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Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 292015
 

Freedom is a novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and released on August 31, 2010.

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, and was ranked one of the best books of 2010 by several publications.

Freedom follows several members of an American family, the Berglunds, as well as their close friends and lovers, as complex and troubled relationships unfold over many years. The book follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration.

Freedom opens with a short history of the Berglund family from the perspective of their nosy neighbors. The Berglunds are portrayed as the most ideal liberal middle-class family, and they are among the first families to move back into urban St. Paul, Minnesota, after years of white flight to the suburbs. Patty Berglund is an unusually young and pretty homemaker with a self-deprecating sense of humor; her husband Walter is a mild-mannered lawyer with strong environmentalist leanings.

They have one daughter, Jessica, and a son, Joey, who early on displays an independent streak and an interest in making money. Joey becomes sexually involved with a neighborhood teen named Connie and begins to rebel against his mother, going so far as to move in with Connie, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend Blake, making Patty and Walter increasingly unstable. After several unhappy years, the family relocates to Washington, D.C., abandoning the neighborhood and house they worked so hard to improve. Walter takes a job with an unorthodox environmental project, tied to big coal.

The second portion of the book takes the form of an autobiography of Patty Berglund, composed at the suggestion of her therapist. The autobiography tells of Patty’s youth as a star basketball player, and her increasing alienation from her artistically inclined parents and sisters. Instead of attending an East Coast elite college like her siblings, she gets a basketball scholarship to the University of Minnesota and adopts the life of the athlete. She meets an attractive but unattainable indie rock musician named Richard Katz, and his nerdy but kind roommate, Walter Berglund. After her basketball career-ending knee injury, Patty suddenly becomes desperate for male affection, and after failing to woo Richard, she settles down with Walter, who had been patiently courting her for more than a year. We learn that Patty retained her desire for Richard and eventually had a brief affair with him at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin.

The novel then jumps ahead to New York City in 2004 and shifts to the story of Walter and Patty’s friend Richard, who has finally succeeded in becoming a minor indie rock star in his middle age. His hit album Nameless Lake tells the story of his brief love affair with Patty at the Berglunds’ lakeside cabin in Minnesota. Richard is uncomfortable with commercial success, throws away his new-found money, and returns to building roof decks for wealthy people in Manhattan. Walter calls him out of the blue to enlist his help as a celebrity spokesman for an environmental campaign. Walter has taken a job in Washington, D.C. working for a coal mining magnate who wants to strip mine a section of West Virginia forest before turning it into a songbird preserve of future environmental value. Walter hopes to use some of this project’s funding to hold a concert to combat overpopulation, the common factor behind all his environmental concerns, and he believes that Richard will be able to rally well-known musicians to his cause. Meanwhile, Walter’s marriage to Patty has been deteriorating steadily, and his pretty young assistant Lalitha has fallen deeply in love with him.

In parallel, the Berglunds’ estranged, Republican son Joey attempts to finance his college life at the University of Virginia by taking on a dubious subcontract to provide spare parts for outdated supply trucks during the Iraq War. While at college, he marries his childhood sweetheart but dares not tell his parents. After visiting his roommate’s family in the DC suburbs, he also pursues his friend’s beautiful sister Jenna and is exposed to her father’s Zionist, neoconservative politics. After months of pursuing Jenna, when she finally wants him to have sex with her, he cannot maintain an erection. Later he becomes conflicted after making $850,000 selling defective truck parts to military suppliers in Iraq. In the end Joey gives away the excess proceeds of his profiteering, reconciles with his parents, settles down with Connie, and moves into a sustainable coffee business with the help of his father Walter.

Now, Richard’s re-appearance destroys Walter and Patty’s weakening marriage. Richard tries to convince Patty to leave Walter, but she shows Richard the autobiography she wrote as “therapy”, trying to convince him that she’s still in love with Walter. Richard deliberately leaves the autobiography on Walter’s desk, and Walter reads Patty’s true thoughts. Walter kicks Patty out of the house, and she moves to Jersey City to be with Richard, but the relationship only lasts six months. Later, she moves to Brooklyn alone and takes a job at a private school, discovering her skill for teaching younger children. When Patty leaves him, Walter has a catharsis on live television, revealing his contempt for the displaced West Virginian families and his various commercial backers. Local rednecks respond by dragging him from the platform and beating him up. He is promptly fired by the environmental trust, but his TV debacle makes him a viral video hero to radical youth across the nation. He and his assistant Lalitha become lovers and continue their plans to combat overpopulation through a concert to rally young people in the hills of West Virginia. Lalitha is killed in a suspicious car accident a few days before the concert is due to take place. Shattered, and having lost both of the women who loved him, Walter retreats to his family’s lakeside vacation house back in Minnesota. He becomes known to a new street of neighbors as a cranky old recluse, obsessed with house cats killing birds nesting on his property.

After a few years living in Brooklyn, Patty’s father dies and she is forced to settle the fight that erupts within her family of spoiled bohemians as they attempt to split up the much-diminished family fortune. This experience helps Patty to mature. After a few years of living alone, she appraises the emptiness of her life and honestly faces her advancing age. She decides to hunt down Walter, the only man who had ever really loved her. She drives to the lakeside cabin in Minnesota, and despite his rage and confusion, he eventually agrees to take her back. The book ends in 2008 as they leave as a couple to return to Patty’s job in New York City, after turning their old lakeside vacation home into a cat-proof fenced bird sanctuary, named in memory of Lalitha.

After the critical acclaim and popular success of his third novel The Corrections in 2001, Franzen began work on his fourth full-length novel. When asked during an October 30, 2002 interview on Charlie Rose how far he was into writing the new novel, Franzen replied:

I’m about a year of frustration and confusion into it…Y’know, I’m kind of down at the bottom of the submerged iceberg peering up for the surface of the water…I don’t have doubt about my ability to write a good book, but I have lots of doubt about what it’s going to look like.[1]

Franzen went on to suggest that a basic story outline was in place, and that his writing of the new novel was like a “guerilla war” approaching different aspects of the novel (alluding to characters, dialogue, plot development etc.).[1] Franzen also agreed that he would avoid public appearances, saying that “…getting some work done is the vacation” from the promotional work surrounding The Corrections and How To Be Alone.[1]

An excerpt entitled “Good Neighbors” appeared in the June 8 and June 15, 2009 issues of The New Yorker.[2] The magazine published a second extract entitled “Agreeable” in the May 31, 2010 edition.[3]

On October 16, 2009, Franzen made an appearance alongside David Bezmozgis at the New Yorker Festival at the Cedar Lake Theatre to read a portion of his forthcoming novel.[4][5] Sam Allard, writing for North By Northwestern website covering the event, said that the “…material from his new (reportedly massive) novel” was “as buoyant and compelling as ever” and “marked by his familiar undercurrent of tragedy”.[5] Franzen read “an extended clip from the second chapter.”[5]

On March 12, 2010, details about the plot and content of Freedom were published in the Macmillan fall catalogue for 2010.[6]

In an interview with Dave Haslam on October 3, 2010 Franzen discussed why he had called the book Freedom:

The reason I slapped the word on the book proposal I sold three years ago without any clear idea of what kind of book it was going to be is that I wanted to write a book that would free me in some way. And I will say this about the abstract concept of ‘freedom'; it’s possible you are freer if you accept what you are and just get on with being the person you are, than if you maintain this kind of uncommitted I’m free-to-be-this, free-to-be-that, faux freedom.[7]

Freedom received general acclaim from book critics, particularly for its writing and characterization. Shortly after the book’s release, the front cover of a TIME magazine issue showed a picture of Franzen above the words “Great American Novelist,” making him the first author to appear on the front cover in a decade.

