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Hi, I added some major points for the non-conspiracy theory arguments, as well as a link to the web site belonging to some of the survivors of USS Liberty. I recognize that I am biased, to some extent, due to my being an Israeli. However, when (and if) points are added to the pro-conspiracy theory arguments, I'd like them to be based on facts (mentioned in the body of the article), or refer to a reliable source (that is a source which takes into account the structure of the Israeli army, wittness accounts etc.) -- Uriyan.

Hoo boy! This page needs some NPOV lovin'. I can tell this is going to as contentious as some of our other fun topics like abortion and who shot JFK. -- ansible

Prepared and submitted by:
Joe Meadors
Vice President
USS Liberty Veterans Association
email: joe@ussliberty.com
March 26, 2002

All right, sir, several things. First of all, I have nothing against you trying to issue your view. But in Wikipedia we don't do this at the expense of deleting other people's opinions, no matter how inane they seem to you. Indeed, among us it is popular to try to get into other people's argument. I will try to be considerate of your argument - but I will not be silenced. --Uriyan

My apologies. I didn't intend for my changes to become contentious. I saw some incorrect information in the posting that I changed and corrected. I thought the easiest thing was to recreate it from scratch.

I also included some information that you left out -- like the actions of the Israelis during the attack.

Feel free to add or modify it as long as your changes reflect the facts and not merely conjecture.

I'd be interested in learning your background as it involves the USS Liberty attack and where you acquired your interest and expertise in USS Liberty research. As for me, I am a USS Liberty survivor and have been on the Board of Directors of the USS Liberty Veterans Association for most of the past 20 years since the organization was formed. --Jmeadors


Hello,

First of all I'd like to thank you for stopping this flamewar and deciding to talk, as I see this as a first step in making the article better (i.e. equally representative of the two main points of view). Generally, in Wikipedia it is considered extremely impolite to delete someone else's individual comments (as you did with my criticism of Ennes), and it is even more impolite to replace an existing point of view with your own entirely. See neutral point of view and Wikipetiquette for more details about that.

I added my points to the article and changed their order to chronological. I also described the attack according to the Navy Court transcripts and moved some of your points to "controversy". You should note that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia - that is, as editors we're not supposed to have opinions. In order to state the opinions that every man obviously has, we state the appropriate fact (e.g. "no markings were seen on the Israeli aircraft") and then the particular opinions, mentioning their bearers ("The survivors of the ship claim that the attacking aircraft were unmarked").

My personal background is not as big as I could hope - which does not, however, invalidate my claims. I am an Israeli student fond of history; I've come across several mentioning of the USS Liberty incident in articles and books during the years. Several months ago, I saw a discussion at kuro5hin (http://www.kuro5hin.org), and read some more. What I do have is some familiarity with the Israeli and Middle Eastern politics and history, and an Israeli perspective on things. --Uriyan

Would it be possible for me to "take advantage" of your interest in the Liberty? I'd like you to do some research for me. If you don't have any problem with it please email me at joe@ussliberty.com. --Jmeadors

Unfortunately, I can't, since I'm a very amateurish historian with very little time to do serious research. If I do get some free time or if I come across something interesting, I can surely notify you.
In addition, I wanted to thank you for contributing to this article, and invite you to update it if you feel that my factual information is incomplete or you think that your point is misrepresented.
On a related note, while as far as I see, you've become interested with Wikipedia because of this particular article, I ask you to consider editing additional articles as well, because of your expertise as a Navy man and a researcher. --Uriyan

Let me post my request here in the event that some lurkers may be able to help.

For about 25 years we have had a copy of the IDF Preliminary Report 1/67 prepared in September, 1967 by a gentleman named Yerushalmi. It has come to be known as the Yerushalmi Report.

Since the account related by that report is so at odds with our recollections and in places defy the laws of physics we have been attempting to obtain a copy of the evidence and testimony that support the report. Unsuccessfully, I'm afraid.

If anyone has been able to obtain a copy of that evidence and testimony we'd appreciate it if you could provide us with a copy.

By the same token, if someone could pursue a course that would result in its being released and then provided to us we would be most appreciative. --Jmeadors


After having come back to this page after a couple days, I see that it is much improved! Kudos to everyone involved. -- ansible


I expanded the article some more trying to write what I'd figured out so far about who said what, perhaps more could be added. --Uriyan
As you add to your article could you also provide some footnote references to direct readers to the supporting documents? For example, where you say "the Israelis claim" or "the Americans claim" I'm sure readers will be interested in knowing exactly where your information is coming from. --Jmeadors

I restored the Israeli claims from memory (I remember reading quite a thorough discussion of the case from an old Army Encyclopedia, which I cannot, unfortunately, find anymore, and from an Army Lexicon which is quite brief), while most of the American claims are based on the statements you've made. If you feel that your opinion is misrepresented, feel free to change it. --Uriyan

With apologies in advance, it might be doing a disservice to readers of your synopsis not to let them know your account is being written from your recollections of the Army Encyclopedia and from a brief mention in an Army Lexicon.

I won't touch your wording and will adjust mine as appropriate.

