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Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed
Jerusalem Post Online ^ | ARIEH O'SULLIVAN

Posted on 06/05/2004 11:18:02 PM PDT by adam_az

At 1:58 pm on June 8, 1967, Capt. Yiftach Spector lined up his Mirage IIICJ fighter jet above the USS Liberty and raked it from bow to stern with his armored-piercing bullets from his 30 mm guns.

Even now, 37 years later, the attack by the Air Force on the American spy ship on the fourth day of the Six Days' War fuels the fire of intrigue, conspiracy and cover-up theories. Nevertheless, what follows is powerful evidence that the attack was a tragic mistake.

The Israel Air Force archives have audiotapes of the radio transmissions made prior, during and after the attack. They have never been made public. The Jerusalem Post was allowed to listen to these tapes on an exclusive basis together with other Air Force historians. Here, for the first time, the actual transcripts of the radio transmissions between the pilot and ground station appear in the press.

Historians will be the first to say that raw material needs context. Therefore, it is important to present the entire unedited transcript of the attack to prevent Israel bashers from dissecting out the unflattering and incriminating comments and using them out of context.

This said, it is also vital that the text be annotated, translated from the jargon of 1967 Air Force language, to one that can be understood today.

There are a number of dramatic moments, including jockey calls by a pilot: that it would be a "mitzvah" to sink the ship before the Navy arrived and another says it was 'easier than MiGs.'

Another is when suddenly, in the middle of the attack, an unknown voice cuts in from the side: "What is this? What about the Americans?" And finally, the confusion over the identity is dwarfed by the split second decision making made by the chief air controller Col. Shmuel Kislev.

Obviously, listening to the tapes sends chills down one's spine.

The pilots speak only before and after they act. There are full minutes of almost total silence and you know that men are being killed.

The only sound is of an automated female voice of the time being red out every 20 seconds. "The time is now 14 and two minutes."

There are two tapes, one of the radio transmissions between the pilots and controllers, and the other is of telephone conversations between the chief air controller and regional air controllers. The audiotapes themselves were not released. The following transcript is a mix of the two tapes into one transcript, which explains the time overlaps.

Cast of characters: Homeland - Air Controllers Kislev - chief air controller at general headquarters in Tel Aviv Menachem - chief air controller at Air Control South Yigal - Menachem's deputy Robert - chief air controller at Air Control Central Shimon - Robert's deputy L.K. - Capt. Lazar Karni, weapons system officer Kursa - two-ship formation of Mirage IIICJs commanded by Capt. Yiftach Spector Royal - two-ship formation of Super-Mysteres that made the second run on Liberty Nixon - two-ship formation of Mysteres armed with bombs for third strike Pagoda - three torpedo boats commanded by Lt.-Cmdr. Moshe Oren Migdal - one of the three torpedo boats that communicates with the pilots

Background: The Navy has just identified a mysterious vessel off El Arish possibly shelling the ammo depot on the beach. It dispatched three torpedo boats against it, but has asked the Air Force to intercept the ship.

13:50 KISLEV: Yigal, you have a ship at 26 (site designation). Take Kursa over there. If it's a warship then screw it.

YIGAL Clear

13:51 UNKNOWN Wait a minute Kislev. The Navy says that our torpedo boats are in the area and are called Pagoda. They're on frequency 186.

KISLEV If it is a warship you can attack. There are two of our torpedo boats there and they want (the pilots) to either see them or contact them on frequency 186. (There were actually three boats) Robert, do you have Royal?

ROBERT Royal?

SHIMON He is at Hava 16 (grid coordinates) That's route 15.

KISLEV Robert, take Royal along the coast so that if Kursa identifies then he'll be able to go in too.

ROBERT All right

KISLEV Menachem, how much fuel does Kursa have?

MENACHEM he has a lot. About a minute ago he had 3000 (liters)

13:52 KURSA What's the range? Seven turns, 040 degrees. Roger, I'll stay on 19 and 9 (frequencies). How do you call the torpedo boats? Pagoda? Kursa 9 and 3.

13:53 KURSA Homeland, keep on directing me to the place.

HOMELAND 045 degrees, 20 miles. Ah, can you see them at the moment?

13:54 KURSA Affirmative, it looks longer by eyesight.

LK What is this? Americans? (the weapons system officer in the general headquarters blurted out in what he later testified was a hunch.)

SHOMON Where are Americans?

KISLEV Robert, what are you saying?