Sam Tanenhaus of The New York Times and Benjamin Alsup of Esquire believed it measured up to Franzen’s previous novel, The Corrections. Tanenhaus called it a “masterpiece of American fiction,” writing that it “[told] an engrossing story” and “[illuminated], through the steady radiance of its authors profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew.”[8] Alsup called it a great American novel. “[9] In The Millions, Garth Risk Hallberg argued that readers who enjoyed The Corrections would enjoy Freedom. He also wrote that they’re “likely to come away from this novel moved in harder-to-fathom waysand grateful for it.”[10] An editor for Publishers Weekly wrote that it stood apart from most modern fiction because “Franzen tries to account for his often stridently unlikable characters and find where they (and we) went wrong, arriving atincrediblygenuine hope.”[11]

Benjamin Secher of The Telegraph called Franzen one of America’s best living novelists, and Freedom the first great American novel of the “post-Obama era.”[12] In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones called him “a literary genius” and wrote that Freedom stood on “a different plane from other contemporary fiction.”[13]

Michiko Kakutani called the book “galvanic” and wrote that it showcased Franzen’s talent as a storyteller and “his ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life.” Kakutani also praised the novel’s characterization, going on to call it a “compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times.”[14]The Economist wrote that the novel contained “fully imagined characters in a powerful narrative.” The reviewer went on to say that it had “all its predecessor’s power and none of its faults.”[15]

Not all reviews were raving. Most lukewarm reviews praised the novel’s prose, but believed the author’s left-wing political stance was too obvious. Sam Anderson, in a review for New York magazine, thought the characterization was strong, but perceived the politics as sometimes too heavy-handed: “Franzen the crankmighty detester of Twitter, ATVs, and housing developments” occasionally “overpower[s] Franzen the artist […] but if crankiness is the motor that powers Franzen’s art, I’m perfectly willing to sit through some speeches.”[16]Ron Charles of The Washington Post also felt less favorably, remarking that it lacked the wit and “[freshness]” of The Corrections. Charles praised Franzen’s prose and called him “an extraordinary stylist,” but questioned how many readers would settle for good writing as “sufficient compensation for what is sometimes a misanthropic slog.”[17] In addition, Ruth Franklin of The New Republic believed the novel resembled a “soap opera” more than it did an epic, and that Franzen had forgotten “the greatest novels must […] offer […] profundity and pleasure.”[18]

Alexander Nazaryan criticized its familiarity in the New York Daily News remarking that the author “can write about a gentrifying family in St. Paul. Or maybe in St. Louis. But that’s about it. Nazaryan also didn’t believe Franzen was joking when he suggested “being doomed as a novelist never to do anything but stories of Midwestern families.”[19]Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio found the novel “[brilliant]” but not enjoyable, suggesting that “every line, every insight, seems covered with a light film of disdain. Franzen seems never to have met a normal, decent, struggling human being whom he didn’t want to make us feel ever so slightly superior to. His book just has too much brightness and not enough color.”[20]

Ross Douthat of First Things praised the “stretches of Freedom that read like a master class in how to write sympathetically about the kind of characters” with an abundance of freedom. Yet, Douthat concluded the novel was overlong, feeling the “impression that Franzen’s talents are being wasted on his characters.”[21]

Freedom won the John Gardner Fiction Award. Additionally, it was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The American Library Association also named it a notable fiction of the 2010 publishing year.

Oprah Winfrey made Freedom her first book club selection of 2010, saying, “this book is a masterpiece.”[22][23] US President Barack Obama called it “terrific” after reading it over the summer.[24]

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Freedom (Franzen novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USS Liberty incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Liberty  Comments Off on USS Liberty incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 182015
 

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USSLiberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War.[3] The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship.[4] At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5nmi (29.3mi; 47.2km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.[1][5]

Israel apologized for the attack, saying that the USS Liberty had been attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship.[6] Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship’s identity,[2] though others, including survivors of the attack, have rejected these conclusions and maintain that the attack was deliberate.[7]

In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 (US$22.5 million 2015) in compensation to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the final U.S. bill of $17,132,709 for material damage to Liberty herself plus 13 years’ interest.[8]

USSLiberty was originally the 7,725 long tons (7,849t) (light) civilian cargo vessel Simmons Victory, a mass-produced, standard-design Victory Ship, the follow-on series to the famous Liberty Ships, which supplied the United Kingdom and Allied troops with cargo. it was acquired by the United States Navy, converted to an Auxiliary Technical Research Ship (AGTR),[9] and began her first deployment in 1965, to waters off the west coast of Africa. it carried out several more operations during the next two years.

During the Six-Day War between Israel and several Arab nations, the United States of America maintained a neutral country status.[10] Several days before the war began, the USS Liberty was ordered to proceed to the eastern Mediterranean area to perform a signals intelligence collection mission in international waters near the north coast of Sinai, Egypt.[11] After the war erupted, due to concerns about her safety as she approached her patrol area, several messages were sent to Liberty to increase her allowable closest point of approach (CPA) to Egypt’s and Israel’s coasts from 12.5 and 6.5nmi (14.4 and 7.5mi; 23.2 and 12.0km), respectively, to 20 and 15nmi (23 and 17mi; 37 and 28km), and then later to 100nmi (120mi; 190km) for both countries.[12] Unfortunately, due to ineffective message handling and routing, the CPA change messages were not received until after the attack.[12]

According to Israeli sources, at the start of the war on 5 June, General Yitzhak Rabin (then IDF Chief of Staff) informed Commander Ernest Carl Castle, the American Naval Attach in Tel Aviv, that Israel would defend its coast with every means at its disposal, including sinking unidentified ships. Also, he asked the U.S. to keep its ships away from Israel’s shore or at least inform Israel of their exact position.[13][14]

American sources said that no inquiry about ships in the area was made until after the Liberty attack ended. In a message sent from U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk to U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Rusk asked for “urgent confirmation” of Israel’s statement. Barbour responded: “No request for info on U.S. ships operating off Sinai was made until after Liberty incident.” Further, Barbour stated: “Had Israelis made such an inquiry it would have been forwarded immediately to the chief of naval operations and other high naval commands and repeated to dept [Department of State].”[15]

With the outbreak of war, Captain William L. McGonagle of Liberty immediately asked Vice Admiral William I. Martin at the United States Sixth Fleet headquarters to send a destroyer to accompany Liberty and serve as its armed escort and as an auxiliary communications center. The following day, 6 June, Admiral Martin replied: “Liberty is a clearly marked United States ship in international waters, not a participant in the conflict and not a reasonable subject for attack by any nation. Request denied.”[16] He promised, however, that in the unlikely event of an inadvertent attack, jet fighters from the Sixth Fleet would be overhead in ten minutes.

Meanwhile, on 6 June, at the United Nations, in response to United Arab Republic complaints that the United States was supporting Israel in the conflict, U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg said to the Security Council that aircraft of the Sixth Fleet were several hundred miles from the conflict,[12] indicating that elements of the Sixth Fleet itself were far from the conflict. When the statement was made this was the case, since Liberty, now assigned to the Sixth Fleet, was in the central Mediterranean Sea, passing between Libya and Crete;[17] but she would ultimately steam to about 13nmi (15mi; 24km) north of the Sinai Peninsula.[18]

On the night of 7 June Washington time, early morning on 8 June, 01:10Z or 3:10am local time, the Pentagon issued an order to Sixth Fleet headquarters to tell Liberty to come no closer than 100nmi (120mi; 190km) to Israel, Syria, or the Sinai coast (Oren, p.263).[19]:5, 58 (Exhibit N)

According to the Naval Court of Inquiry[20]:23 ff, 111 ff and National Security Agency official history,[21] the order to withdraw was not sent on the radio frequency that Liberty monitored for her orders until 15:25 Zulu, several hours after the attack, due to a long series of administrative and message routing problems. The Navy said a large volume of unrelated high-precedence traffic, including intelligence intercepts related to the conflict, were being handled at the time; and that this combined with a shortage of qualified Radiomen contributed to delayed sending of the withdrawal message.[20]:111 ff

Official testimony combined with Liberty’s deck log say that throughout the morning of the attack, 8 June, the ship was overflown, at various times and locations, by Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft.[18] The primary aircraft type was the Nord Noratlas; there were also two unidentified delta-wing jets at about 9:00am Sinai time (GMT+2).[18]Liberty crewmembers say that one of the Noratlas aircraft flew so close to Liberty that noise from its propellers rattled the ship’s deck plating, and that the pilots and crewmembers waved to each other.[22] It was later reported, based on information from Israel Defense Forces sources, that the over-flights were coincidental, and that the aircraft were hunting for Egyptian submarines that had been spotted near the coast.[23]

