, based on the fractured conversations he heard on the intercepts, Nowicki just assumed that the attack was a mistake.” (Body of Secrets p. 221). In an e-mail to me, Nowicki states in no uncertain terms that I never misquoted him. So what is Aftergood complaining about? I also say in the book that Nowicki “is an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, who originally assumed his information would help clear Israel.
        Mr. Nowicki’s conclusion is just that – his conclusion. But there are a number of serious problems with his logic. First, the linguists picked up comments about the flag from both the fighter pilots and the crew of the torpedo boats. If, as Nowicki suggests, the Israeli pilots broke off as soon as they saw the flag, then why didn’t they warn the torpedo boats, who were still at least twenty minutes away, to also break off? And if the crew of the torpedo boats broke off immediately after seeing the flag, then why try to shoot up the life rafts and escaping crewmembers, and where is the recording of their shocking discovery back to headquarters?
        Ultimately, the most serious problem with Nowicki’s theory is that if what he speculates is true, than why was it that the crew of both the fighters and torpedo boats denied under oath to investigators that they saw an American flag? The most logical reason is that they saw the flag, knew it was an American ship, attacked anyway according to their orders, and than lied about it afterward. In fact, a Top Secret NSA review of the incident, obtained for my book, specifically suggests perjury. “The fact that two separate torpedo boat commanders made the same false identification,” says the report, “only raises the question of the veracity of both commanders.” They also doubted the truthfulness of the pilots. “Though the pilots testified to the contrary, every official interview of numerous Liberty crewmen gives consistent evidence that indeed the Liberty was flying an American flag — and, further, the weather conditions were ideal to assure its easy observance and identification.” The State Department called the attack, “literally incomprehensible.” Thus, if the explanation was as simple as Nowicki would have you believe, why lie about seeing the flag?

        It should be noted that Norwicki’s recollection is confirmed by the release of the IAF transcripts of the attack, and the NSA tapes declassified in 2003.

        Correction, they are confirmed by the portion of the NSA declassified in 2003.

        A few quotes from the BBC documentary that expose what a shameful cover up this was:

        You claimed earlier that Johnson changed his mind about the attack being deliberate, though you have no way of knowing what was in Jonhson’s mind. I would take the word of Jessie Helmsover yours any day. When askedif Johnson had changed his ming, Helms responded as such:
        “I don’t think he changed his mind, he just changed his actions”

        When asked if he recalled the planes, McNamara responds in a very odd way, First he says:
        “I am absolutely certain that is false.”
        Why not say “absolutely not” unless he was trying to give himself wiggle room in case he was caughtin a lie? When pressed again by the interviewer whether he sent a signal to the Sixth Fleet, his reposnse was even more bizarre:
        ”Absolutely not….I don’t know what the hell…and I haven’t taken time to find out. But there are all of there claim that we sent planes, that there were planes going out and that we turned them around, that we intentionally allowed the Israelis to sink the Liberty…I know nothing about it.”

        Yes folks, you read that correctly. The secretary of defence knows nothing about planes being sent to the aid of the Liberty. He then has to read a report to remember if he gave any orders for them to turn back. Even worse, he hasn’t taken time to find out.

        When McNamra was asked if there had been a cover up, or whether people were sworn to secrecy he answered:
        “I’m not going to say anything about the Liberty, period”

        Then there’s Merlin Starring, the Navy’s top lawyer, who reviewed Kidd’s report and found that the report did not support Kidd’s conclusion that Israel had attacked in error.
        “I simply could not find an evidentiary basis for that conclusion. I had considerable trouble with the record in attempting to, as I read through it, attempting to find the evidence, the testimony, and/or other evidence that would support the finding, the opinions the conclusions that the court of inquiry had draft and had reached.”

        In 1997, at Arlington Cemetry, McGonagle broke his silence.

        “In many years, I have wanted to believe that the attack on the Liberty was pure error. It appears to me that it was not a pure case of mistaken identity. I think that it’s about time that the state of Israel and the United States government prove he crewmembers of the Liberty and the reast of the American people, the facts of what happened and why it came about that the Liberty was attacked 30 years ago today”.

        Shortly before he died, he sent a letter to President Clinton, calling for Israel to admit that it’s armed forces had deliberately attacked the USS Liberty.

        Lucius Battle, US Assistance Secretary of State says:
        “I think there was a cover up. I think there were details known, from talking with some of those crew, it was pretty bad”

        Richard Helms says that:
        “My personal view is the same as my American view, that they intended to attack the ship. And that no excuse can be found for saying this was just a mistake”

        When asked if Johnson ordered a cover up, Helms replied very strangely:
        “No….that I’m aware of. …You can ask McNamra about those questions, I’m not going to answer those”.

        And yet, in spite of all this, Werdine wonders “Why is it just so impossible to believe that this attack was a mistake?”

      • Robert Werdine
        January 22, 2012, 8:02 pm

        Shingo,

        Your assertion that the radio frequencies of the USS Liberty were Jammed by the Israelis is false and is contradicted by evidence.

        Your assertion that the Israelis were monitoring Sixth Fleet communications is without foundation.

        Your assertion that the attack on the Liberty lasted for an hour and 15 minutes is false.

        Your assertion that the Israelis fired on lifeboats with sailors in them is false.

        Your assertion that the Israeli MTB’s fired first on the Liberty is false and is contradicted by evidence.

        Your assertion that Captain McGonagle was rendered unconscious during the attack is false.

        All of these assertions are false.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2012, 12:24 am

        do you plan on backing that up Werdine ? or is “This is absolutely false” the extent of your argument?

      • Shingo
        January 23, 2012, 1:00 am

        Werdine,

        Fact: The radio frequencies of the USS Liberty were Jammed by the Israelis(as documented by the BBC Documentary.

        Fact: Israelis were monitoring Sixth Fleet communications.

        Fact: The attack on the Liberty lasted for an hour and 15 minutes (as documented by the BBC Documentary).

        Fact: The Israelis fired on lifeboats (as documented by the BBC Documentary).

        Fact: Israeli MTB’s fired first on the Liberty (as documented by the BBC Documentary).

        Fact: Captain McGonagle was rendered unconscious (as documented by the BBC Documentary).

        All of these are documented by the BBC Documentary

      • Chaos4700
        January 23, 2012, 2:01 am

        Annie, Werdine is and always has been a shoah denier of his own color.

      • Djinn
        January 23, 2012, 2:25 am

        It may be of interest to you to know that the Israelis took responsibility for the attack moments after it occured, offered medical attention to the survivors, apologized to the United States government, and paid some $12-13 million in damages to the government, Liberty survivors, and the families of those who were killed.

        Without buying into the nonsense argument that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake, it grates so much that Israeli apologists seem to believe providing medical care to people who were not a threat when Israel attacked them is something noble.

      • Hostage
        January 23, 2012, 3:08 am

        It may be of interest to you to know that the Israelis took responsibility for the attack moments after it occured, offered medical attention to the survivors, apologized to the United States government, and paid some $12-13 million in damages to the government, Liberty survivors, and the families of those who were killed.

        I know riiggghhhhhtttttt!!!!!!! And no way would a country that went to war to defend everyone’s right to freedom of navigation on the high seas, for innocent passage of warships, strategic materials, and etc. attack another country’s vessels, wait for it – in international waters – and then turnaround and make the preposterous claim that the only fly in the ointment was mistaken identity. Your argument misses the whole point Robert. To paraphrase John Lennon, launching unprovoked attacks on vessels in international waters in defense of the right of innocent passage is like fucking for virginity. Can I get an Amen on that? link to synaptic.bc.ca

      • Robert Werdine
        January 24, 2012, 11:58 am

        Hostage,

        This is a pretty silly argument. Israeli did not launch an unprovoked attack on a vessel in international waters “in defense of the right of innocent passage”; they attacked what they thought was an Egyptian vessel shelling them at El Arish. Sounds like you’re channeling Dean Rusk.

      • Robert Werdine
        January 24, 2012, 3:33 pm

        Shingo,

        1). Said you: “Fact: The radio frequencies of the USS Liberty were Jammed by the Israelis, as documented by the BBC Documentary.”

        There is no evidence that the frequencies were being jammed. According to the Naval Court of Inquiry, the first strafing run on the Liberty at 1:58pm, disabled the ship’s radio transmission capability to the extent that they were unable to transmit on the ship’s standard encrypted transmitters. They then began transmitting on the CINCUSNAVEUR hi-com unsecured high-frequency voice circuit, but to no result. It was then discovered that someone in the transmitting room had put the frequency dial one kilocycle off, and this was quickly corrected by Radioman Chief Wayne L. Smith, who testified to this at the Naval Court of Inquiry in June 1967, and how he then transmitted distress signals to the USS Saratoga. This could not have happened if the Israelis were jamming all frequencies.

        Also, there is simply no evidence that the Israelis positively identified the Liberty when it was targeted at 1:51 pm by MTB Commander Oren, that they knew it was an intelligence gathering vessel when it was targeted, or that they intercepted any communications the Liberty was engaged in. And even if the Israelis were listening in, what could they have heard that could have given them any concern? Absolutely nothing. They would have learned that the Liberty was NOT monitoring their communications because the Liberty had no Hebrew linguists, only Arab and Russian.

        2) “Fact: Israelis were monitoring Sixth Fleet communications.”

        They could not have monitored Sixth Fleet communications because those communications were taking place between Sixth Fleet Commander Vice Admiral William Admiral Martin on board the Sixth Fleet flagship USS Little Rock, which was some 500 miles west of the Liberty, to the carriers USS Saratoga and USS America, who were each, respectively, 700 and 600 miles to the west of the Liberty when Martin sent his communication to them at 2:50pm Sinai time.

        Not only did the Israelis have no naval presence (or capacity) to monitor these communications more than 500 miles west of Israel, but even the USS Liberty could not have monitored these Sixth Fleet communications from where they were; the Liberty could only monitor communications in a line of sight range, i.e., about 25 nautical miles distance.

        3). “Fact: The attack on the Liberty lasted for an hour and 15 minutes (as documented by the BBC Documentary).”

        There simply is no record of any such attack after 2:35 pm occurring, and this is corroborated by a) the IDF investigation drawn from IDF Navy logs, b) the declassified NSA tapes of 2003 which monitored the chatter of the Israeli rescue helicopters and naval HQ in Stella Maris between 2:29pm and 3:19pm, c) both the Deck log and the Underway log of the USS Liberty, d) no mention of any such attack after the torpedo hit in the Naval Court of Inquiry, and e) the IAF transcripts.

        It is thus corroborated by five sources, two Israeli and three American. There was no attack after Commander Oren ordered the attack ceased at 2:41 pm.

        In fact, according to McGonagle’s testimony and the Deck log of the Liberty, there was not even any exchange of fire after the torpedo hit the Liberty at 2:35 pm, and no record of any subsequent attack or exchange of fire anywhere except in the hearsay-laden world of the conspiracy, where anything is possible, and the tales become more lurid with time. This is simply one of the many fabrications embellished years after the event.

        This also means that the actual naval attack lasted about 3-4 minutes.

        The Israelis thus did NOT attack the ship “for an hour and fifteen minutes.” (Some versions, James Bamford’s, for example, have the attack lasting over two hours—it depends on the conspiracy theorist, I guess) The combined air attacks lasted all of about nine minutes (1:58—2:02pm + 2:06—2:11 pm), and the following naval attack about 3-4 minutes (2:31—2:35 pm). Again, there is no record anywhere of any attack or exchange of fire after 2:35 pm Sinai time.

        4). Said you: “Fact: The Israelis fired on lifeboats (as documented by the BBC Documentary).”

        First of all, when the Israeli MTB’s got close enough to see hull markings on the Liberty at 2:41 pm, they cut off the attack. And though they had stopped firing for six minutes, they had still not got close enough to positively ID’d them. Four minutes later they radioed in that they might have hit a Russian vessel. A few minutes after that they picked up a few life rafts, saw the Latin markings on them, and concluded it was American. At 3:03pm they then approached the Liberty and offered assistance.

        Secondly, they did not fire on the lifeboats of the Liberty with any sailors in them, and did not strafe either the ship or any lifeboats in the water after the torpedo attack. The lifeboats were strafed on the ship during the air and sea attacks, and the sailors of the Liberty, seeing them so damaged, threw them into the sea. This is attested to by former Liberty OOD Lloyd Painter, who testified at the Court of Inquiry, “We filed out to our life rafts which were no longer with us because they had been strafed and most of them burned so we knocked most of them over the ship.”

        5). “Fact: Israeli MTB’s fired first on the Liberty (as documented by the BBC Documentary).”

        That statement is false. The Israeli MTB’s attempted to signal the Liberty before attacking. The Liberty was unable to signal back to the Israeli MTB’s because a) their signaling equipment had been damaged, and b) they were unable to clearly read the signals from the MTB’s because of the smoke (McGonagle noted this in his testimony to the Court of Inquiry). A gunner on the Liberty DID open fire while the Israeli MTB’s were approaching and still attempting to signal her.

        This fact is supported by:

        a) The Deck log of the USS Liberty, which stated:

        “14:31 (2:31pm) machine gun 53 opened fire on center of three MTB’s. Commanding officer ordered Ensign Lucas to proceed to machine gun 53 and to cease firing.” (See pages 13 and 22 of the pdf below)

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        b) By the testimony of Capt. McGonagle in the Naval Court of Inquiry:
        “From the starboard wing of the bridge, I observed that the fire from machine gun 53 was very effective and blanketed the area and the center torpedo boat…As far as the torpedo boats are concerned, I am sure they felt that they were under fire from the USS Liberty. At this time they opened fire with their gun mounts, and in a matter of seconds, one torpedo was noted crossing astern of the ship at about 25 yards. ”

        (To access McGonagle’s testimony describing the attack and the aftermath, see pages 140-149 on the pdf below)

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        c) By a press conference held by Capt. McGonagle on July 29, 1967 when the Liberty arrived back to the USA, where he said:

        “A short time after the air attack had been completed, the three torpedo boats approached us from our starboard quarter at high speed and in an apparent torpedo launch attitude.