You might want to see if you can get a copy of the "Preliminary Inquiry 1/67" (the Yerushalmi Report) prepared in September, 1967 and a copy of the IDF History Department Report of the attack published in 1982 as a direct result of the publication of Jim Ennes' book Assault on the Liberty. Both of those are "straight from the horse's mouth" so you won't have to depend upon the interpretation of intermediaries.

Different subject: In the history page that tells the modifications that have been made to the page it includes your screen name and a brief notation of the change you have made. I spent some time trying to find out how to do that but couldn't find the page telling me how. Could you direct me to it or tell me how? --Jmeadors

You need to special:UserLogin log in so the system knows who to assign your edits to. You need cookies enabled for this. (If you have trouble logging in, please give us details of the problem on the bug reports page.) Brion VIBBER, Thursday, March 28, 2002

Well, I'll add references when I get to the library (the Lexicon is easy but the encyclopedia might take some time). As to the two reports, I currently have neither the time nor the knowledge to locate them, but if I come across them accidentially, I'll probably study them. --Uriyan

"Don't have the time nor the knowledge" on how to conduct some basic research? I don't mean to be harsh, but perhaps you should have waited until you do have time to research the attack prior to writing an article about it. That would prevent your having to write one from your recollections of something you read some time ago.

A simple call to the IDF would be a logical first step.

I did a search of my computer files and came across an ASCII text of the Yerushalmi Report that was prepared many years ago.

I've taken the liberty of putting it up as an autoresponder. You or anyone else is free to obtain a copy of it by emailing yerushalmi@ussliberty.com --Jmeadors

The reasons that I ever started seriously contributing to this article is (a) because it concerned Israel and (b) it presented the USS Liberty incident, which is ambiguous to say the very least, in a way that unambiguously threw all the blame unto Israel.
As to myself, I am only a student who is fond of history, not a historian. I have my studies, pending works, assignments (that make the Passover vacation more busy than most of the days during the rest of the year). USS Liberty is certainly an interesting area for serious researching (and when I get some spare time I will consider looking into it), but at this particular moment I can't do that.
"A simple call to the IDF": I don't call the army, I call a particular office in the army. What is its number? Where is it located? It is Passover now and most offices are closed. I did the homework I could do from the Internet; in the meanwhile, I can't do more than that.
I would gladly pass the editing to someone neutral and more knowledgeable than me now who could carry on editing impartially - but currently, I see no such person. Until one arrives (or I become one), I try to keep the article as fair as possible to both sides, considering their arguments.
By the way, could you please position the Yerushalmi report at a web server so that the article could link to it (considering copyright issues)? --Uriyan
I am endeavouring to obtain the name and phone number of someone you can contact in your efforts to initiate your research for the article you wrote. If I am successful I will post that information here.

The Yerushalmi Report (along with a lot of other information regarding the attack on our ship and subsequent cover-up) is available through our website at http://www.ussliberty.com -- Jmeadors

Well, first of all thank you for putting the material on your web site, could you say in what section exactly it can be found?
Secondly, it seems to me that it's better to discuss this article starting with what it is missing (as it is now) and then repairing/complementing it with research, not the other way around. Which parts, do you think, is the article missing? --Uriyan

The url for the Yerushalmi Report is http://www.ussliberty.org/excuse.txt

In that file there is a reference to a US State Department Legal Advisor's report. The url of that report is http://www.ussliberty.org/salans.txt

As to what to do with your article, I would recommend putting any further changes to the report on hiatus pending further research. You might even make a note on the article to that effect.

Once you have accumulated and closely scrutinized/analyzed a sufficient number of source documents, writing the article would be quite easy since your review of the documents would render you conversant in the various accounts that are floating around.

I have been in occasional email contact with Michael Oren (author of the New Republic article you include in your "See Also" section). I have asked Michael if he could provide the name(s) of people in the IDF you could contact to pursue your research.

Another contact you might make is with the newspaper correspondents or other media who report on IDF activities. They undoubtedly have their contacts/sources as well.

Clearly this will take time -- perhaps months -- to complete.

Please don't get overwhelmed.

After your initial contacts, most of your time will be spent on waiting for things to unfold. Then on following-up on questions you have as a result of your analysis of what has been provided.

I want to make it clear from the outset that should you decide to undertake the research I am describing that it helps us (Liberty survivors) in our efforts to ensure the actions before, during and after the attack are investigated, researched and reported as completely and as objectively as possible. -- Jmeadors

Just received email from Michael Oren with info on whom to contact at the IDF to pursue research on the USS Liberty.

He tells me, "contact Capt. Michal Yizraeli at 03-6942022. She's the officer in charge of such things at the Air Force History Branch. At the IDF History Department, there's Col. Shaul Shai at 03-569-3227." -- Jmeadors


and most Arabs

Tell me, why should anyone care what the Arabs think about the attack? It is not known of any Arab observers on the scene; in any other respect, the attack is solely a bilateral affair of Israel and the United States. Moreover, during the years the Arab media has supported a number of rather incredible theories (e.g. Protocols of the Elders of Zion), with the sole purpose of upsetting Israel. In fact, their vehement support of the "deliberate attack" theory only decreases its authenticity. --Uriyan


To Hefaistos: the USS Liberty was attacked only several hundred meters inside international waters (the Naval Court hearing states, for instance, that the Liberty had a clear view of the El-Arish mosque minarette). Moreover, the absence of ID marks on Israeli aircraft was never proven. As these aircraft were jets (moving quickly and having a large turn radius), I find it quite doubtful that either the presence or the absence of marks could be verified by anyone staying on board. Finally, I'm not sure that most crew members of the USS Liberty support the "deliberate attack" theory - I don't have much info so far, but all I managed to find so far is a site run by J. Meadors and J. Ennes, which does not even contain a guestbook. --Uriyan


Been spending a few minutes reading the Liberty article.

