Assault on the Liberty

by James M. Ennes, Jr.
Published by Random House & Ballantine

(c) 1979 James M. Ennes, Jr.
last printed 2004
and still selling 25 years after first release

0-9723116-0-2 (paperback)

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James Ennes

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From the Back Cover --

In June 1967, jet aircraft and motor torpedo boats of Israel brutally assaulted an American naval vessel, the USS Liberty, in international waters off the Sinai Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. 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 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 blasted a forty-foot hole in the ship’s side.

The attack lasted more than two hours—killing 34 Americans and wounding 171 others—and inflicted 821 rocket and machine-gun holes in the ship. 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. At this point, with Sixth Fleet rescue aircraft finally en route, the government of Israel apologized and the attacking forces suddenly withdrew. Only then did the identity of the assailants become known.

Details of the attack were hushed up in both countries. Israel claimed that her forces mistook the Liberty for an Egyptian ship, and our government quietly accepted that excuse despite evidence to the contrary. Then our government downplayed the intensity of the surveillance and the severity of the attack, and imposed a news blackout to keep the story under control. The official version is that the Liberty was reconnoitered only three times and then only from great distance. The American people were told that the air attack lasted only five minutes and that it was followed by a single torpedo and an immediate apology and offer of assistance.

Now, after more than twelve years of research and dozens of interviews with government executives, military officers and Liberty survivors, a former ship’s officer who was there reveals the inside story of the assault on the USS Liberty
and of our government’s attempt to keep the truth from public knowledge.



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