        As they approached to within about one mile of the ship, I saw what appeared to me to be an Israeli flag on one of the boats, and at one time it appeared that the center boat was attempting to signal the ship, but because of the intermittent blocking of the signal light by the smoke and flame, we were unable to determine what this boat was attempting to signal.

        I had previously directed a man from the bridge to proceed to the forward starboard gun mount and take the torpedo boats under fire in an attempt to defend ourselves. When I saw what appeared to be an Israeli flag, I yelled to the forecastle because I had no phone communications with the men and I yelled to him to tell him to hold fire. But before he was able to understand what I was trying to tell him, he opened fire on the boats as I had previously directed.”

        d) The IDF History Report which states “the [Division 914 Commander] discerned flashes of gunshot fire emanating from the ship, and the commander of T-203 saw the fire and reported hits in the vicinity of T-206 (the other MTB).” (See pages 18-20 on the pdf below).

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        In all of the above sources, including the Deck log of the Liberty and McGonagle’s testimony, there is no mention of the Liberty being fired upon first by the Israeli MTB’s and there is clear confirmation that the Liberty’s machine gun 53 fired first on the approaching MTB’s.

        The fact is beyond reasonable doubt or dispute: the Liberty fired first on the MTB’s, and, it should be added, under circumstances that were completely understandable and excusable.

        6). Said you: “Fact: Captain McGonagle was rendered unconscious (as documented by the BBC Documentary).”

        This is untrue. He was not unconscious at any stage, and he was most definitely conscious when the Israeli MTB’s offered assistance to the Liberty at 3:03pm. Though wounded by shrapnel in the air attacks, McGonagle was conscious and continued giving orders both during and after the attack. This heroism on his part rightly won for him the Congressional Medal of Honor. Do you think he would have been awarded our nation’s highest decoration if he had been unconscious during the attack?

        Part of this falsehood that the Israeli MTB’s did not offer assistance to the Liberty has been spread by Liberty crewmember James Ennes Jr., who said,

        “They claim that they came alongside and immediately offered help. Well, that is the purest of baloney. Instead of offering help, they circled us several times, machine gunning anything that moved. Pulled out, came in, machine gunned the life rafts in the water.”

        This is false, every word of it. In the fist place, Ennes could not have been a first-hand witness as to whether an Israeli MTB did or did not extend help to the Liberty; he was wounded in the first minutes of the air attack and was taken below deck, where he remained until he was transferred to another ship the next day. Secondly, Ennes is contradicted on this by Commander McGonagle,

        Here is his testimony:

        MCGONAGLE: Immediately after the ship was struck by the torpedo, the torpedo boats stopped dead in the water and milled around astern of the ship at a range of approximately 500 to 800 yards. One of the boats signaled by flashing light, in English, “Do you require assistance”?”

        Third, Ennes is contradicted on this by the testimony of Chief Communications Technician Harold J. Thompson:

        THOMPSON: … I was asked to report to the bridge, which I did. When I got up there, Signalman David was attempting to rig a hand light. I assisted him. We went to the starboard wing of the bridge and one torpedo boat was making a run straight at us off the starboard beam while the other two stood off. At the Captain’s direction, David sent, “US Naval Ship” “US Naval Ship.” When they were about 500 yards off, the torpedo boat turned astern and came up on the stern on the starboard side and flashed, “do you need help.” … The Captain … said “no, thank you.” We sent this back to the boat … and saw on the last part of that message … “Do you want us to standby?” I passed this word to the Captain. He said, “no, thank you.” We sent this to the patrol boat. They came up along the port side, I say roughly 100 yards off, flashed “good luck” … and disappeared. That was the last we saw of them.”

        Btw, McGonagle and Chief Thompson, along with the other 17 crewmembers who testified at the Court of Inquiry, made no mention of any exchange of gunfire with the Israeli MTB’s after being torpedoed at 2:35 pm.

        7) The tales of James Bamford

        As anyone who has studied the matter of the attack on the Liberty knows, the incident that led directly to the attack was an explosion at an Israeli ammo depot at El Arish at 11:24am. It has never been established what, exactly, caused this explosion. The Israelis, spotting a ship some 14 miles to the northwest, assumed it to be an enemy ship shelling them. Through a series of miscalculations from the motor torpedo boats sent to engage the vessel, including that of the vessel’s speed, the Israelis concluded, from about 20 miles distance, that the ship was an enemy vessel at about 1:51pm. That is when they ordered the first air strike on the Liberty, thought to be an Egyptian vessel shelling them.

        James Bamford, like so many other Liberty conspiracy theorists, posits the following misleading narrative in his book, “Body of Secrets,” implying that the Israelis knew that the ship they spotted off El Arish was the Liberty, knew it was incapable of shelling them, and then set out to attack it knowing it was an American ship because the ship had heard “secrets.”

        Said Bamford, page 206:

        “As any observer would have immediately have recognized, the four small defensive 50mm machine guns (Bamford is in error here; they were .50 caliber) were incapable of reaching anywhere near the shore, thirteen miles away, let alone the buildings of El Arish…And the ship itself, a tired old World War two cargo vessel crawling with antennas, was unthreatening to anyone—unless it was their secrets and not their lives they wanted to protect.

        By then the Israeli air force and navy had conducted more than six hours of close surveillance of the Liberty off the Sinai, even taken pictures, and must have positively identified it as an American electronic spy ship. They knew the Liberty was the only military ship in the area. Nevertheless, the order was given to kill it. Thus at 12:05pm, three motor torpedo boats from Ashdod departed for the Liberty, about 50 miles away. Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 30mm cannon ammunition, rockets, and even napalm, then followed. They were all to return virtually empty.”

        I hardly know where to begin with this tangle of fact, falsehood, innuendo, and deliberate omission. In the first place, if the Israelis had been able to inspect the USS Liberty up close they would surely have seen the ship as Bamford describes it. But they first noticed it at some 14 miles off the coast of El Arish at 11:24am, again at 1:47pm from 20 miles distance from a torpedo boat, and again at 2:24pm from the same boat while the Liberty was engulfed with smoke at 6,000 yards distance. Bamford neglects to mention this.

        Also, the Israelis did not order an attack on the Liberty at 12:05pm; they were still uncertain about the identity of the ship at this time

        At 12:15 pm the three torpedo boats (Division 914, commanded by Commander Moshe Oren) were ordered into the vicinity of El Arish to identify the vessel in question—that was all. They were not given orders to attack the vessel, and they were not “followed by Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 30mm cannon ammunition, rockets, and napalm.” No such air deployment was yet ordered or launched. At 1:41 pm Division 914 spotted a vessel on its radar some 20 miles northwest of El- Arish. The officer of the CIC on the flagship, Ensign Yifrach Aharon, miscalculated the Liberty’s speed once at 30 knots at 1:47pm, and, after a request for verification from Naval HQ, miscalculated it again at 28 knots at 1:51pm. (In naval circles it is common knowledge that a vessel steaming at over 20 knots in an area of belligerent operations is a warship).

        The reasons for the miscalculation of the Liberty’s speed by Aharon are simple. The fix on the Liberty’s speed was being made in a small MTB bumping along at about 37 knots at about a 20 mile distance from the Liberty. The complex radar, radio, and navigational calculations (much of it guesswork or dead reckoning and done on primitive equipment) are rife with opportunities for errors. (The USS Maddox committed similar errors in the alleged second attack of the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964. In fact, there probably was no such attack, and the “vessels” spotted were probably radar echoes resulting from atmospheric conditions). After the second fix on the vessel’s speed, the CIC felt sure that it was an enemy vessel, and then called in for an air assault, which occurred at 1:58pm.

        Bamford omits this crucial information, implying that the MTB’s and the fighter aircraft were both launched to attack the Liberty at 12:05pm when no such attack had been ordered, and the Israelis were in fact still uncertain about the vessel’s identity.

        The truth, of course, is that they were not ordered to attack the Liberty at 12:05pm. The first deployment of aircraft to attack the Liberty only occurred after Ensign Aharon miscalculated the Liberty’s speed for a second time at 1:51pm. That was the first air assault, the Kursa mission of two Mirage IIIC’s. They were armed with 30mm cannon and possibly American Sidewinder air-to-air missiles; it is not clear if these missiles were used or were even on the planes during this mission. The first air attack lasted from 1:58 to 2:02pm.

        The second air mission of two Super Mysteres, mission “Royal,” was, like the two Mirages of the Kursa mission recalled from an air patrol, also recalled from a strafing mission in the Sinai and were only armed with 30mm cannon and four canisters of napalm—hardly appropriate ordinance for attacking a ship. This indicates the haste at which both air attack missions were recalled mid air from previous missions; neither had time to land, refuel, and rearm.

        According to the IDF report on the Liberty attack, Colonel Kislev was told that the Royal mission was only “armed with napalm, not effective for attacking ships.” Kislev nonetheless “instructed the formation to join the attack with ‘whatever they have.’”

        On the IAF transcripts, after the Kursa mission was completed (about 2:02pm), another one of the Israeli ground controllers, who was incredulous that napalm was actually going to be dropped by mission Royal on the ship, cried out, “What can napalm do?”

        The answer: not much. Napalm can start a fire but fires can be extinguished. Bombs are far more effective, and if they had time to land and rearm, that is what they would have been loaded with.

        This is important. Why? Because it demonstrates that if the Israelis, who had just destroyed the superior air forces of three countries on the ground and in the air in the past three days, had really been given an hour, or even a half-hour or so to plan for the attack, they would certainly have loaded their planes with the proper ordinance to attack and destroy the Liberty in a single sortie, probably within minutes, silencing her and her crew forever, and sending both to a watery grave. And again: bombs are much more effective than napalm. Nobody throws napalm at a ship: that’s dumb!

        They first called in for an air-strike at about 1:51pm, the Kursa mission hitting the Liberty seven minutes later. The Royal mission was called in by the Kursa mission at 1:56pm, and they arrived at the scene sometime between 2:04-2:06pm, breaking off the attack at about 2:11pm when there were questions about the identity. The inadequacy of the ordinance on the first two air attack missions betrays the evident lack of planning, and clearly indicates the haste in which they were both recalled mid-air from their previous missions for the attack.

        Also, Bamford to the contrary, the Israelis did not take any pictures of the Liberty, and did not conduct “more than six hours of close surveillance.”

        Bamford here muddies the waters to confuse the reader by weaving facts and falsehoods into his narrative. First, (pge. 199) he has the Israeli naval observer on the Nord recon plane that first spotted the Liberty giving positive ID at 6:03 am instead of 9:00am. (They actually spotted the Liberty at about 5:45am but did not positively ID it until 9:00am).

        Secondly, on page 206, by omission and fabrication, he misrepresents how the explosions at El Arish at 11:24am were believed by the Israelis to be coming from the ship that they had spotted off the coast, and how and why they misidentified the Liberty as an Egyptiian ship shelling them.

        This information, which explains how the Israelis ID’d the Liberty in the morning and then misidentified it as an enemy ship bombarding them later that afternoon, is critical to understanding how the tragedy unfolded.

        Lt. Commander Pinchas Pinchasy, who had received the original report at 9:00am identifying the Liberty in the “pit” of the Kirya in Tel Aviv, had, by the time the explosion occurred at El Arish at 11:24am, assumed that the Liberty, which had been heading westward at about 15 knots when ID’d earlier, had long left the area (the green wedge marker representing the Liberty had been removed by Commander Lunz from the control board at Stella Maris at 11:00am, when he was relieved by Captain Rahav. More about that below).

        Also, as he later commented, it did not occur to him at the time that an American intelligence gathering vessel that had been traveling westward for more than several hours would likely be shelling El Arish. For these reasons, he, like the others, assumed that an enemy vessel was bombarding them.

        Why then did Lunz remove the green wedge marker representing the Liberty at 11:00am? Because he was of the opinion that the Liberty was at least 75 miles west of the point at which it had been first spotted 5-6 hours earlier, steaming at 15 knots, and at least 30 miles west from where it was when spotted again at 9:00am. When positively ID’d at 9:00am, the Liberty was at the extreme southwest end of the control board, and steaming west at 15 knots (this speed, btw, is confirmed by the Liberty’s own deck log). According to these calculations, this would have put the Liberty in the direct vicinity of Port Said—about 70 miles west of the point at which the Liberty was first attacked at 1:58pm. In retrospect, Lunz’s action was not only proper, but followed standard operating procedure for removing old information from the control board. Captain Rahav, who relieved Lunz at 11:00am, thus had no knowledge of the Liberty’s existence whatsoever. It was thus even more logical for him to assume that an enemy ship was bombarding Al Arish at 11:24am.

        Bamford thus misleadingly implies that the Israelis were tracking the Liberty from six in the morning right up until the moment she was attacked. That is not true. They positively ID’d her at 9:00am, marked her location at the extreme southwest end of the control board, marked her speed and westward course of direction, and logically concluded that the Liberty was 30 miles west of the point at which she’d been ID’d at 11:00am when they removed the green marker representing the Liberty.

        The overflights occurring from 9am onward were not reconnoitering the Liberty; they were doing submarine reconnaissance in an area that was very heavy with IAF traffic going back and forth to the Sinai, which had been intensified after the discovery of an Egyptian sub off Atlit; they were not tracking the Liberty. “Tracking” a ship’s movements is a rather elaborate recon activity that involves close coordination between ground, sea, and air. According to the IAF records, the Liberty was once spotted (5:45am) and once positively ID’d (9:00am). That’s it. After 9:00am they completely ignored the USS Liberty. It was not being “tracked.” (See footnote # 14 on page 42 on the pdf format of the IDF report)

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        Bamford, of course, mentions none of this, despite the fact that the information had been available to him for four years prior to publishing his book.

        Also, Bamford has the Israelis strafing the Liberty after the torpedo attack in an attempt to ensure that there would be “no survivors.” This is nonsensical.

        As I point out below, if it was really the intention to destroy and sink the ship and kill the survivors, why did the air controller Col. Shmuel Kislev order the “Royal” air mission to cease attacking at 2:11 pm and scrub the “Nixon” air mission of two Mystere IV aircraft armed with 500 lb. iron bombs that would surely have blown the Liberty to smithereens, and with all hands? If not cancelled, the Nixon air mission would have reached the Liberty in half the time it was taking the MTB’s. Again, why cancel the mission if the intent was to destroy and sink the Liberty, and kill all the survivors?