Notice it claims there were only two torpedoes fired from the Israeli torpedo boats.

The Israelis tell us they fired five. I believe it was in their 1982 History Department report that was prepared as a direct result of the publication of Jim Ennes' book Assault on the Liberty.

To address one point Uriyan raised in his post immediately preceeding this, every known USS Liberty survivor supports the position of the USS Liberty Veterans Association regarding the deliberateness of the attack (indeed, as voting members of the LVA they are the source of the position).

Perhaps he should modify his version of the account to reflect those facts. -- Jmeadors


First of all, my name is Uri.

Secondly, as far as I understand, the Liberty had only one hole shown here (http://ussliberty.org/g/lg/lg0031.jpg). If you claim five torpedos were fired then you've got to conclude that either the Israeli Navy was horrendously incompetent or that it didn't want them to hit the Liberty - and both points contradict what you're trying to prove.

Thirdly, while I've not seen a list of members or a guestbook at the site, I'll take your word for it and update the page accordingly.

Finally, I didn't quite understand what you meant by "let's not forget their use of helo-borne assault troops". --Uri


Shortly after the air attack helicopters appeared on the scene. One hovered very close to the port wing of the bridge where I was standing at the time. I clearly saw troops in the door in battle dress with what appeared to be automatic weapons at the ready. Talking to other Liberty survivors over the years reveals that others witnessed the same.

I am not the one claiming 5 torpedoes were fired. That claim is made in the IDF 1982 History Department Report. How that fact reflects upon the professionalism of the MTB personnel is for the reader to decide.

Since you are interested in researching the USS Liberty could you contact the IDF and ask that they release to you a complete set of the gunsight photos their aircraft took? In their 1982 version they included a couple of photos clearly selected to support their position. A review of all of the photos may reveal something else.

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors joe@ussliberty.com -- Jmeadors


Uri,

I notice you posted the dimensions and other specifics of the Liberty.

Could you post the same information for the el Quseir (http://ussliberty.org/g/elquseir.gif) as well? I'm sure readers would find that information interesting and useful.

Also, for those of us who live in countries that have not yet moved to the metric system could you post the statistics in feet and inches as well?

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
joe@ussliberty.com
Jmeadors 14:51 Oct 29, 2002 (UTC)


Joe,

First of all I'd like to remark that I do not currently engage in research regarding the USS Liberty, nor do I plan it for the nearest future. I do not fully dismiss that opportunity in the long run, however.

As to the subject:

  • As to the number of torpedos: it does sound very odd to me - the fact that only 1 out of 5 hit can't be explained by plain incompetence, particularly considering the ship's speed. So I can only persume that the report is wrong in that point. By the way, I couldn't locate in the Internet any info regarding the type of the boats or the torpedos.
  • This is the first time I've heard about the claim about helicopters. Judging by what you write, these are not the helicopters that brought the American attaché to the scene, and are mentioned in the Navy Court hearing. In what direction have they flown? At what time? (by the way, I'm yet to see a coherent chronology of the event). Is it the same helicopter as seen here (http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/u120000/u123751.jpg)? Also, it seems to me that most units that could have been landed from helicopters at the time have been verifiably engaged elsewhere. As I'm not an expert in IDF's order of battle in 1967, I can't be more specific.
  • It was not me who posted the details about USS Liberty's size. If you think the information about El-Quseir is relevant, feel free to add it. However, in that case one will also have to discuss to what extent the pilots could have measured that size. This seems to me like a very moot point, which would only lengthen the article without actually providing data in either way.

--Uri


Will whoever wrote the claim that "It is accepted by the majority of historians world-wide that these claims constitute a conspiracy theory" please cite your source.

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
joe@ussliberty.com
Jmeadors 23:00 Oct 30, 2002 (UTC)


Would the person who posted the following please provide your source authority to support what was posted?

"Call for ID: Israel claims to have called the ship on radio several times without receiving an answer while the Americans deny ever receiving a call for identification."

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
joe@ussliberty.com
Jmeadors 15:06 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)


This is an open request to the person who wrote:

"ten reports by the United States, have studied the incident"

or to anyone who subscribes to that position.

Were any of the above referenced reports prepared as a result of an investigation of the attack itself?

Were any of the reports based upon original evidence or just a rehash of already existing evidence?

Which USS Liberty survivors testified before the groups or organizations who collected evidence and testimony during the collection and investigation phase of their inquiry?

Lastly, have you actually read the reports themselves or are you relying upon what others have claimed was the subject matter of and included in the reports?

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
joe@ussliberty.com
Jmeadors 18:08 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)


Joe,

You could save space by asking all questions at once. Also, I must wonder why you write "open requests". We're not having a debate here. We're writing an article. If you have opinions you feel you could add, do so, just make sure you prefix it with "USS Liberty's survivors claim that...".

