Trending Topics:

Obama consulted no Palestinians for his rendition of history

News
on 166 Comments

Mazin Qumsiyeh on Obama’s speech:

In his first speech at the UN, President Obama stated that he prohibited torture and ordered Guantanamo prisons closed.  He also said he will work to cut the nuclear arsenal of the US and Russia and move towards a world without nuclear weapons. He said that peace must be pursued by actions of all nations working together and that the era of unilateralism is finished. He said he will work aggressively to advance peace based on two states: Israel and Palestine. He said, “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”.  All were big fat LIES. And now comes Obama with new lies in front of the UN and at this International day of peace.  Here he shows Palestinian leaders did not give him any briefing on history.  I hope any Palestinian leaders should object strongly and with facts and figures to these misstatements.

“Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. [false] Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. [correct but this should be balanced by explaining that 10 times more Palestinians were butchered]

Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. [Israelis teach hate 100 more times than the other way around and hate of the colonizer to the colonized is not the same as the reverse].  Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. [That is nonsense; Israel wiped Palestine including 530 villages and towns and now is the fourth strongest country plus having you Obama and Congress as its lackeys]. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were. [Irrelevant and highly emotional: just study the history of Nazi-Zionist collaboration to see how absurd to link Apartheid Israel with “The Jewish People”, itself a mistaken term no more valid than concepts of “The Christian People” or “The Muslim People”]. These facts cannot be denied [they are regurgitation of Zionist myths, irrelevant facts, and half truths]. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland [a racist apartheid state based on land theft and ethnic cleansing; is that your definition of success?]. Israel deserves recognition [no it does not, Israel deserves to be faced with the truth and pressured to transform just like Apartheid South Africa]…

All who meet with him to go back and read his first speech in the UN should level with Mr. Obama.

Hypocrisy will be more evident at the United Nations these coming few days.  It is already evident in the use of bullying by the US administration to other countries to force them to not vote for a Palestinian state.  This bullying will remind us of how they bullied in 1947 to get the unjust resolution recommending partition of Palestine against the wishes of its people (contrary to UN Charter and the right of self-determination).  Hypocrisy will also be evident in Netanyahu’s speech in the UN that will say to the world: Israel wants peace and “why are we at the UN when Israel and the Palestinians can negotiate directly.” After decades of direct negotiations between slaves and heavily armed masters, excuse the world for not believing you. 

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

166 Responses

  1. Kathleen on September 22, 2011, 10:50 am

    One of President Obama’s lines during his UN speech was a very dangerous often repeated for 8 years and false statement about Iran.
    Obama at the UN “Israel is a small country of less than 8 million people look at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe them off the map”

    This is the clip that Chris Matthews or his producers chose to play during his segment with Howard Fineman and Joan Walsh from Salon. Not one of these well informed savvy individuals chose to bring any attention to this debunked and false statement. Again allowing this inflammatory and false statement about Iran”s President to be repeated once again. This is dangerous dangerous.

    The segment on Hardball “Perry attacks Obama on Middle East Peace”

    Obama’s false statement about the Iranian President’s statements about Israel
    link to msnbc.msn.com

    Professor Juan Cole at Informed Comment debunked this false statement that has endlessly been repeated in our MSM by Reps, Obama, Clinton etc long ago.
    link to juancole.com
    “Whatever this quotation from a decades-old speech of Khomeini may have meant, Ahmadinejad did not say that “Israel must be wiped off the map” with the implication that phrase has of Nazi-style extermination of a people. He said that the occupation regime over Jerusalem must be erased from the page of time. ”
    ——————————————————-

    Then this morning on Cspan’s Washington Journal the host of the program allowed Ohio Republican Rep Chabot to repeat more inflammatory and false statements about Iran. Repeating the debunked “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” and then repeating unsubstantiated and very dangerous claims that Iran is working on nuclear weapons. The host did not interrupt or challenge.

    The 45 minute segment that Rep Chabot was on focused on the I/P conflict, the UN bid. Anyone think Washington Journal will have a guest on with an opposing view about this issue?

    The clip of Chabot is not up. Rep Chabot has legislation up cutting Palestinian aide
    “Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East & South Asia – Chairman, discusses his non-binding resolution calling for the withholding of the United States’ U.N. funding if the General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state.”
    link to c-span.org

    Camera has a watch CSpan effort going on at their site where they document every comment about Israel, Iran that they do not like. Many people call in with facts. Camera defines almost every caller as anti semitic.

    Camera has had to hammer Washington Journal so much that almost every host interrupts anyone stating any comment about Israel with “where do you get your information” Now if the host of Washington Journal would just apply those same questions to those who repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran.
    Camera’s CSpan watch site
    link to camera.org

  2. MRW on September 22, 2011, 1:00 pm

    Shmuel,

    Smart comments on this blog.

  3. Robert Werdine on September 24, 2011, 10:04 am

    President Obama is still clueless on the history of the I/P conflict, but at least he’s getting better. At his worst, however, he would be hard pressed to excell these delectables from Mazin Qumsiyeh’s noxious screed:

    “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”. All were big fat LIES.

    “Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. [false]

    Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. [correct but this should be balanced by explaining that 10 times more Palestinians were butchered]

    Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. [Israelis teach hate 100 more times than the other way around and hate of the colonizer to the colonized is not the same as the reverse].

    Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. [That is nonsense; Israel wiped Palestine including 530 villages and towns and now is the fourth strongest country plus having you Obama and Congress as its lackeys].

    The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries
    of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of
    knowing that six million people were killed simply
    because of who they were. [Irrelevant and highly
    emotional: just study the history of Nazi-Zionist
    collaboration to see how absurd to link Apartheid
    Israel with “The Jewish People”, itself a mistaken
    term no more valid than concepts of “The Christian
    People” or “The Muslim People”].

    These facts cannot be denied [they are regurgitation of Zionist myths, irrelevant facts, and half truths].

    The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland [a racist apartheid state based on land theft and ethnic cleansing; is that your definition of success?].

    Israel deserves recognition [no it does not, Israel deserves to be faced with the truth and pressured to transform just like Apartheid South Africa]…

    Who will address the fact that the Palestinian people were subjected to the largest armed robbery in the last 100 years accompanied by massacres and ethnic cleansing?

    Who will mention that the value of hard assets alone stolen by the Zionist project exceed $30 trillion?

    ($30 trillion?!!)

    Who will speak of the over 60,000 Palestinian civilians massacred or the hundreds of thousands who were injured or jailed?

    (60,000 massacred? “Hundreds of thousands” injured or jailed?)

    What happened to President Johnson when he asked Israel to get out of Gaza and the Sinai in 1956 (and Israel complied)?

    (What happened to President Eisenhower, who was president in 1956?)

    I suppose that in the alternative universe inhabited by those mouth such sentiments regularly and reasonably as a matter of course, there is not much to see here. But to me, the knowledge that whole scores of millions around the globe ascribe to such hate-filled and hysterically paranoid and libelous falsehoods, or, rather, these “big fat LIES,” is downright chilling. There is no solution to this conflict.

    (Ps- Did Shingo ghostwrite this?)

    • Chaos4700 on September 24, 2011, 10:57 am

      The shoah deniers are really out in force. But they won’t keep Palestine enslaved for much longer — no amount of white phosphorous and bunker busters and UN vetoes bought/stolen from us will save Israel from its fate. The same fate that every military expansionist ethnic-supremacist state suffers.

    • DaveS on September 24, 2011, 11:06 am

      Yes indeed, Robert, Obama is slowly becoming more educated on the I/P conflict. Who knows? Soon he may become as sophisticated and knowledgeable as you, expressing the irrefutable views that have come from your honest, well-informed perspective:

      1) Ben-Gurion and Sharon’s attack on Qibya in 1953, in which they slaughtered scores of innocent Arab villagers, began as a legitimate “reprisal” that unfortunately “lapsed” into a massacre

      2) The attack on the Liberty was a mistake, as evidenced from the fact that Robert Werdine can devote 17 billion words to its re-enactment and repeat his screed over and over and over.

      3) Israel’s deliberate attacks on civilians in Lebanon, Werdine’s mother’s homeland, in its 1982 invasion had a death toll under 20,000, so it couldn’t have been that bad.

      4) Rabin’s bombing attacks on Lebanon in 1993 caused the death of only 118 Lebanese civilians, which could not have been deliberate because Israel could have killed many more

      5) Israel’s attack on Qana, Lebanon in 1996, which killed another 100+ civilians, was another accident (see USS LIberty)

      etc., etc.

      PS Does Alan Dershowitz ghostwrite for Werdine?

      • Hostage on September 24, 2011, 12:59 pm

        PS Does Alan Dershowitz ghostwrite for Werdine?

        Nope. They just plagiarize the same sources.

      • Shingo on September 24, 2011, 9:26 pm

        2) The attack on the Liberty was a mistake, as evidenced from the fact that Robert Werdine can devote 17 billion words to its re-enactment and repeat his screed over and over and over.

        Further to that, Robert Werdine can devote 17 billion words to its re-enactment and repeat his screed over and over and over while ignoreing the 8 hours of reconainsance Israel conducted of the ship prior to atatcking it.

        5) Israel’s attack on Qana, Lebanon in 1996, which killed another 100+ civilians, was another accident (see USS LIberty)

        Which explains how the story was revealed when an IDF soliders handed a video tape showing that an Israeli drone was in the area the while time, contrary to Israel’s denials.

    • Hostage on September 24, 2011, 12:48 pm

      At his worst, however, he would be hard pressed to excell these delectables from Mazin Qumsiyeh’s noxious screed:

      “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”. All were big fat LIES.

      Qumsiyeh was citing Obama’s June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University:

      At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Applause.)

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Cairo-University-6-04-09/

      As usual you’re demonstrating your own ignorance. FYI, “millions around the globe” knew the settlements had no legitimacy long before Obama ever opened his mouth.

    • Shingo on September 24, 2011, 9:23 pm

      “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”. All were big fat LIES.

      After vetoing the last UN Resolution condeming the settlements, Susan Rise explicitly stated that the settlements were illegitimate.

      Ps- Did Shingo ghostwrite this?

      Why Robert, are you in the mood to be humilated and debunked today

      • Robert Werdine on September 25, 2011, 4:27 pm

        “PS Does Alan Dershowitz ghostwrite for Werdine”?

        “Nope. They just plagiarize the same sources.”

        Ouch!

        Well now, it is certainly not every day that I return from a three week fishing trip, post a comment, and receive replies from my three favorite Mondoweiss prevaricators on my first day back. What a party!

        Hostage, it’s not really clear to me what point you’re attempting to make here. President Obama (along with UN Rep Susan Rice) genuinely believe that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are the principal cause of the perpetuation of the I/P conflict. He has said so repeatedly since the beginning of his presidency, nagged Israel into a futile 10-month settlement freeze, publicly picked a fight with Netanyahu over the construction of a Jerusalem housing project, and then subsequently re-emphasized his displeasure on the matter by receiving the Israeli Prime Minister to the White House with all the warmth and civility accorded to a Prohibition-era saloon keeper dragged to a gangster’s lair. These actions seem to me strong evidence of a definite conviction on his part. Were he able to support the anti-settlements resolution tabled before the UNSC some months ago without paying an unacceptable domestic political price, he surely would have. Anyone who witnessed Susan Rice’s speech could see that she was literally straining at the leash to scream “We’d love to vote with the majority, but the Israel Lobby just won’t let us. Stephen Walt can explain.”

        Now, it seems to me one may agree or disagree with the President’s view, but not whether he (or Rice) sincerely holds that view. There is certainly no basis to think his oft-expressed view on the settlements is a “big fat LIE” as Mazin Qumsiyeh put it.

        “As usual you’re demonstrating your own ignorance. FYI, “millions around the globe” knew the settlements had no legitimacy long before Obama ever opened his mouth.”

        Thank you for this novel and unparalleled insight. I just had no idea that anyone ever had a problem with the settlements before Obama spoke out. Thanks for the tip.

        And now to David,

        Well it has been a while! I hope and trust you’ve been well.

        “1) Ben-Gurion and Sharon’s attack on Qibya in 1953, in which they slaughtered scores of innocent Arab villagers, began as a legitimate “reprisal” that unfortunately “lapsed” into a massacre”

        You have the idea. It was a legitimate reprisal, I do not believe that the massacre of the town’s inhabitants was planned (for reasons that I explained at length), and I do think that what subsequently occurred there was a crime, even if it was not planned. Your only response to my argument was to declare your refusal to respond to it on the grounds that I was “full of shit” and “demented.” Nice rebuttal, counselor.

        “2) The attack on the Liberty was a mistake, as evidenced from the fact that Robert Werdine can devote 17 billion words to its re-enactment and repeat his screed over and over and over.”

        And to which David Samel has not even once attempted to refute, or even engage. I think I have more than made my case that the attack was a case of friendly fire and a mistake, based on facts and evidence. The attack was an accident David. Deal with it.

        “3) Israel’s deliberate attacks on civilians in Lebanon, Werdine’s mother’s homeland, in its 1982 invasion had a death toll under 20,000, so it couldn’t have been that bad.”

        I think the war in Lebanon was a moral catastrophe for Israel, and a tragedy for both Lebanon and Israel, two nations that, left to their own devices, had no reason to go to war. From Israel’s perspective, it was not an unnecessary war, but it was less necessary than the previous wars had been when the life of the nation hung in the balance. The PLO attacks in the previous years were certainly a serious national-security threat, if not an existential one (though the border had been relatively quiet since the summer of 1981, there were, however, over 240 terrorist attacks by the PLO on Israelis, in Israel, the territories, and abroad).