        The truth is that they cut off the air attack at 2:11pm because a pilot spotted Latin markings on the hull, and hence were uncertain about the identity. The Israelis were still uncertain of the ship’s identity when Commander Oren attempted to signal the Liberty at 2:30 from his MTB. Consulting his intelligence manual of Arab ships (he had no “Jane’s Fighting Ships” with him), he misidentified the smoke engulfed ship from 6,000 yards, and concluded it was the El Qusier. Even as the MTB’s were approaching the ship they were still attempting to signal her, and it was only when the Liberty opened fire that they then concluded that she was indeed an enemy ship. Had Col. Kislev not cut off the air attack at 2:11pm, the Nixon air mission of Mystere IV’s would have destroyed and/or sunk the Liberty probably within the next five minutes.

        Said Marvin Nowicki:

        “According to Ennes (James Ennes, Liberty crew member), the three MTBs left the port of Ashdod at 1200 local, some 125 miles away, heading for the Liberty at 35 plus knots. They commenced a machine gun attack and launched torpedos at 1435 local.”

        Said you:

        “Which kinda debunks your suggestion that the Liberty fired on them first.”

        No it does not. Nowicki was describing Ennes’ views, not his own.

        In fact, I talked to Marvin Nowicki myself. He confirmed to me the accuracy of the criticisms of Bamford’s misuse of the material he provided him (Norwicki told me: “He turned it all around”), and confirmed to me his conviction that the attack was a mistake.

        Bamford, to be fair, does indeed mention that Nowicki believed the attack a mistake, however, he misrepresents the sequence in which the American flag is mentioned. As we now know, the NSA only began recording traffic on the attack at 2:29pm. The NSA’s 1967 summary is unequivocal: “There is no COMINT reflecting on the attack itself.”

        What they recorded at that time, however, was not the MTB’s communications, but those of rescue helicopters sent out to pick up survivors from the stricken ship, as some were reported to be in the water. To wit: there is no mention of any American flag on either the IAF or the NSA transcripts until 3:12pm Sinai time—37 minutes after the naval attack had ceased, meaning that there was no mention of the flag during the air attacks, and no recorded mention of the flag from the MTB’s during the naval attack. (In fact, by coincidence, both transcripts mention notice of the American flag at this exact time).

        Bamford knew this. He might not have had access to the NSA transcripts because they were only released two years after he published “Body of Secrets,” but he had access to the IAF transcripts, and he in fact quotes them in his narrative, albeit selectively and misleadingly. He therefore knew that there was no mention of an American flag there until 3:12 pm, and that before this there is recorded nothing but confusion from the Israeli air controllers about the identity of the ship. Naturally, Bamford deliberately omits any mention of this confusion, lest it get in the way of his false narrative.

        ***

        Most of the conspiracy theories promoting a deliberate attack usually begin by attempting to discredit the myriad of investigations that have already been conducted, particularly that of the Court of Inquiry. There have long been charges that the investigations were “cover-ups” and documents were “doctored,” and “forged”—all the indispensable watchwords of the conspiracy theorist to refute documents and memoranda that foils and confounds their lurid fantasies

        For example, if the deck log that was entered into evidence at the Navy Court of Inquiry in June 1967 was doctored, then where is the undoctored one? The deck log of the Liberty runs to some ten hand-written pages, all on Department of the Navy deck-log book stationary. Can it really be asserted that all of the entries in the entire deck log, including Captain McGonagle’s signature entries, were forged, by hand, in the four days between the attack and the inquiry? How was the original one obtained and tampered with, and the other forged within a few days? When? By who? On whose authority? Where, when, and how has this log been authenticated, and the one in evidence been discredited as forgery? And by who?

        Btw, the deck log is not the only log on the Liberty. Other than the other technical logs not concerned with the timeline of events (the Radar Bearing Log, the Engineering Log, the Gyrocompass Log, the Bearing Log, the DRT Log) there is the handwritten Underway log. The timeline of events on both logs corroborate each other. Now, was the Underway log doctored too? If so, in the four days between the attack and the convening of the Court of Inquiry, there was certainly a lot of log doctoring going on.

        Also, the timeline of events in the Israeli and the American Navy logs are a near perfect match. The timeline of the IDF investigation and the timeline from the Navy Court of Inquiry, though conducted apart from one another, essentially corroborate one another, with a few discrepancies here and there.

        If anyone is going to prove that the documentation that has been in evidence in both countries for 44 years, and which has been corroborated by the hundreds of pages of declassified evidence that was released by both countries in 1997, has been forged or doctored, then the burden is on those asserting such to document how this was so, when this was done, and by who.

        A conspiracy to fabricate the evidence denying and disproving a deliberate attack would have involved superhuman prodigies of effort in record time, not to mention a considerable staff of forging experts to accomplish the task, none of whom has yet to step forward with the “undoctored” originals: The re-forging of the COMSIXTHFLEET communications records showing Admiral Martin’s launch order at 2:50pm and his recall order at 4:40pm, the Radio log, the Deck log, and the Underway logs of the USS liberty, and the Deck log of the USS Saratoga, all in the four day period between the attack and the convening of the Court of Inquiry in June 1967. Anyone who believes that this could have been done will believe anything.

        There are many logical and evidentiary problems concerning the intentional attack theory.

        The first is a plausible motive for the Israelis to have knowingly attacked a ship belonging to their strongest ally. On this count, no one has yet produced a plausible motive. The notion that the Israelis attacked the Liberty to conceal a massacre of Egyptian prisoners in the Sinai, or to hide their pending seizure of the Golan Heights from Syria from the United States are both contradicted by a) the absence of any evidence that any such massacre in the Sinai ever took place, and b) diplomatic cables showing that Washington was well informed of the Israelis impending attack, and had not objected. Again, there is no plausible motive for the Israelis to have knowingly attacked an American ship.

        Secondly, it begs the question why the Israelis, if they had indeed been tracking the Liberty from the early morning to the moment of the attack as many have claimed, would knowingly allow the Liberty into the combat zone, reconnoiter the ship for nine hours, thus giving the Liberty nine priceless hours to relay the very information that the attack was supposed to silence, before finally attacking her in broad daylight. It makes no sense.

        Third, even if the Israelis were monitoring the communications of the Liberty, they would have heard nothing to concern them because they would have known that the Liberty wasn’t even monitoring their communications, as the Liberty had no Hebrew linguists.

        Fourth, if the Israelis were monitoring their communications, and heard, or sought to prevent them from hearing, something disturbing, and were able to jam the Liberty’s frequencies, why wouldn’t they have just done that rather than something as dangerous as attacking an American vessel?

        Fifth, if it was really the intention to destroy and sink the ship, why did the air controller Col. Shmuel Kislev order the “Royal” air mission to cease attacking at 2:11 pm and scrub the “Nixon” air mission of two Mystere IV aircraft armed with 500 lb. iron bombs? If not cancelled, the Nixon air mission would have reached the Liberty in half the time it was taking the MTB’s, and would surely have blown the Liberty to smithereens with all hands; one 500lb fragmentation bomb to the boiler would have detonated her like a hand grenade. Again, why cancel the mission if the intent was to destroy and sink the Liberty, and kill all the survivors?

      • Shingo
        January 24, 2012, 4:15 pm

        This is a pretty silly argument.

        Only if you believe the silly whitewash that covered up the deliberate attack. Mind you, you are right that Israeli did not launch an unprovoked attack on a vessel in international waters “in defense of the right of innocent passage”. They Israeli simply launchd an unprovoked attack on a vessel in international waters to sink it.

        Sounds like you’re channeling Dean Rusk.

        No he sounds like he’s channeling 4 former directors of the NSA and the undisputed consensus at the NSA.

        You, on the other hand, sound like you’re channeling a bankrupcy Judge with virtually no experience in the military who dismissed all eyewitness accounts not favoring Israel as unreliable.

      • Hostage
        January 24, 2012, 8:13 pm

        This is a pretty silly argument. Israeli did not launch an unprovoked attack on a vessel in international waters “in defense of the right of innocent passage”;

        You are artlessly trying to reframe what I actually said, i.e. that Israeli went to war to defend the right of freedom of navigation on the high seas, for innocent passage of warships, strategic materials, and etc. and subsequently launched its own unprovoked attack on a vessel in international waters.

        Dean Rusk did tell the incompetent fucktards in Israel that, if they had mistakenly attacked a Russian vessel, the Soviets would have responded with a lot more than an investigation.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2012, 10:20 pm

        robert is like a little energizer troll who just won’t let up!

      • American
        January 25, 2012, 12:37 am

        Werdine,

        The plain truth is this is about the 10th time you have gone on and on with your USS Liberty white wash and said the same stuff every time.

        No one who has looked into this believes you or Cristol…they believe the survivors..the people who were actually there.
        You are wasting your hasbara allotment on this subject.

      • Shingo
        January 25, 2012, 7:53 am

        Werdine

        There is no evidence that the frequencies were being jammed.

        Yes there is. The surviving crew members stated so on the 2002 BBC Documentary. Eyewitness accounts are evidence, though the cover up went to extraordinary lengths to ignore them.

        Also, there is simply no evidence that the Israelis positively identified the Liberty when it was targeted at 1:51 pm by MTB Commander Oren, that they knew it was an intelligence gathering vessel when it was targeted, or that they intercepted any communications the Liberty was engaged in.

        Yes there is, which is why 4 former directors of the NSA have stated that there is no dispute within the agency that Israel knew what it was attacking.

        And even if the Israelis were listening in, what could they have heard that could have given them any concern? Absolutely nothing.

        A response from the 6th fleet that help was on the way.

        There simply is no record of any such attack after 2:35 pm occurring

        Yes there is.

        First off, the IDF Navy logs and IAF transcripts can safely be dismissed as unrealible, due to an innevitbale cover up on their part. Secondly, as has already been explained to you, the declassified NSA tapes of 2003 which monitored the chatter of the Israeli rescue helicopters only pertain to what took place after the attack – they do not inclcude any chatter by the attacking team. The NSA tapes of the attack itself remain classified and those who’ve listened to them have said there is no doubt Israel knew it was attacking an American ship.

        no mention of any such attack after the torpedo hit in the Naval Court of Inquiry

        There is according to the eye witnesses who were prevented from giving testimonu to the Naval Court of Inquiry.

        The attack continued until 3:20 pm. End of Story.

        In fact, according to McGonagle’s testimony and the Deck log of the Liberty, there was not even any exchange of fire after the torpedo hit the Liberty at 2:35 pm

        Of course there was no exchange of fire. The Liberty was defenseless and Israel were aiming to destroy her.

        This is simply one of the many fabrications embellished years after the event.

        No, it’s a fact that was finally released years after the event and years after the cove up, when the cew felt safe to speak about it. Eyewitness accounts are evidence, though the cover up went to extraordinary lengths to ignore them.

        The Israelis thus did NOT attack the ship “for an hour and fifteen minutes.

        Yes there is and it is presented comprehensively on the BBC Documentary.

        First of all, when the Israeli MTB’s got close enough to see hull markings on the Liberty at 2:41 pm, they cut off the attack.

        Obviously not, seeing as the attack continued until 3:20 pm.

        And though they had stopped firing for six minutes, they had still not got close enough to positively ID’d them.

        They didn’t need to. The pilots of the attack planes that had fired at the ship have alrady positively ID’d them.

        Secondly, they did not fire on the lifeboats of the Liberty with any sailors in them

        No one said there were any sailors on the lifeboats, but the Israelis did fire at the lifeboats – clearly believing there were dalors in them. The crew said that it was lucky that there were no sailors in them, or they would have all been killed. But at least you are man enough to admit the Israelis did fire at the lifeboats, which is a war crime and demonstates clear murderous intent.

        and did not strafe either the ship or any lifeboats in the water after the torpedo attack

        So are you suggesting they strafe lifeboats in the water before the torpedo attack?

        The lifeboats were strafed on the ship during the air and sea attacks, and the sailors of the Liberty, seeing them so damaged, threw them into the sea.

        Rubbish. Throwing them into the sea beasue they were damages would have served no purpose, especially given how dangerous it was to be on deck – you know, with napal being dropped and all.

        That statement is false. The Israeli MTB’s attempted to signal the Liberty before attacking. The Liberty was unable to signal back to the Israeli MTB’s because a) their signaling equipment had been damaged

        Duh, the Israelis targetted the communications equipment on the ship with heat seeking missiles so they alrady knew the ship woudl be unable to signal back to them.

        they were unable to clearly read the signals from the MTB’s because of the smoke (McGonagle noted this in his testimony to the Court of Inquiry)

        McGonagle recanted that testimony in his speech at Arlington.

        A gunner on the Liberty DID open fire while the Israeli MTB’s were approaching and still attempting to signal her.

        The MTB pilot who was intervieweed on the BBC documntary mentioned nothig about fire comming from the Liberty and put the attack from the MTS’s down to the inexperience of the crew and theur trigger happiness.
        This fact is supported by:

        This is untrue. He was not unconscious at any stage, and he was most definitely conscious when the Israeli MTB’s offered assistance to the Liberty at 3:03pm.

        Wrong. The BBC Documentary interviewed the ship engineer who took over from MacGonagle becasue he was unconsious during much of the attack.

        Do you think he would have been awarded our nation’s highest decoration if he had been unconscious during the attack?

        Seeing as his was the only medal CMH not to be presentd by a US president, but in a ceremony away from public view at a small nazy base outside of Washington, it’s obvious the medal was an award to buy his silence and his cooperation in the investigation.

        This is false, every word of it. In the fist place, Ennes could not have been a first-hand witness as to whether an Israeli MTB did or did not extend help to the Liberty

        That’s funny. In your precious post, you cited passages from Ennes’ book to support your argument, not you are accusing him of being a liar. You’re beyind rediculus Werdine. We’re expected to believe your version of events of those of an eye witness?

        In any case, the fact that the boats stopped an signalled to the ship if they needed assistance proves nothing.

        As anyone who has studied the matter of the attack on the Liberty knows, the incident that led directly to the attack was an explosion at an Israeli ammo depot at El Arish at 11:24am.