  1. As to the historians: most (serious) historical books devoted to the Six-Days War safely list the attack on the USS Liberty as an accident, and elaborate no further. There are only several books that dispute this position; of them, most are not proffessional research-grade. I think this would qualify as a majority.
  2. Call for ID: It is listed in numerous sources, e.g. the Yerushalmi Report.
  3. Ten reports: your opinion that they're were not thorough, partial, politically dictated etc. is presented. If you feel the information is sufficiently important, add it to the article - but also remember that the article gets harder to read as it grows in size.

As to your editing

  • If you have something to add, add it. Don't write "comments".
  • The phrase "although there can be no certainty even as to that." meant the aircraft ID, not the napalm.
  • The question of the markings is disputed. Please be so kind as to treat it like that. The same goes to the rest of the disputed incidents.
  • The article provides the reader with ample clues to figure out the undisputed fact that Liberty was a horrible place to be in in the afternoon hours of June 8th. However, this is not the main subject of the article.
  • The existence of 3 Israeli reports is not under doubt, I hope.
  • I integrated some of your comments into the text.

Sincerely yours, Uri

[Clarification: I never sent "AA" to the torpedo boats as they approached the ship. A number of Israeli reports claim that "AA" means "identify yourself." It does not. Quite the contrary, the ship initiating the signal would be required to transmit her visual call sign first once visual communications had been established. Jmeadors 15:01 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)]

[Clarification: In their 1982 Report the IDF History Department claims the attacking aircraft performed a series of low and slow identification runs over the Liberty immediately prior to commencing their attack. They claim that some of those flights were directly over the ship at an altitude of 500 feet. Proffered testimony of USS Liberty crewmen who were topside at the time (including myself) claim that no such identification runs were made at any time by the attacking aircraft. Indeed, should the US government ever deem it appropriate to actually investigate the attack their testimony will be that when the attacking aircraft arrived on the scene they flew very low up the starboard side of the Liberty and turned left to travel across the bow of the ship. When the aircraft arrived almost dead ahead of the ship they turned sharply left and commenced their straffing runs. I was on the Signal Bridge at the time this was happening. Jmeadors 17:23 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)]

[Clarification: According to the Office of the US Navy Judge Advocate General (http://ussliberty.org/jagc.txt) the USNavy's Court of Inquiry did not investigate the attack so inclusion of the report of that inquiry in a list of reports allegedly into the attack is inappropriate. Jmeadors 17:42 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)]

[Clarification: It is not "some" who claim that Lloyd Painter's testimony has been removed from the official record -- it is Lloyd himself. He has told the story many times and has asked the USNavy why his testimony was removed. No reason has been forthcoming. Jmeadors 17:51 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)]

[Clarification: The paragraph above implies the Liberty had been steaming west from Israel for the 24 hours immediately preceding the attack. Not so. We had been steaming in a southwesterly direction since about 9am and had not gotten closer than about 25 miles to the coast of Israel. When attacked we were some 77 miles from Ashdod. Jmeadors 20:46 Oct 31, 2002 (UTC)]


Joe, please be so kind as not to take over the article. In particular, you could separate the existence of 13 documents and your criticism regarding them. Both are legitimate within the article, but not within the same paragraph.

Also, I remove this:

"There is a rare extract from a radio exchange between air control and Israeli pilots on the fourth day of the Six Day War, showing that the Israelis did realize that the ship they were bombing was the American USS Liberty, but still went on to attack it."
That's simply hearsay, which can't be included in a reasonable article. If anyone with a copy of the book could type in the intercept (in the article, with a discussion following and not post scriptum), that would be appreciated.
  • Why is there controversy in the first place: Number one on the list of things controversal about the USS Liberty is why is the attack controversial in the first place? If the attack has been the subject of some 10 US investigations why are there any questions remaining outstanding at all? Surely all of the items listed here are very basic and would be included in even a rudimentary investigation. Do you think, perhaps, if someone were to actually read the reports they claim were of the attack would find out that they weren't investigations of the attack at all?
That's a very flawed argument. There are numerous heavily disputed issues known to humanity: the existence of aliens, who killed JFK, why in general history went this way and not other. The existence of contradicting evidence does not indicate malice. --Uri
Uri,

While I'm not acknowledging for a minute that you are in a position to make any rules or demands as to what is or is not posted in the article (because you're not) I took the liberty of applying your "no heresay" rule and deleted all references to the unsubstanted and unprovable claim that there were 10 US government investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty.

Warmest regards,

Joe


Joe,

I'm less than delighted that this discussion has developed into a personal vendetta. If anything, it testifies to your own disadvantage. Is silencing your opponents your way of proving your case? Are you omniscient? Has it ever occured to you that your anger prevents you from seeing some things? Do you understand that this forum is not your personal soapbox?

As to the 10 committees of investigation: you yourself have named them. Denying their existence is ludicrous and childish. Does your universe exist only from the thing that you approve of? Do things that you don't like disappear magically?

Joe,

What you did stands against community standards. It was not what you wrote, but how. I think it cannot persist. Someone has to keep the article balanced.


I call upon all administrators visiting this page to lock the it from being edited, until a more comprehensive solution is reached. I would appreciate it being reverted to the version before Joe's last batch of "edits" which amount to vandalizm, although it could wait. I'm waiting to hear your opinion about this situation.

