Paul Findley speaking on 45th anniversary of Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty

Former Republican Congressman Paul Findley spoke the following words yesterday on the 45th anniversary of Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty:

June 8, 1967 is a day that will live in infamy.  I am here to explain why. I state facts.  I use plain language.

On that the day, the state of Israel, publicly posing as a close friend of the United States, almost succeeded in a deadly scheme to destroy a U.S. Navy ship and all sailors aboard, then blame the crime on an Arab government.  Why?  To stir American fury against all Arabs and bind America tightly in a permanent military alliance with Israel.

That scheme almost succeeded.  Listen to the details.

The USS Liberty was an intelligence -gathering ship patrolling the eastern Mediterranean in the late days of the Arab-Israel war of 1967.  Like today, America was Israel’s only major benefactor in the world.  President Lyndon Johnson’s secret decisions that day played a major role in making the United States today subservient to Israel.  Sadly, the facts remain little known.

The Liberty had only a couple of machine guns aboard.. Its identity was well marked. Its U.S. flag fluttered in a brisk breeze throughout bright daylight hours of June 8, 1967.  During morning hours, unmarked aircraft closely circled the Liberty.

The attack began at 2 p.m. and lasted more than an hour. When Israeli aircraft shot Liberty’s U.S. flag to pieces, a larger one was immediately hoisted in its place. Flying low, the planes strafed the deck with rocket fire and napalm, disabled all antennae, punctured the hull with hundreds of holes. When the ship seemed doomed, life rafts made of rubber were lowered into the sea but fighter planes shot them to pieces.

An Israeli torpedo boat, firing at close range, blasted a hole thirty-nine feet wide, only inches above water line.

Miraculously, just before the ship’s electrical equipment went dead, Seaman Terry Halbardier crawled across open deck amid lethal strafing and strung a cable from a damaged antenna to the transmission cabin. This made possible the broadcast of a lone SOS appeal for help.  Wounded by shrapnel during his crawl, Halbardier’s bravery saved the Liberty and crew from total destruction. One more torpedo hit would have sent the ship and crew to the bottom of the sea.

The distress message was heard aboard the USS Saratoga, a carrier patrolling near Crete. In response, the Saratoga launched fighter planes to defend the Liberty and reported the launch to carrier group commander Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis aboard the carrier America. Geis relayed the information to the White House.

Although aware the Liberty was still under attack, Johnson ordered Geis to cancel the rescue attempt.  On the Saratoga’s bridge, distraught sailors watched as the U.S. fighter craft turned back. On the ship’s radio they heard final frantic pleas for help from the Liberty. Amid the pleas were background sounds of shells exploding. Minutes later, Israeli commanders, by then aware of the Liberty’s radioed plea for help, halted the attack.

Aboard the Liberty, 34 U.S. sailors were dead and 171 seriously wounded.  Years later, two Navy veterans gave me details of the verbal exchange when President Johnson ordered the callback. Radioman Tony Hart, serving at a U.S. radio relay station in Morocco, listened intently to the entire conversation between President Johnson and Secretary McNamara in the White House and Admiral Geis at sea. This is what Hart recalls Secretary McNamara said to Geis, “Get those planes back on deck.” Geis replied, “But the Liberty is under attack and needs help.” McNamara shouted, “Get those goddam planes back on deck.” Aghast at the order, Geis, “Mr. Secretary, I wish to appeal that order to higher authority.” McNamara said, “I already have the president’s authority to call the planes back. He is right here.” Hart recalls Johnson then came on the phone and said to Geis, “I don’t care if the ship goes down, I’m not going to war with an ally over a couple of sailors.”  The stunned admiral said, “Aye, aye, sir.”

Until his death, the admiral agonized over what, despite the presidential order, he might have done to help the Liberty crew.

Over the years, I have attended several reunions of Liberty survivors and remain in close communication with several of them. During a recent gathering, retired Commander David Lewis, the senior Liberty intelligence officer, provided new details. He was critically injured in the assault and, after being airlifted to the Saratoga sick bay, he was summoned to the private cabin of Admiral Geis to hear details of the call-back. The deeply shaken admiral told Lewis he feared he would be ordered to remain silent about his verbal exchange with the president and McNamara.  He wanted Lewis, as a senior officer on the Liberty, to know exactly what was said.

Commander Davis told me, “Johnson’s order was probably the first time in history U.S. military forces were refused permission to help defend a U.S. Navy ship under attack.” Israeli officials, caught in a premeditated crime against a U.S. Navy ship, admitted the attackers were Israeli, then falsely claimed the assault was a case of mistaken identity.  What a cruel lie.