        Rubbish. As anyone who has studied the matter of the attack on the Liberty knows, the incident began at around 6 am when the Israelis began doing recoisansance flights past the ship.

        That is when they ordered the first air strike on the Liberty, thought to be an Egyptian vessel shelling them.

        That too is a lie. Even the Israelis claim they never established the identity of the ship, so it was a war crime anyway.

        James Bamford, like so many other Liberty conspiracy theorists, posits the following misleading narrative in his book, “Body of Secrets,” implying that the Israelis knew that the ship they spotted off El Arish was the Liberty, knew it was incapable of shelling them, and then set out to attack it knowing it was an American ship because the ship had heard “secrets.”

        Bamford has posited by far the most likely and credible explanation for what took place.

        By then the Israeli air force and navy had conducted more than six hours of close surveillance of the Liberty off the Sinai, even taken pictures, and must have positively identified it as an American electronic spy ship.

        Exactly, and then they proceeded to attack it. After all, if they took pictures, then that proves they could not have confused it with an Egyptian ship.

        But they first noticed it at some 14 miles off the coast of El Arish at 11:24am, again at 1:47pm from 20 miles distance from a torpedo boat, and again at 2:24pm from the same boat while the Liberty was engulfed with smoke at 6,000 yards distance. Bamford neglects to mention this.

        he neglects to mention this bevasue it is a lie. The Israelis had already indeotified the ship 12 hours ealier.

        Also, the Israelis did not order an attack on the Liberty at 12:05pm; they were still uncertain about the identity of the ship at this time

        Rubbish. Even according to the Israelis and the declassified NSA tapes, the Israelis never identified the the ship at any time. The IDF’s “investigation” claims that the IAF fighter pilots willfully and repeatedly attacked an unidentified ship, and the torpedo boat pilots ignored orders to not attack.

        In which case, why were there no charges laid or any court matials? After all, the torpedo boat pilots ignored orders to not attack right?

        At 12:15 pm the three torpedo boats (Division 914, commanded by Commander Moshe Oren) were ordered into the vicinity of El Arish to identify the vessel in question—that was all.

        So they DID identify it as the USS Liberty and attacked anyway? Good, you’re finally getting it.

        “What can napalm do?”

        The answer: not much. Napalm can start a fire but fires can be extinguished.

        No, it’s can simply reduce human bodies to floating blobs of jelly. In this case, the purpose of the napalm was to force the crew below decks so that the torpedos could kill as many crew as possible.

        Bombs are far more effective, and if they had time to land and rearm, that is what they would have been loaded with.

        No need. They used heat seeking missiles to great effect. Afer all, they took out all the communications euqipment.

        And again: bombs are much more effective than napalm. Nobody throws napalm at a ship: that’s dumb!

        Not if you are trying to make the atatck look like ti came from the Egyptians. In any case, they sed heat seeking missiles.

        Also, Bamford to the contrary, the Israelis did not take any pictures of the Liberty, and did not conduct “more than six hours of close surveillance.”

        Of course they did. The surveilance took place over nearly 12 hours.

        First, (pge. 199) he has the Israeli naval observer on the Nord recon plane that first spotted the Liberty giving positive ID at 6:03 am instead of 9:00am. (They actually spotted the Liberty at about 5:45am but did not positively ID it until 9:00am).

        False. They definitely identified the ship at 6:03.

        This information, which explains how the Israelis ID’d the Liberty in the morning and then misidentified it as an enemy ship bombarding them later that afternoon, is critical to understanding how the tragedy unfolded.

        No, it’s critical to trying to fabricate the cover up of a war crime.

        Why then did Lunz remove the green wedge marker representing the Liberty at 11:00am?

        he didn’t. The change over of shifts took place at 11:30 am.

        Because he was of the opinion that the Liberty was at least 75 miles west of the point at which it had been first spotted 5-6 hours earlier, steaming at 15 knots, and at least 30 miles west from where it was when spotted again at 9:00am.

        A clear contradiction. On one hand, they claimed the ship was travelling at 15 knots, yet they also argue that because it was travelling at 15 knots Westward, it must have been the attacking ship trying to get away.

        Bamford thus misleadingly implies that the Israelis were tracking the Liberty from six in the morning right up until the moment she was attacked.

        Exactly, and the facts sully suport this thesis.

        The overflights occurring from 9am onward were not reconnoitering the Liberty; they were doing submarine reconnaissance in an area

        False. The flights came so close to the ship that the pilots were seen waving to the crew members of the Liberty. Photograpsh taken by the Livberty crew show the planes were very close.

        Bamford, of course, mentions none of this, despite the fact that the information had been available to him for four years prior to publishing his book.

        it was available, but it was rubbish.

        Also, Bamford has the Israelis strafing the Liberty after the torpedo attack in an attempt to ensure that there would be “no survivors.” This is nonsensical.

        No, this is consistent with the accounts on the BBD documentary of 2002. The fact that the IAF acted stupidly does not refute their intentions.

        As Banforf says about Norwicki:

        Ultimately, the most serious problem with Nowicki’s theory is that if what he speculates is true, than why was it that the crew of both the fighters and torpedo boats denied under oath to investigators that they saw an American flag? The most logical reason is that they saw the flag, knew it was an American ship, attacked anyway according to their orders, and than lied about it afterward. In fact, a Top Secret NSA review of the incident, obtained for my book, specifically suggests perjury. “The fact that two separate torpedo boat commanders made the same false identification,” says the report, “only raises the question of the veracity of both commanders.” They also doubted the truthfulness of the pilots. “Though the pilots testified to the contrary, every official interview of numerous Liberty crewmen gives consistent evidence that indeed the Liberty was flying an American flag — and, further, the weather conditions were ideal to assure its easy observance and identification.” The State Department called the attack, “literally incomprehensible.” Thus, if the explanation was as simple as Nowicki would have you believe, why lie about seeing the flag?

        Nowicki, however, was only one of the two Hebrew linguists on the plane. Since publication of Body of Secrets I was able to locate the other — who in fact heard more of the conversations — and he also confirmed hearing the attacking Israelis talk about the American flag. He, however, came to the exact opposite conclusion as Nowicki, believing the attack was deliberate.

        The NSA’s 1967 summary is unequivocal: “There is no COMINT reflecting on the attack itself.”

        Rubbish. The director of the NSA, Willian Odom has stated:

        That the attack was deliberate “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the National Security Agency

        The so called myriad of investigations that have covered the USS Liberty attack have been appalingly conducted and conducted in without any Congressionial oversight. Eyewitness testimony has been ignored and supressed and even aptain McGonagle later admitted that there is no doubt it was a deliberate attack on a US ship by the Israelis. As he pointed out in 1997:

        “USS Liberty is the only US Navy ship attacked by a foreign nation, involving large loss of life…that has never been accorded a full Congressional hearing.”

        So why were none of the “myriad of investigations” not been accorded a full Congressional hearing if they were above board? The answer is obvious.

        For example, if the deck log that was entered into evidence at the Navy Court of Inquiry in June 1967 was doctored, then where is the undoctored one?

        Good question. In all likelyood, it was destroyed. Hardly a difficult feat by a government willing to go to the extraordinary lengths it dod to cover up the attack.

        The deck log of the Liberty runs to some ten hand-written pages, all on Department of the Navy deck-log book stationary.

        Meaning? Again, writing a falisified ten hand-written page log on Navy deck-log book stationary would hardly be a difficult feat by a government willing to go to the extraordinary lengths it dod to cover up the attack.

        Can it really be asserted that all of the entries in the entire deck log, including Captain McGonagle’s signature entries, were forged, by hand, in the four days between the attack and the inquiry?

        If 10 pages can be written in the space of a few hours under such hostile conditions, they can certiainly be hand written over 4 days in an office in Washington.

        How was the original one obtained and tampered with, and the other forged within a few days? When? By who? On whose authority? Where, when, and how has this log been authenticated, and the one in evidence been discredited as forgery? And by who?

        That’s a rediculous argument. Those who issues such orders would also go to great lenghts to ensure that questions like When? By who? On whose authority? would never be answered, let along authenticated.

        The timeline of events on both logs corroborate each other. Now, was the Underway log doctored too?

        Like I said, hardly a difficult feat by a government willing to go to the extraordinary lengths it dod to cover up the attack.

        Also, the timeline of events in the Israeli and the American Navy logs are a near perfect match.

        So what? Hardly a difficult feat by a government willing to go to the extraordinary lengths it did to cover up the attack.

        A conspiracy to fabricate the evidence denying and disproving a deliberate attack would have involved superhuman prodigies of effort in record time

        Not at all, becasue the efforts were anything but superhuman, which is why there are so many contradictions and holes in the official story.

        The first is a plausible motive for the Israelis to have knowingly attacked a ship belonging to their strongest ally.

        The US was not Israel’s stronges ally at the time.

        Remember Werdine, in his book A Look Over my Shoulder, published in 2003, CIA Director Richard Helms wrote that “…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty.”

        Now why would Helms have written this statement so long after all myriad of investigations had taken place?

        Face it Werdine, no one is buying your Likunik BS.

      • Shingo
        January 25, 2012, 7:58 am

        No one who has looked into this believes you or Cristol…they believe the survivors..the people who were actually there.

        Don’t forget American, that 4 former directors of the NSA, who have all listened to the audio tapes of the attack, are unanimous that Israel knowingly attacked a US ship.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 9:30 am

        Why is it just so impossible to believe that this attack was a mistake? . . . I know that passions on this issue are strong, but I hope someday those who are so certain this attack was deliberate can be and will be persuaded by the available evidence that it was not

        Because the top US Government officials with access to all of the available evidence remained convinced that the attack was deliberate. For example:
        *President Johnson said it was “inconceivable that Israel’s skilled defense forces could have committed such a gross error.” — Robert Dallek, Flawed Giant, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 430-31
        *Clark M. Clifford, Counsel to the President: “I do not know to this day at what level the attack on the Liberty was authorized and I think it is unlikely that the full truth will ever come out. Having been for so long a staunch supporter of Israel, I was particularly troubled by this incident; I could not bring myself to believe that such an action could have been authorized by Levi Eshkol. Yet somewhere inside the Israeli government, somewhere along the chain of command, something had gone terribly wrong–and then had been covered up. I never felt the Israelis made adequate restitution or explanation for their actions….” — Clifford, Clark, Richard Holbrooke Counsel to the President: A Memoir, Random House, New York, 1991, p. 224

        That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable. El Quseir has one-fourth the displacement of the Liberty, roughly half the beam, is 180 feet shorter, and is very differently configured. The Liberty’s unusual antenna array and hull markings should have been visible to low-flying aircraft and torpedo boats. In the heat of battle the Liberty was able to identify one of the attacking torpedo boats as Israeli and to ascertain its hull number. In the same circumstances, trained Israeli naval personnel should have been able easily to see and identify the larger hull markings on the Liberty. — Clark Clifford, Report of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, July 18, 1967, The Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

        *Richard Helms, the Director of Central Intelligence: “Israeli authorities subsequently apologized for the incident, but few in Washington could believe that the ship had not been identified as an American naval vessel. Later, an interim intelligence memorandum concluded the attack was a mistake and not made in malice against the U.S. . . .I had no role in the board of inquiry that followed, or the board’s finding that there could be no doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty. I have yet to understand why it was felt necessary to attack this ship or who ordered the attack.” –Helms, Richard and William Hood, A Look over My Shoulder : A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency, Random House, New York, 2003, p. 301

        *Dean Rusk Secretary of State: “But I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. 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.” — Rusk, Dean, Daniel S. Papp (Ed.), As I Saw It, W.W.Norton, New York,1990 p. 388

        *Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: “I have never believed that the attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. That is ridiculous. Israel knew perfectly well that the ship was American.” — Americans for Middle East Understanding, June 8, 1997

      • Robert Werdine
        January 17, 2012, 6:46 pm

        Hostage,

        It is true that there was of course shock and incredulity expressed by Johnson and his cabinet upon learning of the attack. But the President and McNamara, after they got the report from the Court of Inquiry, accepted that the attack was a mistake. CIA director Helms told Johnson the same thing. Repeat, there is no evidence that Johnson thereafter thought the attack to be deliberate.

        Said McNamara in July 1967 testifying before the Committee on Foreign Relations:

        “In the case of the attack on the Liberty, it was the
        conclusion of the investigatory body headed by an
        Admiral of the Navy [Isaac C. Kidd, Jr.] in whom
        we have great confidence that the attack was not
        intentional. I read the record of investigation and
        I support that conclusion, and I think . . . it was not
        a conscious decision on the part of the
        government of Israel to attack a U.S. vessel.”

        Said Clark Clifford in his memoir “Counsel to the President”:

        “The best interpretation from the facts available
        to me was that there were inexcusable failures
        on the part of the Israeli Defense Forces.”

        Said McGeorge Bundy to AJ Cristol on April 19, 1993:

        “We came to the conclusion that it was an
        interlocking collection of errors rather than
        an interlocking plot that was the cause of
        the tragedy.”

        As for Richard Helms, whatever he may have said later, the declassification of the redacted sections of the 1981 NSA report on the Liberty attack released in 2003 read as follows:

        “In part because of the press speculation at the time,
        President Johnson directed the Director of Central
        Intelligence, Richard Helms, to prepare a report by
        June 13, five days after the attack, assessing the
        Israeli intentions. The CIA report drew heavily on
        the Signet reports referred to above. While these
        reports revealed some confusion on the part of
        the pilots concerning the nationality of the ship,
        they tended to rule out any thesis that the Israeli
        Navy and Air Force deliberately attacked a ship
        they knew to be American.”

        Thus President Johnson, Robert McNamara, Clark Clifford, McGeorge Bundy, Walt Rostow, and Nicholas Katzenbach all believed the attack to be a mistake. All were miffed about it and had serious questions as top how it could have happened, but they accepted that the attack was not intentional.