(quickly disregarding the comment, Kislev moves on)

KISLEV Does he see more torpedo boats north of him?

13:55 KISLEV Menachem, if there are three torpedo boats, then this could be ours. (he is aware of the correct number of boats now)

SHIMON Pay attention, Kursa

13:55 KURSA Pagoda from Kursa. Migdal?

MIGDAL Affirmative

KURSA Are You attacking some ship now?

MIGDAL We're on our way to one.

KURSA OK. I'll come and give you a hand. Where are you?

KURSA Migdal from Kursa. Are you three? There is no need. Bring yourselves up some 10-15 kilometers from the ship. Is it in the direction of your home?

KURSA I see you on a right turn. Why are you turning? It's not in that direction.

MIGDAL OK, all right. Affirmative Affirmative.

13:56 MIGDAL Can you identify the target?

KURSA Can you identify his target, Migdal?

KURSA She's running from you in the direction of El Arish, correction, Port Said. What is it? What is it? A destroyer? A patrol boat? What is it?

MIGDAL Kursa, Can you manage to identify it?

KURSA I can't identify it, but in any case it's a military ship.

MIGDAL OK, what is it?

KURSA It has one mast and one smokestack

MIGDAL Roger

KURSA It has one mast up front.

13:56 SHIMON Menachem, Kursa is calling you.

SHIMON He says he is starting to strafe them.

MENACHEM I told him that if it is a warship then he has authorization to attack. That was the last command.

KISLEV Menachem

MENACHEM Does he have authorization to attack?

KISLEV He does. If this is a warship then yes. Royal is to be directed to there.

MENACHEM OK

KISLEV Send Royal over there with bombs

ROBERT On what frequency are you attacking?

SHIMON She's running away from this (he says this as he monitors the Liberty on his radar screen)

KISLEV Menachem, after he attacks have him explain to Royal how to find her.

SHIMON She's fleeing very fast.

KISLEV OK, attack.

SHIMON Robert, have Royal call us on 19.

ROBERT Royal to you on 19.

13:57 SHIMON Just a second, Kislev, we see the ship. (on radar) That's one hell of a ship.

ROBERT Menachem, I passing 105th (Super Mysteres squadron) to you on 19. Royal (over) El Arish at 20 (20,000 feet)

KISLEV Menachem, have (Kursa) tell us if there is anti-aircraft fire.

13:58 KISLEV Menachem, nu?

MENACHEM We're asking him. She's not shooting back.

KISLEV Not shooting? Give me 19. (his voice has a puzzled expression)

13:59 KURSA We've hit her a lot ...but maybe she is doing it (putting out smoke) on purpose, I don't know. Oil is spilling out into the water. I'm in eye contact. Great! Wonderful! She's burning! She's burning!

MENACHEM Did you hear? He's hit her a lot. There's a lot of black smoke. There's an oil leak into the water. He's continuing.

KISLEV Was there any anti-aircraft fire on him?

MENACHEM She's burning! The warship is burning!

MENACHEM Shumlik, she's burning! The moment Kursa is finished we're sending in Royal.(he uses Kislev's first name Shmulik in his excitement)

KISLEV That's right, to sink her. (he says this flatly)

MENACHEM To sink her, OK.

14:00 ROYAL Eye contact with the target. Eye contact with Kursa. Royal requests 15 (15,000 feet)

KURSA OK, Kursa is coming in ..you a bit further in. I'll go in the direction OK (his comments are to his wingman)

KURSA I think she is putting out smoke on purpose. It's coming out of the smokestack. OK. I'm finished too. The ship is really burning. There is a large fire and a lot of black smoke.

14:01 KURSA Royal, you altitude? We're at 5 (5,000 feet).

ROYAL You're east, right?

KURSA We're south of the ship.

14:01 KISLEV Menachem

MENACHEM We're sending in Royal

KISLEV Good

ROBERT (garbled) this ship?

KISLEV Menachem, if Royal has napalm it would be more efficient.

14:02 KURSA Affirmative

ROYAL Not ours?

ROYAL Homeland, can you hear? Call Homeland on 19. Ask if it's allowed to go in.

ROYAL I understand do not go in. Fine. We're circling above the ship at 15. (15,000 feet) Tell him that the Navy will be arriving before us. I can see.

14:02 SHIMON Menachem, Royal is calling you.

MENACHEM He got off the line

KURSA I've got him. (Kursa is relaying to control for Royal)

ROYAL Does Royal have permission?