        That some response to this long campaign of terror and provocation was justified seems obvious; no sovereign state could or should be expected to suffer such attacks in silence and inaction. Whether the course the Israelis did take was justified or even wise, is debatable. I am personally of the opinion that it was probably neither. However, that is easy for me to say from the safety and comfort of my computer; were I the leader of a vulnerable nation suffering such attacks, I may have viewed the matter rather differently. But a full-scale invasion, followed by an extended occupation seems excessive, and self-defeating. In the 18-year occupation the IDF and the Shin Bet, like the Americans in Vietnam, found themselves sucked into the subterranean jungle of warring tribal and sectarian factions, and where, again as in Vietnam, today’s friendly civilian would often be tomorrow’s suicide bomber. The IDF and the Shin Bet, like the Americans, were themselves often guilty of many individual acts of murder. Surely a swifter, more surgical campaign to eliminate the PLO infrastructure, followed by a quick, orderly withdrawal punctuated with the credible threat to repeat it should matters worsen again, would certainly have been preferable to the 18-year moral, political, and military quagmire engendered by the course they did take. Whether even that would have worked, it is less easy to say. One thing, however, is certain: that Begin and Sharon could have ever thought they could tame the sectarian furies of Lebanon and install a friendly regime in its place was a dangerous and costly fantasy. They expelled the PLO only to put Hezbollah in their stead, saw their transient “alliance” with the double-dealing Phalangists slowly evaporate, and merely allowed the Syrians to strengthen their murderous grip on Lebanon as their vassel/slave state, where their depravities there far exceeded the worst of the Israeli invasion and occupation combined. It was all in vain.

        I have no recollection of ever stating that the war and those killed in it “couldn’t have been that bad.”

        However, whether there were 20,000 killed in the course of the Israeli invasion is open to doubt. Benny Morris, who served both as a soldier in the siege of West Beirut and a correspondent, expressed critical views of the war, and spent three weeks in jail for his principled refusal to serve in the territories to protest the IDF’s response to the intifada, has called the unitemized and uncorroborated 19,085 killed figure cited from a 1982 Lebanese police report “vastly exaggerated.”

        Consider: between June 1982 and June 1985 some 950 Israelis were killed and some 3000 wounded. The Syrians lost about 500-1000, and the PLO suffered some 1000 killed. That nearly 20,000 Lebanese were killed in the first two and a half months, when the fighting was at its height, is simply implausible. That the number of civilians killed was higher than that of the combatants is likely, but not 20,000. The deliberate slaughter of such a number in such a time frame would be rather hard to accomplish even if the IDF did not have to contend with the PLO and the Syrians, which they did. The real, accurate figure will probably never be known. If the IDF understated the figures, the Arabs vastly overstated them.

        Nor is Morris alone on this. Former NY Times correspondent David Shipler, not exactly an enthusiastic advocate of Israel or the invasion, has stated:

        “Those of us who covered Israel’s invasion of Lebanon remember the conflicting claims by Israel that the number of casualties was extremely low and by Arabs that it was very high. Israeli figures were immediately dismissed as self-serving, but the Arabs’ data gained credibility because their sources were less obviously biased, and were only later revealed as unreliable.

        After the initial Israeli drive up the coast, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society asserted that 10,000 people had been killed in the south and 600,000 made homeless, figures that were then passed on by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Beirut — even though such a determination would have been impossible, given the cutoff of communications and roads between Beirut and the south.

        For more than a month after the invasion, I carefully interviewed numerous relief workers, medical personnel, religious leaders, Palestinian refugees and others in southern Lebanon and concluded that the figures were considerably exaggerated. This I reported in a front-page article in The New York Times on July 14, 1982, which also described in detail the sleight of hand by which Israel arrived at reduced numbers…

        The inflated casualty toll in the south retained a life of its own, however, and it appears to form the bulk of the overall total, which includes Beirut…The numbers game should not obscure the fact that thousands of innocent civilians died under Israeli bombs and shells. Statistics do not have to be overstated to make the point that it was a horrible war.”

        Fair point. Indeed, another NY Times article commented on the Lebanese police report’s figures at the time they were released:

        “Many officials [in Bierut], including those of the International Committee of the Red Cross, have said that numbering the dead correctly is virtually impossible.”

        The most reliable estimate seems to have come from the UN. A United Nations report estimated that between the 6th of June 1982 and the 15th of August 1982, 6,775 persons had been killed and 30,000 others wounded, some 80% being civilians.

        Whatever the real numbers are, David Shipler was surely right: “The numbers game should not obscure the fact that thousands of innocent civilians died under Israeli bombs and shells. Statistics do not have to be overstated to make the point that it was a horrible war.”

        In any attempt to understand the tragedy that engulfed all of Lebanon between 1975-1990, to focus narrowly and solely on the Israeli invasion to the exclusion of anything else betrays an obvious bias and hypocrisy. No one should whitewash the tragedy of the Israeli invasion for the peoples of Lebanon, but no one should whitewash the role played by the PLO, the Syrians and others in provoking the invasion and the innocent blood that was on their hands in the course of it, or, for that matter, long before it. Indeed, as I have said before, no one did more to upset Lebanon’s fragile sectarian balance than did Arafat and the PLO, who transferred to Lebanon all of the death, destruction, and chaos that they had previously been conferring upon Jordan, (from whom they had been violently ejected in 1970), and whose attacks on northern Israel, like Hezbollah attacks later on, brought nothing but conflict and chaos to southern Lebanon, and the West Bekka. The Syrians, the Phalangists, the Druze, and the myriad of militant Shi’a and Sunni Lebanese factions all did their part as well.

        There was “Bus Massacre” in April of 1975 perpetrated by Phalangists in Beirut, slaughtering some 300 innocents.

        In May 1975, tens of Lebanese civilians were massacred in the Dekkwaneh-Jisr al-Basha neighborhood in East Beirut.

        In October 1975, dozens of civilians were slaughtered in the convent of Naameh, which had received and sheltered Palestinian refugees since 1948.

        There was the “Black Saturday” massacres in Beirut in December of 1975 where Phalangists and members of the Lebanese National Movement slaughtered some 200-600 innocents between them.

        There was the Karantina Massacre of January 18,1976 where Phalangists murdered some 1000-1500 civilians.

        There was the Damour massacre of January 20, 1976 in which the PLO butchered some 584 civilians, desecrated the Christian cemetery there, digging up coffins, robbing the dead, opening vaults and scattering bodies and skeletons about the graveyard. Inside a local church a beaming portrait of Arafat and his AK-47 toting guerrillas was placed over the altar.

        Then there was the Tel al-Zaatar massacre of August 12, 1976 where Arafat’s PLO first subjected the city to an unrestrained orgy of rape, mutilation and murder, then leveled the village, and finally butchered 2-3000 civilians in cold blood in a ferocious artillery barrage while they were trying to escape. As John Bulloch, The Daily Telegraph correspondent in Beirut at the time wrote, “In their bitterness the Palestinian commanders ordered their artillery to open up on the fringes of the camp with the ostensible objective of hampering the attackers and helping those inside; instead the shells were landing among the hundreds who had got through the perimeter and were trying to escape. When they were told of this, the Palestinians made no attempt to lift their fire: they wanted martyrs”.

        Robert Fisk wrote in his biography of “Arafat, The Broken Revolutionary”:

        “When Arafat needed martyrs in 1976, he called for a truce around the besieged refugee camp of Tel el-Zaatar, then ordered his commanders in the camp to fire at their right-wing Lebanese Christian enemies. When, as a result, the Phalangists and “Tigers” militia slaughtered their way into Tel el-Zaatar, Arafat opened a “martyrs’ village” for camp widows in the sacked Christian village of Damour. On his first visit, the widows pelted him with stones and rotten fruit. Journalists were ordered away at gunpoint.”

        In another interview published May 30, 2002, Fisk recalls “Arafat is a very immoral person, or maybe very amoral. A very cynical man. I remember when the Tal-al-Zaatar refugee camp in Beirut had to surrender to Christian forces in the very brutal Lebanese civil war. They were given permission to surrender with a cease-fire. But at the last moment, Arafat told his men to open fire on the Christian forces who were coming to accept the surrender. I think Arafat wanted more Palestinian “martyrs” in order to publicize the Palestinian position in the war. That was in 1976. Believe me that Arafat is not a changed man.”

        Fisk also wrote of the PLO during the siege of Beirut of 1982:

        “There was still, even now, an inability within the PLO to admit that the Palestinian presence in Lebanon had contributed to the nation’s agony. Arafat and his colleagues blithely continued to associate the Phalangists with the forces of “imperialism,” as part of the international conspiracy with which the Arab regimes had always been obsessed. This only helped to encourage the political and religious division of Lebanon. True, the Phalangists were now collaborating with the Israelis, but the contempt with which the Palestinian guerillas had treated the Lebanese was almost subconscious and long preceded the 1982 invasion…The trouble in West Beirut was that many Palestinians acted as if they did own this sector of the city. Most [residents of Beirut] would have been as happy as the Israelis to see the PLO leave, providing the guerillas were not replaced by Phalangist militiamen from East Beirut.” (Pity The Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon, p.290)

        And these are just the most notable examples of Phalangist and PLO brutality. Don’t even get me started on the Syrians. There were no innocents in Lebanon, the Israelis included.

        Indeed David, as I have said before, the Israeli involvement in Lebanon was but a part of a conflict bitterly raging between a whole host of other factions: between Sunni and Shi’a, both against Christians, the Druze against the Phalangists, the Maronites and the Phalangists and the inter-rivalry of their various militias, the PLO against the Phalangists, the Syrians against the PLO, and the rivalries and turf wars between the various groups within the PLO. The conflicts, mini-conflicts and turf struggles that destroyed and destabilized Lebanon had actually very little to do with Israel, and predated their involvement. In Lebanon, every man’s hand was raised against the other, and all against the stranger. Some 130,000 to 250,000 people were killed (more than 100,000 before the 1982 invasion), hundreds of thousands dislocated and dispossessed, and more than a million people wounded in this civil war, minus any Israeli involvement. What I said, therefore, was true: Over the years there were a lot of very, very, bad actors who have passed through the revolving door of the Land of the Cedars, and I hardly think the Israelis were the worst of them. Not by a long shot.

        Btw, the notion that the Israelis killed 118 civilians in cold blood in 1993, or that the shelling of the Qana shelter killing 106 civilians was anything but an accident, is baseless. There is not a shred of evidence that either attack deliberately targeted civilians, and you know it. And yes, if civilians had been deliberately targeted in the 1993 attack, there would certainly have been many more killed given the firepower the IDF had at their disposal, and they would most certainly not have given warnings to the civilians in the areas about to be hit if this were their intention. What would be the point of that?

        Wars and war-related actions involve killing. Every unintentional civilian death is a tragedy, but not every tragic civilian death is a war crime.

        And now to Shingo, the Great Debunker.

        “Further to that, Robert Werdine can devote 17 billion words to its re-enactment and repeat his screed over and over and over while ignoring the 8 hours of reconnaissance Israel conducted of the ship prior to attacking it.”

        This is actually partially true. The Liberty was first spotted by the IAF at 5:55am and again at 9:00am, both times identifying her positively as an American ship. They noticed the hull markings but neither pilot spotted a flag—not surprising since they were flying fast and high and a 5×8 foot flag would be hardly visible to them even if it was extended, which it probably wasn’t. The pilot spotted a hull marking that read “GTR-5″ and the headquarters identified the ship as the USS Liberty. However, with the change in watch in the Israeli HQ at 11:00am, the officer on duty at Israel’s naval headquarters, Capt. Avraham Lunz, concluded his shift, and, in accordance with procedures, removed the Liberty’s green marker from the control board on the grounds that it was already five hours old and no longer accurate. The officers on the new watch thus erroneously assumed that the Liberty had left the area. For all intents and purposes to the Israelis, the Liberty had ceased to exist. When an explosion rocked an Israeli arms depot at El Arish at 11:24am, the Israelis, later spotting a vessel they incorrectly assumed was an Egyptian warship bombarding them, sent three torpedo boats to engage it. They misidentified the ship, clear and simple.

        Audio tapes transcripts indicate that the Israelis did not know they were attacking an American ship in both air attacks (which lasted a total of eight and a half minutes between 1:50pm and 2:11pm) and, five minutes into the second air attack, immediately disengaged when they did.

        All available evidence, including IDF Navy logs, indicate that the Israeli boat captain misidentified the ship, then engulfed with smoke, at 6000 yards distance at about 2:30 pm, incurred fire from the Liberty as they approached her, returned it, cut off the attack at 2:47pm pending further ID, got close enough to identify the Latin hull markings of the Liberty, and offered help and medical attention to the survivors at 3:03pm.

        The attack on the Liberty was a classic case of friendly fire. After winning the battle of Chancellorsville in 1863, Stonewall Jackson was accidentally killed by his own Confederate troops. On the first day of the German invasion of Poland September 1, 1939, a platoon of German soldiers fired their rifles on what they thought to be an enemy plane that had been flying about them, causing the plane to come crashing down into their midst; out stepped a raging Luftwaffe general in charge of ground-air coordination. On February 22, 1940 a German bomber sank two German destroyers in the North Sea, killing 578 German sailors. During the 1956 War the Israelis attacked a British destroyer, the HMS Crane, that it had mistaken for an Egyptian Z-class destroyer. The largest tank battle of the 1956 War occurred at Abu Ageila where two Israeli tank units fought each other to a standstill. On June 5, 1967 The IAF bombed a column of IDF Sherman tanks in the battle for Jerusalem, and did so again on June 8, just a few hours before the attack on the Liberty. Many, many more instances could be cited.

        On balance, the evidence indicating a deliberate Israeli attack is not only conjectural, but luridly conspiratorial, and is bereft of any plausible, discernable motivation, and the evidence in all of the declassified material released by both Israel and the U.S. in 1997 overwhelmingly exonerates Israel of the charge of having knowingly and deliberately attacked the Liberty, and further exonerates our government and military of having covered up any evidence to the contrary.

      • Hostage on September 25, 2011, 7:31 pm

        Hostage, it’s not really clear to me what point you’re attempting to make here. . . . There is certainly no basis to think his oft-expressed view on the settlements is a “big fat LIE” as Mazin Qumsiyeh put it.

        Robert the United States has voted in favor of dozens of resolutions which say that Israel’s attempts to alter the demographic balance of the Occupied Territories including East Jerusalem are illegal, null, and void. In the meantime, the US government continued to allow billions to be funneled to Israeli settlements through tax-exempt organizations; prevented sanctions from being adopted when Israel annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights; and refuses to accept an ICJ advisory opinion which said Israel had facilitated the transfer of parts of its own population into the occupied territory in violation of international law.