        Dean Rusk, whose belief that the attack was deliberate cannot be divorced from his hostility to Israel, later admitted that he did not read any of the Naval Court of Inquiry or any other investigations, except the CIA report. His belief, I suggest, was the product of both his bias, and his ignorance of the facts. Here is a transcript of an interview with him.

        link to thelibertyincident.com

        Said the Clifford Report:

        “That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable. El Quseir has one-fourth the displacement of the Liberty, roughly half the beam, is 180 feet shorter, and is very differently configured. The Liberty’s unusual antenna array and hull markings should have been visible to low-flying aircraft and torpedo boats.”

        I think this statement trivializes the difficulties of identification by both the IAF pilots and the torpedo boat skipper.

        In the first place, Marvin Norwicki, the crewmember of an American reconnaissance aircraft who was intercepting Israeli transmissions during the attack on the Liberty, and who has himself commented on the identification issue, had this to say:

        “In reconstruction of the attack, the Liberty
        crew makes much of flying the American
        flag, as if it would somehow protect them in
        harm’s way (see Ennes, p. 152). Little does
        the crew appreciate the difficulty of identifying
        a ship from an aircraft merely on the basis of a
        flag or even a hull number (GTR 5 displayed by
        the Liberty). Based on my experience of flying
        many “low and slow” reconnaissance flights
        over ships in the Mediterranean and Atlantic
        with VQ2, unless the flights are almost
        overhead, target identification is virtually
        impossible. High-powered binoculars are
        not much good in a bouncing low-level aircraft.
        Even post facto photos do not always reveal
        identification. See, for example, Ennes’ photo
        of the ship on page 146. This crisp overhead
        photo does not clearly show the identity of the
        American ship. So how could the attacking
        Israeli forces conclude this was a friendly ship?”

        Indeed. In the first air attack (which lasted from 1:58 to 2:02 pm) the two Mirage fighters made three forward strafing runs each on the bow of the Liberty at 600mph. In the attack run it had 2-3 seconds at most to fire its guns and pull off the target before getting closer than 3000 feet. This involved split-second timing. Each plane pulled off at about a 3000 foot distance from the front of the bow, giving them no opportunity to view the side, or to even see a flag, even if it was extended, which, at a 5 knot speed in calm waters, it probably wasn’t. The second attack (lasting from 2:06 to 2:11 pm) made similar forward strafing runs on the stern and then the bow, and then made a run on the port side in an attempt to hit the boiler. That’s when the pilot spotted the Latin hull markings.

        Now, when you are strafing a ship in diving runs at 600mph from 7,500 feet and pulling up sharply at 3000 feet (i.e., 4 ½ seconds reaction time), and at breakneck speed, this makes ID a bit difficult. And all of this, mind you, occurred within a 3 ½ minute time frame for the first attack, and about a 5 minute time frame for the second attack.

        Secondly, Israeli aircraft (who strafed the Liberty from 1:58 to 2:11 pm) did not ID the ship as the El Quseir; they only knew what their HQ had told them—that it was an Egyptian ship that had been shelling El Arish. The Israeli MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat) skipper, Commander Oren, arriving at the scene at 2:24pm, consulted his intelligence manual and, viewing the silhouette of a smoke-engulfed ship some six thousand yards distant and directed westward toward the sun at an elevation of 50 degrees and azimuth 88 degrees, concluded that the ship was the Egyptian freighter El Quseir, and the skippers on the other two torpedo boats reached the same conclusion themselves. Oren attempted to signal the ship, asking for identity; getting no response, he ordered the MTBs into battle formation. At 2:30pm Naval HQ gave the go ahead to attack. So the Liberty was not misidentified by the Israelis as the El Quseir until Commander Oren did so sometime between 2:24pm and 2:30pm from his MTB, at some 6000 yards distance while the Liberty was engulfed with black smoke.

        The Israeli MTB’s did not fire on the Liberty until someone on the Liberty opened fire on them with .50 caliber machine guns.

        As to the similar dimensions of the Liberty and the El Quseir, if viewed from a few hundred yards distance, it might have been possible to discern the shape of one from the other. But, again, the ID was done at a distance of some 6000 yards—nearly 3 ½ miles. From that distance the silhouettes of the ships are very similar. Even the CIA report of June 13, 1967 stated: “Although the Liberty is some 200 feet longer than the Egyptian transport El Quseir it could easily have been mistaken for the latter vessel by an overzealous pilot. Both have similar hulls and arrangements of masts and stack.”

        ***

        All in all, no one has yet supplied an even remotely plausible motive for the Israelis to have knowingly attacked an American ship, and all of the evidence, as opposed to unsubstantiated conspiracies, overwhelmingly points to a case of mistaken identity. I would contend that many of those who believe in the theory of a deliberate attack do so more out of belief and ideology, rather than a rational appraisal of the circumstances, the evidence, and the facts.

      • Shingo
        January 17, 2012, 9:29 pm

        It is true that there was of course shock and incredulity expressed by Johnson and his cabinet upon learning of the attack. But the President and McNamara, after they got the report from the Court of Inquiry, accepted that the attack was a mistake.

        False. That was their official statement, but as Jesse Helms stated, the belief among the cabinet and what they stated in public wer two different things.

        CIA director Helms told Johnson the same thing. Repeat, there is no evidence that Johnson thereafter thought the attack to be deliberate.

        Officially yes, privately he said •”…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty.”

        He also said in an interview for Navy Times, 6/26/2002 “It was no accident” . Asked to say more, Helms remarked that he did not want to spend the rest of his life testifying in court about the attack.

        Said McNamara in July 1967 testifying before the Committee on Foreign Relations:

        Of course he did. McNamara called back the fighter jets, so he had the most to hide.

        Said Clark Clifford in his memoir “Counsel to the President”:

        If the failures weer inexcusable then why weren’t they punished? No one was ever held accountable/

        Thus President Johnson, Robert McNamara, Clark Clifford, McGeorge Bundy, Walt Rostow, and Nicholas Katzenbach all believed the attack to be a mistake.

        Without being able to rad their minds, it is impossible to know what they believed, but statements made off the record contradicted those made officially by every one of these men. They accepted that it was pragmatic not to do anything about the event, but that’s not to say they accepted the attack was not intentional.

        Dean Rusk, whose belief that the attack was deliberate cannot be divorced from his hostility to Israel, later admitted that he did not read any of the Naval Court of Inquiry or any other investigations, except the CIA report. His belief, I suggest, was the product of both his bias, and his ignorance of the facts.

        What bias might that be? How can he be iognrant of the facts when he was intiomately involved?

        As Rusk said “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.”

        There

        I think this statement trivializes the difficulties of identification by both the IAF pilots and the torpedo boat skipper.

        There is no need to trivialize the fact that the ships looked nothign alone and that there was a 4 fold difference in scale. The IAF pilots have at least 6 hours to figure out what the ship was.

        At 0600, 0900, 1000, 1030, 1100, and 1130, 1200 and 1215 p.m. U.S. intercept stations twice overheard Israeli pilots reporting that the ship was American. The visibility conditions were perfect; the ship’s American flag was flying free and clear in a good breeze.

        The Israelis initially claimed they had “mistaken” the Liberty for the Egyptian ship El Quseir.

        In the first place, Marvin Norwicki, the crewmember of an American reconnaissance aircraft who was intercepting Israeli transmissions during the attack on the Liberty, and who has himself commented on the identification issue, had this to say:

        Norwicki tried to argue that it is sifficult to identify a ship based on the flag or the hull number exccept that the Israelis confirmed mulitople times that the ship was the Liberty.

        In the attack run it had 2-3 seconds at most to fire its guns and pull off the target before getting closer than 3000 feet.

        Right, so that explains why they might have made a mistake the first time they fired rounds at the ship, but it proves they knew what they were doing when they attacked it subsequently. Multiple this by the number of of jets the Israelis sent, and there is no doubt they knew they weer attacking a US ship.

        The jets also conducted recoinasance after the first attacks and then returned for more.

        The Israeli MTB’s did not fire on the Liberty until someone on the Liberty opened fire on them with .50 caliber machine guns.

        False. There is no evience that the Liberty opened fire. In fact, the pilots of the MTB’s made no mention of being fired upon.

        As to the similar dimensions of the Liberty and the El Quseir, if viewed from a few hundred yards distance, it might have been possible to discern the shape of one from the other.

        Yes, teh dozens of radio antenna would have given it away even to the untrained eye, and it as the cummincation equipment that was targettes using head seeking missiles.

        But, again, the ID was done at a distance of some 6000 yards—nearly 3 ½ miles.

        False. photographs taken from the ship reveal that the ISraeli planes came much closer that 6000 yards.

        From that distance the silhouettes of the ships are very similar.

        Not even close.

        All in all, no one has yet supplied an even remotely plausible explanation that the atatck was a mistake. It is obvious to all that they knowingly attacked an American ship, and all of the evidence, as opposed to unsubstantiated cover up, overwhelmingly points to a case of deliberate agression on Israel’s part.

        I would contend that many of those who believe in the theory of a mistake do so more out of belief and ideology, rather than a rational appraisal of the circumstances, the evidence, and the facts.

      • Hostage
        January 17, 2012, 9:40 pm

        Robert Werdine anyone can simply check the copyright dates on the books published by Clifford, Helms, and Rusk that I cited above to see that your claim that they changed their minds about the attack being deliberate is completely bogus.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2012, 10:33 pm

        Why is it just so impossible to believe that this attack was a mistake?

        because we are not traitors to our country, we are americans and we believe our navy. no amount of hasbara will ever turn that around, ever. we have the entire armed forces on our side.

        it was a deliberate attack on our country.

        you cannot win this argument thru professional pr. ever. every time you try we will beat you down. if i were not on staff i would end this with expletives, abbreviated perhaps, but definitely expletives.

      • MRW
        January 17, 2012, 10:46 pm

        And Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t just offer a quote. He performed a full-out naval investigation , and published the report before he died. Of course, the media world was consumed with Clinton’s peccadilloes then.

      • Shingo
        January 18, 2012, 5:57 am

        Why is it just so impossible to believe that this attack was a mistake?

        Why would the US Navy still, to this day, refuse to comment on the attack if it was a mistake?

        Why would the testimony of the eyewitnesses be dismissed, and rejected from being recorded in all the investigations into the incident, if it was a mistake?

        Why would the crew members be threatened with court martial or worse for talking about the incident, if it was a mistake?

        Why would no one be charged or court martialled for gross negligence is it was a mistake?

        Why were the crew scattered and never posted on the same crew after they returned if it was a mistake? Why were their Purple Heart medals awarded secretivley, and with a warning never to tell anyone how they got teh Purple Heart, if it was a mistake?

        Why was McGonacle the only recipient to be awarded the highest award (the Congressional Medal of Honor) that was not presented by the President, if it was a mistake? Why was it presented to him only by the secretary of the Navy in a littel naval base in South East Washington?

      • Shingo
        January 18, 2012, 7:45 am

        CIA director Helms told Johnson the same thing. Repeat, there is no evidence that Johnson thereafter thought the attack to be deliberate.

        In 2002, Helms told the BBC documentary that:

        “I don’t think he changed his mind, he just changed his actions”

        Said McNamara in July 1967 testifying before the Committee on Foreign Relations:

        “I read the record of investigation and I support that conclusion, and I think . . . it was not a conscious decision on the part of the
        government of Israel to attack a U.S. vessel.”

        How odd. In 2002, McNamara told the BBC documentary that:

        ” I haven’t taken time to find out. But there are all of there claim that we sent planes, that there were planes going out and that we turned them around, that we intentionally allowed the Israelis to sink the Liberty…I know nothing about it.”

        How could McNamara cupport the conclusions of the investigation and know nothing about the events contained therein?

        As for Richard Helms, whatever he may have said later, the declassification of the redacted sections of the 1981 NSA report on the Liberty attack released in 2003 read as follows:

        Four NSA directors have stated that there is no dispute within the NSA that the attack was deliberate.

        Thus President Johnson, Robert McNamara, Clark Clifford, McGeorge Bundy, Walt Rostow, and Nicholas Katzenbach all believed the attack to be a mistake.

        No, they all said publicly it was a mistake. Richard Helms, who knows these guys better than you possibly could, said he believed Johnson never stopped believing it was a deliberate attack.

        Dean Rusk, whose belief that the attack was deliberate cannot be divorced from his hostility to Israel, later admitted that he did not read any of the Naval Court of Inquiry or any other investigations, except the CIA report.

        McNamara said the same thing. What about Marshall Carter, Lou Tordella, Tom Moorer, Rufus Taylor, Oliver Kirby, William Odom, Bobby Ray Inman, John Morrison, George Ball, Lucius Battle, Merlin Staring and others including even LBJs own press secretary George Christia? Where they also hostility to Israel?

      • Bumblebye
        January 17, 2012, 10:30 am

        The attack on the Liberty was no accident.
        The following 10yr old bbc documentary (in 7 ten minute chunks following each other) explains fully, with eye witness accounts, documentation and archive footage, what really happened:
        link to gilad.co.uk

      • Shingo
        January 17, 2012, 9:46 pm

        • “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

        • “Accidents don’t occur through repeated attacks by surface vessels and aircraft. It obviously was a decision made pretty high up on the Israeli side, because it involved combined forces. The ship was flying an American flag. My judgment was that somewhere along the line some fairly senior official gave the go ahead. I personally did not accept the Israeli explanation.”
        — US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Recorded interview, http://www.ussliberty.org

        • “…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty.”
        — CIA Director Richard Helms in his book A Look Over my Shoulder

        • “It was no accident.”
        — CIA Director Richard Helms in interview for Navy Times, 6/26/2002. Asked to say more, Helms remarked that he did not want to spend the rest of his life testifying in court about the attack.

