USS Liberty Survivors
and other experts
in their own voices

Following are voice clips of USS Liberty survivors and US Government leaders from the era commenting about the attack


Lieutenant Commander Jim Ennes recalls message from Sixth Fleet Commander promising jet fighter support within ten minutes if needed.

Ennes describes pre-attack reconnaissance.

Ennes: Reconnaissance pilots were heard telling their headquarters that we were an American ship.

Ennes: Reconnaissance pilots circled the ship 13 times in the hours before the attack.

Ennes: Israeli documents admit that their aircraft identified us in the hours before the attack.

Seaman Bill Casper, a ship's lookout, says Israel is lying.

Survivor: Shell casings found on deck afterward were marked "Ft. Dix, New Jersey" indicating that our men were killed with munitions supplied to Israel by the United States.

Ensign David Lucas: The US flag flew throughout the attack except for a few seconds when it was shot down and immediately replaced.

Moorer: Israel's claim of mistaken identity does not hold water.

Signalman Joe Meadors helped haul up an oversize 9x13' flag before the torpedo boats arrived. Boatmen claim falsely that no flag was displayed.

Ennes: The aircraft carriers were forbidden to help.

Commander Dave Lewis, the officer in charge of Liberty's Research Department, was told by an admiral that President Lyndon Johnson ordered US forces not to defend the Liberty.

Meadors: Our government's refusal to send aid was a capital offense under U.S. military law.

U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk says the decision to attack a known American ship was made at a high level in the Israeli government.

Meadors: The helicopters that Israel claims were sent for "rescue," actually carried armed men in battle dress .

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer says an accident is "too much to swallow. The ship was deliberately attacked."

Meadors comments on cover-up.

Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discusses reasons for the decision by Israel to attack.

Ennes says Israel is lying.

Survivor Halbardier describes Israeli machinegunning of Liberty's life rafts, a war crime under international law.

Ennes: The Israel government's claim that their forces tried to identify the ship before attacking is untrue.

Ennes: Attacking forces selectively jammed the radio frequencies we needed to call for help.

Captain Joseph Tully, CO of the aircraft carrier USS America, tells us that he was never questioned about the attack by anyone. Tully's aircraft were recalled by orders from Washington while the ship was still under attack.

Moorer: Why did Congress fail to investigate this attack?

Ennes: The attack did not stop immediately after the torpedo explosion as Israel claims.

Hrankowski: Irsaeli torpedomen fired on our liferafts in the water.

Ennes: Israel claims firing stopped as soon as the boats came close enough to identify the ship as American. Not so. They continued to fire from close range for another 40 minutes and fired upon liferafts in the water waiting for survivors.

Captain Tully: USS Saratoga launched rescue aircraft in ample time to drive away attacking torpedo boats. Orders from Washington directed the recall of those airplanes while Americans were dying. Tully has never been told why his aircraft wre recalled.

Survivor Rick Aimetti: Israeli helicopter hovering over obvious carnage asked, "Are there casualties."

Ennes: Court of Inquiry was not in accordance with Navy Regulations and reported findings unsupported by evidence and testimony.

Captain Tully: This is the only incident of its type not investigated by Congress.

Ennes: Israel has given at least six different versions of what happened, none of with agree with reports by eyewitness survivors.

Admiral Moorer: A mass grave at Arlington National Cemetery was misnamed as part of the effort to downplay this story.

Moorer: It was a deliberate attack in clear weather.

Rusk: The attack must have been authorized at a high level as it invovled several different Israeli commanders.

Ennes: Signalmen flashed our name and ID to attacking boats, but were ignored.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Ship Stan White: The crew was told to keep quiet.

Ennes: An organized cover-up of the attack started immediately.

Seaman Tom Reilly reports that guards were stationed at his hospital door to prevent unauthorized contact with the press.

Ennes: Crew was threatened with prison if they ever talked about the attack.

Talkshow host: The Israeli government ignores most inquiries about the attack.

Survivor Phil Tourney reports being threatened with prison if he ever talks about the attack.

Commander George Golden, then Liberty's third-ranking officer, reports that key witnesses were not permitted to testify before the Navy Court of Inquiry.

Yeoman Brownfield reports that none of the press reports were accurate.

Commander Lewis: Our Captain's Medal of Honor was awarded in a private ceremony instead of by the President in the White House as is customary.

Dr. John Borne, author of "USS Liberty: Dissenting History vs Official History," discusses difficulty getting a proper investigation.

White: The Court of Inquiry did not interview key people and failed to allow others to testify about important events.

Moorer: USS Liberty bears no resemblance to the ship Israel claims to have mistaken it for.

Moorer: Vital records of this event have never been made public.

Moorer: Israel admits that they knew the USS Liberty was in the area. This should have caused special caution.

Meadors: The was not similar in any way to the ancient horse carrier El Quseir for which Israel claims it was mistaken.

Moorer: Congress has investigated all other major maritime incidents, but refuses to investigate this one.

Ennes: A review by the Department of State found the Israeli excuse untrue. The report was classified Top Secret.

Fireman John Hrankowski: Liberty men were dispersed, were ordered not to talk about the attack, and were stripped of distinctive USS Liberty uniform markings.

Commander David Lewis: Even the settlements were covered up.

Civilian Technician Don Blalock: The government owes us the truth.

Ennes: The United States has not told its own people the truth as they know it.

Ennes: Why I felt free to violate the order to remain quiet.

Moorer: The ship was on the high seas and had every right to be there.

Rusk: Even this Secretary of State cannot accept Israel's story.

Ennes: Major talk shows extended invitations and then abruptly cancelled without explanation.

Talkshow host: Major booksellers don't have or never heard of book.

Ennes: The Court of Inquiry found no evidence of a deliberate attack because it didn't look for any such evidence. The investigation was limited to the performance and training of the crew.

Ennes: My statement as OOD was ignored by the court; my deck logs as OOD were rewritten without my knowledge or permission.

Radioman Richard "Rocky" Sturman recalls that USS Davis crewmen were told "take no pictures; this did not happen"

Bob Casale: Even the Captain's Medal of Honor was hushed up.

Survivor Lentini asks, "Who can we blame?"

Blalock: Biggest disappointment was the failure of our own government to address the issues.

Lentini: "Israel should tell the truth."

Moorer: What concerned Americans should do about this attack upon an American ship.

Ode to USS Liberty by Jim Makris

Prothink Interviews USS Liberty John Hrankowski - Jan. 23, 2008

USS Liberty Interview of Lt. Lloyd Painter - Apr. 23, 2005

Ennes and Meadors Confront (((Jay Cristol))) on Pacifica Radio KPFK - Jan. 29, 2003

Interview with Rear Admiral Merlin Staring

Interview with LVA Vice President Ernie Gallo on KLAV - Apr. 14, 2005

Interview with LVA Historian/Author James Ennes on KLAV - Apr. 15, 2005

Interview with LVA President Gary Brummett on KLAV - Apr. 2, 2005

Interview with Liberty Survivor Doug Pageler  "We [Israel] tried to take out the Liberty because we didn't want them to find out what our plans were."

USS Liberty Survivors Confronted During Book Tour

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Created by Jim Ennes and Joe Meadors
This section last updated August 22, 1997
USS Liberty