posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 02:37 PM
I decided to post this information because I thought it could add to the long-standing discussion on ATS regarding the USS Liberty incident. I will
preface this information by stating up front that this information is purely heresay, and cannot be verified. However, base upon the source(s), I
believe it to be accurate.
The original source of this information is an crew member of the USS Liberty. His name is known to me, and I have verified that he was part of the
crew during the incident, but I will not reveal it to protect his privacy, as I have not seen this story published anywhere else. At the time of the
incident, he was a Cryptological Technical (CT) stationed aboard the USS Liberty, and was part of the communications interception and analysis team.
I do know that he was not wounded in the incident.
His story came to me via a coworker who I work with in the present. This coworker was also a CT in the US Navy back in the 1970's, and had the
privilege of being stationed on the same ship (not the Liberty) as the ex-Liberty crewmember. During the times they sailed together, Petty Officer
"X" often retold the story of his role in the Liberty incident to his buddies in the COMINT shack. Both of the individuals described here
had/currently have TS/SCI clearances, and "X" actually processed COMINT collected during the incident.
The fact that the Israelis knew the Liberty was a US vessel was not in doubt. COMINT verified this. What X revealed to my coworked (back then) was
that the Liberty had intercepted COMINT that suggested that the Israelis were "prepping" tactical nukes for deployment on aircraft, because early on
in the conflict they were really scared. This intel was immediately routed back to Washington, and as the story goes, Washington immediately called
up Tel Aviv and threatened to withdraw all support unilaterally if nukes were used, and Israel would be declared persona non grata.
Well, Tel Aviv was very, very surprised to learn that one of their most ultra sensitive national-level orders had been intercepted so quickly and
efficiently. And they were pissed. Really pissed. In the face-to-face political dealings between Washington and Tel Aviv (back then via phone), Tel
Aviv had to assure Johnson that the intel about Israeli nukes was erroneous, and that they were all still in the bunkers (when in fact they were on
Tel Aviv (exactly who remains unclear) decided that a strong message needed to be sent to the Americans that "although we begrudgingly accept your
strong-armed threats, we are pissed off and you will not get off pushing us around without paying a price". Someone in Tel Aviv (probably Rabin)
either directly ordered the attack, or facilitated the attack indirectly through inaction, or misinformation. X made it clear that when the planes
were inbound, they knew exactly who they were looking for. Unfortunately for many of the Liberty crew, much of the raw COMINT was destroyed in the
attack, especially due to the torpedo hit in the COMINT compartment below the waterline. Ironically, according to X, the attack was only supposed to
consist of aircraft strafing the ship to knock out the radio transmitters. Whent he torpedo boats came in after the air attack to "render
assistance" (it was likely they had no clue as to the real identity of the Liberty) they came under attack from the Liberty's .50 cal guns
and returned fire accordingly, causing most of the deaths and damange.
Take this for what its worth, but based upon my peronal knowledge of my coworker and his trustworthiness, I suspect much of this is accurate.