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Attack on the USS Liberty: A Stab at the Truth

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Research paper

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In June 1967, the USS Liberty, an unarmed Navy technical research ship, was attacked by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats in international waters off the coast of Egypt. The attack killed 34 and injured 171 Americans. The attack was clearly an event that intersected military operations at the tactical and operational levels and politics at the strategic level. Using key declassified messages, the findings of the Navys official Court of Inquiry, interviews with naval personnel involved in the event, and memoirs of senior government officials, this paper attempts to answer a number of highly debated questions regarding that tragic day in American history. Why did Israel attack the Liberty Was the attack deliberate or accidental, and could the attack have been a case of mistaken identity If deliberate, who within the Israeli leadership ordered the attack, and why Why was this U.S. unarmed and unescorted research ship so close to the shores of ongoing hostilities the Six Day War Why has Israel continued to claim the attack was a case of mistaken identity Why was the official inquiry micromanaged and rushed to an unsatisfactory completion in a mere 8 days Why has a full and open official inquiry on the attack never been conducted, and why will there probably never be one Finally, why would the White House prevent the rescue of an American ship This has been, perhaps, the most disturbing question arising out of Israels attack. It demands a thorough investigation of the actions taken by the White House and the Secretary of Defense. Why did they order the recall of the planes that had been sent to rescue the Liberty Why did Navy leadership order the surviving crew to be silent regarding the attack on the Liberty

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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