At about 5:45am Sinai time, a ship-sighting report was received at Israeli Central Coastal Command (CCC) about Liberty, identified by an aerial naval observer as “apparently a destroyer, sailing 70 miles [110km] west of Gaza.”[24] The vessel’s location was marked on a CCC Control Table, using a red marker, indicating an unidentified vessel.[25] At about 6:00am, the aerial naval observer reported that the ship appeared like a U.S. Navy supply ship; the red marker was replaced with a green marker to indicate a neutral vessel, at about 9:00am.[25] At that same time, an Israeli jet fighter pilot reported that a ship 20 miles (32km) north of Arish had fired at his aircraft after he tried to identify the vessel.[25] Israeli naval command dispatched two destroyers to investigate, but they were returned to their previous positions at 9:40am after doubts emerged during the pilot’s debriefing.[25] After the naval observer’s Noratlas landed and he was debriefed, the ship he saw was further identified as the USS Liberty, based on its “GTR-5″ hull markings.[26] USS Liberty’s marker was removed from CCC’s Control Table at 11:00am, due to its positional information being considered stale.[27]

At 11:24am, Israeli Chief of Naval Operations received a report that Arish was being shelled from the sea.[27] An inquiry into the source of the report was ordered to determine its validity.[27] The report came from an Air Support Officer in Arish.[28] Additionally, at 11:27am Israeli Supreme Command Head of Operations received a report stating that a ship had been shelling Arish, but the shells had fallen short.[28] (Investigative journalist James Bamford points out that Liberty had only four .50 caliber machine guns mounted on her decks and, thus, could not have shelled the coast.[29] ) The Head of Operations ordered that the report be verified, and determine whether or not Israeli Navy vessels were off the coast of Arish.[28] At 11:45am, another report arrived at Supreme Command saying two ships were approaching the Arish coast.[28]

The shelling and ships reports were passed from Supreme Command to Fleet Operations Control Center.[28] The Chief of Naval Operations took them seriously, and at 12:05pm torpedo boat Division 914 was ordered to patrol in the direction of Arish.[28]

Division 914, codenamed “Pagoda”, was under the command of Commander Moshe Oren.[28] It consisted of three torpedo boats numbered: T-203, T-204 and T-206.[28] At 12:15pm, Division 914 received orders to patrol a position 20 miles (32km) north of Arish.[28] As Commander Oren headed toward Arish, he was informed by Naval Operations of the reported shelling of Arish and told that IAF aircraft would be dispatched to the area after the target had been detected.[28]

Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin was concerned that the supposed Egyptian shelling was the prelude to an amphibious landing that could outflank Israeli forces. Rabin reiterated the standing order to sink any unidentified ships in the area, but advised caution, as Soviet vessels were reportedly operating nearby.[23]

At 1:41pm, the torpedo boats detected an unknown vessel 20 miles northwest of Arish and 14 miles (23km) off the coast of Bardawil.[1][30] The ship’s speed was estimated on their radars.[30] The Combat Information Center officer on T-204, Ensign Aharon Yifrah, reported to the boat’s captain, Commander Moshe Oren, that the target had been detected at a range of 22 miles (35km), that her speed had been tracked for a few minutes, after which he had determined that the target was moving westward at a speed of 30 knots (56km/h; 35mph). These data were forwarded to the Fleet Operations Control Center.[30]

The speed of the target was significant because it indicated that the target was a combat vessel.[30] Moreover, Israeli forces had standing orders to fire on any unknown vessels sailing in the area at over 20 knots (37km/h; 23mph), a speed which, at the time, could only be attained by warships. The Chief of Naval Operations asked the torpedo boats to double-check their calculations. Yifrah twice recalculated and confirmed his assessment.[23][30] A few minutes later, Commander Oren reported that the target, now 17 miles (27km) from his position, was moving at a speed of 28 knots (52km/h; 32mph) on a different heading.[31] Bamford, however, points out that Liberty’s top speed was far below 28 knots. His sources say that at the time of the attack Liberty was following her signal-intercept mission course along the northern Sinai coast, at about 5 knots (9.3km/h; 5.8mph) speed.[29]

The data on the ship’s speed, together with its direction, indicated that it was an Egyptian destroyer fleeing toward port after shelling Arish. The torpedo boats gave chase, but did not expect to overtake their target before it reached Egypt. Commander Oren requested that the Israeli Air Force dispatch aircraft to intercept.[23][30] At 1:48pm, the Chief of Naval Operations requested dispatch of fighter aircraft to the ship’s location.[32]

The IAF dispatched two Mirage III fighter jets that arrived at Liberty at about 2:00 pm.[33] The formation leader, Captain Iftach Spector, attempted to identify the ship.[33] He communicated via radio to one of the torpedo boats his observation that the ship appeared like a military ship with one smokestack and one mast.[34] Also, he communicated, in effect, that the ship appeared to him like a destroyer or another type of small ship.[34] In a post-attack statement, the pilots said they saw no distinguishable markings or flag on the ship.[34]

At this point, a recorded exchange took place between a command headquarters weapons systems officer, one of the air controllers, and the chief air controller questioning a possible American presence. Immediately after the exchange, at 1:57pm, the chief air controller, Lieutenant-Colonel Shmuel Kislev, cleared the Mirages to attack.[23][35]

After being cleared to attack, the Mirages dived on the ship and attacked with 30-mm cannons and rockets.[36] The attack came a few minutes after the crew completed a chemical attack drill, with Captain McGonagle on the command bridge.[37] The crew was in “stand-down mode”, with their helmets and life jackets removed,[23] except battle readiness “modified condition three” was set which meant that the ship’s four .50 caliber machine guns were manned and ammunition ready for loading and firing.[38][39] Eight crewmen were either killed immediately or died later, and 75 were wounded.[40] Among the wounded was McGonagle, who was hit in the right thigh and arm.[41] During the attack, antennas were severed, gas drums caught fire, and the ship’s flag was knocked down. McGonagle sent an urgent request for help to the Sixth Fleet, “Under attack by unidentified jet aircraft, require immediate assistance.”

The Mirages left after expending their ammunition, and were replaced by two Dassault Mysteres armed with napalm bombs. The Mysteres released their payloads over the ship and strafed it with their cannons. Much of the ship’s superstructure caught fire.[23][33] The Mysteres were readying to attack again when the Israeli Navy, alerted by the absence of return fire, warned Kislev that the target could be Israeli. Kislev told the pilots not to attack if there was any doubt about identification, and the Israeli Navy quickly contacted all of its vessels in the area. The Israeli Navy found that none of its vessels were under fire, and the aircraft were cleared to attack. However, Kislev was still disturbed by a lack of return fire, and requested one last attempt to identify the ship. Captain Yossi Zuk, leader of the Mystere formation, made an attempt at identification while strafing the ship. He reported seeing no flag, but saw the ship’s GTR-5 marking. Kislev immediately ordered the attack stopped. Kislev guessed that the ship was American.[23]

The fact that the ship had Latin alphabet markings led Chief of Staff Rabin to fear that the ship was Soviet. Though Egyptian warships were known to disguise their identities with Western markings, they usually displayed Arabic letters and numbers only. Rabin ordered the torpedo boats to remain at a safe distance from the ship, and sent in two Hornet (Arospatiale Super Frelon) helicopters to search for survivors. These radio communications were recorded by Israel. The order also was recorded in the torpedo boat’s log, although Commander Oren alleged not to have received it. The order to cease fire was given at 2:20pm, twenty-four minutes before the torpedo boats arrived at the Liberty’s position.[42] At 2:35pm, Liberty was hit by a torpedo launched from one of the torpedo boats.[43]

During the interval, crewmen aboard Liberty hoisted a large American flag. During the early part of the air attack and before the torpedo boats were sighted, Liberty sent a distress message that was received by Sixth Fleet aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.[40] Aircraft carrier USS America dispatched eight aircraft. The carrier had been in the middle of strategic exercises. Vice-Admiral William I. Martin recalled the aircraft minutes later.[23]

McGonagle testified at the naval court of inquiry that during “the latter moments of the air attack, it was noted that three high speed boats were approaching the ship from the northeast on a relative bearing of approximately 135 [degrees] at a distance of about 15 [nautical] miles. The ship at the time was still on [westward] course 283 [degrees] true, speed unknown, but believed to be in excess of five knots.”[20]:38 McGonagle testified that he “believed that the time of initial sighting of the torpedo boats … was about 14:20 [2:20 pm]”, and that the “boats appeared to be in a wedge type formation with the center boat the lead point of the wedge. Estimated speed of the boats was about 27 to 30 knots [50 to 56km/h],” and that it “appeared that they were approaching the ship in a torpedo launch attitude.”[20]:38