Johnson accepted Israel’s lie without protest, although convincing evidence the assault was deliberate was already available at highest levels of his administration.

The president quickly dispatched Admiral Isaac C. Kidd and staff to carry out what from the start was a bogus Court of Inquiry.  Before leaving. Kidd was instructed to issue a finding that cleared Israel of any blame.

Kidd and staff traveled to the Mediterranean, where the admiral personally threatened surviving crewmen, some of them still in hospital beds. Seaman John Hrankowski, one of the badly injured survivors, described the scene. “Admiral Kidd put on the stars and his uniform cap and said sternly: ‘If you tell anyone what actually happened, you will pay a fine, or go to prison, or worse.’” Hrankowski recalled: “We trembled. I was scared. He didn’t have to explain what the word worse meant.” After a week’s tour that included only limited, superficial interviews, Kidd’s group issued a finding that absolved Israel of any wrongdoing.  Forty years later, retired Navy Captain Ward Boston, the chief legal officer who had traveled with Admiral Kidd, publicly confessed that both he and Kidd privately believed at the time of the inquiry the assault was deliberate. In a public, sworn statement distributed widely,Bostonstated that before the inquiry began, Johnson ordered Kidd to issue a finding that cleared Israel of blame.  Even today U.S. officials cling to the fiction of mistaken identity, acting as if Boston’s confession never occurred. Official navy records have been scrubbed clean of any reference to the launching of rescue aircraft  or their callback on presidential order.

Kidd, already a distinguished senior four-star admiral, should have refused the presidential order. He should have upheld time-honored tradition by refusing to engage in deceit.  By telling the truth, the American people—and the Congress–would know of the crime committed by Israel and likely prompt our government to proceed carefully in any future dealings with Israel.


You may ask: Why would Israel accept the high risk of public disclosure when it attempted to destroy the Liberty and its crew?

Commander Lewis told me he believes Israel wanted to sink the ship with no survivors, and then blame the crime onEgypt. This, he said, would create anti-Arab fury in theUnited Statesso intense Congress would declare war on Egypt and its Arab allies. Davisadded, “They wanted us to be in the war to consolidate their gains.

They feared that without active [U.S.] support [of Israel] world opinion would have forcedIsraelto withdraw from captured lands.”  Lewis believes Israel’s scheme, if successful, would have locked America tightly and permanently with Israel and against Arabs.

Forty years later, the cover up was lifted but only slightly. Halbardier received the Silver Star medal for bravery.

In a supreme example of irony, Israel’s attempt to destroy the U.S. ship and crew did not damage the U.S.-Israeli relationship. The cover-up was so swift and so successful U.S. support of Israel’s war agenda actually emerged greatly magnified.  After the Liberty assault, aid to Israel increased from a trickle to a rising flood–unconditional financial, military, and diplomatic support of Israel, ultimately costing America billions of dollars and hundreds of lives.

We are honored to have survivors of the Liberty with us today.  I am a Navy veteran from World War II.

Retired men of the Navy, I am deeply ashamed at the government cover up that keeps the American people unaware of your bravery and sacrifice.  Gentlemen, I salute you. You are among the U.S. Navy’s greatest heroes.  Sadly, you are unsung heroes.

11 Responses to “Paul Findley speaking on 45th anniversary of Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty”

  • amicusbriefs says:

    In memory of the 34 sailors killed, and all who have passed, we offer our highest respect and give our love to the families whose loved ones were lost. We pray that justice will prevail, and that Israel receive its due correction post haste.

  • OldNavySailor says:

    President Johnson’s order to recall the aircraft from the two carriers operating in the theater was an unlawful order and should not have been obeyed by the captains of the Saratoga and America.

    The UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) was created by Congress and signed into law by President Truman (see: The President does not have the authority to change military law that comprises the UCMJ on his/her authority alone. It must be approved by the Congress of the United States.

    Article 99 of the UCMJ, sub-paragraphs (8) and (9):

    “Any person subject to this chapter who before or in the presence of the

    (8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or

    (9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle; shall be punished by death or such punishment as a court- martial may direct.” See: sub-chapter 10, Section 899, Article 99.

    Article 99 is the law and military personnel in the position of authority and command of a unit must adhere to its regulation. The Saratoga and America were REQUIRED to render assistance to the USS Liberty and failed to do so because of political pressure and fear of dismissal by the Commander in Chief, the President.