        Furthermore, in his speech to AIPAC Obama explained that his use of the term “agreed swaps” is meant to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground.

        The US speaks as if Palestinian officials could release themselves from their obligations towards persons protected by the Geneva Conventions, despite the fact that the refugees in question have never expressly and of their own free will shown that that is what they desire. I’ve explained in the past that the object of Article 8 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Non-Renunciation of Rights, is to “ensure that protected persons in all cases without exception enjoy the protection of the Convention until they are repatriated.” It specifically prohibits the conclusion of any such agreement between Palestinian leaders and the occupying power intended to codify facts on the ground resulting from illegal population displacement and deportation. In his address to the joint session of Congress, Netanyahu justified his actions to alter the demographic balance of East Jerusalem and flatly stated that he intends to exert pressure to obtain renunciation of refugee rights – and he received thunderous applause.
        http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/COM/380-600011?OpenDocument

        If you have trouble admitting that the US is lying when it says the settlements have no legitimacy, then it’s undoubtedly attributable to the fact that you are such a dishonest person.

      • Shingo on September 25, 2011, 7:48 pm

        Robert ,

        You always provide an abundance of amusement and never cease to astound us with your capacity for cherry picking and denial.

        You have the idea. It was a legitimate reprisal, I do not believe that the massacre of the town’s inhabitants was planned (for reasons that I explained at length), and I do think that what subsequently occurred there was a crime, even if it was not planned.

        If you are to be believed Robert, Ben Gurion would go down as one of the most accident prone and incompetent leader in history.

        Qibya was a massacre though unintended.
        Lydda was a massacre though unintended.
        Deair Yassin was a massacre though unintended.

        And to which David Samel has not even once attempted to refute, or even engage. I think I have more than made my case that the attack was a case of friendly fire and a mistake, based on facts and evidence. The attack was an accident David. Deal with it.

        Why should David waste the time refuting or enaging you when I have already debunked your Likudnik version of events? You have valiantly tried to make your case, but as I demonstrated here http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/arab-spring-fatah-and-hamas-reportedly-reach-deal-for-interim-govt-elections-in-a-year.html , your case had more holes and cherry picking of facts than a block of swiss cheese.

        The PLO attacks in the previous years were certainly a serious national-security threat, if not an existential one (though the border had been relatively quiet since the summer of 1981, there were, however, over 240 terrorist attacks by the PLO on Israelis, in Israel, the territories, and abroad).

        Absolute hogwash of course. Israel attacked Lebanon in 1982 during a ceasefire to which the PLO were holding. Thus the suggestion that the invasion of Lebanon was a response to a long campaign of terror and provocation is simply false. If the PLO attacks in the previous years were certainly a serious national-security threat to Israel, Israel would never have agreed to the ceasefire to begin with.

        The ceasefire was broken when Israel decided that the shooting of the Israelis ambassador in London by Abu Nidal (not connected at all to the PLO) was a violation of the ceasefire.

        Even Ehud Barak, who was initimately involved in the Lebanon war, admitted that Israel’s reasons for invading Lebanon was not about Lebanon, but about defeating a Palestinian state.

        “This goal, he said, was effecting geopolitical change by banishing Fatah to Jordan, where it would unseat the Hashemite regime and create a Palestinian state. In that way, he continued (echoing a widespread but unfounded conspiracy theory ), Sharon hoped to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.”
        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/in-praise-of-wars-of-choice-1.299312

        What Israel learned in Lebanon, as the US learned in Vietnam, is that massacring local civilians is
        guaranteed to erode any alliances one has with local groups. Sadly, Israel didn’t learn this lesson then nor in 2006. The reason the fascist Phalangists turned away from the Israelis is because Israel killed so many Lebanese civlians.

        However, whether there were 20,000 killed in the course of the Israeli invasion is open to doubt.

        No, it’s not open to doubt, it is simply refuted by Israeli apologists. Benny Morris, an ardent Zionist who believes to this day that Ben-Gurion’s mistake was not finishing he job of ethnically cleansing Palestine in 1948, had no way of knowing how many civilians Israel massacred in Lebanon.

        That nearly 20,000 Lebanese were killed in the first two and a half months, when the fighting was at its height, is simply implausible.

        On the contrary. Israel’s track record has usually meant that they have killed 10-100 for every Israeli killed. Secondlyl Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon lasted 18 years, so 20,000 is actually a very conservative figure.

        Nor is Morris alone on this. Former NY Times correspondent David Shipler, not exactly an enthusiastic advocate of Israel or the invasion, has stated:

        Shipler doesn’t actually cite any figures in this rebuttal, only raising objections as to why he believes the 20,000 figure is exaggerated. He admits that “…thousands of innocent civilians died under Israeli bombs and shells”, so given that thousands were killed by Israeli troops shooting civilians in cold blood, his argument seems pretty futile.

        In any attempt to understand the tragedy that engulfed all of Lebanon between 1975-1990, to focus narrowly and solely on the Israeli invasion to the exclusion of anything else betrays an obvious bias and hypocrisy.

        You have clearly lost the point of your argument Robert. The argument put forth is not that there were many players involved in the Lebanon war, it is Israel’s role in that war and it’s role was murderous, gratuitous and unjustified.

        And taking Barak’s argument into account, Israel had a keen interest in upsetting “Lebanon’s fragile sectarian balance”.

        …whose attacks on northern Israel, like Hezbollah attacks later on, brought nothing but conflict and chaos to southern Lebanon, and the West Bekka.

        Both these claims are clearly false.

        .Robert Fisk wrote in his biography of “Arafat, The Broken Revolutionary”:

        .

        Seriously Robert, if you are going to cut and paste entire paragraphs from Wikipedia, you could at the very least, have the decency to include a URL.

        Why do you Hasbarats have such an aversion to citing your sources? Is it that you feel the need to appear well read and learned, or is it that you hope your sources will not be checked for statements that contradict your these?

        Having fond the pae you cut and pasted from, I found this interesting passage:
        “John Bulloch, The Daily Telegraph correspondent in Beirut at the time wrote, “In their bitterness the Palestinian commanders ordered their artillery to open up on the fringes of the camp with the ostensible objective of hampering the attackers and helping those inside; instead the shells were landing among the hundreds who had got through the perimeter and were trying to escape. When they were told of this, the Palestinians made no attempt to lift their fire: they wanted martyrs”.

        There were no innocents in Lebanon, the Israelis included.

        That’s exactly what the commander of the bulldozer who murdered Rachel Corrie said when he testified.

        Btw, the notion that the Israelis killed 118 civilians in cold blood in 1993, or that the shelling of the Qana shelter killing 106 civilians was anything but an accident, is baseless. There is not a shred of evidence that either attack deliberately targeted civilians, and you know it.

        This has to be one of your greatest howlers yet Robert.

        It’s hugely ironic that having cited Fisk at length (though I doubt you ever actually read anything he wrote), you would be so ignorant of the fact that it was Fisk who broke the story that revealed that the shelling of Qana was no accident.
        http://engforum.pravda.ru/index.php?/topic/101632-qana-1996-israels-lies-exposed-by-un-soldiers-video-2006-israel-still-lying/
        Suggesting that the fact Israel only killed 106 civilians is proof of anything is beyond pathetic. Would you argue that the fact only 67 Jews were murders in Hebron in 1929 proves it too was an accident?

        And yes, if civilians had been deliberately targeted in the 1993 attack, there would certainly have been many more killed given the firepower the IDF had at their disposal, and they would most certainly not have given warnings to the civilians in the areas about to be hit if this were their intention. What would be the point of that?

        PR. As we saw in 2006, Israel also gave warnings to civilians in the areas about to be hit, and then proceeded to bomb their vehicles as they fled.

        The Liberty was first spotted by the IAF at 5:55am and again at 9:00am, both times identifying her positively as an American ship.

        Umm, Robert, why did you deliberately omit the subsequent reconnaissance conducted by Israel at 10:10, 10:30, 1055, 1100 and 11:30?

        Is it because your BS claim that “the change in watch in the Israeli HQ at 11:00am” and that this meant “For all intents and purposes to the Israelis, the Liberty had ceased to exist.”
        would no longer hold water, so to speak?

        You see Robert, we’ve been through al this before and you ended up looking like a complete full then as you do now.

        You are also blatantly lying when you claim that ”the 5×8 foot flag would be hardly visible to them” or that the Israelis were “flying fast and high” , when the USS Liberty survivors all agree that the unmarked Israeli jets were flying low and slow enough that they could see the pilots in the cockpits and and were able to wave to them.

        Audio tapes transcripts revealed that when the Israeli pilots were sent to attack the ship, they radio’d back to headquarters that the ship was American, but were ordered to attack it anyway.

        On balance, the evidence indicating a deliberate Israeli attack is beyond refute.

      • DaveS on September 25, 2011, 11:56 pm

        Robert, you are nothing but a serial apologist for mass murder. The fact that you claim to be of the same ethnic background of the victims whose lives you so clearly devalue suggests a pathology that I am not qualified to analyze.

        Shingo and Hostage, thanks for doing the heavy lifting. I did not have the stomach for this creep.

      • thankgodimatheist on September 26, 2011, 2:15 am

        Strange Mr. Robert Werdine who pretends to be an Arab American! On Facebook this gentleman, please be seated when reading this, has ONE friend! Not him maybe, you might say? Well not exactly because he “liked” a link. Where from? Mondoweiss!
        “Robert Werdine likes a link.
        Picking apart the New York Times Zionist narrative on the Nakba . . . using the New York Times” Mondoweiss

        Fishy fishy gentleman. Smells like a hired gun to me.

      • Shingo on September 26, 2011, 2:19 am

        No problem David,

        Given the intelelctual flatulence exhibited by the likes of Witty, Hophmi, Jonah and co, I actually don’t mind siftign through Robert’s pre-prepared cut and pasted diatribes, though I am beginning to wonder if I should simply store my rebutals in a comvenient location so that I cut and paste my responses to his cut and paste efforts.

        Still, I wish you wouldn’t take him so seriously. He’s not pathological, so much as a cheap fraud.

      • RoHa on September 26, 2011, 3:24 am

        “He’s not pathological, so much as a cheap fraud.”

        How do you know how much he gets paid for his propaganda?

      • Robert Werdine on September 29, 2011, 7:26 pm

        Hostage,

        Said you:

        “Robert the United States has voted in favor of dozens of resolutions which say that Israel’s attempts to alter the demographic balance of the Occupied Territories including East Jerusalem are illegal, null, and void. In the meantime, the US government continued to allow billions to be funneled to Israeli settlements through tax-exempt organizations…”

        Hostage, what has all this to do with anything? You have correctly and accurately argued the conflicted and contradictory positions of the U.S. foreign policy establishment with regard to the settlements in the West Bank. No question about it. But this is not what I was discussing in either post. I was discussing only President Obama’s view, and whether the statement quoted of him was a “big fat LIE.”

        The President’s foreign policy views in general have always had a strong whiff of the University faculty lounge about them; he is, like Susan Rice and the now-departed PJ Crowley, a child of the left-liberal foreign policy establishment. There is no question in my mind, from his actions and statements, that he, like most on the liberal left, considers the settlements to be the principal obstacle to peace, and, in the main, blames the Israelis for the impasse. To Obama the equation is simple: Remove settlements = Peace.

        Said you:

        “Furthermore, in his speech to AIPAC Obama explained that his use of the term “agreed swaps” is meant to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground.”

        This is also correct. But let me ask you this: do you think he really believes this? I think not. Such Israel-friendly statements, and those recently made by him before the UN, are principally aimed at his Jewish donor base and the wider Jewish vote, which, despite some slippage, he still seems to hold securely. His remarks at APAIC and at the UN were an acknowledgment by him that he has trouble there, and he was tending to it. The statements themselves are so lifelessly mouthed, so perfunctory, and in such contrast to his spirited denunciations (both public and private) of the Jewish state (and its Prime Minister) as to lack any semblance of genuine conviction. He resembled nothing so much as a bad actor reading lines in a screen test.

        Now, I suppose it is theoretically possible that I am incorrect about the President’s views, and that his words and his actions are just clever subterfuge for his stalwart support of the settlements and the Jewish state, but I do not think that is very probable. If you want to believe that he believes this, I guess you’re entitled to your opinion, I just think it’s nuts. He is arguably the most anti-Israel President ever.

        As Jackson Diehl has commented, the President is more interested in disposing of the I/P conflict than actually solving it. He just wants it out of his hair. He blames the conflict for all his troubles in the ME that distract his attention from “nation building at home,” and he blames Israel for the conflict. Any genuine interest in foreign policy on his part is now limited to what there is available to burnish his Commander in Chief credentials and distract voters from his incompetent stewardship of the economy—hence his repeated reminders before the UN and elsewhere of his authorship of the Bin Laden hit. The President and his minions have assiduously sniffed about the region for possibilities, and they surely know there are no victories to be won on the I/P front to enhance his reelection prospects. In the future, he will most likely avoid the matter as much as he can.

        And now to David Samel.

        Said you:

        “Robert, you are nothing but a serial apologist for mass murder. The fact that you claim to be of the same ethnic background of the victims whose lives you so clearly devalue suggests a pathology that I am not qualified to analyze.”

        Translation: I have absolutely no idea of why or how the Israelis would benefit from deliberately murdering Americans on the Liberty or innocent civilians at Qana, and I don’t care what the particulars of these situations are, so instead of countering with serious substantive arguments, I’ll just pound the table and name call. Facts and context are irrelevant. I only know that Israel is guilty and that’s that. Also, I have no interest to consider the savage atrocities committed by the PLO, the Phalangists, and the Syrians in Lebanon. Not my problem. The important thing is to slime Israel. Arab victims are only important when Israel is the perpetrator, even when facts call that into question. Facts are unimportant. And you, Robert Werdine, however, “are nothing but a serial apologist for mass murder” for not focusing solely on Israel and having the temerity to ever defend such an evil country, facts be damned.

        In an earlier exchange, I would not, as a matter of conscience, level the charge of holding someone else’s blood cheap at you as you did to me. I am now ready to revise that judgment. You do.

