From: Los Osos, CA
"The attack was preceded by more than six hours of intense low-level surveillance by Israeli photo-reconnaissance aircraft, which buzzed the intelligence ship thirteen times, sometimes flying as low as 200 feet directly overhead. The reconnaissance pilots were heard by intercept operators in Germany and by American airborne intercept operators reporting to their headquarters that they could see an American flag and men sunbathing on deck."
The guy the hosts of National Defense were interviewing was Jim Ennes, whose primary duty on the USS Liberty was making sure the American flag was always clearly visible and properly unfurled.
"The carefully orchestrated assault that followed was initiated by high-performance jet aircraft, was followed up by slower and more maneuverable jets carrying napalm, and was finally turned over to lethal torpedo boats which fired five torpedoes. Four missed. The one torpedo that hit the ship blasted a forty-foot hole in the ship's side."
Surface forces in the form of torpedo boats were present.
"The attack lasted more than two hours -- killing 34 Americans and wounding 174 others -- and inflicted 821 rocket and machine-gun holes. And when the Liberty stubbornly remained afloat despite her damage, Israeli forces machine-gunned her life rafts and sent troop-carrying helicopters in to finish the job. US Air Force intercept operators heard Israeli jet being vectored to "the American ship" which they were ordered to sink quickly. Those who have seen these transcripts insist that they leave no doubt that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship."
And from what I gathered during the interview, this last part about the aircraft carriers has just been pieced together from recently declassified documents: (though from the interview I remember a discussion of planes from both carriers Sara and America were dispatched and then immediately recalled).
"Before USS Liberty arrived in the area, U.S. Sixth Fleet Commander Admiral William Martin promised to provide air support within ten minutes if an emergency arose. Yet when the ship did come under attack, the White House blocked any air rescue for more than 90 minutes. Officers on the bridge of the aircraft carrier Saratoga heard Liberty's radio operators calling for help while bombs burst in the background, but were forbidden to help. When Navy jet aircraft were finally authorized to come to the ship's aid, the Israeli government suddenly ended the attack and withdrew, claiming that they had mistaken the ship for an Egyptian horse transport named El Quseir. Only then did the identity of the assailants become known."
And this sums it up:
"The attack on the USS Liberty remains the only major maritime incident in all US history that has not been publicly investigated by the United States Congress."
< Message edited by Juggalo -- 10/7/2007 5:04:24 AM >
"If you want peace, prepare for war."