When the torpedo boats arrived, Commander Oren could see that the ship could not be the destroyer that had supposedly shelled Arish or any ship capable of 30 knots (56km/h) speed. Oren believed it was a slower-moving vessel that had either serviced the destroyer or evacuated enemy soldiers from the beach.[citation needed] He ordered the squadron not to attack pending better identification “although this was difficult due to the billowing clouds of smoke that enveloped the vessel; only her bow, part of her bridge and the tip of her mast could be discerned.”[citation needed] At 6,000 meters (20,000ft), T-204 paused and signalled “AA” “identify yourself.”[citation needed] Due to damaged equipment, McGonagle could only reply with “AA” using a handheld Aldis lamp.[citation needed] Oren recalled receiving a similar response from the Ibrahim el Awal, an Egyptian destroyer captured by Israel during the Suez Crisis, and was convinced that he was facing an enemy ship.[citation needed]

He consulted an Israeli identification guide to Arab fleets and concluded the ship was the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir, based on observing its deckline, midship bridge and smokestack. The captain of boat T203 reached the same conclusion independently. The boats organized into battle formation, but did not attack.[42][44]

As the torpedo boats rapidly approached, Captain McGonagle ordered a sailor to proceed to machine gun Mount 51 and open fire.[20]:38 However, he noticed that the boats appeared to be flying an Israeli flag, and “realized that there was a possibility of the aircraft having been Israeli and the attack had been conducted in error.”[20]:39 Captain McGonagle ordered the man at gun mount 51 to hold fire, but a short burst was fired at the torpedo boats before the man was able to understand the order.[20]:39 McGonagle observed that machine gun Mount 53 began firing at the center torpedo boat at about the same time gun mount 51 fired, and that its fire was “extremely effective and blanketed the area and the center torpedo boat.”[20]:39 Machine gun mount 53 was located on the starboard amidships side, behind the pilot house.[20]:16 McGonagle could not see or “get to mount 53 from the starboard wing of the bridge.”[20]:39 So, he “sent Mr. Lucas around the port side of the bridge, around to the skylights, to see if he could tell [Seaman] Quintero, whom [he] believed to be the gunner on Machine gun 53, to hold fire.”[20]:39

Ensign Lucas “reported back in a few minutes in effect that he saw no one at mount 53.”[20]:39 Lucas, who had left the command bridge during the air attack and returned to assist Captain McGonagle immediately before a torpedo hit the ship,[20]:14 believed that the gunfire sound was likely from ammunition cooking off, due to a nearby fire.[20]:16 Prior to this time, after a torpedo hit the ship, Lucas had granted a request from Quintero to fire at the torpedo boats before heat from a nearby fire chased him from gun mount 53.[20]:26,27 (McGonagle later testified, at the Court of Inquiry, that this was likely the “extremely effective” firing event he had observed.[20]:49)

After coming under fire, Commander Oren repeatedly requested permission from naval headquarters to return fire, and chief naval controller Izzy Rahav finally approved.[citation needed] Shelling by the torpedo boats killed Liberty’s helmsman.[43] The torpedo boats then launched five torpedoes at the Liberty.[45] At 1235Z (2:35 local time)[43] a torpedo hit Liberty on the starboard side forward of the superstructure, creating a 40ft (12m) wide hole in what had been a former cargo hold converted to the ship’s research spaces and killing 25 servicemen, almost all of them from the intelligence section, and wounding dozens.[23][46] It has been said the torpedo hit a major hull frame that absorbed much of the energy; crew members reported that if the torpedo had missed the frame the Liberty would have split in two. Russian linguist and U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Bryce Lockwood later commented: “I would never deny that it was God that kept the Liberty afloat!”.[7] The other four torpedoes missed the ship.

The torpedo boats then closed in and strafed the ship’s hull with their cannons and machine guns.[citation needed] According to some crewmen, the torpedo boats fired at damage control parties and sailors preparing life rafts for launch. (See disputed details below.) A life raft which floated from the ship was picked up by T-203 and found to bear US Navy markings. T-204 then circled Liberty, and Oren spotted the designation GTR-5, but saw no flag.[citation needed] It took until 3:30pm to establish the ship’s identity. Shortly before the Liberty’s identity was confirmed, the Saratoga launched eight aircraft armed with conventional weapons towards Liberty. After the ship’s identity was confirmed, the General Staff was notified and an apology was sent to naval attach Castle. The aircraft approaching Liberty were recalled to the Saratoga.[23]

According to transcripts of intercepted radio communications, published by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), at about 2:30pm, near the beginning of the torpedo boat attack, two IAF helicopters were dispatched to Liberty’s location. The helicopters arrived at about 3:10pm, about 35 minutes after a torpedo hit the ship. After arriving, one of the helicopter pilots was asked, by his ground-based controller, to verify that the ship was flying an American flag. The helicopters conducted a brief search for crew members of the ship who may have fallen overboard during the air attack. No one was found. The helicopters left the ship at about 3:20pm.

At about 4pm, two hours after the attack began, Israel informed the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv that its military forces had mistakenly attacked a U.S. Navy ship. When the ship was “confirmed to be American” the torpedo boats returned at about 4:40pm to offer help;[47] it was refused by the Liberty. Later, Israel provided a helicopter to fly U.S. naval attach Commander Castle to the ship.[48] (pp.32,34)

In Washington, President Lyndon B. Johnson had received word from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Liberty had been torpedoed by an unknown vessel at 9:50am eastern time. Johnson assumed that the Soviets were involved, and hotlined Moscow with news of the attack and the dispatch of jets from Saratoga. He chose not to make any public statements and delegated this task to Phil G. Goulding, who was an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at a time.[49]

Soon afterward, the Israelis said that they had mistakenly attacked the ship. The Johnson administration conveyed “strong dismay” to Israeli ambassador Avraham Harman. Meanwhile, apologies were soon sent by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Foreign Minister Abba Eban, and charg d’affaires Efraim Evron. Within 48 hours, Israel offered to compensate the victims and their families.[42]

Though Liberty was severely damaged, with a 39ft wide by 24ft high (12 m x 7.3 m) hole and a twisted keel, her crew kept her afloat, and she was able to leave the area under her own power. Liberty was later met by the destroyers USS Davis and USS Massey, and the cruiser USS Little Rock. Medical personnel were transferred to Liberty, and she was escorted to Malta, where she was given interim repairs. After these were completed in July 1967, Liberty returned to the U.S. She was decommissioned in June 1968 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register. Liberty was transferred to United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) in December 1970 and sold for scrap in 1973.

From the start, the response to Israeli statements of mistaken identity ranged between frank disbelief and unquestioning acceptance within the administration in Washington. A communication to the Israeli Ambassador on 10 June, by Secretary Rusk stated, among other things: “At the time of the attack, the USS Liberty was flying the American flag and its identification was clearly indicated in large white letters and numerals on its hull. … Experience demonstrates that both the flag and the identification number of the vessel were readily visible from the air…. Accordingly, there is every reason to believe that the USS Liberty was identified, or at least her nationality determined, by Israeli aircraft approximately one hour before the attack. … The subsequent attack by the torpedo boats, substantially after the vessel was or should have been identified by Israeli military forces, manifests the same reckless disregard for human life.”[50]

George Lenczowski notes: “It was significant that, in contrast to his secretary of state, President Johnson fully accepted the Israeli version of the tragic incident.” He notes that Johnson himself only included one small paragraph about the Liberty in his autobiography,[51] in which he accepted the Israeli explanation of “error”, but also minimized the whole affair and distorted the actual number of dead and wounded, by lowering them from 34 to 10 and 171 to 100, respectively. Lenczowski further states: It seems Johnson was more interested in avoiding a possible confrontation with the Soviet Union, …than in restraining Israel.[52]

McGonagle received the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. medal, for his actions.[53][54] The Medal of Honor is generally presented by the President of the United States in the White House,[54][55] but this time it was awarded at the Washington Navy Yard by the Secretary of the Navy in an unpublicized ceremony, breaking with established tradition.[54]

Other Liberty sailors received decorations for their actions during and after the attack, but most of the award citations omitted mention of Israel as the perpetrator. In 2009, however, a Silver Star awarded to crewmember Terry Halbardier, who braved machine-gun and cannon fire to repair a damaged antenna that restored the ship’s communications, in the award citation named Israel as the attacker.[56]

American inquiries, memoranda, records of testimony, and various reports involving or mentioning the Liberty attack include, but are not limited to, the following:

The U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry record contains testimony by fourteen Liberty crew members and five subject matter experts; exhibits of attack damage photographs, various messages and memoranda; and findings of fact. The testimony record reveals “a shallow investigation, plagued by myriad disagreements between the captain and his crew.”[57] As to culpability, “It was not the responsibility of the court to rule on the culpability of the attackers, and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation”, the court concluded that “available evidence combines to indicate … (that the attack was) a case of mistaken identity.” Additionally, the Court found that “heroism displayed by the Commanding Officer, officers and men of the Liberty was exceptional.”