        In an April 29 post you said:

        “Hamas offers a real alternative to the corruption of Fatah, though it is almost exclusively linked to violence and rejectionism in the US. Of course, Israeli voters regularly vote for politicians whose record of violence and rejectionism dwarfs that of Hamas.”

        Indeed, how sad that the blind, amoral American people, hopelessly enthralled to the propaganda of “The Lobby” are unable to notice the reasonable pragmatism and inner beauty and humanity that lies hidden beneath that crusty, misleading surface of murderous rejectionism. If only we could just see the truth….

        Does it concern you that the terrorist attacks conducted by Hamas, which escalated sharply in scale and quantity during and after Israel’s withdrawal, brought with it the usual border closings and counter-terrorist responses, and that these measures inevitably brought hardship on the Palestinian people, and, given Hamas’ well-documented habit of positioning their terrorist infrastructure in mosques, hospitals, and other densely populated areas encompassing civilians, has put their lives in danger?

        Does it occur to you that Hamas leaders know only too well what suffering their terror war on Israel inflicts on the Palestinian people, and that they could care less? That the Palestinian people have never been anything but dirt under their feet and fodder for their lunatic cause? That they know that any terror attack on Israel will be answered in kind, and that the UN, the EU, and Hamas’ myriad supporters and apologists around the world (like yourself) will focus their attentions and condemnations almost exclusively on the Israeli response to the attack, as well as any other countermeasures that Israel will be forced to take?

        Do you really think it can be argued that Hamas’ suicide bombings, along with their rejection of, and attempts to derail, the Oslo peace process in the 1993-2005 period, in addition to their indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks against Israel both during and after the withdrawal from Gaza, really constitute a necessary defense of the Palestinian people, and demonstrate a responsible concern for their protection and well-being?

        Do you care that Hamas, like every other totalitarian regime in history, recognize no law but force and fraud and murder to achieve their barely concealed goals, and mock and deride the ethnic, religious, and cultural pluralism of Israel and the West?

        Do you care about their brutally medieval drive to “Islamicise” Gaza, where they force women to wear the hijab and men to grow beards? Where bands of youths calling themselves “Brigades of Enforcing the Good and Combating Evil” raid homes in search of alcohol, Western music and videos, unIslamic T-shirts and other “sinful items?” Where young men and women found together in public, or even in private cars, are stopped and interrogated to make sure unmarried couples do not violate Sharia law?

        Do you care about their round the clock media indoctrination where children are fed a diet of pure hate of Israel and Jews on a daily basis? Where they are sent to Hitler-youth like camps where they are taught to worship and pursue Jihad through violence, murder, and martyrdom? Where they are taught the use of weapons? Does any of this violently poisonous, criminally negligent brainwashing of youth for hatred and mass murder that is tantamount to a kind of mass child abuse concern you in the slightest?

        No, it does not. This is the “real alternative” that you would happily foist upon the long-suffering people of Gaza.

        Likewise, you evince no concern at the murderous depredations of the PLO, the Phalangists, the Syrians, and not to mention Hezbollah, indicating that Arabs who are murdered in cold blood by Arabs on an infinitely greater scale and savagery have no claim on your time or your sympathies, but that those killed by Israelis in whatever the circumstances stir you to furious outrage and righteous condemnation. And yet you have the unmitigated gall to accuse me of devaluing Arab life in Lebanon?

        Perhaps if I could see an iota of concern or indignation on your part about these outrages that are even remotely equal to your hysterical, and, more often than not, slanderous, denunciations of Israel and Israel’s unfortunate, but lawful and legitimate, countermeasures, perhaps you could, at least in my eyes, escape the taint of hypocrisy. But you do not, and cannot. You are what you are: a partisan hypocrite and a moral relativist who hates Israel far more than you will ever care about the Palestinians.

        And now to Shingo,

        Said I:

        “The PLO attacks in the previous years were certainly a serious national-security threat, if not an existential one (though the border had been relatively quiet since the summer of 1981, there were, however, over 240 terrorist attacks by the PLO on Israelis, in Israel, the territories, and abroad).”

        Said you:

        “Absolute hogwash of course. Israel attacked Lebanon in 1982 during a ceasefire to which the PLO were holding. Thus the suggestion that the invasion of Lebanon was a response to a long campaign of terror and provocation is simply false… The ceasefire was broken when Israel decided that the shooting of the Israelis ambassador in London by Abu Nidal (not connected at all to the PLO) was a violation of the ceasefire.”

        This seems yet another of your debunk-for-debunk-sake non-responses. I have already acknowledged that “the border had been relatively quiet since the summer of 1981.” Did you miss that? The PLO did not attack Israel—on the Lebanon border. Elsewhere they (and some freelance proxies, like Nidal) conducted some 240-270 terrorist attacks on Israeli targets in Israel, the territories, and abroad since the July 1981 cease-fire. Do you call that maintaing the ceasefire? This would seem to represent “a long campaign of terror and provocation” by any reasonable standard. Whether it justified the action the Israelis took is another question, as I believe I am on record as doubting.

        Said you:

        “Even Ehud Barak, who was initimately involved in the Lebanon war, admitted that Israel’s reasons for invading Lebanon was not about Lebanon, but about defeating a Palestinian state.”

        There is truth to this, though it is not the whole truth. The elimination of the PLO infrastructure was paramount, but Begin, and even more than Begin, Sharon, wanted to expel both the PLO and the Syrians from Lebanon, install a friendly Christian-led regime, and tighten their grip on the West Bank. Of course they wanted to prevent a Palestinian state. That wasn’t even on the table back then, least of all to Begin or Sharon.

        “What Israel learned in Lebanon, as the US learned in Vietnam, is that massacring local civilians is guaranteed to erode any alliances one has with local groups. Sadly, Israel didn’t learn this lesson then nor in 2006. The reason the fascist Phalangists turned away from the Israelis is because Israel killed so many Lebanese civlians.”

        Any atrocities and that Israeli soldiers and American soldiers committed in Lebanon and Vietnam, respectively, pales in contrast to the scale committed by the PLO, the Syrians and the Phalangists in Lebanon and the North Vietnamese in all of Vietnam, not to mention those committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, especially after America left the region. That was when the real genocide began. The Phalangists were as treacherous and bloodthirsty as any other faction in Lebanon; they had not much standing to be reproaching anyone else in this regard, least of the Israelis. They used the Israelis just as the Israelis used them.

        “You have clearly lost the point of your argument Robert. The argument put forth is not that there were many players involved in the Lebanon war, it is Israel’s role in that war and it’s role was murderous, gratuitous and unjustified.”

        Yes, that is indeed the point. The inequities, vicious brutalities, and atrocities the Arabs have visited on one another among innocent Lebanese, Palestinians, and others, are clearly not important; what matters is when Arabs are killed by Israelis, whether accidentally or deliberately being irrelevant. Excuse me, clarification: all Arabs killed by Israelis have been killed deliberately, and in cold blood, since there are no such things as accidents, targeting mistakes, collateral damage, or civilian deaths caused by Hamas and Hezbollah human shielding. This, indeed, is one of the founding convictions of this website, along with much of the rest of the anti-Israel left.

        Said I: “The Liberty was first spotted by the IAF at 5:55am and again at 9:00am, both times identifying her positively as an American ship.”

        Said you:

        “Umm, Robert, why did you deliberately omit the subsequent reconnaissance conducted by Israel at 10:10, 10:30, 1055, 1100 and 11:30? Is it because your BS claim that “the change in watch in the Israeli HQ at 11:00am” and that this meant “For all intents and purposes to the Israelis, the Liberty had ceased to exist.” would no longer hold water, so to speak?”

        When I was a senior in high school, I did a book report on James Ennes Jr.’s “Assault on the ‘Liberty’: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship,” which had just been released in paperback. After reading the book, one of the things that most persuaded me that the attack was deliberate was the fact that there had been nearly eight hours of over flights of the Liberty by the Israelis prior to the attack. How could they reconnoiter a ship for so long without knowing its identity, I wondered? I was unaware of something then that you are obviously unaware of now.

        According to the deck logs of the Liberty, when she was first spotted (but not positively ID’d) by the Israelis at about 5:45am (5:15 according to the Americans), she was about 40 miles northwest of Al Arish and was headed south east at about 15 knots. When the Liberty was first positively ID’d by the Israelis at about 9:00am (8:50 to the Americans), she had reached the American Sixth Fleet geographical location known as Point Alpha, which is about 30 miles due west of Gaza City, and about 32 miles northeast of El Arish (the precise coordinates are 31-27.2 North, 34-00 East). After reaching Point Alpha at about 8:49am, the skipper of the Liberty then executed a 90 degree starboard turn to the south, eventually turning 283 degrees west, the bow pointed straight for Port Said. By 11:30 the Liberty had reached Point Bravo, which is about 36 miles northwest of El Arish, and about 30 miles slightly southwest of Point Alpha.

        (See the 1967 US Naval Court of Inquiry http://www.thelibertyincident.com/docs/CourtOfInquiry.pdf)

        There were two reasons for the unusual Israeli air traffic over the Liberty on the morning of June 8, 1967. The trajectory of the Liberty, now pursuing a south by southwest direction away from Israel from 8:49am onward, was in the dead center of the principal air route by which Israeli aircraft were entering and exiting the Sinai, a pinpointed geographical location known to the Israelis as Point Boaz. The American Point Bravo is about 30 miles southwest of Point Alpha and about 15 miles south, and about 27 miles east of Point Boaz.

        The Liberty, as the IDF report makes clear, “had entered into an arena where hostilities were being conducted between two belligerent parties. Moreover Egypt herself, on May 23, 1967 declared as prohibited by maritime traffic, the area off the coast up to a distance of 14 miles from the shore.”

        The crewmembers of the Liberty understandably thought all of the overflights were directed at them, but this was not so. The principal reason for all the air traffic in the area was reconnaissance for Egyptian submarine activity. The Israelis had spotted one at about 9:00am west of Atlit, where it was attacked by them, and another periscope had been sited some miles off the coast at the Israeli-Lebanon border. The Liberty was spotted, not tracked, in the midst of this recon activity. In fact, the first IAF sortie actually directed at the Liberty did not occur until minutes before the first air attack at 1:58pm.

        The Israelis, according to their own time logs and after action debriefings, first spotted the Liberty at about 5:45am (5:15am in the American account). The twin engined Nord (which the Liberty crew noticed to resemble the American C-119 “Boxcar”) could make no positive ID, and thought it to be a destroyer. The ship was labeled “skunk-c” and marked red on the control board —as “unidentified.”

        At about 9:00am (8:50 in the American account), following the discovery of an Egyptian sub off Atlit, a MirageIIIC jet fighter orbited the Liberty at a distance of about 3-5 miles (according to the American account), failed to site a flag, but identified the hull numbers as GTR-5, and noticed the ship heading southwest at about 15 knots. At the CIC, Commander Pinchasy, consulting his “Janes Fighting Ships” manual, identified the ship as the USS Liberty. The marker on the control board was now marked green—for “neutral.”

        The subsequent overflights after 9:00am,(at 1030am, 1056am, 1126am, 1145am, 1220pm, and 1245am) according to the IAF after action reports, were doing submarine reconnaissance, 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. There is no record of the Liberty being “tracked” in all of the IDF archives or after action debriefings (the Israelis, like the Germans in WWII, are relentlessly copious debriefers and record keepers). According to the IAF records, the Liberty was once spotted (5:45am) and once positively ID’d (9:00am). That’s it. It was not being “tracked.” (See footnote # 14 in the IDF Report on the Liberty attack http://thelibertyincident.com/docs/israeli/IDF-history-report-en.pdf).

        Your timeline cited in you previous May 6, 2011 post, lifted from John Westbrook and Daniel Rich’s sloppy, semi-fictional screed, is flawed and studded with inaccuracies.

        Said you/they: “0603: Reconnaissance aircraft reports to Israeli naval headquarters that “GTR-5” is written on the ship, identifying it as an NSA intelligence vessel.”

        The first Israeli spotting of the Liberty occurred between 5:15-5:45am, not 6:00am (though that’s pretty close), and the Nord recon plane could not positively ID the ship. That did not happen until the second overflight over three hours later.

        Said you/they: “0900: Jet aircraft approaches Liberty, then veers off towards Gaza. Liberty crewmen unable to identify markings.”

        This is true. But the reason that they were unable to identify the markings was because the jet was flying at some 3-5 miles distance and, as Ensign John D. Scott testified to the Court of Inquiry in 1967, were therefore unable to identify any markings and insignia.

        Said you/they: “10:00: Two unmarked, rocket-armed, delta-winged jets circle Liberty three times. Liberty officers can count rockets and see the pilots, but see no identifying marks on the plane. The jets radio Israeli headquarters that the ship is flying an American flag.”

        This is false. According to the American account, two jets (not positively ID’d by them; they were Israeli Mirages, though.) briefly orbited (but did not reconnoiter) the Liberty at about 10:30 am (not 10:00am) at a height of 10,000 feet and a distance of two miles. There are reports of failing to positively ID the craft; there are no reports of a positive ID of any unmarked craft. Why in the world would the planes be unmarked? So their fellow fighter planes could misidentify them and shoot them down? Please. And how could they “see the pilots” and “count the rockets” of planes flying at subsonic speed, at a height of 10,000 feet, and a distance of two miles? Could you?

        There is not a shred of evidence that the jets “radio[ed] Israeli headquarters that the ship is flying an American flag.” This is a complete fabrication.

        Said you/they:

        “1030: Israeli “flying boxcar” with Israeli markings circles Liberty at about 200 feet. Crew member Larry Weaver says, “I was actually able to wave to the co-pilot, a fellow on the right-hand side of the plane. He waved back, and actually smiled at me.”

        The overflight of a Boxcar-like Nord was spotted at 10:56 crossing the starboard side at about a 3-5 mile distance. If Mr. Weaver and the Israeli pilot did indeed exchange a wave and a smile from an aircraft cruising at about 200mph at about 3-5 mile distance, it can only be said that they both must have had Superman-like vision.

        Said you/they:

        “1055: Pinchas Pinchasy, naval liaison officer at Israeli air force headquarters, reports to Naval Headquarters that the ship cruising slowly off El Arish is “an electromagnetic audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy, named Liberty, whose marking was GTR-5.”