        • “To me, the picture thus far presents the distinct possibility that the Israelis knew that the Liberty might be their target and attacked anyway, either through confusion in Command and Control or through deliberate disregard of instructions on the part of subordinates.”
        — CIA Deputy Director Admiral Rufus Taylor

        • That the attack was deliberate “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the National Security Agency
        — Former NSA Director retired Army Lieutenant General William Odom on 3 March 2003 in an interview for Naval Institute Proceedings

        • Former NSA/CIA Director Admiral Bobby Inman “flatly rejected” the Cristol/Israeli claims that the attack was an accident
        — 5 March 2003 interview for Naval Institute Proceedings

        • “I have never believed that the attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. That is ridiculous. Israel knew perfectly well that the ship was American.”
        — Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff writing for Americans for Middle East Understanding, June 8, 1997

        • “To suggest that they [the IDF] couldn’t identify the ship is … ridiculous. … Anybody who could not identify the Liberty could not tell the difference between the White House and the Washington Monument.”
        — Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, quoted in The Washington Post, June 15, 1991, p. 14

        • “To me, the picture thus far presents the distinct possibility that the Israelis knew that Liberty might be their target and attacked anyway.”
        — Admiral Rufus Taylor, Deputy CIA director, as quoted by CIA director Admiral Rufus Taylor in A Look Over My Shoulder.

        • Of four former NSA/CIA seniors with inside knowledge, none was aware of any agency official who dissented from the position that the attack was deliberate
        — David Walsh, writing in Naval Institute Proceedings

        • “That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable”
        — Special Assistant to the President Clark Clifford, in his report to President Lyndon Johnson

        • “Inconceivable that it was an accident � 3 strafing passes, 3 torpedo boats. Set forth facts. Punish Israelis responsible”
        — Clark Clifford, Secretary of Defense under Lyndon Johnson, in Minutes of NSC Special Committee Meeting, 9 June 1967

        • “A nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept [expletive deleted].”
        — Handwritten note of August 26, 1967, by NSA Deputy Director Louis W. Tordella reacting to the Israeli court decision exonerating Israelis of blame for the Liberty attack. Dr. Tordella expressed the view that the attack was deliberate and that the Israeli government attempted to cover it up to authors James Ennes and James Bamford and to Congressman George Mahon (D-Texas), and in an internal memorandum for the record. He noted “a nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept (redacted)” in the margin of the official Israeli excuse for the attack as noted in the NSA Gerhard report 1982)

        • “The attack was clearly deliberate.”
        — General Marshall Carter, former director, National Security Agency, in a telephone interview with James Ennes

        • “The attack was deliberate”
        — Lucius Battle, former presidential advisor, as keynote speaker for 1982 USS Liberty reunion.

        • “My immediate reaction was it was not an accident. It had to be a deliberate attack.”
        — Lucius Battle, in BBC Documentary “Dead in the Water”.

        • “….did not buy the Israeli ‘mistake’ explanations either. Nobody believes that explanation.” When informed by author Bamford of gruesome war crime (killing of large numbers of POWs) at nearby El Arish, Morrison saw the connection. “That would be enough,” he said. “They wouldn’t want us in on that. You’ve got the motive. What a hell of a thing to do.”
        — Major General John Morrison, US Air Force, Deputy Chief NSA Operations during the attack and later Chief of NSA Operations as reported in Body of Secrets by James Bamford, p233.

        • “I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that they knew they were attacking an American ship.”
        — Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, National Security Agency. Kirby participated in NSA’s investigation of the attack and reviewed translations of intercepted communications between pilots and their headquarters which he reports show conclusively that they knew their target was an American ship. Kirby is considered the “Godfather” of the USS Liberty and USS Pueblo intercept programs. (Telephone interviews with James Ennes and David Walsh for Friendless Fire, Proceedings, June 2003)

        • On the strength of intercept transcripts of pilots’ conversations during the attack, the question of the attack’s deliberateness “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the agency.
        — Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, National Security Agency, interview with David Walsh on March 3, 2003, reported in Naval Institute Proceedings, June, 2003

        • Inman said he “flatly rejected” the Cristol thesis that the attack was an accident. “It is just exceedingly difficult to believe that [USS Liberty] was not correctly identified” based on his talks with NSA seniors at the time having direct knowledge of intercepted communications. No NSA official could be found who dissented from the “deliberate” conclusion.
        — Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN, Director National Security Agency 1977-1981, reported in Proceedings, June, 2003

        • “I found it hard to believe that it was, in fact, an honest mistake on the part of the Israeli air force units. I still find it impossible to believe that it was.”
        — Paul C. Warnke, Undersecretary of the Navy and later general legal counsel to the Department of Defense.

        • “In many years, I have wanted to believe that the attack on the Liberty was pure error. It appears to me that it was not a pure case of mistaken identity. . . . I think it is about time that the State of Israel and the United States government provide the crew members of the Liberty, and the rest of the American people, the facts of what happened and why it came about that the Liberty was attacked 30 years ago today.” Later, McGonagle remarked, “USS Liberty is the only US Navy ship attacked by a foreign nation, involving large loss of life…that has never been accorded a full Congressional hearing.”
        — Captain William L. McGonagle, Commanding Officer, USS Liberty, speaking at Arlington National Cemetery June 8, 1997.

        • “The Israelis told us 24 hours before that …if we didn’t move it, they would sink it. Unfortunately, the ship was not moved, and by the time the message arrived the ship was taking on water.”
        — John Stenbit, Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3Im in an address to the AFEI/NDAI Conference for Net Centric Operations, Wednesday, April 16, 2003

        • State Department Legal Advisor and author of highly critical detailed analysis of the Israeli excuse in telephone interview from his home in France, Mr. Salans described the attack as deliberate.
        — Legal Advisor Carl Salans

        • Walter Deeley, NSA department head, conducted still-classified investigation of the attack and remarked later in telephone interview that he regards the attack as deliberate.
        — NSA Department Head Walter Deeley

        • “The highest officials of the [Johnson] administration, including the President, believed it ‘inconceivable’ that Israel’s ‘skilled’ defense forces could have committed such a gross error.”
        — Lyndon Johnson’s biographer Robert Dallek in Flawed Giant, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 430-31

        • Never before in the history of the United States Navy has a Navy Board of Inquiry ignored the testimony of American military eyewitnesses and taken, on faith, the word of their attackers.
        — Captain Richard F. Kiepfer, Medical Corps, US Navy (retired), USS Liberty Survivor

        • “The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack…was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew…. It was our shared belief. . .that the attack. . .could not possibly have been an accident…. I am certain that the Israeli pilots [and] their superiors. . .were well aware that the ship was American.”
        — Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy (retired), senior legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry

        • According to Kidd’s legal counsel, Captain Ward Boston, USN, Kidd discussed with him his belief that the attackers were aware they were attacking an American ship. The Court ruled otherwise because they were so directed by Washington.
        — Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, President of the Navy Court of Inquiry, as reported in Navy Times, 6/26/2002

        • “I feel the Israelis knew what they were doing. They knew they were shooting at a U.S. Navy ship.”
        — Captain Ward Boston, legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry, as reported in . Navy Times, 6/26/2002

        • “No one in the White House believed that the attack was an accident.”
        — George Christian, Press Secretary to President Lyndon Johnson in letter to James Ennes, 1978.

        • After reviewing the Court of Inquiry in his official capacity as legal counsel to the convening authority, concluded that the evidence did not support the findings that the attack was an accident and declined to recommend that his Commander sign and forward it to Washington.
        — Rear Admiral (then captain) Merlin Staring, Staff Legal Office for Commander in Chief US Naval Forces Europe and later Chief Judge Advocate General of the Navy. Statement to Navy Times, 3 June 2002 and elsewhere

        • “This book [Assault on the Liberty] gives convincing evidence that the attack was deliberate and that the facts, including the Navy’s bungling before and during the attack, were covered up.”
        — United States Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III as reported in Congressional Record — Senate S13136 September 23, 1980. Senator Stevenson later announced his interest in holding Congressional hearings on the attack. He pointed out that the survivors have been consistent in their accounts of what happened and that the attack was, in his word, “premeditated.” Also reported by William J. Small, United Press International, September 28, 1980.

        • “The Congress never investigated this matter, and I don’t detect much enthusiasm for getting into it now.”
        — Senator Adlai Stevenson III in letter to James Ennes dated September 9, 1980

        • “From what I have read, I can’t tolerate for one minute that this was an accident! … What have we done about the Liberty? Have we become so placid, so far as Israel is concerned or so far as that area is concerned, that we will take the killing of 37 (sic) American boys and the wounding of a lot more and the attack on an American ship in the open sea in good weather? We have seemed to say: ‘Oh, well, boys will be boys.’ What are you going to do about it? It is most offensive to me!
        — Senator Bourke Hickenlooper; From transcript of July 1967 Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Foreign Assistance Act of 1967.

        • “I have read the Navy investigation of the Liberty, and the evidence adduced there, and I have read the Israeli court of inquiry records, and based upon their own records of the investigation, I cannot agree that it was accidental.”
        — Senator Bourke Hickenlooper; From transcript of May, 1968, Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Foreign Assistance Act of 1968, page 444.

        • “American leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of its citizens. . . . The Liberty’s presence and function were well known to Israel’s leaders. …Israel’s leaders concluded that nothing they might do would offend the Americans to the point of reprisal. If American leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens, it seemed clear that their American friends would let them get away with almost anything.
        — George Ball, under secretary of state at the time writing in The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, pages 57-58.

        • “I don’t think that there’s any doubt that it was deliberate…. [It is] one of the great cover-ups of our military history.”
        — David G. Nes, the deputy head of the American mission in Cairo at the time

        • “FBI officials counter that ‘friendly’ spying can be as damaging as spying for enemies, they note, as in 1967 when Israeli jets deliberately attacked the electronic intelligence-gathering ship USS Liberty….”
        — FBI Officials reported in Washington Times, November 26, 1998

        • “How much better if Congress would….call to account those who were involved in spreading lies about the tragedy.”
        — James Akins, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Akins in Special Report, The Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, June 8, 1967, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December, 1999

        • “The attack was deliberate and not an accident.”
        — Victor Ostrovsky, author and former Mossad officer, in telephone conversations with former Congressman Pete McCloskey October 10, 1991, and with and several conversations with James Ennes.

        • “It’s an American ship!” the pilot of an Israeli Mirage fighter-bomber radioed Tel Aviv as he sighted the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967. Israeli headquarters ordered the pilot to attack the American ship.
        — former US Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter describing transcripts of communications he saw, reported in syndicated column “Remembering the Liberty” by Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, November 6, 1991.

        • “The historical event which took place in June 1967 can hardly be called enigmatic and mysterious. …It is difficult to understand that the Israelis could not identity the USS Liberty, since the ship had a unique antenna and equipment and especially since the Israelis had identified the ship with long term observation.”
        — Translated from a taped interview with Sergeev Oleg Korneevitch, retired Colonel, Soviet GRU.

        • “The government of Israel intentionally attacked the ship. …The attack was not legally justified. …(there were) two further violations of international law…the use of unmarked military aircraft (and)…the wanton destruction of life rafts.”
        — Walter L. Jacobsen, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy, in Naval Law Review, Vol 36, Winter 1986

        • “The attack was not an accident.”
        — Stephen Green, author. Antelope Valley Press, April 5, 1984

        • “Certain facts are clear. The attack was no accident. The Liberty was assaulted in broad daylight by Israeli forces who knew the ship’s identity. …The public, however, was kept in the dark. Even before the American public learned of the attack, U.S. government officials began to promote an account satisfactory to Israel. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee worked through Congressmen to keep the story under control. The President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, ordered and led a cover-up so thorough that years after he left office the episode is still largely unknown….”
        — Paul Findley, author and former Member of Congress 1961-1983 in They Dare to Speak Out, by Paul Findley, 1985, page 166

        • “Is the Liberty episode being erased from history. So it would seem…What has happened to our prying journalistic corps and our editors, normally so indignant of attempted suppression of the news?…We believe that a joint select committee of Congress should investigate the strange case of the USS Liberty…”
        — William F. Buckley, journalist and publisher, National Review, June 27, 1967

        • (In a review of “Six Days of War” by Michael Oren.) “Oren…frequently descends to vulgar propaganda. Deeming the Israeli combined air and naval assault on the USS Liberty …an accident,’ Oren rehashes official Israeli tales and embellishes them with his own whoppers.”
        — Norman Finkelstein, PhD, author, professor of political science, DePaul University, writing in Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring, 2003, p85

        • “The attack on the USS Liberty was planned and there is and was a cover-up.” “If the very valuable lessons of the Liberty were known, the capture of the USS Pueblo could not have happened.”
        — Lloyd M. “Pete” Bucher, US Navy, Commanding Officer USS Pueblo when captured by North Korea in January 1968, in telephone conversations with James Ennes and on September 6, 2002, with Richard Schmucker.

        • “Nearly everyone who is not affiliated with Israel…and who has seriously looked into the attack believes that it was deliberate. …The bare facts of the attack rule out any other conclusion.”
        — Donald Neff, author, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August, 2002, p29

        • Ralph Hoppe, Colonel, US Army, retired, reports that dozens of intelligence reports soon after the attack described the attack as deliberate including a “consensus report” which summarized the collective view of the US intelligence community. Soon orders came from Washington to collect and destroy all such reports. Nothing more in official channels described the attack as deliberate.
        — Aerotech News and Review, March 2, 2001, by John Borne, PhD, and conversations with James Ennes

        • “It is clear that the Israelis knew that they were attacking a vessel of the US Navy, especially as it was flying a large Stars and Stripes at the time. The fact that they spent six hours reconnoitering and executing the attack, which included machine-gunning the lifeboats, attests to the deadly intent of the operation.
        — Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison, the Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship, by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, p152.

        • “A. Jay Cristol’s virtual minority of one assessment is not supported by the detailed non-technical common sense evidence to the contrary in Body of Secrets (by James Bamford). “There is nothing surprising in Bamford’s conclusion that the attack was deliberate. Liberty survivors have made that case convincingly for years.”
        — Professor Hayden Peake, author, former CIA officer and member, Association of Former Intelligence Officers, The Intelligencer, Vol. 12, No.1, Summer 2001

        • Book reviews transcripts of communications during the attack which establish that the attack was deliberate.
        — Israel’s Wars, 1947-1993, by Ahron Bregman

        • Survivors of the attack are unanimous in their conviction that the attack was deliberate. Among other things, their belief is based upon the intense pre-attack reconnaissance, the fact that the firing continued from close range long after the attackers examined the ship and its markings from a few feet away, and because the Israeli version of events as reported to the United States is grossly untrue.
        — USS Liberty survivors

        • Several Air Force intelligence analysts who have come forward to report that they saw real-time transcripts of communications from the attacking forces which show clearly that they were aware they were attacking an American ship. Others who saw these transcripts include Dwight Porter and Oliver Kirby, mentioned above, and several top officials of the American intelligence community.
        — Former US Air Force intelligence analysts Ron Gotcher, Steve Forslund, Richard Block and pilot Charles Tiffany

        • Published doctoral thesis establishes that the attack was deliberate.
        — John Borne, PhD, adjunct professor of history, NY University.