The Joint Chief of Staff’s Report contains findings of fact related only to communication system failures associated with the Liberty attack. It was not concerned with matters of culpability, nor does it contain statements thereof.

The CIA Memoranda consist of two documents: one dated June 13, 1967, and the other dated June 21, 1967. The June 13 memorandum is an “account of circumstances of the attack … compiled from all available sources.” The June 21 memorandum is a point-by-point analysis of Israeli inquiry findings of fact. It concludes: “The attack was not made in malice toward the U.S. and was by mistake, but the failure of the IDF Headquarters and the attacking aircraft to identify the Liberty and the subsequent attack by torpedo boats were both incongruous and indicative of gross negligence.”

The Clark Clifford Report consists of a review of “all available information on the subject” and “deals with the question of Israeli culpability”, according to its transmittal memorandum. The report concludes: “The unprovoked attack on the Liberty constitutes a flagrant act of gross negligence for which the Israeli Government should be held completely responsible, and the Israeli military personnel involved should be punished.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony contains, as an aside matter during hearings concerning a foreign aid authorization bill, questions and statements from several senators and responses from then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, about the Liberty attack. For the most part, the senators were dismayed about the attack, as expressed by Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper: “From what I have read I can’t tolerate for one minute that this [attack] was an accident.” Also, there was concern about obtaining more information about the attack, as expressed by Committee chairman J. William Fulbright: “We asked for [the attack investigation report] about two weeks ago and have not received it yet from Secretary Rusk. … By the time we get to it we will be on some other subject.” Secretary McNamara promised fast delivery of the investigation report (“…you will have it in four hours.”), and concluded his remarks by saying: “I simply want to emphasize that the investigative report does not show any evidence of a conscious intent to attack a U.S. vessel.”[58]

The House Armed Services Committee investigation report is titled, “Review of Department of Defense Worldwide Communications”. It was not an investigation focused on the Liberty attack; although, the committee’s report contains a section that describes communications flow involved with the Liberty incident.

The NSA History Report is, as its name connotes, a historical report that cited the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry record, various military and government messages and memorandum, and personal interviews for its content. The report ends with a section entitled, “Unanswered Questions”, and provides no conclusion regarding culpability.

The Liberty Veterans Association (composed of veterans from the ship) states that U.S. congressional investigations and other U.S. investigations were not actually investigations into the attack, but rather reports using evidence only from the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry, or investigations unrelated to culpability that involved issues such as communications. In their view, the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry is the only actual investigation on the incident to date. They say it was hastily conducted, in only 10 days, even though the court’s president, Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, said that it would take six months to conduct properly. The inquiry’s terms of reference were limited to whether any shortcomings on the part of the Liberty’s crew had contributed to the injuries and deaths that resulted from the attack.[59] According to the Navy Court of Inquiry’s record of proceedings, four days were spent hearing testimony: two days for fourteen survivors of the attack and several U.S. Navy expert witnesses, and two partial days for two expert U.S. Navy witnesses. No testimony was heard from Israeli personnel involved.

The National Archives in College Park, Maryland includes in its files on casualties from the Liberty copies of the original telegrams the Navy sent out to family members. The telegrams called the attack accidental. The telegrams were sent out June 9, the day before the Navy Court of Inquiry convened.

Two subsequent Israeli inquiry reports and an historical report concluded the attack was conducted because Liberty was confused with an Egyptian vessel and because of failures in communications between Israel and the U.S. The three Israeli reports were:

In the historical report, it was acknowledged that IDF naval headquarters knew at least three hours before the attack that the ship was “an electromagnetic audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy” but concluded that this information had simply “gotten lost, never passed along to the ground controllers who directed the air attack nor to the crews of the three Israeli torpedo boats.”

The Israeli government said that three crucial errors were made: the refreshing of the status board (removing the ship’s classification as American, so that the later shift did not see it identified), the erroneous identification of the ship as an Egyptian vessel, and the lack of notification from the returning aircraft informing Israeli headquarters of markings on the front of the hull (markings that would not be found on an Egyptian ship). As a common root of these problems, Israel blamed the combination of alarm and fatigue experienced by the Israeli forces at that point of the war when pilots were severely overworked.

After conducting his own fact-finding inquiry and reviewing evidence, Judge Yerushalmi’s decision was: “I have not discovered any deviation from the standard of reasonable conduct which would justify committal of anyone for trial.” In other words, he found no negligence by any IDF member associated with the attack.

Some intelligence and military officials dispute Israel’s explanation.[63]

Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the incident, wrote:

I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.[64]

Retired naval Lieutenant Commander James Ennes, a junior officer (and off-going Officer of the Deck) on Liberty’s bridge at the time of the attack, authored a book titled Assault on the Liberty describing the incident during the Six Day War in June 1967 and saying, among other things, that the attack was deliberate.[65] Ennes and Joe Meadors, also survivors of the attack, run a website about the incident.[66] Meadors states that the classification of the attack as deliberate is the official policy of the USS Liberty Veterans Association,[67] to which survivors and other former crew members belong. Other survivors run several additional websites. Citing Ennes’s book, Lenczowski notes: Liberty’s personnel received firm orders not to say anything to anybody about the attack, and the naval inquiry was conducted in such a way as to earn it the name of “coverup”.[52]

In 2002, Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, U.S. Navy, senior counsel for the Court of Inquiry, said that the Court of Inquiry’s findings were intended to cover up what was a deliberate attack by Israel on a ship that the Israelis knew to be American. In 2004, in response to the publication of A. Jay Cristol’s book The Liberty Incident, which Boston said was an “insidious attempt to whitewash the facts”, Boston prepared and signed an affidavit in which he said that Admiral Kidd had told him that the government ordered Kidd to falsely report that the attack was a mistake, and that Boston and Kidd both believed the attack was deliberate.[68] On the issue Boston wrote, in part:

The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. Each evening, after hearing testimony all day, we often spoke our private thoughts concerning what we had seen and heard. I recall Admiral Kidd repeatedly referring to the Israeli forces responsible for the attack as ‘murderous bastards.’ It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident.

Cristol wrote about Boston’s professional qualifications and integrity, on page 149 of his book:

Boston brought two special assets in addition to his skill as a Navy lawyer. He had been a naval aviator in World War II and therefore had insight beyond that of one qualified only in the law. Also, Kidd knew him as a man of integrity. On an earlier matter Boston had been willing to bump heads with Kidd when Boston felt it was more important to do the right thing than to curry favor with the senior who would write his fitness report.

Cristol believes that Boston is not telling the truth about Kidd’s views and any pressure from the U.S. government.[69] Cristol, who also served as an officer of the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General, suggests that Boston was responsible in part for the original conclusions of the Court of Inquiry and, that by later declaring that they were false, Boston has admitted to “lying under oath.” Cristol also notes that Boston’s statements about pressure on Kidd were hearsay, and that Kidd was not alive to confirm or deny them. He also notes that Boston did not maintain, prior to his affidavit and comments related to it, that Kidd spoke of such instructions to Boston or to others. Finally, Cristol provides a handwritten 1991 letter from Admiral Kidd[70] that, according to Cristol, “suggest that Ward Boston has either a faulty memory or a vivid imagination”.