Sincerely yours,

--Uri

Uri,

No one is disputing the existence of the reports to which you refer.

What is in dispute is the subject of the investigations that support those reports.

Some claim they were investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty yet when asked to prove their position they are unable or unwilling to do so.

You are apparently a member of that camp.

You have obviously not taken the time to read the testimony and evidence that supports those reports. I -- and many others -- have. They are not investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty. The United States Navy Judge Advocate General has even gone to the extent of publicly stating that the USNavy Court of Inquiry that they conducted did not include an investigation of the attack in their inquiry.

I posted a note in the article to that effect and you removed it. For whatever reason you don't want readers of the article to know that fact.

It is even our position that the Yerushalmi Report is merely a work of fiction which is not supported by any testimony or evidence. Have you had occasion to read the evidence and testimony that supports the Yerushalmi Report. I think not. Same with the IDF History Department's 1982 Report. Show us the evidence and testimony that report is based upon. I think you will find there is none.

You admit you know very little about the attack on the USS Liberty yet you continue to present the Israeli side as fact while anything I attempt to post is changed to state that I am the only one claiming it or that what I post is merely "allegations" or are things that I claim to be true.

I've been researching the USS Liberty attack for over 20 years. I'm in daily contact with other survivors who have done more research than I.

Yet, rather than take advantage of the massive amounts of first hand accounts and first hand research at your disposal, you take issue with anything I do in an attempt to more clearly and correctly reflect what happened to us on that day.

It is obvious you are biased toward telling the Israeli version of events. I don't have a problem with that as long as you clearly identify it as such. What I do have a problem with is your demanding that we, survivors, tacitly agree with what you claim happened to us on that day when in many instances it bears no resemblance to the truth.

And please don't for a minute think that I am writing out of anger or rage. That went by the board many many years ago. I simply want an article in Wikipedia to reflect what happened to us on June 8, 1967. Not some biased, whitewashed article that it appears you are interested in producing.

And, yes. If you continue to present biased, slanted information I will do everything I can do to ensure the information presented is changed in such a way to more clearly reflect the truth of what happened.

Warmest regards,

Joe


Joe,

I've copied your mesage so I might answer it point-by-point.

No one is disputing the existence of the reports to which you refer.

It was actually you that mentioned them first

What is in dispute is the subject of the investigations that support those reports.

Some claim they were investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty yet when asked to prove their position they are unable or unwilling to do so.

Again, it was you who claimed those were reports about the USS Liberty. Or were they discussing the implications of the Vietnam war? If I was misled, I was misled by you.

You are apparently a member of that camp.

The reports that I've read clearly amount to investigations. No, not full investigations. Yes, they provide important facts and quotes to reach a certain conclusion.

You have obviously not taken the time to read the testimony and evidence that supports those reports. I -- and many others -- have. They are not investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty. The United States Navy Judge Advocate General has even gone to the extent of publicly stating that the USNavy Court of Inquiry that they conducted did not include an investigation of the attack in their inquiry.

The Navy Court went to great length to investigate the actions of the ship, and of the Israeli forces, as observed by the ship. Whether it was all true or a coverup is a separate debate. It certainly does have a very clear bottom line.

I posted a note in the article to that effect and you removed it. For whatever reason you don't want readers of the article to know that fact.

I actually did place a note that specifies what the Court was about. Have you not noticed it?

It is even our position that the Yerushalmi Report is merely a work of fiction which is not supported by any testimony or evidence. Have you had occasion to read the evidence and testimony that supports the Yerushalmi Report. I think not. Same with the IDF History Department's 1982 Report. Show us the evidence and testimony that report is based upon. I think you will find there is none.

I have read the Yerushalmi report (which contains statements by participants), as well as other pieces of evidence (yes, evidence. As you might imagine IDF veterans leave notes from time to time, which mention, inter alia, the Liberty incident).

You admit you know very little about the attack on the USS Liberty yet you continue to present the Israeli side as fact while anything I attempt to post is changed to state that I am the only one claiming it or that what I post is merely "allegations" or are things that I claim to be true.

I do not present the Israeli side as fact. If you notice, most points of controversy have clear Israel/US separation; the rest is grounded to (relatively) undisputed facts.

I've been researching the USS Liberty attack for over 20 years. I'm in daily contact with other survivors who have done more research than I.

I find one thing queer in the line you're trying to pass along: how come you haven't bothered to look up the Israeli side of things? Obviously if you were so concerned with the truth (as opposed to your perception of it), you would have bothered to find some information about the IDF's part (beyond the reports! serious investigation begins, rather than ends, with them). Why didn't you put together the information that is available through open sources. For instance, it is definitely within your grasp to name the unit that could have been landed on the Liberty via helicopters. Yet you have not done it, to this date.

Yet, rather than take advantage of the massive amounts of first hand accounts and first hand research at your disposal, you take issue with anything I do in an attempt to more clearly and correctly reflect what happened to us on that day.

Your writing has never been a coherent historical text. Had it occured to you that quoting from the cover of a book (regarding the airplane communications) is not good evidence? Had it occured to you that your evidence is at times contradictory (example: you spoke of international frequency jamming, but the site of another survivor claims that people in Italy have heard the radio broadcasts of the Liberty)? Did you even mention the standard armament of an Israeli torpedo boat - which is a crucial piece of knowledge, yet nobody on the Internet has bothered to display it? Why do you insist upon claiming that the existence of controversy is anyhow a proof of the Israeli malice?