[20 empty seconds pass]

SHIMON Kislev, there's doubt as to the identification.

KISLEV If there is a doubt, don't attack.

SHIMON Don't attack Menachem.

ROBERT Pay attention. There is doubt as to the identification. (Robert consults with a naval liaison officer in his headquarters)

KISLEV What does that mean?

ROBERT OK, you can go in. (apparently resolving the issue with the Navy)

KISLEV You may go in.

KURSA Affirmative, you have permission, Royal.

14:02 ROYAL Sausages, in the middle and up in one pass. Two together. (he instructs his wingman on dropping the napalm) We'll come in from the rear. Watch out for the masts. Don't hit the masts, careful of the masts. I'll come in from her left, you come behind me.

SHIMON Next formation - get a briefing on what took place.

14:03 ROBERT Authorized to sink her?

KISLEV You can sink her.

SHIMON Royal is exchanging words. They started chatting

ROBERT One Eight (sector coordinates) that is not the ship. Wait a minute

14:04 KISLEV Menachem, Is he screwing her?

MENACHEM He's going down on her with napalm all the time.

KISLEV You don't need anymore for the ship. Enough.

MENACHEM There is no need. Our forces are there. The Navy's there too.

SHIMON It'll be worth it just for the insurance.

KISLEV But napalm went there.

UNKOWN What does napalm do (to a ship?)

14:04 ROYAL on the right side of the stern ..

14:05 ROYAL WING You've missed by an undershot.

ROYAL a deep gash

14:05 KISLEV What is Kursa reporting? Was there any ant-aircraft fire?

MENACHIM I've passed him on to 33 (frequency) and asked for a report.

KISLEV Robert, ask Kursa if there was any anti-aircraft fire.

ROBERT Kislev, the Navy asks not to sink her completely. They want to get close and have a look.

SHIMON Have them rescue the people with the torpedo boats to help.

ROBERT OK, finish with this formation. The torpedoes are coming up to the them.

14:06 KISLEV What does Kursa say?

ROBERT I'm telling you already. 'This is easier than (shooting down) MiGs.'

KISLEV What is the situation now?

UNKNOWN I don't know. Two (Royal wingman) hit the ship with (napalm) and now he's strafing.

14:07 ROYAL Fine pull up.

ROYAL I'm behind you. Careful of her antennas.

14:08 ROYAL Homeland from Royal, how do you hear me? She has some kind of marking, P30 and something.

KISLEV Robert, take formation 116 (Nixon) out there too.

ROBERT Good

MENACHEM Her marking (he is cut off by Kislev)

KISLEV Yes I heard. We are checking.

14:09 ROYAL Homeland, if you could have a two-ship formation with bombs (here) before the Navy arrives then it would be a mitzvah. Otherwise the Navy will be here in 10 minutes.

SHIMON Before the Navy arrives, it will be a mitzvah.

KISLEV In the meantime take formation 116 (Nixon). Who is checking this? (the mysterious markings on the ship)

SHIMON Royal reported that it would be a mitzvah before the Navy comes!

KISLEV Look for a flag if they can see one. Have Royal look. See if they can identify her with a flag.

14:10 ROYAL Twelve o'clock ..look higher. Now left, slowly, slowly a bit faster so it will stay external, OK?

14:10 ROBERT Kislev, they (the Navy) are asking us not to do anything else about her. They want to take her. It's a pity to sink her. I want to receive an answer.

KISLEV No, no, We are attacking meanwhile.

14:11 ROBERT Menachem, Is Royal leaving?

MENACHEM Not yet. Just a moment. He is reporting something.

KISLEV OK attack, Menachem (he orders Nixon in for a third strike)

ROBERT Menachem, has Royal left?

MENACHEM Not yet.

14:11 ROYAL Homeland from Royal, do you read me? Pay attention. This ship's markings are Charlie-Tango-Romeo 5. There is no flag on her! She looks like a minesweeper with that marking. Roger, I'm leaving her. I'm staying around one more minute. (the Liberty's correct markings were GTR-5)

14:12 ROBERT What altitude? What altitude is Royal reaching?

MENACHEM Charlie-Senator-Romeo (he incorrectly recalls CSR-5)

KISLEV Leave her! (his flat tone changes dramatically as he realizes this was no Egyptian ship)

ROBERT Leave her. What ship is this?

KISLEV Leave her. (he says tersely) Menachem report the approximate damage. (Redirect) 116 to its original mission.