The Anti-Defamation League supports Cristol’s opinion:

… according to his own account, Boston’s evidence of a cover-up derives not from his own part in the investigation but solely on alleged conversations with Admiral Kidd, who purportedly told him he was forced to find that the attack was unintentional. Kidd died in 1999 and there is no way to verify Boston’s statements. However, Cristol argues that the ‘documentary record’ strongly indicated that Kidd ‘supported the validity of the findings of the Court of Inquiry to his dying day.'[71]

According to James Ennes, however, Admiral Kidd urged Ennes and his group to keep pressing for an open congressional probe.[72]

The following arguments, found in official reports or other sources, were published to support that the attack was due to mistaken identity:

Several books and the BBC documentary USS Liberty: Dead in the Water argued that Liberty was attacked in order to prevent the U.S. from knowing about the forthcoming attack in the Golan Heights, which would violate a cease-fire to which Israel’s government had agreed.[75] However, Syria did not accept the cease fire until 9 June, after the attack on Liberty.[76] Russian author Joseph Daichman, in his book History of the Mossad, states Israel was justified in attacking the Liberty.[77] Israel knew that American radio signals were intercepted by the Soviet Union and that the Soviets would certainly inform Egypt of the fact that, by moving troops to the Golan Heights, Israel had left the Egyptian border undefended.[78]

Lenczowski notes that while the Israeli decision to “attack and destroy” the ship “may appear puzzling”, the explanation seems to be found in Liberty’s nature and its task to monitor communications on both sides in the war zone. He writes, “Israel clearly did not want the U.S. government to know too much about its dispositions for attacking Syria, initially planned for 8 June, but postponed for 24 hours. It should be pointed out that the attack on Liberty occurred on 8 June, whereas on 9 June at 3am, Syria announced its acceptance of the cease-fire. Despite this, at 7am, that is, four hours later, Israel’s minister of defense, Moshe Dayan, “gave the order to go into action against Syria.”[79] He further writes that timely knowledge of this decision and preparatory moves toward it “might have frustrated Israeli designs for the conquest of Syria’s Golan Heights” and, in the sense of Ennes’s accusations, provides “a plausible thesis that Israel deliberately decided to incapacitate the signals-collecting American ship and leave no one alive to tell the story of the attack.”[80]

U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Barbour, had reported on the day of the Liberty attack that he “would not be surprised” by an Israeli attack on Syria, and the IDF Intelligence chief told a White House aide then in Israel that “there still remained the Syria problem and perhaps it would be necessary to give Syria a blow.”[81]

The 1981 book Weapons by Russell Warren Howe says that Liberty was accompanied by the Polaris ballistic missile-armed Lafayette-class submarine USSAndrew Jackson, which filmed the entire episode through its periscope but was unable to provide assistance. According to Howe: “Two hundred feet below the ship, on a parallel course, was its ‘shadow’the Polaris strategic submarine Andrew Jackson, whose job was to take out all the Israeli long-range missile sites in the Negev if Tel Aviv decided to attack Cairo, Damascus or Baghdad. This was in order that Moscow would not have to perform this task itself and thus trigger World War Three.”[82]

James Bamford, a former ABC News producer, in his 2001 book Body of Secrets,[83] says Israel deliberately attacked Liberty to prevent the discovery of what he described as war crimes, including the killing of Egyptian prisoners of war by the IDF that he alleges was taking place around the same time in the nearby town of El-Arish.[84] However according to CAMERA his claim that 400 were executed has been cast into doubt since reporters present in the town claimed that there had in fact been a large battle and this was the main cause of casualties.[85] Bamford also claimed that eyewitness Gabi Bron had claimed he saw 150 people executed by Israeli troops at El-Arish.[83] However Gabi Bron claimed to have only seen 5 people executed by Israeli troops.[86][87]

The press release for the BBC documentary film Dead in the Water states that new recorded and other evidence suggests the attack was a “daring ploy by Israel to fake an Egyptian attack” to give America a reason to enter the war against Egypt. Convinced that the attack was real, President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson launched allegedly nuclear-armed aircraft targeted against Cairo from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. The aircraft were recalled only just in time, when it was clear the Liberty had not sunk and that Israel had carried out the attack. An information source for the aircraft being nuclear-armed, James Ennes, later stated:

Although America could not send conventionally armed jets, reports still come in that four jet bombers were catapulted from the carrier America with nuclear bombs aboard. Even today there is no official confirmation of that launch and much high-level denial. A nuclear launch has been strongly denied by Secretary McNamara, Admiral Martin (now deceased), Admiral Geis (deceased), Admiral Moorer, and Americas skipper, Admiral David Engen (deceased) and others. Yet eyewitness reports persist. Clearly no such launch could have been intended for offensive purposes. Surely nuclear weapons would not have been used in defense of the USS Liberty.

It is clear that I was mistaken about the aircraft involved, as F4s do not carry nuclear weapons. Others tell me that the aircraft that were launched carried Bullpup missiles, which might easily be mistaken for nuclear bombs. And we learned much later that the USS America was involved in a nuclear weapons loading drill at the very time the ship learned of the attack on the Liberty and that this drill is one factor that delayed America’s response to our call for help. It is also possible that those were the weapons seen by our sources.

Also confusing this issue is an oral history report from the American Embassy in Cairo, now in the LBJ Library, which notes that the Embassy received an urgent message from Washington warning that Cairo was about to be bombed by US forces, presumably in mistaken retaliation for the USS Liberty attack. That strange message was never explained or cancelled.[88]

The video also provides hearsay evidence of a covert alliance of U.S. and Israel intelligence agencies.[89]

Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a critic of the official United States Government version of events, chaired a non-governmental investigation into the attack on the USS Liberty in 2003. The committee, which included former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia James E. Akins, held Israel to be culpable and suggested several theories for Israel’s possible motives, including the desire to blame Egypt and bring the U.S. into the Six Day War.[90]

According to John Loftus and Mark Aarons in their book, The Secret War Against the Jews, USS Liberty was attacked because the Israelis knew that Liberty’s mission was to monitor radio signals from Israeli troops and pass troop movement information to the Egyptians.[91][unreliable source?]

Within an hour of learning that the Liberty had been torpedoed, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, LTG Marshall S. Carter, sent a message to all intercept sites requesting a special search of all communications that might reflect the attack or reaction. No communications were available. However, one of the airborne platforms, a U.S. Navy EC-121 aircraft that flew near the attacks from 2:30pm to 3:27pm, Sinai time (1230 to 1327 Z), had collected voice conversations between two Israeli helicopter pilots and the control tower at Hatzor Airfield following the attack on the Liberty.[92]

On 2 July 2003, the NSA released copies of the recordings made by the EC-121 and the resultant translations and summaries.[93] These revelations were elicited as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Florida bankruptcy judge and retired naval aviator Jay Cristol. Two linguists who were aboard the EC-121 when the recordings were made, however, said separately that at least two additional tapes were made that have been excluded from the NSA releases up to and including a 8 June 2007, release.[7]

English transcripts of the released tapes indicate that Israel still spoke of hitting an Egyptian supply ship even after the attack had stopped.[94][95] After the attack, the rescue helicopters are heard relaying several urgent requests that the rescuers ask the first survivor pulled out of the water what his nationality is, and discussing whether the survivors from the attacked ship will speak Arabic.[96]

A summary report of the NSA-translated tapes[97] indicates that at 1234Z Hatzor air control began directing two Israeli Air Force helicopters to an Egyptian warship, to rescue its crew: “This ship has now been identified as Egyptian.” The helicopters arrived near the ship at about 1303Z: “I see a big vessel, near it are three small vessels…” At 1308Z, Hatzor air control indicated concern about the nationality of the ship’s crew: “The first matter to clarify is to find out what their nationality is.” At 1310Z, one of the helicopter pilots asked the nearby torpedo boats’ Division Commander about the meaning of the ship’s hull number: “GTR5 is written on it. Does this mean something?” The response was: “Negative, it doesn’t mean anything.” At 1312Z, one of the helicopter pilots was asked by air control: “Did you clearly identify an American flag?” No answer appears in the transcript, but the air controller then says: “We request that you make another pass and check once more if this is really an American flag.” Again, no response appears in the transcript. At about 1314Z, the helicopters were directed to return home.

The NSA reported that there had been no radio intercepts of the attack made by the Liberty herself, nor had there been any radio intercepts made by the U.S. submarine USSAmberjack.