It is obvious you are biased toward telling the Israeli version of events. I don't have a problem with that as long as you clearly identify it as such. What I do have a problem with is your demanding that we, survivors, tacitly agree with what you claim happened to us on that day when in many instances it bears no resemblance to the truth.

Of course I am biased, to a certain extent, but I have made no such demand. I ask for only two things, and two things alone: that you don't declare your interpretation of the events as the only possible view, and that you don't use fallacious arguments.

And please don't for a minute think that I am writing out of anger or rage. That went by the board many many years ago. I simply want an article in Wikipedia to reflect what happened to us on June 8, 1967. Not some biased, whitewashed article that it appears you are interested in producing.

And what happened on June 8, 1967? The ship of "you, survivors" - as you yourself write! - was burnt and cannon-strafed and torpedoed and machine-gunned but can you honestly say that you know the whole truth? Was it written on the bullets that they were sent in malice? Do you really allow for the benefit of doubt?

And, yes. If you continue to present biased, slanted information I will do everything I can do to ensure the information presented is changed in such a way to more clearly reflect the truth of what happened.

Are you sure you know that truth? --Uri


Uri,

It was actually you that mentioned them first

Again, it was you who claimed those were reports about the USS Liberty.

When I arrived on the scene I noted that in the USS Liberty article reference was made to the reports but there wasn't a list provided. Since I had a list of the Reports being discussed I provided them. To NOT provide the list when I had access to it would have been improper since this is an article in an Encyclopedia.

It is not necessary for me to agree with the information I provide else I would not have provided the hyperlinks to Capt. A. Jay Cristol's book which gives people the opportunity of purchasing a copy of his work for themselves. NOT to provide that link when I had it readily available would be doing a disservice to the readers of the article.

The reports that I've read clearly amount to investigations.

Nobody is disputing the fact that they amount to investigations. What they are NOT is investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty. Merely mentioning the attack on the USS Liberty in passing does not make them investigations of the attack itself.

The Navy Court went to great length to investigate the actions of the ship, and of the Israeli forces, as observed by the ship.

Perhaps you are unaware of a letter from the Office of the USNavy Judge Advocate General which states quite clearly that that is not the case.

That letter (dated September 1, 1989 to Senator Alan Cranston stated, "The Navy Court of Inquiry's investigation focused on the U.S. military communication problems prior to the attack and the heroic efforts of LIBERTY's crew in controlling damage during the aftermath."

They did NOT investigate the attack.

I have read the Yerushalmi report

As have I.

What I have NOT been able to read is the evidence and testimony used in the preparation of that report.

Have you?

I have also read the IDF History Department's 1982 Report which was prepared as a direct result of the publication of "Assault on the Liberty" which takes the very same evidence and testimony that is allegedly the basis for the Yerushalmi Report and comes up with a different result.

how come you haven't bothered to look up the Israeli side of things?

I haven't? I posted the name and phone number of an IDF spokesperson with a request that you call the lady and ask for information from the IDF. If you will look above this message in the TALK section of the USS Liberty article you will find the message to which I refer.

For instance, it is definitely within your grasp to name the unit that could have been landed on the Liberty via helicopters.

I haven't provided that information because I don't know it. Perhaps a call by you to the IDF spokesperson would result in their providing that information to you.

While you have them on the phone could you ask that they provide to you a copy of the evidence and testimony that support the Yerushalmi Report and the 1982 IDF History Department Report?

Would you also ask that they provide you with a complete set of gunsight photos? In the 1982 version they included a couple of photos that were apparently carefully selected to support their position.

And, would you ask that they provide you with a complete set of audio tapes of the pilots conversations?

We've been trying to get copies of all of this information literally for decades but for reasons as yet unexplained the Israeli Defense Forces are unwilling to release it to us.

Since I provided the name and phone number of the IDF spokesperson to which to make the request some time ago I was hoping that someone (you?) would have had the time to give her a call. Apparently not.

you spoke of international frequency jamming, but the site of another survivor claims that people in Italy have heard the radio broadcasts of the Liberty

Actually the jamming was on both USNavy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies. (I'll let readers opine for themselves why you left out the part about USNavy Tactical Frequencies).

That jamming was witnessed by USS Liberty radiomen including Rocky Sturman.

If you were familiar with the Liberty story you would know that we got through to the Sixth Fleet by using an antenna that had been taken out of service prior to the attack and on a frequency that was little used.

I understand the radio broadcasts you refer to might have been the conversations between the pilots and their base which we understand were heard by US listening posts in Germany and Morrocco. Not sure about any stations in Italy but I'll check.

but can you honestly say that you know the whole truth

Heavens No!

But one would think that had the attack been investated so many times that all of the questions would have been answered.

But it wasn't.

And they haven't

That's why we're actively advocating for a complete and comprehensive public Congressional investigation of the attack.

Was it written on the bullets that they were sent in malice?

Well, they sure weren't sent as a love token.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Hopefully someone's curiousity will be tweaked enough to make that call to the IDF spokesperson.

