Washington Report readers know the story well. In 1967 on the fourth day of the Six Day War, the armed forces of Israel attacked the American intelligence ship USS Liberty for 90 minutes in international waters in broad daylight following several hours of close, low-level reconnaissance. Thirty-four men died, 171 were hurt, and the ship was so badly damaged that it had to be scrapped.
When the Liberty was attacked, Captain Joseph Tully in the aircraft
carrier USS Saratoga received the ship's call for help and immediately sent jet aircraft to her assistance. Tully's jets were recalled almost immediately by orders from Washington. As a result, American jet fighter support was withheld for more than 90 minutes. By then the damage was done and 34 men were dead or dying.
Had those aircraft been sent, they would probably have arrived before the torpedo boats started their part of the attack. At least 25 lives could have been saved.
We survivors have tried for 29 years to learn why we were denied the
immediate air support that we were promised in case of trouble. There are no answers. The Navy still will not even admit that help was not sent, even though one of the aircraft carrier commanders has offered to testify that he was forbidden to help us.
The United States military continues to support its best enemies.
USS Liberty: Did Israel commit one war crime to hide another?