        There is not a shred of evidence to support this, and where did this time signature come from? It is another total fabrication. While Pinchasy had received the original report at 9:00am identifying the Liberty, he 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 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. 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.

        Said you/they: “1205: Three Israeli motor torpedo boats leave Ashdod at high speed headed toward Liberty. They are followed by Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 30mm cannon ammunition, rockets, and napalm.”

        At 12:15 the three torpedo boats (Division 914, commanded by Commander Moshe Oren) were ordered into the vicinity of El Arish—that was all. They were not “followed by Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 30mm cannon ammunition, rockets, and napalm.” No such deployment was ordered. At 1:41 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 not difficult to discern. 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 an enemy vessel, and then called in for an air assault, which occurred at 1:58pm.

        Said you/they:

        “1358: Two unmarked delta-winged Mirage jets attack Liberty. After taking out gun mounts, they target ship’s antennae and bridge with heat-seeking missiles.”

        There is no evidence in the IAF transcripts that the Israelis knew that they were attacking an intelligence freighter or were deliberately targeting the intelligence gathering equipment. They were simply trying to sink what they thought was an Egyptian ship before the navy MTB’s arrived to hog the glory, and were merely throwing everything they had at the Liberty to accomplish this while they were attacking.

        They did not take out the gun mounts because the guns were fired later on at the Israeli MTB’s.

        Said you:

        “Why else would Kidd have threatened all the survivors, fellow Americans, with court-martial, prison and worse were it not for extremely powerful political pressure from above? Why else would there have been no Congressional Investigation into the incident? Why else would every investigation ever conduced into the incident, have deliberately omitted the testimony or evidence of the hundreds of eyewitnesses and survivors, who in many cases were not only ignored, but denied permission to attend the hearings?

        There is not a shred of evidence that Kidd ever threatened anyone—a shameful slander on a brave and patriotic naval officer. As for government investigations, the number of them on the attack is rather lengthy:

        –US Navy Court of Inquiry, June 18, 1967 (“Case of mistaken identity”)

        –CIA Report, June 13, 1967 (“It remains our best judgment that the attack on the Liberty was not made in malice toward the US and was a mistake”)

        –Joint Chiefs of Staff (Russ Report) June 9, 1967 (Compiled all message traffic and found no evidence that the attack was not a mistake)

        –Clifford Report, July 18, 1967 (Attack was a mistake)

        –Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, June 12, July 14, July 26, 1967 (“The attack was not intentional”)

        –House Appropriations Committee, April and May 1968 (“The use and operational capabilities of the Defense Communications system is nothing less than pathetic, and the management of the system needs to be completely overhauled”)

        –House Armed Services Committee Investigation, May 10, 1971 (“The Navy remains in the Dark Ages insofar as routine communications with its deployed ships”)

        –Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 1979/1981 (USS Liberty mistaken for Egyptian ship as a result of miscalculations and egregious errors)

        –House Armed Services Committee 1991/1992 (No support for theory of intentional attack)

        Every investigation into this incident has thus come back with the same verdict: the attack was an accident.

        What indeed of this supposedly great silencing operation? Did it prevent numerous survivors of the Liberty from speaking out and giving numerous interviews over the years? Did it prevent James Ennes Jr. from publishing a book accusing Israel of deliberately attacking the Liberty and the US government of covering it up? Where was the long, spidery arm of the all-powerful Israel Lobby to prevent this, and punish the perpetrators? Please.

        As for “every investigation ever conduced into the incident, have deliberately omitted the testimony or evidence of the hundreds of eyewitnesses and survivors, who in many cases were not only ignored, but denied permission to attend the hearings,” this assertion is simply incorrect. The U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry headed by Admiral Kidd in June 1967 took the testimony of 19 witnesses, 14 of whom were crewmen of the Liberty. The investigation was hardly a cursory one: A record of the investigation runs to over 700 pages, including 158 pages of testimony, 49 exhibits, and concludes with 52 findings, endorsed by Admiral McCain with the following conclusion: “The foregoing comments by the convening authority lead to an overall conclusion that the attack was in fact a mistake.”

        Any conspiracy to cover this up would have involved not only Johnson and McNamara, but Chief of Naval operations David McDonald, US Naval CIC John McCain, Sixth Fleet Commander William Martin, and president of the US Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Isaac Kidd. All would be guilty of treason, and nothing less. To sully and defame the honor of these officers with such a heinous, unsubstantiated slander, is a calumny.

        The notion that the United States government and military would, over the course of 44 years and 9 administrations all cover up what they knew to be a deliberate attack killing 34 American sailors and wounding 171 by any nation is preposterous. What sinister, far-reaching power was forcing their hand? The Jewish vote? Johnson’s reelection? Please.

        Said you:

        “You see Robert, we’ve been through al this before and you ended up looking like a complete full then as you do now. You are also blatantly lying when you claim that ”the 5×8 foot flag would be hardly visible to them” or that the Israelis were “flying fast and high” , when the USS Liberty survivors all agree that the unmarked Israeli jets were flying low and slow enough that they could see the pilots in the cockpits and and were able to wave to them.”

        The 1967 Navy Court of Inquiry stated that “the calm conditions and slow ship speed may well have made the American flag difficult to identify.”

        But let’s say this was not the case, and that there was sufficient wind. Is there any evidence that the Israeli pilots could have known they were attacking an American ship or that they could have seen the flag, even if it were extended by wind? No, there is not. In the first place the pilots were sent to attack a ship, not to reconnoiter or identify it. Secondly, the strafing runs on the first attack were a head-on attack of the Liberty’s bow. The Liberty was cruising at about five knots westward and the Mirage fighters were approaching it head-on eastward at about 600mph, or at about 1000 feet per second. 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. Was it really possible to positively identify a 5×8 foot flag in the proscribed time of 2-3 seconds (at most), and at the speed of 600mph and a distance of in excess of 3000 feet? Again, could you?

        Said you/they: “Audio tapes transcripts revealed that when the Israeli pilots were sent to attack the ship, they radio’d back to headquarters that the ship was American, but were ordered to attack it anyway.”

        Bullshit. Audio tapes transcripts indicate that the Israelis did not know they were attacking an American ship in both air attacks and, five minutes into the second air attack, immediately disengaged when they identified Latin markings on the Liberty’s hull.

        All available evidence, including IDF Navy logs, indicate that the Israeli boat captain misidentified the ship, then engulfed with smoke, at 6000 yards distance at about 2:30 pm, incurred fire from the Liberty as they approached her, returned it, cut off the attack at 2:47pm pending further ID, got close enough to identify the Latin hull markings of the Liberty, and offered help and medical attention to the survivors at 3:03pm.

        Said you:

        “Israel pulled back when they heard the response from the Saratoga, confirming that US jets were on their way. It would have been impossible for Israel deny they’d sunk the ship, and they had no time to ensure the ship was underwater by the time the F4′s arrived.”

        This is false. The planes were not launched until 2:50 pm, three minutes after the MTB attack had ceased.

        Also, a few howlers from John Westbrook and Daniel Rich’s screed:
        Said they:

        “IDF Dassault Mystère IIIC jets follow initial attack with napalm bombs and rockets. USS Liberty tries to contact Sixth Fleet headquarters, but its naval radio frequencies are intermittently being jammed during the attack. Radio operator manages to send distress signal from Captain McGonagle: “Any station, this is Rockstar. We are under attack by unidentified jet aircraft and require immediate assistance!” Attack lasts approximately 22 minutes, numerous sorties, killing nine men and wounding around 60.”

        The two Mirage fighters, closing in on the Liberty from the west at 1:58pm, raked her with 30mm cannon fire in three strafing runs until their ammo was spent. The first air attack had lasted three and a half minutes. The second air attack, at 2:06pm, was by a squadron of three Mysteres fighters returning from bombing Egyptian infantry. Hastily recalled from this ground support mission, they raked the Liberty with bombs, napalm, and 30mm cannon fire—hardly appropriate ordinance for attacking a naval vessel.

        At 2:11pm transcripts of communications between the Israeli pilots and HQ show that after the second strafing run an Israeli pilot recognized the Latin markings on the hull of the ship: “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). When this was reported to HQ they immediately ordered him and his wingmen to disengage. This second air attack had lasted about five minutes.

        The transmissions were not jammed. If the Israelis were jamming the Liberty’s radio frequencies during the attack, how was it that the deck log of the Liberty shows that messages were transmitted at 13:58pm, again at 1400, and again at 1404 (1204zulu), and again at 1418 (actually 1438) when the torpedo struck the Liberty’s starboard side midship? These times are probably off by some minutes because the initial transmissions were unsuccessful. Not because of jamming, but because someone in the transmitting room had put the frequency dial one kilocycle off. It 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 the following distress signal:

        “Any station from Rock Star [i.e., the Liberty], any station from Rock Star, we are under attack, we are under attack, over.”

        The deck logs also show a response two minutes later from the USS Saratoga, who responded:

        “Rock Star from Schematic [i.e., the Saratoga], Rock Star from Schematic, u are garbled, say again, over.”

        For the torpedo attack, the following message was sent to the Saratoga:

        “schematic from Rock Star be advised that we have been hit by torpedo listing about 9 deg request immed assist over.”

        All of these messages were successfully transmitted from the Liberty during the air attacks and the naval attack. These are also reflected in the log of the Saratoga.

        Said they:

        “2:09 pm. Captain Joe Tully of the USS Saratoga acknowledges call for help, dispatches four jets, and informs USS Liberty that help is on the way. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara orders rescue jets to return after launching: “Tell Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately.” Rear Admiral Geis issues the recall as ordered. McNamara in his later years claims to have “no memory” of USS Liberty specifics at all. Officially the recall of the rescue aircraft has been ignored by all in the US government ever since.”

        It is fitting that McNamara should not have remembered such specifics for the simple reason that there is no record of any communication between McNamara and Sixth Fleet at all on the day the Liberty was attacked except for a recall order issued at 5:25pm Suez time—two and a half hours after the attack had ceased.

        The deck log of the Saratoga states that the first aircraft launched to defend the Liberty was at 1602 (4:02pm)–an hour and fifteen minutes after the naval attack on the Liberty had ceased.

        The White house did not order Sixth Fleet to stand down. The Command history of the US Sixth Fleet does not indicate when launches occurred from which carriers, but it records that the first launch of aircraft occurred at 1450 (2:50pm)–three minutes after the Israeli MTB’s broke off the attack. It also shows that the aircraft were recalled at 1640 (4:40pm)–nearly two hours after the attack after Vice Admiral Martin, Commander of the Sixth Fleet, received a message from Commander Castle, the American naval attaché to Tel Aviv, informing him that the Israelis had attacked the Liberty by mistake. Martin received the message long before the White House even learned about the attack. Martin had ordered the launch and the recall on his own initiative, and there is no evidence that Martin had any communication whatsoever with McNamara or the President concerning the launch and recall. McNamara did, however, issue an order for the recall at 1725 (5:25pm)–45 minutes after Martin had already done so.

        Said they:

        “3:15 pm. After the order to “prepare to abandon ship” comes over the loudspeaker system, the lifeboats are lowered into the water. Israeli torpedo boats move in closer and fire on them, as well as those still on deck, making them all unusable. “I watched with horror as the floating life rafts were riddled with holes,” recalled Lieutenant Lloyd Painter, in charge of the evacuation. Petty Officer Rowley, who also witnessed the event, said: “They didn’t want anyone to live.” After destroying the life rafts, the Israeli boats departed. For those not familiar with laws that apply to maritime warfare, firing on life boats is a war crime. The US government to this day has refused to answer or investigate war crime claims submitted by the Liberty survivors.. Later, two Israeli SA-321 Super Frelon Hornet assault helicopters are seen carrying soldiers in battle dress, and then depart.

        In his testimony before the 1967 Court of Inquiry, McGonagle cited the ship’s deck log for 1503 (3:03pm) on Thursday, June 8, 1967, which states “One MTB returned to ship and signaled ‘Do you need help?’ Commanding Officer directed that ‘Negative’ be sent in reply.” By 3:15pm the attack on the Liberty had been over for 28 minutes. Machine gun fire occurred when the Liberty and the MTBs were exchanging fire and not 12 minutes after the captain of the first Israeli MTB offered help to the Liberty.

        Said they:

        “5:29 pm. Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, commander of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, protests decision to recall rescue planes to Secretary of Defense McNamara. At that point President Johnson comes on the phone and says he didn’t care if the ship sunk, he would not embarrass his allies. Admiral Geis later tells Lt. Commander David Lewis, head of the Liberty’s NSA group, of the remark, but asks him not to repeat it until after he dies. It is a promise Lewis will honor.”

        This is a complete fabrication. There is no evidence that Johnson or McNamara ever believed the attack on the Liberty was anything but an accident, thus negating any motive to cover up anything in the first place. The notion that Johnson “knew” of a deliberate attack on the Liberty, and covered it up, thus betraying those killed and wounded in the attack, is utterly baseless.

        Well, so much for “On balance, the evidence indicating a deliberate Israeli attack is beyond refute.”

        Said you:

        “Seriously Robert, if you are going to cut and paste entire paragraphs from Wikipedia, you could at the very least, have the decency to include a URL.”

        You are incorrect that I found those quotes on wikipedia. When I googled Tel el-Zaatar, I found them all (except for the Fisk quote from “Pity the Nation,” which I have a copy of.) on a website called “Liberty 05—Lebanese Civil War—The Battle of Tel el-Zaatar.”

        This website has infinitely more detail on Tel el Zaatar than the wikipedia entry, and the three quotes I cited are all bunched next to each other at the bottom of the page. You can check it for yourself. I am inclined to think that wikipedia culled the quotes from them, since they cite an external link to them.

        However, even if I did cull those quotes from wikipedia, I would hardly have reason to conceal it. Indeed, when blogging I have often drawn quotes form there, and occasionally been directed from wikipedia to other external source material when doing research. So do we all. That’s what wikipedia is there for.

        Perhaps this raises a legitimate issue of source attribution and methodology. After all, does one list google or bing when finding source material on the internet?