Warmest regards,

Joe


Joe,

When I arrived on the scene I noted that in the USS Liberty article reference was made to the reports but there wasn't a list provided. Since I had a list of the Reports being discussed I provided them. To NOT provide the list when I had access to it would have been improper since this is an article in an Encyclopedia.

What I'm saying is that you were the person to name them as reports regarding the USS Liberty. The wording was basically yours, from day one.

It is not necessary for me to agree with the information I provide else I would not have provided the hyperlinks to Capt. A. Jay Cristol's book which gives people the opportunity of purchasing a copy of his work for themselves. NOT to provide that link when I had it readily available would be doing a disservice to the readers of the article.

It was me who had added the link to the article.

Nobody is disputing the fact that they amount to investigations. What they are NOT is investigations of the attack on the USS Liberty. Merely mentioning the attack on the USS Liberty in passing does not make them investigations of the attack itself.

They reach a bottom line or do they not? If they mention USS Liberty in passing (as many books about the Six-Day War at large do) they're not about it. If they devote pages to bringing up or reconsidering evidence, they can and should be considered investigation.

They did NOT investigate the attack.

We've been trying to get copies of all of this information literally for decades but for reasons as yet unexplained the Israeli Defense Forces are unwilling to release it to us.

I find it peculiar that you have been looking this information, and yet haven't bothered to look up the open sources that have been piling up for years now. Let's persume you don't have access to the American recordings of communications between the Israeli jets and their bases (why don't they release it as well? And also, ask them for some Vietnam war air photos - they can't hurt anyone now!). Fine. But it was definitely within your grasp to look up myriads of other details, and build a solid theory. But in fact, your additions to the article (and your site, I might add) barely speak about the circumstances of the case. They focus so exclusively on the attack that a casual reader might notice think wasn't a war going on around that place.

Actually the jamming was on both USNavy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies. (I'll let readers opine for themselves why you left out the part about USNavy Tactical Frequencies).

I didn't specify which frequencies were jammed. But did they, or did they not, hear it in Italy?

That jamming was witnessed by USS Liberty radiomen including Rocky Sturman.

If you were familiar with the Liberty story you would know that we got through to the Sixth Fleet by using an antenna that had been taken out of service prior to the attack and on a frequency that was little used.

I understand the radio broadcasts you refer to might have been the conversations between the pilots and their base which we understand were heard by US listening posts in Germany and Morrocco. Not sure about any stations in Italy but I'll check.

I believe I find this info on a crewman's site, possibly belonging to Rocky Sturman himself. And the site said that it was USS Liberty calling the boats, not the request for assistance.

but can you honestly say that you know the whole truth

Heavens No!

Yet you sound as if you had reached a conclusion. And yet, you have not - admittedly! - looked for (and accordingly, found) much significant evidence about the most important part of your accusation - the Israeli authorities' alleged premeditation of the strike. Looking at ussliberty.com - you certainly speak a lot about statesman A's reaction, statesman B's complicity, participant C's "excuse" - but it fails to discuss almost completely the events themselves. It doesn't include a chronology, with various witness testimonies, vessel profiles; it doesn't mention logs of meetings between Israeli officials - information open for decades now.

But one would think that had the attack been investated so many times that all of the questions would have been answered.

Has JFK's death been deciphered of late? You have as many versions of a historical event as the number of people participating in it.

Well, they sure weren't sent as a love token.

Friendly bullets hurt as much as hostile ones.

Joe,

I am not presently going to call the IDF History department. I have neither the time nor the skills to do so currently. As I wrote above, I do not reject this opportunity entirely for the future. If I come accross any relevant information (and considering the fact that Middle Eastern history is a hobby of mine, this is quite possible), I will post it to the article.

Could you please answer my points of criticism in my previous letter? They're important for continuing work on the article. In particular, I can find no imaginable way to treat a book's cover as worthwhile historical evidence.

Finally, I wanted to ask you: are you not upset by the fact that the memory of USS Liberty is so often abused in anti-Semitic circles? --Uri


Uri,

Let me know if I understand the situation and your position correctly.

You either originated the USS Liberty article on Wikipedia or were modifying it within about 90 minutes of its appearance in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia knowing full well that the preparation of such an article that would be in concert with Wikipedia guidelines would require a considerable amount of time and effort to properly research and document the article.

You live virtually -- perhaps literally -- in the shadow of what could very well be the largest and best repository of USS Liberty information in the world.

The information at that source could very well prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Israeli version is correct.

That source could be willing to release to you copies of all of the audiotapes of the pilots conversations proving that they WERE confused as to the correct identification of the ship they were attacking and that the attacking aircraft conducted a series of low and slow circuits of the ship with the specific purpose of identification immediately prior to their commencing the attack.

That source could be willing to release to you copies of all of the gunsight photos confirming their claim that no flag was flying.

That source could be willing to release to you audiotapes of the conversations of the MTB personnel proving that they did not deliberately machine gun our life rafts in the water and that they offered assistance immediately upon termination of hostilities rather than leaving the scene and returning some 90 minutes later with an offer of assistance.

That source could be willing to release to you the evidence and testimony that supports the claims made in the Preliminary Inquiry 1/67 (Yerushalmi Report) as well as the IDF History Department's 1982 Report.