    America is still a nation of laws, not men. The commanders of the military must remember they took an oath that is binding to uphold the Constitution of the United States and all federal laws including the UCMJ.

    But those of us who served in the U.S. Navy back then knew the inquiry and findings were more than a whitewash; it was treason against the American people and treason has no statue of limitations.

  • Abbass says:

    The problem is that the US is NOT a nation of laws. That much has become obvious this past ten years or so.

  • Celt says:

    I am a British Vet from the 50,s .. I salute you all alive or dead. Had the truth prevailed, the world would be a better place today, and your sacrifice would not appear to be in vain ..

    Maybe not in our lifetime but in our children’s lifetime honor will be restored .. you will be avenged for this terrible cut to your heart and maybe all of this current red poppy nonsense, will really come to mean what it is supposed to mean, and when Taps floats across the Crosses of Arlington, those that are interred there will know their lives were not in vain.

    May God Bless You

  • Robert D. says:

    An absolute travesty of justice. What has Amerika become?
    Subservient to who or what? The lies and deceit coming
    out of Israel should be dealt with expediently! And, why
    is Israel giving orders to the Amerikan people and their
    country? Who owns who? And why?
    And this, after just a few short years ago (1947)and The Jews
    actually stole that land from Palastine. Theft again after
    having been booted out of China 2,000 years ago, Russia prior to
    WWII and Germany during WWII. All by theft I might add.
    Therefore,nothing has really changed!
    Always the same old program! Why? Because it apparently works.
    When will the world wake up?
    By the way, we here in America (the people) still give (donate)
    5 billion dollars (cash)per year plus all of the (free) military
    armament (fighter aircraft, ammunition, gunpowder and anything
    else Israel wants like clock work.
    Why? You might take a look at how many dual citizenship
    polititians (Israeli/American)we have in our governing bodies
    ie; The congress,the senate and hundreds of other government
    institutions for a “wake up” call.

  • Jim Evans says:

    Being A Navy Veteran of WW2 my heart goes out to the shipmates of the Liberty. We must
    admit we haven’t had a lawful legal federal government since Kennedy was assassinated in
    ’63 and we can never regain our intended REPUBLIC AT THE POLLS.We no longer have the backbone for the necessary action so it’s goodbye America!

  • There is much more to the attack on the USS Liberty, and I have posted it before, but was shocked to see Paul Findley is mute on this point. If what I believe to be accurate reporting, then I want to know it. If what is alleged, very credibly, that it was to drop two hydrogen bombs on Egypt on June 8, 1967; it must not be censored, for that would be complicity in what was high treason by President Johnson and all those who did nothing, but knew.

    President Johnson was a “partner in crime” with Israel in another act of high treason, on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas; in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    With these crimes gotten away with, the dye was caste for other assassinations, and I surmise Robert F. Kennedy and JFK Jr.; where both assassinated in an Israeli-US criminal conspiracy. And if 9/11 does not come to your mind as another; you are naive and in for a radical awakening!

    Dead In The Water

    68 Minute BBC Video:

    24 minutes into documentary:

    “On the USS America aircraft carrier, two A4 bombers were launched to carry out a nuclear strike on Egypt”

    25 minutes into video:
    “Cairo is about to be incinerated”

    Comment by Bill Mitchell | June 11, 2012 | Reply

  • Archie1954 says:

    Johnson, a reprobate if you ever saw one was a traitor, so was McNamara and the rest of Foggy Bottom. What a disgusting gang of treacherous ingrates to be running a superpower. The fact that this international crime is still being covered up by the US government means that the deceivers and apostates are still in charge. Let those who would dare to challenge the survivors of the USS Liberty be known to the people and let their futures be decided by the people.

  • abubaqar says:

    Subject: well spoken giles… i dare anyone to prove him wrong!!!!

    in order to make up for the ‘deficit’.
    9 Len Giles December 18, 2009 at 12:50 am