14:13 ROYAL Homeland, there's external fire on her, a lot of hits on her upper parts. People are jumping into the water. She's not shooting at all. She has hardly any armaments on her. She's going full steam towards the north.

KISLEV Shimon, Robert. We're sending two helicopters to them.

ROBERT Good. Clear. I am dispatching helicopters.

14:14 MENACHEM Kislev, what country?

KISLEV Apparently American.

Coverup There are two negative stories about Israel-US relations that refuse to die and are raised periodically. One of them is the Pollard espionage affair and the other is the attack on the USS Liberty. They often are mentioned in the same breath.

Dozens of books have been written and documentaries made on the attack that killed 34 US sailors and wounded over 170. At least ten official US and three Israeli investigations concluded it was the result of a tragic mistake made in the heat of battle. But for some in the world it was inconceivable that the Israeli intelligence which orchestrated the enormous victory of the Six Days' War could have made such a gross mistake. There must be another explanation.

"There isn't," says Michael Oren, author of the acclaimed Six Days of War and senior fellow at The Shalem Center in Jerusalem. "Conspiracy theories in general live, and regarding Jews and Israel they are immortal."

"They don't die because they tap into the notion or belief of an international Jewish cabal, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion thing," he says. "The USS Liberty conspiracists all claim that Israel uses its lobbies and threaten to withhold support to anyone critical of the country. It is nefarious and sinister. It is anti-Semitism."

Besides that, the incident includes terrific elements for conspiracies, Oren says.

"It involves a spy ship. It involves Israel committing an egregious error in the middle of a war where it was perceived to have been flawless. The combination of the NSA (National Security Agency) and the Israeli Air Force is a conspiracy theorists dream,"

Oren says, adding there was little Israel could to do fight it.

Meanwhile, the survivors of the USS Liberty continue to gather to remember their friends, but also to perpetuate the conspiracy that not only were deliberately attacked, but that it was covered up at the highest American and Israeli levels.

Less than 20 of the hundreds of survivors came to this year's memorial held two weeks ago (May 22) in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

"We all believe we're finally getting to the point where the truth may be told and the world is ready to listen," says Cmdr. David Lewis, who oversaw intelligence on the ship and remembers most of the attack that left him with superficial burns and destroyed his eardrums.

The view from the cockpit Of the four pilots who took part in the attack, three are alive today. One died in 1979 during an aviation accident. For years their identities were classified. Last October, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yiftach Spector agreed to be identified and gave an exclusive interview on the attack to this reporter. Here are some of his comments.

"There was a mistake. Mistakes happen. As far as I know, the mistake was of the USS Liberty being there in the first place," said Spector, who at the time was deputy squadron commander of the 101st and used the code name "Kursa" during the attack.

"I did not fire on the Liberty as a human target. I was sent to attack a sailing vessel. This ship was on an escape route from the El Arish area which at that same moment had heavy smoke rising from it," said Spector.

He had been on an air-to-air mission and was not loaded with bombs.

"I was told on the radio that it was an Egyptian ship off the Gaza coast. Hit it. The luck of the ship was that I was armed only with light ammunition (30mm) against aircraft. If I had had a bomb it would be sitting on the bottom today like the Titanic. I promise you," Spector said.

"Every order is given by commanders and the last one to receive it has to decide whether he will pull the trigger or not. In this instance I was the fighter. I checked what I had to check (i.e. that it was a military ship and not one of ours) and pulled the trigger," Spector said.

"The crew should be thankful for their luck (that I was on an air-to-air mission and did not have any bombs) I'm sorry for poor Capt. (William Loren) McGonagle whose leg was wounded and the other guys who were killed and wounded."

"I'm sorry for the mistake. In war mistakes happen," Spector said. "But it wasn't my mistake."

He added he remained baffled that the conspiracy theories live on that Israel deliberately attacked the US intelligence ship. He suggested it might be due to anti-Semitism, or anti-Israeli sentiments. He has never in the past 37 years ever met with any of the Liberty survivors, but had no qualms about doing so now.

"These people never, ever spoke to me. Perhaps they are anti-Semites? Or these guys feel hurt and are looking for guilty parties, maybe to get compensation, or money? I am not afraid to meet them. Anyone who wants to meet with me is welcome. I don't have any claims against them. I don't want any compensation from them or anything. If they want they can look me up. And they best not deal with lies and deception since it won't help. It's best they tell the truth."

"They must understand that a mistake was made here," Spector said. "The fool is one who wanders about in the dark in dangerous places, so they should not come with any complaints."

