Ed’s Story

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous books, articles, and essays on global politics, history, and linguistics. In his book Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, he describes the Israeli attack “on the unmistakably identified U.S. Liberty with rockets, aircraft cannon, napalm, torpedoes and machine guns, clearly premeditated, leaving 34 crewman dead and 75 wounded in ‘the Navy’s bloodiest “peacetime” international incident of the 20th century.’” The Liberty was a large, slow-moving, and defenseless electronic intelligence gathering ship in international waters off the Egyptian coast when it was attacked on June 8, 1967.

Ed writes, “My friend Lt. Phillip Armstrong, Second in Command of the Liberty, was killed in the first moments of that attack.   Questions haunted me, as I stood with his widow and five small children at his grave side in Arlington Cemetery.  Amid the military pomp and tears, I recalled another June day, when I stood among friends as Phillip and Weatie said their marriage vows.

“I ask Why was news of this deliberate attack on a “friendly” nation’s ship dismissed as “an incident“, then moved from front page to back page and then disappeared altogether?”

Chomsky observes, “The nature of the attack on the Liberty was… evaded not only by the press fairly generally but by the government and by a U.S. Naval Board of Inquiry, though high-ranking figures had no doubt that the official report was a whitewash; former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, for example, states that the attack ‘could not possibly have been a case of mistaken identity,’ as officially claimed.”

“Why,  I (Ed) still ask, in the 49 years after, has there never been a full, proper investigation by the US Congress or any other US Government Agency into the true facts about that June 1967 Israeli attack on a US ship which resulted in the death of 34 American service men?”