        In my academic work I usually document source material more copiously and at greater length, but when blogging I generally use more latitude in that regard, and I try to extend that to others, especially where common, non-controversial facts are concerned. As far as wikipedia is concerned, I think it is probably necessary to directly link to the source of an entry only when language from the article itself, as opposed to quotes or external links within the article, are being cited. However, it is also helpful to just cite it to provide a link for reference sake. Either way is fine with me. It is a judgment call, and I suppose it depends on just how much you are sourcing to the article as opposed to quotes and sources within it.

        As far as citing quotations are concerned, the most important thing is that the quotes themselves are not inauthentic or doctored, though it is common practice to truncate a quote for brevity’s sake. This, however, must be done with care. Also, that the true, primary origin of the quote always be honored. This is what is most important, and that is certainly what I did. I am not sure if a quote cited by wikipedia or any other website should be treated the same as a primary source quote cited in a secondary source, or, if, in documenting the source, it should carry the same weight. However, people can legitimately disagree on the matter, and, as far as I’m concerned, when blogging, as long as a quote is properly attributed to its original, primary source, or even to a secondary source where it is quoted, and is not altered or doctored, that is enough for truth and accuracy sake. As a matter of consideration to other bloggers, we should all probably provide more links to the information we cite so that it can be verified.

        What no one can legitimately dispute, however, is that you are about the last person to be lecturing anyone on the ethics and practice of source attribution.

        On your September 6, 1:47am post, you borrowed, without any attribution, block quotes, or quotation marks whatsoever, whole swaths of an article from the Palestine Land Society titled “The Line of 1967-1949” by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, originally published in Middle East Insight, Washington DC October 10, 1999.

        Feel free to compare:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/turkey-expels-israeli-ambassador-cuts-military-ties-and-promises-further-legal-action-following-un-flotilla-report.html

        http://www.plands.org/articles/006.html

        Some examples:

        Shingo:

        “The area was never controlled militarily by Israeli forces prior to the Armistice Agreement. It was Arab (Palestinian/Syrian), by historical continuity, not just by default.”

        Abu Sitta:

        [T]his area was never controlled militarily by Israeli forces prior to the Armistice Agreement. It was Arab (Palestinian/Syrian), by historical continuity, not “by default”.

        Shingo:

        “Israel insisted on the withdrawal of Syrian forces from the area so that the area became demilitarized. The Syrians rejected this demand. Dr. R. Bunche the UN Acting Mediator finally arrived at a solution by issuing what is known as the “authoritative statement.”

        Abu Sitta:

        “The Israelis insisted on the withdrawal of Syrian forces from the area so that the area becomes demilitarized. The Syrians rejected this demand. Dr. R. Bunche the UN Acting Mediator finally arrived at a solution by issuing what is known as the “authoritative statement”.

        Shingo:

        “Three weeks before the signing, on 26 June 1949, Dr. Bunche (Dr. R. Bunche the UN Acting Mediator) sent a letter to both the Israeli and Syrian sides. This letter is part of the official record. It specifically excluded Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the area to be included in the Armistice Agreement . “Questions of permanent boundaries, territorial sovereignty, customs, trade relations and the like must be dealt with in the ultimate peace agreement and not in the armistice agreement” , he stated. It should be mentioned that the listed topics reflect the same issues stipulated by the 1926 Agreement.”

        Abu Sitta:

        “Three weeks before the signing, on 26 June 1949, Dr. Bunche sent a letter to both the Israeli and Syrian sides. This letter is part of the official record. In it he specifically excluded Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the area to be included in the Armistice Agreement.
        “Questions of permanent boundaries, territorial sovereignty, customs, trade relations and the like must be dealt with in the ultimate peace agreement and not in the armistice agreement”, he stated (his emphasis). It is to be pointed out that the listed topics reflect the same issues stipulated by the 1926 Agreement.”

        Shingo:

        “Dr. Bunche extended the exclusion of Israel’s claims of sovereignty to other demilitarized areas, such as the Government House and Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem and El-Auja DMZ (260 sq. km.) on Palestine/Egypt border. Two years after Dr. Bunche’s statement, the Security Council, in its resolution on May 18, 1951 about Israeli violations of the Armistice Agreement, affirmed his statement and called upon the parties to give effect to “the authoritative comment on article V of the Syrian – Israeli Agreement”. The Armistice conditions were clear. No political or military activity in the area, the local population (Arab majority and Jews) have freedom of living, work and movement, civil administration and ‘Arab’ and Jewish local police are to be set up, no heavy arms within 5 km of the armistice line and full authority of UN Truce Supervision to supervise the civil administration.”

        Abu Sitta:

        “Dr. Bunche extended the exclusion of Israel’s claims of sovereignty to other demilitarized areas, such as the Government House and Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem and El-Auja DMZ (260 sq. km.) on Palestine/Egypt border. Two years after Dr. Bunche’s statement, the Security Council, in its resolution on May 18, 1951 about Israeli violations of the Armistice Agreement, affirmed his statement and called upon the parties to give effect to “the authoritative comment on article V of the Syrian – Israeli Agreement”. The Armistice conditions were clear. No political or military activity in the area, the local population (Arab majority and Jews) have freedom of living, work and movement, civil administration and ‘Arab’ and Jewish local police are to be set up, no heavy arms within 5 km of the armistice line and full authority of UN Truce Supervision to supervise the civil administration.

        Shingo:

        “Israel’s main objective was always to control Arab water resources. All else is secondary. It is believed that Syria will never surrender its rights as a riparian state to the river Jordan and lake Tiberias and may ask for compensation for its diverted resources in the last 50 years. Such rights are clearly spelled out in the 1926 Good Neighborly agreement. The Armistice Agreement, although temporary in nature, did not invalidate these rights. The obstacles in negotiations are derived from Israel’s aim to exploit the water resources exclusively. Two thirds of Israel’s water consumption is taken illegally from Arab waters in and outside Palestine.”

        Abu Sitta:

        “Israel’s main objective is to control Arab water resources. All else is secondary. It is believed that Syria will never surrender its rights as a riparian state to the river Jordan and lake Tiberias and may ask for compensation for its diverted resources in the last 50 years. Such rights are clearly spelled out in the 1926 Good Neighborly agreement. The Armistice Agreement, although temporary in nature, did not invalidate these rights. The obstacles in negotiations are derived from Israel’s aim to exploit the water resources exclusively…Two thirds of Israel’s water consumption is taken illegally from Arab waters in and outside Palestine.

        Shingo:’

        “A report prepared by Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, which remained classified for some time, shows the max. limit of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan such that Arab water sources remain under Israeli control. On the face of it, Israel will look generous by returning “most” of Golan to Syria. In fact, Syria would then be non-riparian and its waters would be diverted to Israel.”

        Abu Sitta:

        “A report prepared by Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, which remained classified for some time, shows the max. limit of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan such that Arab water sources remain under Israeli control. (see map). On the face of it, Israel will look generous by returning “most” of Golan to Syria. In fact, Syria would then be non-riparian and its waters are diverted to Israel.”

        It would be one thing if you were borrowing from previous posts of yours that you had written—that would be one thing. But a comparison will show that 11 of the 13 paragraphs between the first two block quotes on your post were lifted verbatim from Abu Sitta’s article without any quotes or attribution whatsoever. Anyone who compares your post and that article can see for themselves. You plagiarized, pure and simple. If you were a student of mine I’d not only flunk you, but would probably petition for your expulsion from university.

        You also lifted 11 paragraphs of citations verbatim from Hostage without quotation marks or attribution, though I’m sure he won’t mind, since it was done for such a noble cause you both support—sliming Israel.

        You borrowed as well from Alan Hart, a redoubtable veteran of the left’s anti-Israel fever swamps, though at least this time you did paraphrase.

        Alan Hart:

        The complete truth about the 1967 war includes the following facts: Israel’s prime minister of the time, the much maligned Levi Eshkol, did not want to take his country to war. And nor did his chief of staff, Rabin.

        Shingo:

        “Another summary truth about what happened in June 1967 is that there would NOT have been a war if Israel’s prime minister, the much maligned Levi Eshkol, and his Chief of Staff, General Yitzhak Rabin, had had their way.”

        Alan Hart:

        “What actually happened in Israel in the final countdown to that war was something very close to a military coup, executed quietly behind closed doors without a shot being fired.”

        Shingo:

        “The short answer is that in Israel the week before the war there was what amounted to a MILITARY COUP in all but name and without a shot being fired.”

        I could quote more passages, but I think you get the picture.

        Tell me Shingo, why do you have such an aversion to citing your sources? Is it that you feel the need to appear well read and learned, or is it that you hope your sources will not be checked for statements that contradict your thesis?

        I plagiarized that. Guess where?

        Ordinarily, as I said before, I generally extend a lot of latitude to others (including you) where quotes and citations are concerned since, when blogging, much information is researched in haste. Quotes are not always given quotation marks, sometimes sentences are paraphrased a bit close to the original, or even a sentence or two inadvertently lifted verbatim. These, along with misspellings and accidents of grammar, bedevil everyone, including me. I understand that. We all blog to comment and debate, and I try to keep my focus primarily on arguments and assertions and the facts that are cited to support them, without nitpicking these peccadilloes.

        You, however, went way, way beyond the pale in this instance. I might have been inclined to overlook your transgression here, but given the merciless, intolerant, and unforgiving venom you have spewed not only at me, but Richard Witty (whom you outrageously recommended be banned), Jonah, and anyone else with the temerity to express the slightest objection or disagreement with your serial obfuscating, your little lecture on source attribution, about which you seem to be as ignorant as you are dishonest, reeked with a hypocrisy that cried out for exposure.

        And you can quote me on that.

      • Hostage on September 29, 2011, 11:06 pm

        Hostage, what has all this to do with anything? You have correctly and accurately argued the conflicted and contradictory positions of the U.S. foreign policy establishment with regard to the settlements in the West Bank. No question about it.

        I also correctly pointed out that those contradictory positions amounted to lies and that you are dishonest. Now we can add clueless to the list of your attributes.

      • DaveS on September 29, 2011, 11:30 pm

        Robert, I see you had another 243 hours to kill. Not a whole lot of work for a guy in his early 40’s, unless of course this is your full time job. Whatever. . .

        Your claim that Israel could not have intended to kill 118 Lebanese civilians in 1993, because it could have killed more says just about everything anyone needs to know about you. Whoops! Our bombs accidentally fell out of the plane. Or, we only intended to destroy empty houses, but it was impossible to check them for occupants from the air. You’re either an imbecile or a liar, and I’m betting on the latter. That’s a compliment. Of course this isn’t the only idiotic thing you say, but after a careful review of a representative sample, I give it the blue ribbon.

        As for my failure to supply proof of motive, and thereby intent: As a criminal lawyer, I can tell you that intent is almost always inferred from the actions themselves, and motive need not be proved to convict of murder. As to motive, I believe that in general, Israel kills civilians to teach two lessons — to teach civilians not to allow “terrorists” to operate from their general vicinity, and to teach “terrorists” that civilians will pay a price for their misdeeds. They even occasionally admit as much.

        As for my supposed refusal to condemn Hamas:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-is-hamas-thinking.html
        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/the-settler-killings-morality-and-effectiveness.html
        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/are-the-settlers-civilians.html
        Happy reading!

        The best you can condemn me for is saying that Hamas got a lot of anti-corruption votes, and that Israeli violence dwarfs that of Hamas? Sorry but those assertions are not even remotely in dispute.

        You paraphrase me as saying: “And you, Robert Werdine, however, “are nothing but a serial apologist for mass murder” for not focusing solely on Israel and having the temerity to ever defend such an evil country, facts be damned. ” No, what I say is this: And you, Robert Werdine, however, “are nothing but a serial apologist for mass murder” because you excuse Israeli murder, no matter how clear-cut, no matter how many innocent victims there are, and focus solely on Arab violence, facts be damned. If you were writing about American slavery, you would condemn the Nat Turner rebellion while defending the institution of slavery as a system white people had to impose to avoid being slaughtered.

        You are the one who defends virtually every Israeli attack, and even when you voice mild criticism, you never indicate that any Israeli actually should be punished for the murders they have committed. The phrase “serial apologist for mass murder” is apt. And you can quote me on that.

      • Shingo on October 1, 2011, 8:24 am

        As always Robert,

        Your rants are notable no so much for what you include in them, but for what you leave out. After citing Fisk, it much have been hugely ebarrassing for you to realize that in response to youer claim that there was no evidence the Qana massacre was intentional, it was Fisk who broke the story.

        Does it concern you that the terrorist attacks conducted by Hamas, which escalated sharply in scale and quantity during and after Israel’s withdrawal…

        It clearly doesn’t concern you that this is completely false. Israel’s manner of withdraw from Gaza was described by Akiva Eldar as a scorched earth policy. Not only did they destroy what they could as they pulled out, but they shelled Gaza with 7,700 rounds between September 2005 and May 2006. None of that was a counter-terrorist response.

        On top of that, Sharon implemented the policy of suspending the peace process in formaldehyde and putting Gaza on a diet.

        But hey, we know it’s all Hamas’ fault right?

        As for the accusations of Hamas’ “well-documented habit of positioning their terrorist infrastructure in mosques, hospitals “ not only is it NOT well documented (so much as claimed by the Israeli government), but it’s been documented that Israel actually established this trend:

        Now, Yossi Melman has profiled a doctoral dissertation by a retired military officer which deals solely with this subject:

        The…caches were used mainly to hide weapons and ammunition (but also communication gear and archives ) of the fighting organizations from 1918 to 1948…He found that toward the end of the British Mandate in Palestine, there were more 1,500 weapons caches here, in kibbutzim, moshavim, cities and towns. The book demonstrates the wide variety of caches, which were constructed with a great deal of ingenuity, both above and below ground, and even at the bottom of reservoirs.

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/jews-just-like-arabs-hid-weapons-in-immoral-places-1.339432

        Does it occur to you that Hamas leaders know only too well what suffering their terror war on Israel inflicts on the Palestinian people, and that they could care less? That the Palestinian people have never been anything but dirt under their feet and fodder for their lunatic cause?

        Does it occur to you that Israeli leaders know only too well what suffering their terror war on Gaza inflicts on the residents of Sderot and Ashkelon, and that they could care less? That the Jewish people have never been anything but dirt under their feet and fodder for their lunatic Zionist cause?

