Wednesday, 07 September 2011 04:53
Texans in 39 foot boat expected to arrive off coast of Gaza on Tuesday to honor USS Liberty
- A retired college professor who has sailed approximately 8,000 miles to the eastern Mediterranean is expected to arrive at his destination within the next 24 hours: the exact location where Israeli forces tried to sink a US Navy ship in 1967, killing or injuring over 200 American servicemen.
Larry Toenjes, 74 years old, is planning to hold a memorial service for those killed on board the ship, the USS Liberty. Israel shelled and torpedoed the ship, an electronics surveillance ship, in an attack that lasted as long as the attack on Pearl Harbor.
While Israel and its partisans have tried to claim that the attack was “a mistake,” a 2003 inquiry by an independent commission led by a retired four-star Navy Admiral, a Rear Admiral, and the highest ranking Medal of Honor recipient in the U.S., a Marine General, announced on Capitol Hill that all the evidence indicated that the attack had been intentional, had consisted of an act of war against the United States by Israel, and that a cover-up had been ordered by the White House.
In addition, the commission found that rescue flights had been recalled by President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. While almost no media covered the Capitol Hill briefing, a full record of its findings are in the Congressional Record and Stars and Stripes military newspaper.
[more information on the incident]
Toenjes, who departed from Galveston, Texas, almost four months ago, is accompanied by a Marine veteran who joined him in Malta. Whle there has been concern that Israel might interfere with their voyage as it has other boats in the Mediterranean, ramming and hijacking some, so far Israel seems to be ignoring the voyage.
Toenjes will remain 12 miles offshore, in international waters, where the attack took place.
In a column published by the Galveston News, Toenjes explained that he was undertaking the voyage for two primary purposes: to honor the men who died in service to their country and to try to draw attention to attempts by their surviving families and crewmates to obtain the full government investigation that is legally required but that has been blocked by the powerful Israel Lobby.
Toenjes’ trip is being tracked on the website of the Council for the National Interest (CNI). When he arrives at his destination, the CNI website will stream live his memorial service, which will be carried by satellite phone to a radio program hosted by a Liberty survivor, Phil Tourney.
While the national media have ignored this voyage, Toenjes and Liberty survivors hope that the American public will learn about his undertaking by word of mouth, blogs, and social media.
Below is an earlier report broadcast by Press TV:
Sailing to the Scene of the Crime: ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY:
7000 Miles for the USS Liberty: http://tinyurl.com/7000MilesfortheUSSLiberty