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Subject: New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty
jbwill2    6/13/2003 12:54:42 PM
The (most recent) June 2003 edition of Naval Proceedings has a large article on the controversial USS Liberty incident. The article states that several newly declassified documents show that the IDF did in fact know that the ship it was firing on was the USS Liberty. Several US intelligence officials have recently stated support for this position as well. What is everyone's take on the Liberty incident?
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greytraveller    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 1:22:56 PM
It is very possible that the Israelis engaged in a deliberte attack on an American ship. If so then one must wonder what the reason was??? Again, if so, then those responsible should be brought to justice. Odd that these revalations should be brought to light at this VERY critical time.
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Soylent Green    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 1:29:47 PM
I've encountered a couple of former US intelligence types who have stated unequivocally that the Israeli attack on the Liberty was deliberate and with full knowledge that it was an American vessel. Personally, I don't know the details of the incident so I couldn't possibly comment.
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11b10    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 4:35:31 PM
I'm a little suspicious of the article.Though I only skimmed it,it offered no new evidence except a claim by Intel. people to have seen new documents.Where are they?Also they did not mention that the NSA had a second asset in the air that day.Here is a Link with some good documents and info if you want to hear the other side.http:
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11b10    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty(correction)   6/13/2003 4:40:02 PM
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Soylent Green    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 4:43:22 PM
I dunno mate, I'll keep an open mind on the matter. But then it's not like this is an opinion piece inthe New Statesman. It's Proceedings, it's harldy a hotbed of anti-semitism and Palestinian activism is it? Anyway, we'll see.
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11b10    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 5:06:26 PM
Yes I know, sometimes they do stories just to fill space though.The USS Liberty story has turned into an Urban Legend, you really don't know what to believe.If the incident had to do with anything except the NSA the crew would probably know the true story.One thing for sure some of the crew are very bitter.I would like to see those newly declassified documents.
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Soylent Green    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 5:09:59 PM
Well it looks like we'll have to keep waiting if we want a definitive answer either way. I can imagine the crew would be very bitter, even if it was an accident. Dead mates are dead mates are dead mates.
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SGTObvious    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 5:28:16 PM
I put it up there with most "friendly fire incidents", which are rooted in human behaviour under stress. There is a very strong tendency for the mind to accept new information only in terms of the already accepted mental picture, adn this is even more pronounced during stress. I have seen people swear that that they saw things they did not, and with the passion of honest certainty. Memories are far more plastic than people realize. A simple test- any American has seen pennies all his life- but try and remember ALL the features of a penny and where on the penny they are located, right now, without looking at one. Not easy. Despite claims by various people that they know "exactly" what happened, the truth is, only a handful of people really do and they are Israeli. Having seen all the arguments, including Israeli radio traffic that repeatedly identified the ship as Egyptian, my educated GUESS is that some Israelis screwed up royally, but due to the tension and stress and human capacity for bias, thoroughly and completely ignored all the obvious information that the ship was not what they first thought it was. Then, unable to explain how they could have been so stupid, they tried to cover up not the attack itself (which they never hid, and openly apologized for)but the rather stupid way in which contrary evidence about the target was ignored. I have actually seen this happen in a US Army TOC (Tactical Operations Center). One officer makes one comment about something, and the next thing you know, it's being taken as established fact all over the place, all kinds of incorrect, assumptions are being made based on the one comment, and finally an NCO has to straighten it all out and say "wait a minute. Slow down. Bravo company is NOT at phase line Utah. Captain Jones only said they SHOULD be at phase line Utah." That said, there are a couple of alternate possibilities. A fear that the ship was passing data to Egypt at the time was not one of them- First, Israel was openly passing data on its movements to the US at the time, and second, at the time the Libert was positioned near an area which had long since been overrun by Israel- there would have been nothing of interest the Liberty could have reported. 1. There were Soviet intel ships in the area, and the Israelis mistook the Liberty not for the Egyptian vessel, but for a Soviet one, but were no way in hell going to admit that they ever intended to fire on a Soviet ship. 2. An order to "check out" the ship was botched, and a controller's ego got in the way of rationality. Not unusual in war, orders get messed up all the time. A US SF team in Afghanistan told an Afghan unit to be "ready" for a cavalry charge. This was changed to "make a cavalry charge" which by sheer luck occurred the moment a bomb barrage lifted, making it seem brilliantly timed. It caught the Taliban totally off guard even though it was within a minute of being a total disaster. 3. An actual target was near by, and was most likely the Egyptian ship the Israelis claim they mistook the Liberty for. The controller tracked both ships but gave the wrong location to the pilots, who for some reason didn't question it. 4. Confusion over Liberty's identity might have been deliberately caused by Arab or Soviet forces. The US had ordered its ships to stay beyond 100 miles from the coast, but neither the Arabs (nor apparently, the captain of the Liberty) was aware of this. THere would have been several ways of doing this, among them, keeping the American ship between the Egyptian ship and the coast, so Israelis ordered to attack the Egyptian ship would have always found the Liberty first. With a ship found along the confirmed path to a known target, and the US reporting that all of its ships were beyond 100 miles way, Facts are hard to come by and made scarcer by the wide use of this incident by groups/individuals with a specific political agenda, who offer their somewhat warped "secret knowledge" of the event. An example is the book "Assault on the Liberty" in which the supposed expert tells us that the US Navy sent planes toward the Liberty, but they had to be called back because they were F-14's (in 1967???) armed only with nuclear weapons. (??? I didn't make that up, the author did, tho!) The various investigations (10 American, 3 Israeli) reveal a number of blunders, mostly Israeli, and a few coincidences that can easily add up to a serious mistake in "situational awareness". For instance: The Israeli naval officers on duty in the shift before the attack had correctly ID's Liberty, but the board got erased when the shift changed. Just before the attack there was an explosion in Gaza, erroneously reported as shelling, but most likely ammunition exploding. Just before the attack, Liberty turned towards Egypt- as if it was an Egyptian vessel that had detected Israeli planes and was running. The principle American error was in returnign f
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jbwill2    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 6:27:38 PM
I tend to think that generally speaking, the most logical explanation usually has the best chance of being correct. I am quite dubious of the idea that the IDF knowingly torpedoed/shot up a defenseless US intelligence ship. It is more likely that it was a terrible example of "friendly fire." I do have major problems with the way some of the Liberty crewmembers have been treated, though. People are going to always be bitter over the issue of dead shipmates; I don't think it is appropriate for some commentators to condemn these understandably angry crewmembers as anti-Semitic. Also, why in the hell was the man (captain, I think) who was awarded the Medal of Honor not given the full deal? I have read that the Secretary of the Navy presented the medal privately...if the US decided to give this man such a great award, then why did they half-ass it? Again, I am very doubtful of the IDF intentionally doing anything malevolent to the Liberty.
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11b10    RE:New Naval Proceedings Article on USS Liberty   6/13/2003 7:20:27 PM
The answer to most of your questions jbwill2 is NSA,its a very big deal.There was another NSA asset in the air that day.In it was a SIGINT officer,who is of the opinion that it was a mistake.His name was Dr. Marvin E Nowicki,the way he tells it, in his own words is at the link I posted.Under the heading of Nowicki Documents.
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