Spector, 63, who went on to become a triple ace shooting down 15 enemy aircraft, base commander and took part in the infamous 1981 raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor, earned a place in the pantheon of Israeli fly boys. He has spent the past 20 years teaching new generation of fliers. He was dismissed from the IAF last year for signing a letter with other pilots protesting the policy of targeted killings.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Israel
KEYWORDS: liberty; mossadcutandpaste; ussliberty
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1 posted on 06/05/2004 11:18:03 PM PDT by adam_az
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To: yonif; SJackson; Alouette

ping


2 posted on 06/05/2004 11:19:20 PM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: adam_az

Somebody posted a few weeks back that the only friends the Israelis have are the Israelis. I believe it.


3 posted on 06/05/2004 11:26:04 PM PDT by stboz
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To: adam_az
Nevertheless, what follows is powerful evidence that the attack was a tragic mistake.

It's going to take a lot more than mere evidence - no matter how powerful - to convince the tinfoilers and enemies of Israel of that. It's going to take a miracle -- their blind hatred will have to be disgarded.

4 posted on 06/05/2004 11:29:26 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: adam_az

My question is, why was there no American flag flying on this ship?


5 posted on 06/05/2004 11:31:52 PM PDT by taxesareforever
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To: adam_az

................

"I'm sorry for the mistake. In war mistakes happen," Spector said. "But it wasn't my mistake."

He added he remained baffled that the conspiracy theories live on that Israel deliberately attacked the US intelligence ship. He suggested it might be due to anti-Semitism, or anti-Israeli sentiments. He has never in the past 37 years ever met with any of the Liberty survivors, but had no qualms about doing so now.

"These people never, ever spoke to me. Perhaps they are anti-Semites? Or these guys feel hurt and are looking for guilty parties, maybe to get compensation, or money? I am not afraid to meet them. Anyone who wants to meet with me is welcome. I don't have any claims against them. I don't want any compensation from them or anything. If they want they can look me up. And they best not deal with lies and deception since it won't help. It's best they tell the truth."

"They must understand that a mistake was made here," Spector said. "The fool is one who wanders about in the dark in dangerous places, so they should not come with any complaints."

.................

I am a friend to Israel - but these remarks are hateful. This man killed MANY Americans, and he has no apologies, only "anti-semitism" smears against the survivors of the Liberty. Outrageous statements fuel outrageous theories; Israel would do well to tell Spector to shut his mouth.

Can you imagine the outcry if Americans bombed an Israeli ship, killed 34 soldiers, wounded 171, then spoke this way? It is wrong to speak this way, no matter how right Israel may be in this world - for they have had no finer friend than America. It makes me sad to hear this.


6 posted on 06/05/2004 11:35:24 PM PDT by dandelion
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To: adam_az
Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot's radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.

The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery.

Taken from here. Some interesting differences.

7 posted on 06/05/2004 11:38:43 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (06/07/04 - 1000 days since 09/11/01)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Reference to Evans and Novak's story can be found here:

http://wwwhttp://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/liberty.html.us-israel.org/jsource/History/liberty.html

According to this report, Evans and Novak took liberties with some of the sources - not difficult to imagine.

"In 1991, columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak trumpeted their discovery of an American who said he had been in the Israeli war room when the decision was made to knowingly attack the American ship.4 In fact, that individual, Seth Mintz, wrote a letter to the Washington Post on November 9, 1991, in which he said he was misquoted by Evans and Novak and that the attack, was, in fact, a "case of mistaken identity." Moreover, the man who Mintz originally said had been with him, a Gen. Benni Matti, does not exist."

All things considered, the case is intriguing, but far more damage is done by unapologetic statements from Spector (calling the men of the Liberty "fools"), than from any historical fact which has come to light.


8 posted on 06/05/2004 11:44:21 PM PDT by dandelion
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To: dandelion

Dang it - story found HERE:

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/liberty.html


9 posted on 06/05/2004 11:45:15 PM PDT by dandelion
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To: adam_az

Ah well, there's always Roswell.


10 posted on 06/06/2004 12:03:11 AM PDT by thoughtomator (Any "church" that can't figure out abortion and homosexuality isn't worthy of the appellation)
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To: dandelion

Thanks for that.


11 posted on 06/06/2004 12:05:03 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (06/07/04 - 1000 days since 09/11/01)
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To: dandelion

"I am a friend to Israel - but these remarks are hateful. This man killed MANY Americans, and he has no apologies, only "anti-semitism" smears against the survivors of the Liberty."

