Monday, October 8, 2007

The lost USS Liberty

Forty years ago, there was a spy ship that was attacked by four Israeli jet fighters, the USS Liberty, and most on board were instantly killed. There were survivors and they live to tell their story, but unfortunately in our deeply Israeli-centred medium, it's a story that is very suppressed and is swept under the rug, preferred to be forgotten as a "simple mistake" by Israeli Air Force and let the bygones be bygones. It is a shocking event that is even left out from the book by Walt and Mearsheimer, an example that Ray McGovern highlights as the most obvious piece of evidence that there is such a thing as a Lobby, and that a story like this, Israel attacking an ally like the US, continues to be hushed is a perfect strategy for Israeli's supporters.

John Crewdson writes in the Chicago Tribune about the USS Liberty, their survivors, and its impact (or lack thereof). It is a must read and one that is not to be missed by anyone who is even claims to be objective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or in particular, Israel's supporters influence in Washington.

"Four decades later, many of the more than two dozen Liberty survivors located and interviewed by the Tribune cannot talk about the attack without shouting or weeping.

Their anger has been stoked by the declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel, including some quoted in this article for the first time, which strengthen doubts about the U.S. National Security Agency's position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots -- communications, according to those who remember seeing them, that showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel.

The documents also suggest that the U.S. government, anxious to spare Israel's reputation and preserve its alliance with the U.S., closed the case with what even some of its participants now say was a hasty and seriously flawed investigation."

If anyone was in any doubt that Israel is the "tail wagging the dog", then maybe this story can put those doubts to rest. Funnily enough, it has taken forty years for any scrutiny on the issue but with the current climate in the air about Israel's past and present behaviour, then it could be "better late than never".

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