        That they know that any terror attack by Israel will go unanswered at that the UN, the EU, and Israel’s myriad supporters and apologists around the world (like yourself) will focus their attentions and condemnations almost exclusively on the Palestinian violence?

        Do you really think it can be argued that Israel’ sadistic bombings, along with their sabotage of the Oslo peace process in the 1993-2005 period (as Netenyahu boasted), in addition to their indiscriminate bombings and against Gaza both as they withdrew and after the withdrawal from Gaza, really constitute a necessary defense of against the Palestinian people, and demonstrate a responsible concern for their protection and well-being?

        Do you care that Israel, like every other colonial regime in history, recognize no law but force and fraud and murder to achieve their barely concealed goals (such as the creation of the state of Israel) and mock and deride the ethnic, religious, and cultural pluralism of the West?

        Do you care about their brutally medieval drive to “Juderize” the West Bank, where they force Palestinians to pass through check points, destroy their homes and orchards, and wantonly murder Palestinians at a rate of one every two days?? Where bands of civilians calling themselves “the chosen” raid homes for no reason other than to terrorist and humiliate the Palestinian population? Where Palestinian men who have consensual sex with Jewish women are imprisoned for rape?

        Do you care about their round the clock media indoctrination where children are fed a diet of pure hate of Arabs on a daily basis? As Miko Peled explained so succinctly, Israeli students are taught that Arabs are savages that ride on camels and wear robes.

        What about where Israeli youths, especially living in the settlements, are sent to Hitler-youth like camps where they are taught to worship and pursue the state through violence and murder, and if need be, mass murder? Where they are taught the use of weapons? Does any of this violently poisonous, criminally negligent brainwashing of youth for hatred and mass murder that is tantamount to a kind of mass child abuse concern you in the slightest Robert?

        Peace activists and journalists can’t even go into the occupied territories these days without the risk of being assaulted or ending up in hospital, and yet you accuse the Palestinians of inciting hatred?

        The PLO did not attack Israel—on the Lebanon border. Elsewhere they (and some freelance proxies, like Nidal) conducted some 240-270 terrorist attacks on Israeli targets in Israel, the territories, and abroad since the July 1981 cease-fire. Do you call that maintaing the ceasefire?

        You know perfectly well that Begin cited the shooting of the Israeli ambassador in London (by Israel’s freelance proxy, Nidal) as a breach of the ceasefire. He made no mention of any alleged terrorist attacks on Israeli targets in Israel elsewhere, so don’t waste your time inventing false arguments.

        The elimination of the PLO infrastructure was paramount, but Begin, and even more than Begin, Sharon, wanted to expel both the PLO and the Syrians from Lebanon, install a friendly Christian-led regime, and tighten their grip on the West Bank.

        The elimination of any organised Palestinian leadership has always been paramount, whether it be the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran. In fact, Israel’s obsession with weakening Palestinians politically even drive them to create Hamas.

        As for the idea of a Palestinian state being on the table, the PLO had in fact given their endorsement for a Palestinian state prior to the unprovoked Israeli attack and invasion of Lebanon. Similarly it is clearly false that the concept was alien to Begin and Sharon at the time. The concept had been discussed repeatedly since 1967. It might have been a anathema, but it was not a new idea.

        Any atrocities and that Israeli soldiers and American soldiers committed in Lebanon and Vietnam, respectively, pales in contrast to the scale committed by the PLO, the Syrians and the Phalangists in Lebanon and the North Vietnamese in all of Vietnam, not to mention those committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, especially after America left the region.

        That’s pretty pathetic Robert, even by your standards. The US massacred hundreds of thousands, if not a million in Vietnam and massacred between 250,000 and 500,000 during the elicit bombing of Cambodia. It’s no surprise that the Israelis chose to side with the Phalangists, seeing as they epitomise treachery and blood thirst .

        The crewmembers of the Liberty understandably thought all of the overflights were directed at them, but this was not so.

        Actually that’s not what crew members thought that at all. As they said during the BBC documentary, they were comforted and reassured by the presence of the Israeli planes. They had been sent into dangerous territory without any escort or protection, so they felt that the Israelis would protect them if necessary.

        Your timeline cited in you previous May 6, 2011 post, lifted from John Westbrook and Daniel Rich’s sloppy, semi-fictional screed, is flawed and studded with inaccuracies.

        No Robert, it’s based on first hand eye witness accounts and the undoctored ship log. Your timeline cited from the IDF, has been edited, censored and doctored, thus flawed and studded with outright lies.

        But the reason that they were unable to identify the markings was because the jet was flying at some 3-5 miles distance and, as Ensign John D. Scott testified to the Court of Inquiry in 1967, were therefore unable to identify any markings and insignia.

        Rubbish. Photographs taken by the crew show the first planes well within 3-5 miles of the ship. The account was not in relation to the Nord recon plane but the two unmarked, rocket-armed, delta-winged jets that circled.

        This is false. According to the American account, two jets (not positively ID’d by them; they were Israeli Mirages, though.) briefly orbited (but did not reconnoiter) the Liberty at about 10:30 am (not 10:00am) at a height of 10,000 feet and a distance of two miles.

        False again. There was nothing brief about heir orbit. They circled the ship a dozen times.

        At 10:00: Two unmarked, rocket-armed, delta-winged jets circles Liberty three times. The Liberty officers were able to count rockets and see the pilots, but see no identifying marks on the plane. The jets radio Israeli headquarters that the ship is flying an American flag.”

        The overflight of a Boxcar-like Nord was spotted at 10:56 crossing the starboard side at about a 3-5 mile distance. If Mr. Weaver and the Israeli pilot did indeed exchange a wave and a smile from an aircraft cruising at about 200mph at about 3-5 mile distance, it can only be said that they both must have had Superman-like vision.

        Rubbish. As this photo reveals, the Nord was not 3-5 miles away.

        http://www.google.com.au/imgres?q=photographs+of+planes+from+USS+liberty&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=U9I&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&biw=1680&bih=876&tbm=isch&tbnid=ChImBpA2RZP4sM:&imgrefurl=http://12-7-9-11.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html&docid=Ecxqx7cUBpXLiM&w=768&h=513&ei=Kb-FTo6OMZGfmQX5san8Dw&zoom=1&iact=hc&dur=2913&page=1&tbnh=164&tbnw=224&start=0&ndsp=29&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=191&ty=68&vpx=431&vpy=210&hovh=183&hovw=275

        Again, it was not the Nord that they identified as being 3 unmarked, rocket-armed, delta-winged jets circles Liberty three times at 2:00 in the afternoon.

        You asked why in the world would the planes be unmarked? The question is, why wouldn’t they be unmarked if the plan was to sinking of the ship with the loss, the murder, of all hands on board?

        While Pinchasy had received the original report at 9:00am identifying the Liberty, he 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…

        Bullshit. The Israelis claimed that the ship was moving at 28 knots (based on erroneous calculations) which would have been almost impossible for that ship, and claimed that this suggested the ship was trying to get away.

        They were not “followed by Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 30mm cannon ammunition, rockets, and napalm.” No such deployment was ordered.

        Yes they were, which is why explains how the napalm (that was used) got there. This is beyond dispute.

        They took out an the antennas and then began dumping napalm on the deck. The purpose of which was to keep the crew below deck (where the torpedos would have greatest effect) and to prevent the crew establishing any communications by repairing the antennas.

        There is no evidence in the IAF transcripts that the Israelis knew that they were attacking an intelligence freighter or were deliberately targeting the intelligence gathering equipment.

        Of course there is. They IAF transcripts prove that the Israelis knew that they were attacking an intelligence freighter or were deliberately targeting the intelligence gathering equipment. Heat seeking missiles were used to take out all the tuning section of every transmitting antenna on the ship and as an intelligence ship, it was loaded with antennas and carried a large satellite dish on an elevated structure near the stern. It was four times as large as an old Egyptian freighter, and its identification numbers were painted on the bow in white letters 10 feet high.

        They were simply trying to sink what they thought was an Egyptian ship before the navy MTB’s arrived to hog the glory, and were merely throwing everything they had at the Liberty to accomplish this while they were attacking.

        That’s the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever heard. They were trying to sink the ship because that’s what they’d been sent to do. In fact, MTB’s would have gotten close enough to that they would have easily seen the markings on the ship. Nor does your pathetic excuse explain why they fired on the lifeboats deployed by the Liberty.

        There is not a shred of evidence that Kidd ever threatened anyone—a shameful slander on a brave and patriotic naval officer. As for government investigations, the number of them on the attack is rather lengthy:

        Kidd was a corrupt, self serving sleaze bag, and neither brave nor patriotic.

        The crew members recalled how he arrived and removed his stars to try and act like one of the boys, then when they had all given him their account of the events, he put his stars back on and threatened the with court martial and worse if they talked to anyone about the attack. Kidd warned them not to discuss the attack among themselves (as though that were even possible with body parts lying all over the ship), not to go ashore in Malta with the ships name on their jersey or to wear only civilian clothing.The crew were ordered not to speak about the attack with their friends and family (including their wives) and were threatened that repercussions for violating their silence.

        Kidd later confessed to Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, U.S. Navy, that Johnson and McNamara ordered him to falsely report that the attack was not a mistake, and that he believed the attack was deliberate.

        Not only did the Israelis attack the ship for over two hours with napalm, gunfire and hundreds of rockets and missiles, but as I already mentioned, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned three life boats that had been launched in an attempt to save the crew a war crime. If they were able to get close enough to machine-gun three life boats, they were close enough to see the US flag and markings on the ship.

        As for government investigations, the number of them on the attack is rather lengthy

        Apart from the one that Kidd resided over, which was given “terms of reference limited to whether any shortcomings on the part of the Liberty’s crew had contributed to the injuries and deaths that resulted from the attack”, none of the eye witnesses were allowed to partake in any of those government investigations. The Navy’s “investigation” examined only the quality of the crew’s training, the adequacy of communications and the performance of the crew under fire. The Navy was forbidden to examine Israeli culpability and Navy investigators refused to allow testimony showing that the attack was deliberate or that Israel’s excuse was untrue.

        As Captain Richard F. Kiepfer, Medical Corps, US Navy (retired), USS Liberty Survivor noted that:

        “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.”

        Testimony about armour piercing projectiles, machining of the life rafts by the MTB’s etc was not even recorded. The Chief Engineer, who took over command of the ship gave testimony and the inquiry was not interested in what he had to say.

        Is there any evidence that the Israeli pilots could have known they were attacking an American ship or that they could have seen the flag, even if it were extended by wind?

        Sure. Like I said:

        The ship was a state of the art, and loaded with antennas and carried a large satellite dish on an elevated structure near the stern.

        It was four times as large as an old Egyptian freighter, and its identification numbers were painted on the bow in white letters 10 feet high.

        In the first place the pilots were sent to attack a ship, not to reconnoiter or identify it.

        Irrelevant. They would have identified it easily as they were attacking it.

        600 mph may sound fast, but speed is relative to distance. Commercial jet airlines cruise at this speed, and anyone who has ever flown would know that at cursing altitude (ie. 5 miles) knows that the ground barely moves relative to the aircraft. Relatively stationary objects at half a mile, especially a large ship, would be easy to identify.

        Needless to say, torpedo boats travelling at a few dozen knots would have had no problem identifying the ship, but they continued their attack for over an hour.

        In any case, both the IDF pilots and the crew of the MTB’s radio’d back to Israeli HQ that they could see the US flag and that the ship was American. They were told to proceed with orders to attack the ship.

        Intelligence expert James Bamford revealed in his book Body of Secrets, that unknown to Israel, a US Navy EC-121 intelligence aircraft was flying high overhead the ‘Liberty,’ electronically recorded the attack. The US aircraft crew provides evidence that the Israeli pilots knew full well that they were attacking a US Navy ship flying the American flag.

        Bamford interviewed 3 of the crew members of the plane and all agreed that what they heard were comments from the pilots and torpedo boats mentioning the US flag.

        Bullshit. Audio tapes transcripts indicate that the Israelis did not know they were attacking an American ship in both air attacks and, five minutes into the second air attack, immediately disengaged when they identified Latin markings on the Liberty’s hull.

        No, you’re version is bullshit.

        1. The ship was easily identified as USS LIBERTY by Israeli Naval Headquarters, by referring to “JANE’S FIGHTING SHIPS” 1966 OR 1967 issue, which showed a photograph of the ship and listed in detail its characteristics. In fact, an identification “tower” was placed on their Battle Plot with an “A” on the tower to identify the ship as an American ship.

        2. If the immediately they disengaged when they identified Latin markings on the Liberty’s hull, why did the torpedo boats continue attacking the ship for another hour after they had issued an apology and assured the Pentagon that they had ceased the attack?

        3. A US Airforce intelligence analyst who followed intercepts of the attack says on camera that:

        The communications I had in my hands originated from an Israeli flight commander. Evidently from his questioning to the ground control, one 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 the ground control said, “proceed with the attack”.

        And there was still doubt in the Israeli pilot’s mind. And he said, “no this is American, repeat those orders again”. And he was told flat out, “do attack this ship”.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuVjF3vDcZc&NR=1

        The pilot’s protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. The CIA station chief handed him intercepted messages between the Israeli war room and their planes . The pilots were ordered to attack the ship and replied immediately that it was an American ship. Israeli HQ responded , “you have your orders, attack the ship”. The pilots tried again insisting that it had an American flag. Israeli HQ responded again, “you have your orders, attack it”.

        Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery.

        http://www.wrmea.com/component/content/article/148-1993-june/7211-the-assault-on-the-uss-liberty-still-covered-up-after-26-years.html

        Seth Mintz, and Israeli major who was in the Israel war room at the time of the attack also told Evans and Novak that “everything felt that it was an American ship and that it was the Liberty. There were comments about the markings, about the flag. Everyone in the room was convinced it was an American ship”. Mintz told Evans and Novak that the Israelis were guilty of an outrage.