But you aren't going to call them because in the past year since you've been working on the article you haven't found the time to do so or you haven't had a chance to find out how to do it?

It's actually very simple.

All you have to do is call the spokesperson whose name and number I provided and tell them what information you are seeking. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to let you know what form that request must be in.

What's that take? Five minutes if you speak slowly.

What's the upside?

You get to be the one who proves to the world once and for all that we're just a bunch of liars.

What's the downside?

You get to be the one who proves to the world that the IDF is.

Willing to take that chance?

We are.

Have been from the beginning.

Are you?

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
Vice President
USS Liberty Veterans Association
joe@ussliberty.com
Jmeadors 17:25 Nov 5, 2002 (UTC)


Joe,

I think you have a severe misunderstanding of my part in the process of editing the article. Much of my work on it was aimed at providing counter-points to your statements, so to prevent the article from becoming the horrendously biased thing that you have wanted to install from day one (/w/wiki.phtml?title=USS_Liberty&oldid=37996).

I consider the question of whether I'll carry out independent research regarding the USS Liberty to be separate from the editing Wikipedia article. Furthermore, it not correlated in any way with my numerous complaints regarding what you were doing to the article. By the way, would you mind address them?

There's a text regarding the Liberty in the IDF Encyclopedia: Navy (it is perhaps based on the 1982 History Department work, although I'm not sure). It also provides a list of features by which the Liberty could have been confused with the El-Quseir, as well a narrative by Micha Limor (with which, I suspect you might be acquainted). I intend to include these details in the article.

Sincerely yours,

--Uri

Well, I read a bit and added a brief summary. I tried hard not to take sides but just say that A said X, B said Y, and C said Z. However, I might be biased because I read the statement by Admiral Moorer [1] (http://ussliberty.org/moorer3.txt) which sides with the position of Joe Meadors. Moorer has links to my own church, the Unification Church -- which inspired or indirectly sponsored some conservative or right-wing organizations Moorer was in -- and if I were a judge I would probably have to recuse myself. --Ed Poor 21:25 Nov 5, 2002 (UTC)
The most common explanation for the attack was a desire to prevent the U.S. to gain information about Israel's attack on the Golan Heights, which President Johnson opposed. It is accepted by the majority of historians world-wide that this is an open issue. A more detailed discussion follows.

First of all, the majority of historians world-wide agree that the USS Liberty attack was an accident. Secondly, it has been resolved in 1997 (opening of archive documents) that Israel notified the United States about its plans prior to the attack, not even mentioning the impossibility of covering up such an event from the enormous effort the American intelligence must have invested into studying the war. I reverted the old version. --Uri


the majority of historians world-wide agree that the USS Liberty attack was an accident

Quite a sweeping statement.

Can you substantiate that?

FYI, I have emailed Michael Oren to find out if he has someone in his circle of friends who would be willing to contact the IDF on our behalf.

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
Jmeadors 18:11 Nov 16, 2002 (UTC)


Joe,

You could find an explanation to this statement above on this discussion page.

You still haven't addressed my remarks, and the article makes statements (or omissions) which, in my opinion, sound very strange to the impartial reader. Do you consider book covers a legitimate historical source? Also, I find the article lacking in the sense that it doesn't even discuss the 10 American reports, several of which have "the attack was accidential" written in their "conclusions" section. I'd like to discuss this issue before I make any changes to the article.

Sincerely yours,

Uri

Uri,

Do you consider book covers a legitimate historical source?

Depending upon its content perhaps a reflection of a legitimate historical source but not the source itself.

I'd like to discuss this issue before I make any changes to the article.

Do you have a copy of or have you read the reports?

I'd like to discuss the contents of the Yerushalmi Report (Preliminary Inquiry 1/67) but feel I cannot since to date I have been unable to obtain the documents and testimony upon which that report is based. All I can do is discuss the Report based upon facts I know to be true.

I'd like to make yet another open plea to anyone reading this message to contact the IDF with a request that they release the information that supports the Yerushalmi Report.

Warmest regards,

Joe
Jmeadors 14:28 Nov 22, 2002 (UTC)


What with the renewed interest in the attack on the USS Liberty as a result of Jay Cristol's recent presentations at the US Navy Museum and the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, coupled with a settling down of my professional life I've decided to reactivate the USS Liberty email discussion list being hosted by the folks at St. John's University in New York.

To read the archives, subscribe or modify your subscription you can visit http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/uss_liberty

You can also subscribe via email by sending an email message to listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu with SUBSCRIBE USS_LIBERTY <Your Name> as the text of the message.

If you have any problems, please don't hesitate to email me at joe@ussliberty.com

Warmest regards,

Joe Meadors
Jmeadors 15:37 Dec 27, 2002 (UTC)


Request to Split the Page What objections would y'all have to my splitting this page into two separate articles -- USS Liberty (AGTR-5), which would have the facts about the vessel herself (7725 tons, originally the cargo ship Simmons Victory, and so on), and Israeli Attack on USS Liberty[?], which would contain all the discussion and controversy regarding the events of June 8, 1967? I promise I won't alter the contents of that latter article -- I'm not qualified to have an opinion. It's currently the afternoon of February 21, 2003 -- if I don't see any vehement protests by March 1, I'll go ahead and split it. --the Epopt



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