        • Rejects the US Navy Court of Inquiry as inadequate, declares that the attack was apparently deliberate, and calls upon the United States to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.
        — Resolution #508 of the American Legion at its 49th annual national convention in August, 1967

        • “The [Navy Court of Inquiry] leaves a good many questions unanswered.”
        — The New York Times, July 1, 1967

        • “The naval inquiry is not good enough.”
        — The Washington Post, June 30, 1967

        • “They must have known…that Liberty was an American ship.”
        — The Washington Star, June 30, 1967

        • “The action was planned in advance”
        — Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson in The Washington Post, June 30, 1967

        • “Only the blind or the trigger happy could have made such a mistake”
        — The National Observer

        • “The attack was deliberate. Those responsible should be court-martialed on charges of murder.”
        — California Congressman Craig Hosmer in the Congressional Record–House, June 29, 1967, p. 17893

        • “How can this be treated so lightly? What complaint have we registered?
        — Mississippi Congressman Thomas G. Abernethy in the Congressional Record–House, June 29m, 1967, pp. 17894-5

        • “Certain facts are clear. The attack was no accident. The Liberty was assaulted in broad daylight by Israeli forces who knew the ship’s identity. …The President of the United States led a cover-up so thorough that years after he left office, the episode was still largely unknown to the public — and the men who suffered and died have gone largely unhonored.”
        — Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, Lawrence Hill & Co., 1985, p166

        • “Nearly as bizarre as the attack itself was the reaction of the American government to the incident. A foreign nation had butchered American servicemen, sending thirty-four to their graves… A virtually unarmed American naval ship in international waters was shot at, strafed with rockets, torpedoed, set on fire…then left to sink as crazed gunners shot up the life rafts. The foreign nation then says, sorry about that, and offers an explanation so outrageous that it is insulting, and the American government accepts it, sweeps the whole affair under a rug, then classifies as top secret nearly all details concerning it.”
        — James Bamford, author, “The Puzzle Palace”

        • The story has been hushed up.”
        — Louisiana Congressman John R. Rarick in the Congressional Record–House, September 19, 1967, pp. 12170-6

      • MRW
        January 17, 2012, 10:47 pm

        Wow, Shingo.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2012, 11:04 pm

        Yeah, yeah, Shingo.

        Admirals, Secretaries of Defence, Intelligence chiefs, historians, etc.

        What would they know?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 18, 2012, 7:34 am

        “cold blooded murder of American sailors that day”

        BBC – Dead in the Water – The Attack on the USS Liberty

  12. Denis
    January 15, 2012, 6:34 pm

    It must also be noted that just 2 days ago the Pentagon announced that additional muscle is now headed for the Persian Gulf – 15,000 troopers to Kuwait and a second carrier, the USS Carl Vinson combat group, is to join the USS Stennis group. The CVN is actually now in the Gulf.
    link to imperialbeach.patch.com

    But that’s not all. . . according to the Facebook page for the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, it has just pulled out of Thailand. And Naval Today reports that the Abe Lincoln is “en route to support coalition efforts in the 5th Fleet AOR.”

    DEBKAfile is less ambiguous, they are reporting that the Abe Lincoln is headed to the Persian Gulf. It’s about 5000 nautical miles from Bangkok to Hormuz. At 30 knots flat out, she’ll be there next weekend, about Jan22. Three US carrier combat groups focused on a stretch of water 35 miles wide. Someone has said that a fight over the Strait of Hormuz would be like a knife-fight in a phone booth.

    It is becoming more apparent that Obama has given up the game with Bibi. It is Israel, not Iran, that has crossed some line. Israel is moving into strike mode and Obama is putting as much distance possible between the US and Israel and as quickly as possible by denouncing the killing of Ahmadi-Roshan and by cancelling Austere Challenge. At the same time he is busting ass to get as much firepower into the Gulf region as he can.

    My guess is that it will be more like days or weeks, rather than months, before the lid is finally blown off of this over-heated kettle in the Middle East. Events are moving very quickly toward three drastic show-downs: 1) between Israel and Iran; 2) between US and Iran; and, 3) between US and Israel. Only one of these show-downs will be diplomatic, the other two could lead to WW III.

    Somebody pass me that Mayan calendar. I want to have another look at it.

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 3:04 am

      You left out two important players:

      4) between U.S. , Israel and China, Russia

      5) And will Iraq stand by while their brothers in Iran get slaughtered? The U.S. still has resources in Iraq that can come under attack by Shiite militias.

  13. geofgray
    January 15, 2012, 7:20 pm

    Perhaps Obama is heeding this warning made yesterday by Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy prime minister and former envoy to NATO: ­“Iran is our close neighbor, just south of the Caucasus. Should anything happen to Iran, should Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security.” Perhaps Obama doesn’t want WW III on his watch, might tarnish the Nobel bona fides.

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 3:05 am

      Yes, the Russians are playing a part in the dynamics of this.

    • MRW
      January 17, 2012, 10:50 pm

      The Russian fleet is parked in the Caspian Sea right now. Just north of Iran, and it can help control the other supply route to our troops in Afghanistan through Turkmenistan. We get oil for the troops in Afghanistan through the ports in Pakistan and the depot in Turkmenistan. Without it, no heat, fuel, food, or way out for our guys. Period.

  14. dumvitaestspesest
    January 15, 2012, 9:31 pm

    The Big Boys have gotten into some kind of an argument and are threatning to take their deadly toys from their battlefield playground??
    So it looks like the Earth may not blow up?? Yet??
    Oh, Thank you Ma…sters.

  15. gingershot
    January 15, 2012, 10:39 pm

    If the US has two or three carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf and Israel sneak-attacks Iran – Iran certainly possesses enough firepower (Sunburn, Yakhont, and indigenous missiles) to both sink these carrier groups as well as shut down the Hormuz Strait

    There will be blood on Israel’s hands if it attacks Iran without giving the US the several days notice necessary to deploy outside the Persian Gulf

    An Israeli sneak attack upon Iran is essentially an Israeli sneak attack on the US Fifth Fleet and any other carrier groups unlucky to be in the Gulf , which have already been warned that they may experience a severe Sunburn when the Iranian missiles start flying after an Israel or Israeli/US attack

    When do we get to have the revolution that kicks the Israeli Lobby out of our Congress? – they are essentially Israelis that have infiltrated the US, and altogether are more dangerous than a hundred Jonathan Pollards

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 3:07 am

      “When do we get to have the revolution that kicks the Israeli Lobby out of our Congress? – they are essentially Israelis that have infiltrated the US, and altogether are more dangerous than a hundred Jonathan Pollards”

      Well yeaaaah. Hope you didn’t just figure this out?

  16. kma
    January 15, 2012, 10:53 pm

    the fact that Obama may have “spanked” Israel over something does not in any way mean that Obama wants what you wish he would want. the US can crap on Israel’s parade any minute of any day just by slowing the $$ among a million other ways. NOBODY has more leverage than the US!
    don’t you think it’s way more likely that the US wants to attack Iran with a bit more international support than it currently has?
    don’t you think the US (and Israel) aren’t already attacking Iran?
    don’t you think the US would like the media story to be a little cleaner than it is with Israel’s recent bad behavior and public smirking about it? I think that’s all it takes for the US to use its enormous leverage, and that’s all I think we’re seeing right now.

    • kalithea
      January 16, 2012, 3:15 am

      The U.S. didn’t spank Israel; Israel spanked Obama, and now Obama is securing resources and manning all stations for a potential Israeli attack on Iran.

      You’re right. No one has more leverage with Israel than the U.S., but Obama has no leverage left and he surrendered all his political capital almost from day one. The only hope Obama has is to turn the American public against Israel by leaking stuff to the press; stuff that might shock the American public and turn everyone against Israel’s potential strike.

      But so far Obama’s proven that he is DANGEROUS for his utter stupidity. He painted himself into this corner between the rock and the hard place. I wouldn’t give a shit what happens to him, but the fact is that his stupidity will have devastating consequences.

      Right now he’s being manipulated from all sides: Israel, Congress and the Republican primary and he’s got very few cards to play.

      • kma
        January 16, 2012, 11:16 am

        Obama is not at all stupid, and is playing his cards brilliantly, much better than Bush.

        he’s accomplishing exactly what Real Power wants from him (which doesn’t change from one administration to another) and at the same time dem voters will pull off a win for him in 2012 thinking he’s actually fighting the power.

        Israel is not his foe. they are helping the US get exactly what it wants done. if it’s a “card game”, Obama is definitely winning.

  17. hughsansom
    January 15, 2012, 11:17 pm

    Who knows . . . Maybe the US got wind of Israeli intentions to use the presence of thousands of US troops as cover for the Iran war. When better to launch an attack then when you already have a hesitant co-conspirator’s forces on your soil?

  18. iamuglow
    January 16, 2012, 12:51 am

    This is rich.

    All the articles have been saying the US asked to postpone it. First due to costs and then so as not to rile Iran. That was the latest on Haartez

    link to news.yahoo.com

    “Israeli defense officials tell Channel 2 that Washington wants to avoid causing further tensions in region after various foreign reports of U.S. and Israeli preparations for strike on Iran.”

    Yet over on Yahoo Laura Rozen a Senior Foreign Affairs Reporter…chuckle…Was/is(?) on Politico has it as

    “Israel requests delay in US-Israel missile defense exercise

    A major U.S.-Israeli missile defense exercise that had been planned to take place in the spring has been postponed due to a request by the Israeli Defense Ministry, American and Israeli officials told Yahoo News Sunday.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a request to the Pentagon last month that the planned joint exercise be postponed, a U.S. official told Yahoo News Sunday.

    “It was Barak,” the U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.”

    link to news.yahoo.com

    and she also includes a bunch of bunk about how cancelling an operation like this is not unusual. That sure looks like some straghit up manipulation right there.

    I recall seeing her name on Politico. I looked at her twitter here

    link to twitter.com

    Just browsing it from yesterdays CIA story she has post about Israelis saying they introduced themselves as Nato representatives..which I guess sounds better than impersonating CIA, but which contradicts the FP article.

    • American
      January 16, 2012, 10:21 am

      “It was Barak,” the U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.”
      Just browsing it from yesterdays CIA story she has post about Israelis saying they introduced themselves as Nato representatives..which I guess sounds better than impersonating CIA, but which contradicts the FP article.”

      First off I’d take anything Laura Rozen says with a grain of salt. I use to read her and watched her progression from reporter to more and more of a Israeli apologist and propagandizer. It was low key and subtle…..until she started promoting the author of and the nasty book about (forget title) Europe becoming “Arab-atized”.
      This is pretty typical of Israel adherents…..they will go along with mild criticism of Israel but when they sense anyone is cutting to close to the bone or going too far their zionist blindness kicks in and they start putting up defenses and throwing out anything they can make up.

      Second…any official quoted on conditions of “anonymity” is suspect. Particularly in this case where ‘if’ it were true an official announcement would have been made by the military heads or by Netanyahu himself..in their name.

      Third, the excuse that Mossad posed NATO reps is soooooo ridiculous…..even the terrorist know what NATO does and doesn’t do….this is what blows my mind about the Israelis….they lie like little children.

      First the head of Mossad denies it completely and now they say they posed as NATO…gawd…..worse liars on earth. I think they don’t ever take time to come with some rational lie, they just jump and make up something. If they were smart instead of denying it they would have implied that they did it at the behest of the CIA….that is something they could have gotten away with as far as the public is concerned because people would believe that about the CIA.
      The dumbness of these people is one of the most frightening things about them.

      • iamuglow
        January 16, 2012, 2:46 pm

        Hi American,

        Yeah, I agree with all that.

        The lies all over that article…’it was the Israelis that cancelled it’ ‘its not an unsual to cancel a massive excerise like this days before it begins’ ‘Barak wanted to cancel it…he request it a month ago!’

        It is too bad shes found a spot on Yahoo. A lot of people get thier news from there…and they aren’t going to notice being lulled into ingnorance.

  19. Daniel Rich
    January 16, 2012, 3:33 am

    Hi iamuglow,

    I’m sure you’re not referring to me, but I couldn’t believe my eyes the moment I read that headline when I opened up yahoo.

    • iamuglow
      January 16, 2012, 2:53 pm

      haha. No. sorry, I meant it like ‘this is some over the top bs.’ Maybe its slang?
      :)

  20. kalithea
    January 16, 2012, 4:16 am

    Obama’s in a sweat. He’s got a hostile Congress that forced his hand. Israel is breathing down his neck playing mind games on him. There’s a Republican Primary going on that’s influencing public opinion in every direction, the hardliners are stealing ObamaRepublicans and Ron Paul is stealing Independents and some Progressives.

    Obama wasted tons of political capital. He’s got very little left. If he overtly challenges Israel on this Iran issue, Congress and the Republican candidates (Ron Paul excepted) will go ballistic and pounce on him.

    Let’s not forget that Obama went from community organizer to President of the United States of America. The man has played his cards all wrong and now he’s in over his head and on the brink of a war he won’t be able to handle. I assume that the generals are dictating and he’s taking dictation.

    Israel is doing a number on Obama. Israel probably thinks that this is the best time for regime change in the U.S.A. and the way to do it is to strike Iran and test Obama’s 3 A.M. reflexes. They’re counting on Obama to blunder big time so they can get a Republican President and Congress; their dream team.

    The U.S. didn’t spank Israel with this drill change, Israel is spanking Obama, and Obama is playing on the defense right now. He’s consulting the generals and they’re telling him: “look we can’t chance this; if Israel strikes we need all systems ready to defend our resources in the gulf, so off course Obama would have to cancel those maneuvers in Israel and man all stations!