        Mintz attended the 1991 Liberty reunion. He was video-taped by LVA member Bob Casale stating emphatically that: (a) the Israelis knew the Liberty was an American ship. “You could read the numbers on the side of the ship. It was no big secret.” and (b) Americans at the embassy said Liberty was not a U.S. Ship c) “By all rights that ship should have gone down in 1-5 minutes with everybody aboard,” and “[two] Israelis spent 18 years at hard labor because they refused to attack the ship.”

        This is false. The planes were not launched until 2:50 pm, three minutes after the MTB attack had ceased.

        False on both counts. First of all, the Israelis claimed the attacks had ceased, but continued for another hour.

        Entries in the ship’s log were tampered with.

        1. Nobody knew who was wounded or how severely.

        2. The log minimized the duration of the attack by an hour and a half, conveniently fitting the Israeli version.

        It documented the wounded not as 172, but as 75.

        Secondly, you know very well that 2:50 pm was the second round of jets that were sent after the first four F-4 Phantom jets had been dispatched at 14:09 and then recalled at 2:35pm. They were ordered to return by Robert MacNamara.

        The transmissions were not jammed. If the Israelis were jamming the Liberty’s radio frequencies during the attack, how was it that the deck log of the Liberty shows that messages were transmitted at 13:58pm, again at 1400, and again at 1404 (1204zulu), and again at 1418 (actually 1438) when the torpedo struck the Liberty’s starboard side midship?

        Sure you’re not that stupid Robert. The SOS was sent in morse code after a faulty antenna had been repaired.

        Yes the frequencies were definitely being jammed. The Israelis knew what the fleet frequencies were as well as the Egyptian frequencies. They jammed the American ones.

        It is fitting that McNamara should not have remembered such specifics for the simple reason that there is no record of any communication between McNamara and Sixth Fleet at all on the day the Liberty was attacked except for a recall order issued at 5:25pm Suez time—two and a half hours after the attack had ceased.

        Yes, it is fitting that a bald faced liar would hide behind the excuse that his memory was failing him. That’s what gives this a way as a big fat lie – the fact that he doesn’t reject the allegation but uses the tried and tested avoidance technique used by politicians everywhere by claiming to have no recollection.

        In the BBC interview, McNamara would not even answer the question directly. When asked if he ordered the recall his answer was evasive and convoluted:

        “I am absolutely certain that’s false”

        He then said:
        “I don’t know what happened and I haven’t taken the time to find out”.

        So here we have the Secretary of Defence at the time, who had to know exactly what was going on, telling us he still doesn’t know what happened and hasn’t taken the time to find out the facts for himself? Does that sound reasonable to you Robert? Even after all those so called, investigation, McNamara still claims to be uninformed?

        As for the absence of communications records, it’s hardly inconceivable that McNamara or Johnson ordered the records of communications between McNamara and Sixth Fleet destroyed. There’s no way to overstate how dangerous such evidence might be to the US government, and to US/Israeli relations, and thus no limit to the lengths they would have gone to in order to cover up their complicity.

        This would be especially true, if as many suspect, the Johnson Administration had been aware ahead of time that the attack was going to take place.

        The reconnaissance photographs from the 6 day war, published in Time and Life Magazine, were too detailed to have been produced by gun cameras. They were obtained by reconnaissance aircraft and Israel had none at the time. In other words, the images were taken by American aircraft, which in turn, suggests the Americans were involved in the attack on Egypt. The USS Liberty incident threatened to expose American’s participation in the 6 day war and would have been a massive scandal for Washington. It would also have destroyed US relations with the Arab world.

        Had this been an accident, it would have been handled completely differently. Instead, the US government wet to extraordinary lengths not only yo cover it up, but to try to erase any history of the attack.

        When the crew were awarded their purple hearts it was done in secret. They were told not to ever tell anyone how they got their Purple Hearts. When they returned, the Navy scattered the crew and no 2 were ever posted together.

        McGonagals Congressional Medal of Honour was the only CMH not presented by the president. Instead, it was given to McGonagal by the Secretary of the Navy in a small navy yard in South East Washington. Even more bizarre, is that in the US Senate book of Congressional Medal of Honour recipients, McGonagal’s medal is listed as being awarded for service in Vietnam, not the Mediterranean.

        Martin received the message long before the White House even learned about the attack.

        False. Johnson, like Richard Helms, wa receiving the radio intercepts in near real time. The telexes were sent to all intelligence agencies and the White House at the same time.

        McNamara gave the first recall order at 2:35 pm. If the planes dispatched at 2:09 had arrived, the Israelis would have been driven off. Washington took the Israelis at their word, but they were lying. They said they had recognised their error and apologized. The attack then continued for another hour and 20 minutes, during which another 25 sailors were murdered.

        Adm. Thomas Moorer, who was chief of naval operations at the time McGonagle received his Medal of Honor, told the Washington Post.

        “My position is that the Israeli military is highly professional and to suggest that they couldn’t identify the ship is . . . ridiculous,”

        Other than a brief public statement after the incident, McGonagle refused to discuss the matter until 1997, on the 30th anniversary of the attack at Arlington Cemetery, when he spoke up.

        “I think it’s 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 . . . the Liberty was attacked. For 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. It was, on the other hand, gross incompetence and aggravated dereliction of duty on the part of many officers and men of the state of Israel.”

        Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, put it best when he was quoted in the The Washington Post, June 15, 1991:

        “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.”

        In his testimony before the 1967 Court of Inquiry, McGonagle cited the ship’s deck log for 1503 (3:03pm) on Thursday, June 8, 1967

        First of all, the attack was not over by 3:15 pm. It continue for nearly another hour.

        McGonagle wrote a letter to Clinton pleading that he “NOT release Jonathan POLLARD to the Government of Israel until and unless the Government of Israel acknowledges, in writing and publicly, that the Government of Israel’s armed forces (air and naval) deliberately attacked USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5) (A Technical Research Ship) on June 8, 1967.”

        The ship was soon identified as USS LIBERTY by Israeli Naval Headquarters, by referring to “JANE’S FIGHTING SHIPS” 1966 OR 1967 issue, which showed a photograph of the ship and listed in detail its characteristics. In fact, an identification “tower” was placed on their Battle Plot with an “A” on the tower to identify the ship as an American ship.

        When the attack began about 2:00 p.m. (local time) the ship was subjected to relentless and repeated murderous fire from the attacking aircraft (which were unmarked – a violation of international law).

        There is no evidence that Johnson or McNamara ever believed the attack on the Liberty was anything but an accident, thus negating any motive to cover up anything in the first place.

        Umm really?

        1. Johnson’s belief that the attack was deliberate is preserved in the minutes of a White House meeting the day after.

        “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)

        2. Special Assistant to the President Clark Clifford, in his report to President Lyndon Johnson, concluded that:

        “That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable”

        3. In the documentary, CIA director Richard Helms states that everyone was appalled at the Israelis, but this sentiment was not reflected in the public position outside the administration. He said he was amazed that the story of the attack appeared on page 29 of the NYT when it should have been on the front page. He believes that people got to Johnson and he didn’t want to deal with the crisis politically. As Helms said:

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

        Helms went on to say that:

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

        4. Secretary of State, Lucius Battle, said that his immediate reaction was that it could not have been an accident. He said that Johnson shared his view that it had to have been an intended attack.

        ” I think there was a cover up. I think there were details known, from talking to some of the crew, it was pretty bad”

        5. Richard Helms says on camera that:

        ”I can give my personal view, other than my American view , which was that they intended to attack the ship, and that no excuse could be found that this was just a mistake. “

        When asked if Johnson had ordered a cover up, Helms replies :

        “No…not that I’m aware of. You ask McNamara about those questions, I’m not going to answer those”.

        6. When asked that same question, McNamara, he replied:

        ”I’m not saying anything about the Liberty. Period”

        Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, commander of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, was told over the phone by Johnson that “he didn’t care if the ship sunk, he would not embarrass his allies.” The evidence is in the form of testimony from Lt. Commander David Lewis, head of the Liberty’s NSA group.

        Dean Rusk, says he never accepted the Israeli explanation.

        Rusk and Joint Chiefs of Staff head, Admiral Thomas Moorer, insisted the Israeli attack was deliberate and designed to sink ‘Liberty.’ So did three CIA reports; one asserted Israel’s Defense Minister, Gen. Moshe Dayan, had personally ordered the attack.

        The notion that Johnson “knew” of a deliberate attack on the Liberty, and covered it up, thus betraying those killed and wounded in the attack, is obvious.

        In my academic work I usually document source material more copiously and at greater length, but when blogging I generally use more latitude in that regard, and I try to extend that to others, especially where common, non-controversial facts are concerned.

        Sorry Robert, but I’m not guying your bullshit. After you made a few timid forays into this blog under the thread entitled A despairing conversation with an Arab friend at the Four Seasons you launched immediately into copious and gratuitous cut and paste posts. At not stage before that had you ever cited sources.

        While I admit that I have been sloppy with regard to citing sources in response to your voluminous diatribes, so it was the only appropriate way to debunk your BS. You could have chosen to reference links and accompany them with concise commentary, but it’s clear that you believed that by spamming this blog with lengthy cut and paste dumps no one would take the time to refute you.

        You guessed wrong.

        As for Alan Hart’s quote, that “What actually happened in Israel in the final countdown to that war was something very close to a military coup, executed quietly behind closed doors without a shot being fired.”

        Miko Peled gave exactly the same account based on the minutes of the meeting June 2nd, that he read from the archives in Israel. As Peled explained, the decision to go to war was a showdown between the political leaders (who were in their 60’s) and the generals (mainly in their late 40’s), who had much higher stature among Israeli society. The generals intimidated the political leaders. Peled explains that his father, one of the loudest proponents for going to war with Nasser, argued that the reason Israel should attack Nasser now was because Nasser wasn’t ready for war and wouldn’t be for another year.

        This excuse is not credible, as the recent BBC documentary showed. The film screened by BBC 2 in June 2003 had a US radio intercept officer recounting on camera that he heard the Israeli pilots twice warn their base that the ship was American.

        They had a US commander state that US planes were on their way to Cairo in retalliation with a nuclear payload, and that, as the news unexpectedly leaked out that the ship had been destroyed by Israel, Johnson and McNamara had to personally abort the operation. It was even suggested that the White House had planned the operation with Israel, sending the ship undefended a few miles off the Gaza coastline. Now this version is confirmed from the following leak from the Israeli side.

        Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

        Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot’s radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.

        Johnson’s belief that the attack was deliberate is preserved in the minutes of a meeting the day after.

        CIA director Richard Helms states that everyone was appalled at the Israelis, but this sentiment was not reflected in the public position outside the administration.

        A US Airforce intelligence analyst who followed intercepts of the attack says on camera that:

        The communications I had in my hands originated from an Israeli flight commander. Evidently from his questioning to the ground control, one 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 the ground control said, “proceed with the attack”.

        And there was still doubt in the Israeli pilot’s mind. And he said, “no this is American, repeat those orders again”. And eh was told flat out, “do attack this ship”.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuVjF3vDcZc&NR=1

        Evidence has emerged that the attack was part of a secret plan code named Cyanide. A key figure was James Engleton, Israel’s closets friend in the CIA and a unique beneficiary of a memorial from Mossad. Jim Ennis came across Cyanide by chance.

        The Israeli helicopter arrived with filled with IDF troops brandishing automatic weapons that were ready to be used on the crew.

        Heat seeking missiles were used to take out all the tuning section of every transmitting antenna on the ship.

        The attack lasted about as long as the attack on Pearl Harbor -about 2 hours.

        As for government investigations, the number of them on the attack is rather lengthy:

        Judge Admiral Merlin Staring, who went on to become the Navy’s top lawyer, was called upon to review the final report. Starling said that the evidence did not support Kidd’s conclusion that Israel had attacked in error. As Staring said:

        “I 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, or other evidence that would support the findings and opinions that the court of inquiry had drafted or reached”

        Starling had reviewed hundreds of incident reports. He said the Liberty Report was the first to be withdrawn from him after he had been asked to review it and not been allowed to complete his advice to the convening authority. He said that the conclusion that the attack was a case of mistaken identity was not supported by the evidence and was convinced that the report was withdrawn from him because of his statement to Captain to Boston that he was having serious problems with the evidence to support the statements of fact.

        To this day, the Liberty incident remains so sensitive that the US Navy refuses to comment on it.

        Louis W. Tordella, who was the deputy director at the time of the NSA, wrote a handwritten note of August 26, 1967 which read:

        “A nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept [epithet deleted].”

        He later wrote a memorandum saying that the reason he believed Israel attacked was to stop the Americans hearing what was going on in the Sinai. The director of NSA told James Bamford that he thought it was a whitewash and that Johnson wanted the ship sunk, so as not to embarrass Israel.

        Former NSA Director retired Army Lieutenant General William Odom, said on 3 March 2003 in an interview for Naval Institute Proceedings :

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

        NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby confirmed this:

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

        So there you have it. The CIA, the NSA, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top lawyer of the Navy and countless others, reject the whitewash that tried to portray the attack as a case of mistaken identity.

        So no, I have no aversion to citing sources. Ask and I will cite them.

        I might have been inclined to overlook your transgression here, but given the merciless, intolerant, and unforgiving venom you have spewed not only at me, but Richard Witty (whom you outrageously recommended be banned), Jonah, and anyone else with the temerity to express the slightest objection or disagreement with your serial obfuscating, your little lecture on source attribution, about which you seem to be as ignorant as you are dishonest, reeked with a hypocrisy that cried out for exposure.

        Merciless? Oh my, that sounds serious. You poor things.

        Seriously Robert. I can just picture you standing in front of a mirror at nights in your underwear and a officer’s cap practising these pretentious and insufferable speeches to an imaginary audience.

        Witty is waste of space and everyone’s time. He doesn’t engage, he doesn’t debate, he doesn’t cite evidence, he doesn’t read, he doesn’t answer questions and when he’s confronted with some of the howlers he’s posted in the past, he runs away or accuses others of lying about what he said.

        Meanwhile, he dominates threads and obfuscates. He’s a troll and trolling is a violating of the rules of this blog. Even Phil has admitted the only reason he hasn’t banned Witty is not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because he serves as a useful idiot.

        Of course, now that we have you, we no longer need one.

Leave a Reply