    The creation of the Zionist State of Israel (on stolen Palestinian land), gave the world an excellent opportunity to examine the true nature of the Jews, and understand why so many Gentiles (around the globe) detest them.
    Their arrogance, cruelty, virulent racism, and brutality (often captured on film by foreign correspondents), gives us a true picture of a nation without a conscience, without a soul, without morality, and without a God.
    The arrogant Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, once stated the following: “The Jewish “Race” is the MASTER RACE. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our “race”, other races are beasts and animals; cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”
    Menachem Begin merely uttered what all Zionists believe in their hearts.
    The uncivilized, inhuman, and brutal treatment of the innocent, unarmed, Palestinian civilians (since 1948) is a clear manifestation of the Zionists’ evil and racist mentality.
    According to the prevailing Jewish mindset, all the despicable Israeli acts listed below, comply with the requirements of the Jewish Law. In other words, they are “kosher”.
    1-Stealing 80% of the Palestinians’ land is “kosher”.
    2-Killing innocent, unarmed, Palestinian men, women, and children, is “kosher”.
    3-Practicing Apartheid, and Genocide, in Palestine, is “kosher”.
    4-Building an enormous dividing wall in Palestine, without the Palestinians’ permission, is “kosher”.
    5-Behaving like tyrannical, racist, bullies, is “kosher”.
    6-Demolishing thousands of Palestinian homes (often with the occupants still inside), is “kosher”.
    7-Burning thousands of Palestinian homes, orchards and farms, is “kosher”.
    8-Unlawfully confiscating Palestinian properties, machinery and animals, is “kosher”.
    9-Raping, and murdering, Palestinian girls, is “kosher”
    10-Massacres and Atrocities inflicted upon the innocent, unarmed, Palestinian civilians, are perfectly “kosher”.
    11-Torturing approximately 125,000 Palestinian prisoners, for decades, is “kosher”.
    12-Forcing 1.3 million Palestinians (at gunpoint) to abandon their homes, their farms and their ancestral homeland, is “kosher”.
    13-Breaking the arms and legs of children for throwing stones at Israeli tanks, is “kosher”.
    14-Poisoning the water wells of Palestinians, with arsenic, to make them leave their homes and villages, is “kosher”.
    15-Ignoring dozens of United Nations Resolutions, since 1948, is “kosher”.
    16-Assasinating politicians, and leaders of the Palestinian Authority, is “kosher”.
    17-Terrorising Palestinian families, in the middle of the night, with “Gestapo style” raids, is “kosher”.
    18-Treating the Palestinian civilians like sub-human creatures, is “kosher”.
    19-Using American helicopters to destroy Palestinian cars, with all the passengers still inside, is “kosher”.
    20-Deliberately harassing, and bullying, Palestinian civilians at countless “check points”, and “road blocks”, is “kosher”.
    21-Desecrating Mosques and Muslim Holy Books, is “kosher”.
    22-Crushing demonstrators to death, with bulldozers, is “kosher”.
    23-Renaming dozens of stolen Palestinian towns and villages with Hebrew names, is “kosher’.
    24-The lucrative business of selling Palestinian body parts, is “kosher”.
    Behaving like demented, homicidal maniacs is perfectly normal for the Jews. It is the result of 4,000 years of inbreeding.
    How can wicked, mentally deranged, immoral, murderers claim to be members of the Human Race?
    How can a group of arrogant creatures (who belong to the same Semitic tribe as the Arabs), claim racial purity and racial superiority? Jews show their abysmal ignorance, and crass stupidity, when they accuse the Semite Arabs of “anti-Semitism”!
    How can cruel, evil, thugs who relentlessly break God’s Ten Commandments claim to be “God’s Chosen People”?. I regard their preposterous claim as GRIEVOUS BLASPHEMY. I honestly think that they are Satan’s chosen lycanthropes.
    Apathy is an unforgivable sin. Evil spreads like a cancer when good men (and good women), do nothing to stop it. On Judgement Day, we will be asked to justify our total lack of compassion and callous indifference to the pain, suffering, persecution, injustice, and the bullying of millions of innocent fellow humans. How will we plead?
    Len Giles

  • abubaqar says:

    What is Wrong with the Muslim World?
    Don’t they realize that each Hellfire missile we slam into an Afghan wedding party or Pakistani apartment building is done out of true love?

    Don’t they know that each F-16 carpet bombing of their country, whether it’s in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq or Yemen, is just the USA and Israel showing that we really, really care about their future?

    Don’t they understand that each time those USA made ‘smart bombs’ blow to bits their family and friends, that this is done not out of spite, but an endless amount of loving care we feel the need to shower on those poor buggers?

    When will they realize that the USA and Israel are their true friends and stop all this bitching and moaning that they are being deliberately targeted to appease Apartheid Israel?

    Damn bloody wogs, when in the hell are they going to come to their senses and realize that the USA and Israel want to be their bestest friends and all that we do, we do for them?

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