To the Editor:
With all due respect to the servicemen on the USS Liberty, the tale of an Israeli intentional attack is preposterous. Contrary to Mr. Genrich’s viewpoint article (June 3, 2007), there have been a number of official U.S. investigations, including the US Navy Court of Inquiry and House Armed Services Committee, concluding that this was a tragic mistake. No reason is ever given by these conspiracy theorists for why Israel would intentional attack an American ship.
At the time, the U.S. announced that it had no vessels within a hundred miles of the coast and the USS Liberty was directed not to approach within a hundred miles. Nonetheless, likely because of communication failures, the USS Liberty was attacked fourteen miles from the coast. Israeli forces had reported being shelled from the sea and had concluded that this unidentified ship was responsible. Once the Israelis released this was an American ship, they immediately apologized to American officials both in Israel and in the Washington. Also not mentioned in the article is the fact that Israel quickly and willingly paid reparations to the US and the families of the victims.
For more information on the Liberty:
The Jewish Library's Myth and Facts article on the Liberty.
Michael Oren's excellent account of the 1967 war, Six Days of War, provides a detailed account of the incident.
Update: Letter published!