On 10 October 2003, The Jerusalem Post ran an interview with Yiftah Spector, one of the pilots who participated in the attack,[98] and thought to be the lead pilot of the first wave of aircraft. Spector said the ship was assumed to be Egyptian, stating that: “I circled it twice and it did not fire on me. My assumption was that it was likely to open fire at me and nevertheless I slowed down and I looked and there was positively no flag.” The interview also contains the transcripts of the Israeli communications about the Liberty. The journalist who transcribed the tapes for that article, Arieh O’Sullivan, later confirmed that “the Israeli Air Force tapes he listened to contained blank spaces.”[7]

The Liberty’s survivors contradict Spector. According to subsequently declassified NSA documents: “Every official interview of numerous Liberty crewmen gave consistent evidence that indeed the Liberty was flying an American flagand, further, the weather conditions were ideal to ensure its easy observance and identification.”[99]

On 8 June 2005, the USS Liberty Veterans Association filed a “Report of War Crimes Committed Against the U.S. Military, June 8, 1967″ with the Department of Defense (DoD). They say Department of Defense Directive 2311.01E requires the Department of Defense to conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations contained in their report. DoD has responded that a new investigation will not be conducted since a Navy Court of Inquiry already investigated the facts and circumstances surrounding the attack.

As of 2006, the NSA has yet to declassify “boxes and boxes” of Liberty documents. Numerous requests under both declassification directives and the Freedom of Information Act are pending in various agencies including the NSA, Central Intelligence Agency, and Defense Intelligence Agency. “On 8 June 2007, the National Security Agency released hundreds of additional declassified documents on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, a communications interception vessel, on 8 June 1967.”[100]

On 2 October 2007, The Chicago Tribune published a special report[7] into the attack, containing numerous previously unreported quotes from former military personnel with first-hand knowledge of the incident. Many of these quotes directly contradict the NSA’s position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots, saying that not only did transcripts of those communications exist, but also that it showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel.

Two diplomatic cables written by Avraham Harman, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, to Abba Eban Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, have been declassified by Israel and obtained from the Israel State Archive. The first cable, sent five days after the attack, informs Eban that a U.S. informant told him (Harman) that there was “clear proof that from a certain stage the pilot discovered the identity of the ship and continued the attack anyway.”[15] The second cable, sent three days later, added that the White House is “very angry” because “the Americans probably have findings showing that our pilots indeed knew that the ship was American.”[7]

Documents of the Israeli General Staff meetings, declassified in October 2008, show no discussion of a planned attack on an American ship.[101]

On 30 October 2014, Al Jazeera English broadcast a documentary film containing recent first-hand accounts by several survivors of the incident.[102]

Many of the events surrounding the attack are the subject of controversy:

We learned that the ship had been attacked in error by Israeli gunboats and aircraft. Ten men of the Liberty crew were killed and a hundred were wounded. This heartbreaking episode grieved the Israelis deeply, as it did us.

Survivors of the attack

Sources other than survivors

Coordinates: 312324N 332248E / 31.3900N 33.3800E / 31.3900; 33.3800

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USS Liberty incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Freedomtexas.org – Texas Secession, Texas independence …

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedomtexas.org – Texas Secession, Texas independence …
Aug 172015
 

TEXANS, ITS TIME SOMEONE SPEAKS THE TRUTH

I know that this article will catch lots of grief and criticism, but I and millions of Texans are fed up with the rhetoric, misleading reporting, and just plain naivete or stupidity of the press in the handling of Obama and the present Islamist situation we have in this world.

Every day we actually watch the truth of the Muslim world on TV. My God, when you see it, how can you not believe it? Radical Islam has declared war worldwide! Now, from Bill OReilly to our local news reporters, everyone – including the retired generals interviewed about the subject – all say the same thing: We cannot understand why Obama does not do more about the violence from Islamist radicals. We dont understand why Obama will not engage. Why does Obama want to raise taxes and continue to write mandates through executive orders that harm America? All I hear is that he is a good family man, and nice guy, and maybe he just doesnt understand.

Fellow Texans, he not only understands, but he knows exactly what he is doing! Did you read his book Dreams From My Father? He hates America! He hates a red Texas. He is a supporter of the Muslim religion. He orchestrated the Arab Spring and covered it up with a move for democracy. Those countries wouldnt know democracy if they stepped in it! It was a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, and was supported by Obama. The political correctness and nice guy reporting must stop, and people better wake the hell up because we are sliding into a cesspool that we will never get out of.

Obama is a socialist, Islamist apologist, America-hating radical who is pulling off what he told all of us when he got elected the first time: We will fundamentally change America. Can everyone wake up and see that he is doing exactly that?

To the Governor of Texas, the legislature in Texas, the spineless Congress in Washington DC: I know the majority of you only care about power, money, and your next elected office, but you damn well better start telling the truth about Obama, his administration, and his ultimate goal of destroying America, or as they say in the not listened too part of America, the you-know-what will hit the fan! We common everyday folks can see through this like a glass door and will not stay quiet any longer!

When the SHTF scenario begins – and it will – all of you from the press to the sitting elected plutcocrats will have no one to blame but yourselves. We all know that you will label patriots as home-grown terrorists, right wing radicals, Bible toting gun lovers, but, in reality, they are good people who saw through the BS of this government a long time ago; people who will not give up their freedom and liberty at any cost. It will be the People who understand that Obama and his minions are evil!

We in Texas demand of those who can make a difference: stand up! Take care of Texas by getting us out of this situation. The next two years of this administration will cause the fall of all the states and the US government, or worse yet, a civil war that will make the Civil War of 1861 look like a skirmish!

Can we return to a small government led by and founded on the God-given rights as laid out by our Founding Fathers? Will you say the truth of the real evil that runs DC now? Will you stop lying to the people who know that what you say are lies? If not, people of Texas, it is time to get off the couch, take firm action with our elected leaders, and do not surrender our beloved home, our Texas, to those that lie and refuse to act!

Deny this if you will, but most know it to be true. Those that know will be enough to change things. I believe that, because there is nothing else left to believe in anymore!

God Bless Texas, Cary Wise Freedom Texas

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Freedomtexas.org – Texas Secession, Texas independence …

Libertarianism – RationalWiki

 Misc  Comments Off on Libertarianism – RationalWiki
Jun 202015
 

Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to ‘get off my property.’ News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.

Libertarianism is, at its simplest, the antonym of authoritarianism.[2] The term has been around since the beginning of the 20th century or earlier and was primarily used for self-identification with anarcho-syndicalism and labor movements. In the USA, the term was adopted by the Foundation for Economic Education think tank in the 1950’s[3] to describe a political and social philosophy that advocates laissez-faire capitalism as a panacea for virtually everything. Non-libertarians view this as synonymous with oligarchic plutocracy after the fashion of the American Gilded Age, while the reality-based community tends to realize that one cannot just yank economic theories out of the air and magically expect them to work.

This anti-government phenomenon is found primarily in the United States, likely due to Americans’ extensive experience with dysfunctional government, coupled with their unawareness of the existence of other countries. Historically, and almost everywhere other than America still today, the term has been associated with libertarian socialism and anarchism. The adoption of the libertarian label by advocates of free market economics is an ironic example of their tendency to take credit for other people’s ideas.

The US political party most aligned with libertarianism is the Libertarian Party, “America’s Third Largest Party,”[4] whose candidate obtained 1.3 million, or 0.99% of the popular vote in the 2012 Presidential election.[5] This, compared to 0.32% of the popular vote[6] in the 2004 Presidential election, was considered by many libertarians to be “an improvement.”

There is also an “Objectivist Party,” formed as a spin-off from the Libertarian Party by those who thought that the party’s 2008 presidential candidate, Bob Barr, was too left-wing,[7] and a Boston Tea Party (no connection other than ideological to that other tea party) formed as a spin-off by those who thought the Libertarian Party had become too right-wing on foreign policy and civil liberties after the LP deleted much of its platform in 2006.

Basically everyone agrees with libertarians on something, but they tend to get freaked out just as quickly by the ideologys other stances.

The dominant form of libertarianism (as found in the US) is an ideology based largely on Austrian school economics, which relies on axioms, rather than empirical analysis to inform economic and social policy. That said, the branch of libertarianism that has had the most success in influencing public policy is primarily informed by the Chicago school.