    Israelis are playing their cards close to the chest; they know they have Obama by the balls. Israel is looking at the polls and thinking “this guy is going to squeak by and we can’t chance it. We’ve got to act now to derail his chances.” BECAUSE a second-term Obama with less to lose, is an UNKNOWN these psycho-paranoiac Zionists can’t chance.

    Obama was a total idiot from the beginning to trust these Zionist goons. He had so much political capital and he squandered almost all of it. The only hope he has is the fact that most Americans don’t want another war. Someone could save his neck by leaking something very ugly about Israel; something that will turn the nation against Israel at this strategic moment. I’m sure there are piles of files filled with dirt on Israel.

    I believe the CIA has been involved in covert operations in Iran that included Jundallah and MEK. I also believe that Mossad would have posed as CIA to carry out their own operations. And I believe that Stuxnet was probably a joint operation. So if the Administration leaked something to Perry; it backfired because one, Obama’s hands are already too bloody and dirty and people didn’t take it seriously enough, and two, because Iran knows perfectly well that the CIA and Mossad have collaborated on operations inside Iran. So this thing got very little traction.

    Perhaps this leak was NOT meant so much for Iranians who are not that stupid to buy this gimmick as it was for the American public but it seems to have fizzled in the media.

    So, this Administration better come up with something REAL BIG against Israel IF it doesn’t want to go down in history as having been the catalyst of WWIII.

    Finally, there are two parties that can bail Obama’s ass out of the fire and that’s China and Russia. China and Russia need to get much more aggressive with their threats and movement of resources. This in fact might be the only hope AT THIS TIME for avoiding this catastrophe. If Israel sees Chinese and Russian fleets moving towards the Gulf; it may hold back. The Russians moved a Carrier and a couple of warships into a Syrian port but this is not enough. They must do more deterrence here.

    The other thing that will help to sway the American public is if Ron Paul gets strong support and carries his message against this war forward. Ron Paul stood up in Congress after the vote on oil sanctions against Iran and slammed this move calling it a “DANGEROUS VOTE AND AN ACT OF WAR”.

    Everyone must do more to get this man’s voice heard in every state!! WE ARE ON THE BRINK OF WAR; THIS IS NO TIME FOR COMPLACENCY, NITPICKING AND BICKERING ABOUT JUST WAR AND WHATNOT WHEN JUST WAR IS NOT WHAT WE HAVE ON THE HORIZON!

    • gingershot
      January 16, 2012, 8:17 am

      “If Israel sees Chinese and Russian fleets moving towards the Gulf; it may hold back”

      How about if the Chinese declares Iran to be of vital strategic interest (similarly to what Carter did in the 70′s with the ME) and ships a couple of boatloads of antiship missiles to them, and tells Tel Aviv that any belligerent illegal attack on Iran will be met with retaliation upon Israel?
      The Russians can throw in all those S300 state of the art antiaircraft systems for good measure

      This is not in support of war, but quite to the contraray – this is to so strongly stiff-arm the Israelis that their political leadership will need to be regime-changed internally.

    • kma
      January 16, 2012, 12:17 pm

      Obama isn’t sweating, and he’s got all the political capital. nobody is “doing a number” on Obama – he’s doing it on his voters.
      the farther right the republicans go, the easier it is to continue to harm Iran and still smell better to wishful thinkers than the rest of the rot.
      the US and Israel want mostly the same thing right now, and Obama wants to get it for his owners and stay in the white house again. he’s not playing against them, he’s playing with them.
      if there is a card game going on, it’s between those with power only, and the game is against the PEOPLE. we the PEOPLE are not even given a seat at the table. the PEOPLE of Iran are the ones sweating right now, and they are not alone.

    • iamuglow
      January 16, 2012, 3:14 pm

      I agree with most of that.

      in re to this

      “Perhaps this leak was NOT meant so much for Iranians who are not that stupid to buy this gimmick as it was for the American public but it seems to have fizzled in the media.”

      Probably not cause Perry did 2 interviews. 1 with AlJezzera and the other with the Israeli mag 972. He also played down what this means to US/Israeli relations which is kind of irrational considering what his article was about. And yes, there was a US media blackout of the article. I don’t think it was meant for the US public.

      I agree its no time for COMPLACENCY. The rapidity that Iran has replaced Iraq and become demonized in America the quickness of the sanctions and saber rattling, the lack of push back from the media, makes it clear that America is ‘a thing that can be easily moved’ …to war.

  21. HarryLaw
    January 16, 2012, 4:33 am

    RoHa I thought this was a political site, inhabited by political types, not pedantic professors of english, who have secretary’s checking every dot and comma, get a life.

    • Shmuel
      January 16, 2012, 4:50 am

      You take that back! RoHa is a pedantic professor of philosophy, not English (capital), and I think you mean “secretaries” (plural, no apostrophe). I’ll let the punctuation slide this time ;-)

  22. HarryLaw
    January 16, 2012, 5:14 am

    Shmuel, I bet you checked your comment over a dozen times before you posted it. The Professor of Philosophy is still wrong, it is the Strait of Hormuz not Straits.

    • Shmuel
      January 16, 2012, 5:19 am

      I bet you’re wrong, Harry (OK, I did give it an extra glance), but the professor is still right. The word is “strait”, not “straight”.

  23. piotr
    January 16, 2012, 5:23 am

    Kalithea,

    you are wrong on some details.

    Chinese and Russians detest American arrogance and would love to see USA “cut down to size”, e.g. getting worse for the wear in a conflict with Iran. But their fleets cannot pose a serious challenge to American fleet, I mean, serious nuclear states do not shoot at each other to score points, no mention that we have bigger toys.

    But the last war with Hezbollah showed that there is very little we can do to shut down persistent shelling by well positioned missiles. And that can close Strait of Hormuz. So Iran can do it, but the problem is: will Iran have anyone to trade with after the crisis is over? Here Russia and China can answer that question. Chinese were surprisingly emphatic in their support of Iran, and clearly, when a financial push would come to shove, they can purchase the entire Iran’s export, clear the transactions through their banks and dare USA to sanction them. And if Iran will give China say, 10% discount, it would be hard to see as American win.

    China can also copy American methods of imposing and breaking sanctions. For example, it can ban companies operating in China from cooperating in sanctions imposed by other governments (perhaps they do it already). That would mean that we cannot stop Chinese industrial goods from getting to Iran, together with Russian goods that can be enough for an austere regime (Russians may have somewhat obsolete oil technologies, but they are effective enough.)

    So if attacked, Iran may close the Hormuz and offer some “easy deal”. Say, Israel says sorry and promises to pay reparations for the damages — utterly reasonable, if presented to a rational country.

    • Citizen
      January 16, 2012, 4:59 pm

      Apparently the expert consensus is Iran can close the Horumz Strait, but not for along, just long enough to really screw up oil supplies and price, and even if Iran’s alleged nuke sites and oil system are severely harmed, the question is how long before both are back in business–and with a solidified Iran regime more determined than ever in getting war nukes for defense. The US gains nothing from how it deals with Iran; and is very foolish to have no direct relationship with Iran since the Iranians took back their state from our puppet Shah.

      • Bandolero
        January 16, 2012, 6:34 pm

        As far as I see it the bigger problem for the NATO military machine is not an Iranian closure of the straits, but an Iranian harassment of the straits. When Iran closes the straits, Iran needs vulnerable equipment like mine layers and missile launchers. The US wil probably manage to clear mines and destroy such equipment after a while of sea- and airborne wafare.

        The problem is, what then? If Iran will simply fire one medium range missile per day from deep inside the country into the straights, insurance and oil prices will stay rocket high, and that maybe for months and years. There will be flow of oil through the straits then, but it will be a bit choked.

        To stop that harassment, the US has then only one option: occupy Iran. If the US wants to stop Iran harassing the straits, the US needs to put boots on the ground. The US might try to only occupy the lands around the straits, but that would probablly fail, as the occupying US force then becomes a target itself.

        So the only real option for the US to stop Iran harassing the straits is a full scale invasion of the whole of Iran, just like the US invaded Iraq in 2003, and a regime change in Iran resulting from this. The problem with this: Iran is larger as Iraq and Afghanistan combined, and it’s military is in good shape and has invested a lot in asymmetric warfare.

        So, given that for the 2003 invasion of Iraq 250.ooo troops were used, a realistic scenario for an invasion of Iran would involve about 500.000 invading soldiers. To get such numbers, the US would most likely need to reintroduce the draft. But anyway there would by a good chance that these invading troops end up bloodied and financially defeated like the US troops ended up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Iran knows that the US public wouldn’t like such a big war. This knowledge was meant when Iranian commanders recently said Iran has strategic depth.

        But Isael tries to push the US into such a war anyway. The zionists have totally disregard for the interests of the US. They feel like the own the US muscle and so they behave. For Israel such a war would mean time to build more settlements without a need for peace. The warmongering zionists behave like if they don’t think they will ever pay a price for what the crimes they commit. And, as a matter of fact, in the recent decades it worked well. They committed crime over crime and they never payed a reasonable price for that.

  24. HarryLaw
    January 16, 2012, 6:33 am

    You are right Piotr, but it is not just Russia and China that wants the US cut down to size, I think most countries in the world do, at least those countries whose leaders have any self respect. I do not think the humiliation of Iran will happen, but if it did the Russians and Chinese Know, as night follows day, their next.

  25. Richard Witty
    January 16, 2012, 9:23 am

    I can’t see any scenario following Iran’s potential closing of the Straits of Hormuz that does not result in significant scale war.

    Can anyone else?

    • Citizen
      January 16, 2012, 5:05 pm

      Witty: Not I. At least, a regional war, at most, WW3.

    • Chaos4700
      January 23, 2012, 2:03 am

      Yes, let’s NOT talk about Israel assassinating Iranians and threatening to attack Iran whether or not the US wants them too. TOTALLY not relevant to the cause of the war.

      You of course, will always blame the victims of violence by Jews. You always do.

  26. seafoid
    January 16, 2012, 11:41 am

    I think Martin Dempsey has a real Irish face to go with his name

  27. American
    January 16, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Closer to truth….except I am positive that the US was the one that cancelled the drill, it was not a ‘joint’ decision. The US allowed Isr some ‘face saving’ by not announcing the US “made’ the decision. Who would believe that Israel wants to tamp down tensions with Iran..LOL.
    I do think the assassination of the Iranian and Iran’s reactions to it brought about this cancellation.

    Published 20:30 15.01.12
    Latest update 20:30 15.01.12
    ‘Israel and U.S. postpone massive defense drill in fear of escalation with Iran’
    Israeli defense officials tell Channel 2 that Washington wants to avoid causing further tensions in region after various foreign reports of U.S. and Israeli preparations for strike on Iran.
    By Haaretz and DPA
    Tags: Israel US Iran

    Israel and the United States have postponed a massive joint defense exercise, which was expected to be carried out in the coming weeks, in order to avoid an escalation with Iran, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

    According to an Israeli defense official, Washington wants to avoid causing further tensions in the region, especially in light of the sensitive situation that has been generated after various reports in the international media that the U.S. and Israel are preparing to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    The drill, codenamed Austere Challenge 12, was supposed to simulate the missiles fired by Iran or other antagonistic states toward Israel. Defense officials told Channel 2 on Sunday that the drill is now scheduled to take place in the summer.

    Both Israeli and U.S. officials said the exercise would be the largest-ever joint drill by the two countries, involving thousands of U.S. soldiers.

    News of it came amid heightened tensions between U.S. allies and Iran, after Tehran threatened it could close the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial oil supply route.

    But the IDF said the drill was planned long ago and is not tied to recent events. The drill “is not in response to any real-world event,” the IDF wrote in a statement last week.

    The Defense Ministry said in an official statement that the postponement of the drill has not yet been announced, and that the subject is currently being discussed between Israeli and U.S. officials.

    They did note, however, that the drill was not canceled due to budget considerations.

  28. radii
    January 16, 2012, 3:29 pm

    ha-ha israel … Obama and the US generals called your bluff … your days of lording over us (in a punishingly obnoxious way no less) are over … and when we do go forward with the “drill” later in the year, don’t forget we’ll be bringing in tens of thousands of US troops (and more later, probably) … we will turn the tables and impose our will upon you, israel, and you will make peace with your neighbors and stop harming the United States with your outlandish perpetual crimes

  29. Citizen
    January 16, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I don’t know where I read it, but recently I read an analysis concluding that if Obama, now in campaign mode, is going to allow Israel-US war on Iran that bombing on Iran will come near this coming summer, 2012, and that Obama is increasingly being pressured to prove he loves Israel more than the GOP candidates (except, of course Ron Paul). The Israelis tried to get Shrub Bush to pull the flush crank on Iran, but it did not work during Shrub’s second term, and they have even less reason to imagine Obama will pull said crank once he has a second term, during which Obama may even issue another call to Israel to stop the settlements, and even threaten on the bully pulpit to withhold aid to Israel as leverage, as Bush Sr tried to do. I recall when Obama first sent Mitchell over to manage the peace process he actually told our public at least withholding our underwriting of Israel’s debt via loan guarantees treated as grants was available as leverage.

  30. ToivoS
    January 16, 2012, 6:55 pm

    This has been a good thread. The kind of analysis and conjecture that I love. I want to make a point teeing off from something American said: but this what seems ‘most’ likely right now since we’re all just opinionating. I think this is a contradictory statement (sorry to pick on you American but I read many of your entries because ,for the most part, I agree with your analysis).

    An analytic conclusion that leads to “most likely” is not just an opinion. It is conjecture based on the available information. The current story we are discussing reminds me of something once said by a Noble laureate in genetics (I think it was Luria who was one of the founders of my field) who noted that formulating a good hypothesis requires your ability to act on information that represents less than 10% needed, and of that 10% half of it is irrelevant (secondary phenomena) and of the other half, half of that is simply wrong.

    Since we are basing our conjectures on information supplied by governments and intelligence services we must assume much of it is not simply, but deliberately, wrong. Normally we do not even try to draw a ‘most likely’ explanation from so much obvious deception. However, in the current situation I think we can. I see signs of real panic inside the Obama administration and they are frantically trying to distance themselves from Israel and telling the Iranians “please we didn’t do it, it is all the Israelis fault”.

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