Proponents of libertarianism frequently cite the “Non-Aggression Principle” (NAP) as the moral basis of their ideology. The NAP states that everyone is free to do whatever they want with their lives and property, so long as it does not directly interfere with the freedom of others to do the same. Under this rule, you may only use “force” in response to prior inappropriate force against the life and/or property of yourself or others. Compare and contrast with John Stuart Mill’s “The Harm Principle.” The critical difference is that libertarians completely oppose the preemptive use of force. By contrast, Mill and other classical liberals believe that the preemptive use of force to prevent likely future harm can be justified. Under any logical scrutiny it becomes evident that the precise definition of aggression is highly subjective, supposes a strict libertarian view of property,[11] and hence the non-aggression principle can be used in almost any way its user intends, by changing the definition of aggression to suit their particular opinion/agenda. For example throwing someone in prison for massive tax evasion is seen as an act of aggression by the state, whereas selling someone cigarettes knowing they will kill them is not seen as aggression.

Libertarians frequently oppose taxation (as taxes are “theft of property by force”) for anything aside from a small wish list that libertarians like. The main exceptions are civil courts to handle contract disputes (including fraud) and to handle suits of harm (such as dumping of hazardous chemicals on your land; as opposed to dumping hazardous chemicals on public land, which isn’t an issue for libertarians, because every single person who doesn’t own the land and resources to allow for complete self-sufficiency deserves anything bad that happens to them), criminal courts, police, and an army. As one moves down the ideological spectrum towards the extremes, more and more things normally handled by the police and criminal courts are instead handled by civil courts, and eventually even the civil courts are privatized, i.e., anarcho-capitalism. Government, libertarians believe, is the biggest (and possibly the only) threat to freedom.

Specifically, libertarians are against the use of taxes to deal with externalities, commons, or free rider problems. The frequent answers to these problems involve the extensive use of civil suits to deal with (negative) externalities, and the privatization of all commons, which allows for civil suits to handle harms to this shared “private” property. Of course, these answers are woefully inadequate in practice.[12]

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Libertarianism – RationalWiki

New Jersey Freedom Sports

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May 092015
 

JOIN THEFREEDOM COMMUNITY Tired of the so called nationalsanctioningbodies of softball and other sports who put making money first?? FreedomSportsAssociation in it’s fifth yearofexistence, has proven it can be done be right, and puts the teams first!!

Currently we offer adult slow pitch, and youth fast pitch and have plans for more sports in the near future.We are very excited to have this avenue of communication with players and coaches as well as visitors looking forFreedominformation We hope you find the website helpful and easy to navigate. If there’s information you are looking for and can’t find, pleasecontactus.

We appreciate your feedback!.

CLICK HERE FOR FSA CONVENTION NEWS AND WORLD DATES

Men’s Comp (D) Worlds October 16th, Myrtle Beach , S.C.

To be eligible to play in our Slow Pitch Worlds, teams mustparticipatein their respective state tournament and a regional or NIT tournament in theirregion.Once a teamwins the berth, their roster is locked. At this point only two players can be added to the roster and still must be approvedto play the event and be an allowed player in that respected division. If a team adds more then 2 players they will losethe paid berth that may have been won. CLICK here for more information about the Freedom Slow Pitch program.

Freedom Sports is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports for both youth and adult.

If you are interested in becoming a Tournament Director or wish to run a Freedom Sports Association program in your area, please contact us or call us at

732 200-0967.

2015 New Jersey Freedom Sports

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Monday night Bushcraft/Survival talk with Crash and Freedom Bushcraft – Video

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Apr 142015
 



Monday night Bushcraft/Survival talk with Crash and Freedom Bushcraft
At 10 pm Monday night we will be hosting a Monday night talk. Your invited and we will try to answer any questions you may have. Also if we don't know it we will dig to find it. Also if you…

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Freedom! – A TF2C Pocket Soldier Montage – Video

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Apr 142015
 



Freedom! – A TF2C Pocket Soldier Montage
Hey this is Freedom! Pocket Soldier Montage Hope you enjoy 😀 Music: Hilltop Hoods – The Nosebleed Section.

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FCS Day 195! – Freedom! Channel Spotlight – Video

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Apr 142015
 



FCS Day 195! – Freedom! Channel Spotlight
Freedom! Channel Spotlight, day 195! – To get a spotlight leave a comment below help your fellow partners! Today's featured channels: Qazint https://www.youtube.com/user/Qazint/featured…

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Mary Gonzalez at Freedom Advocacy Day – Video

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Apr 142015
 



Mary Gonzalez at Freedom Advocacy Day
Texas state Rep. Mary Gonzalez speaks at Equality Texas' Freedom Advocacy Day.

By: Lone Star Q

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Mary Gonzalez at Freedom Advocacy Day – Video

Hawaii Freerunning/Freecliming | Taste of Freedom – Video

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Apr 142015
 



Hawaii Freerunning/Freecliming | Taste of Freedom
Directors Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk0visTjZw5liiZvyZ11ZiQ Song: Levi Niha – Dreams Are Free …

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Religious freedom debate continues at Iowa Capitol

 Freedom  Comments Off on Religious freedom debate continues at Iowa Capitol
Apr 142015
 

DES MOINES Religious leaders and state lawmakers tried Monday to navigate the area between religious freedom and individual civil liberties.

Supporters of religious freedom spoke at a ceremony in the Capitol on Monday, praising Iowa for being a state that allows for the religious expression of varied faiths.

Speakers also acknowledged the national discussion over religious freedom as new laws in Indiana and Arkansas have been both praised for protecting religious freedom and criticized for serving as legal shields for discrimination.

It is a hallmark of a civil society, as opposed to anarchy, that our freedoms will be limited in some way when they harm others, said Sarai Rice, executive director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council. What is not limited is our freedom to believe and to think and to speak in public.

Iowa Sens. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, and Jeff Danielson, D-Waterloo, sponsored and spoke at the event.

Chapman said Mondays event was purely about celebrating Iowans right to practice any religion. It originally was scheduled for Jan. 16, Religious Freedom Day in Iowa as proclaimed by Gov. Terry Branstad.

But Branstads inauguration was held Jan. 16, so the religious freedom event was rescheduled to coincide with the birthdate of Thomas Jefferson, who authored the original Virginia statute on religious freedom.

That caused Mondays event to overlap with a national dialogue on religious freedom laws, a debate that spilled Monday into the Iowa House.

Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, spoke on the House floor in favor of religious freedom and business owners ability to refuse services to activities such as same-sex marriages that go against their religious beliefs.

Holt said requiring businesses to perform such services places people of faith in a position of violating their religious principles.

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[United Freedom Team Marketing Mix/Advertising Social Media Branding] – Video

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Apr 132015
 



[United Freedom Team Marketing Mix/Advertising Social Media Branding]
United Freedom Team Marketing Mix/Advertising Social Media Branding] http://www.postcardprofitsystem.com office number: 260-333-0470 Relevant Keywords. [united freedom team] [united freedom…

By: postcard cash from home

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Tormentum – Dark Sorrow | Ep. 4 – Freedom! – Video

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Apr 132015
 



Tormentum – Dark Sorrow | Ep. 4 – Freedom!
Leave a like for foxiness! Subscribe! http://bit.ly/JoinTheFoxPack Tormentum: http://ohnoo.com/tormentum.html Find me elsewhere on the web! – Twitch (livestreaming): http://www.twi…

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RV Life | COSTCO Haul & Food Storage in an RV | The Freedom Theory – Video

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Apr 132015
 



RV Life | COSTCO Haul Food Storage in an RV | The Freedom Theory
So I live in an RV and still shop at Costco. Couple of reasons why. Josh and I like to eat very clean and one way to do that on a budget is by shopping at Costco. They always seem to have the…

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Purple Heart and Defense of Freedom Medal Ceremony – Video

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Apr 132015
 



Purple Heart and Defense of Freedom Medal Ceremony
Purple Heart and Defense of Freedom Medal Ceremony. Fort Hood: April 10, 2015.

By: Eric Shelton

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Lovestern Galaktika Project Meets Pulsedriver & Ole Van Dansk – Move For Freedom (Single Version) – Video

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Apr 132015
 



Lovestern Galaktika Project Meets Pulsedriver Ole Van Dansk – Move For Freedom (Single Version)
IF YOU ARE THE COPYRIGHT OWNER AND WANT ME TO REMOVE THE VIDEO, PLEASE CONTACT ME AND I WILL DELETE IT AS SOON AS I CAN. https://www.facebook.com/pulsedriverofficial

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