Gosh, ALMOST as bad as accusing people of deliberate murder who actually made a mistake, huh?


12 posted on 06/06/2004 12:05:22 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: dandelion

I agree with you 100%.


13 posted on 06/06/2004 12:09:06 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: adam_az

No.


14 posted on 06/06/2004 12:10:05 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: DB

Uh, yes. Especially considering the propensity of evidence.


15 posted on 06/06/2004 12:16:47 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: adam_az

With heros like Spector it's no wonder israel finds little sympathy. When I read this guy's quotes I was utterly disgusted. Sounds like those folks were quite trigger happy and had no compunctions about murdering a wounded unidentified "foe".

And yeah, I'm sure the survivors wake up every god damn day thanking jesus that schmuck wasn't armed with a bomb. Wow, thanks for small miracles.


16 posted on 06/06/2004 12:20:47 AM PDT by Orblivion
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To: adam_az

According to this guy he didn't make a mistake. It's all the fault of the people who died...

And anyone that dares call him on it must be an "anti-semite".

That makes his "apology" less than worthless.


17 posted on 06/06/2004 12:29:46 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: dandelion

While this guys comments are insensitive, he is a private citizen and his tone is not that of the government of Israel.

Secondly, like mentioned earlier, this insensitivity PALES in comparrision to 4 decades of smearing an ENTIRE NATION with the INTENTIONAL murder of numerous Americans.

Accidents happen in war, even to the most advanced, trained, and well-meaning armies. Americans know this better then anyone.


18 posted on 06/06/2004 12:30:17 AM PDT by solmar_israel (Break the alliance with Old Europe)
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To: Orblivion

Adam_az is defending Spector...


19 posted on 06/06/2004 12:31:47 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: Orblivion

"And yeah, I'm sure the survivors wake up every god damn day thanking jesus that schmuck wasn't armed with a bomb. Wow, thanks for small miracles."

They should wake up every day and wonder why their ship was there in the first place, and why the US didn't notify Israel that it had a ship in the warzone.

Also I don't think you can blame Israel for Spector being a putz. Blame his electorate.

As for the pilots being trigger happy, this was in the middle of a freaking war.


20 posted on 06/06/2004 12:31:48 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: DB

"And anyone that dares call him on it must be an "anti-semite"."

How about garnering some reading comprehension.

He spectulated as for the reason THE SURVIVORS WOULDN'T TALK TO HIM.


21 posted on 06/06/2004 12:33:04 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: DB

"Adam_az is defending Spector..."

Now I know it's not just your reading comprehension - it's your low IQ.


22 posted on 06/06/2004 12:33:35 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: solmar_israel

When the man who did it "apolozises" by say it wasn't his fault and that you should be thanking him for not having a bomb on his plane... Well...

Scorn is due. And due to all those who defend him.


23 posted on 06/06/2004 12:35:41 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: Orblivion

"With heros like Spector it's no wonder Israel finds little sympathy. "

I find it best to keep emotion out of my posts, relying instead on logic and fact. However, I'll make an exception for this quote.

Your comment is that of a complete idiot.

To smear the entire country of Israel over the insensitive remarks of a former pilot is ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as claiming this as an example of why Israel recieves little sympathy.

In case you resently crawled out of a rock, the reason for the lack of sympathy is:
1. The world has always, and will always, HATE JEWS.
2. The Arabs have all the oil.

No more, no less.


24 posted on 06/06/2004 12:38:44 AM PDT by solmar_israel (Break the alliance with Old Europe)
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To: adam_az

Hey dude, I understand all that stuff. I'm not sayin this guy Spector is guilty of anything. Except being a pretty hateful human being.


25 posted on 06/06/2004 12:41:17 AM PDT by Orblivion
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To: DB

He's a pilot. Not a diplomat. The only apologies that really count are those of the government.

Additionally, if this happened in Saudi Arabia, you guys might have more of a point here. Because at least then you know the country as a whole hates Americans.

However, Israel is really the last country deserving of 4 decades of conspiracy theories regarding the intentional murder of Americans.

Israelis love Americans, and everything American. I've seen more American patriotism in Israel then in most parts of California that I've lived in.

This pilot made a mistake in war. A mistake that wasn't directly his fault. We can blame lots of people for this (including, and especially, the NSA or whoever sent this ship there in secret). But the best 'person' to blame is the FOG OF WAR.


26 posted on 06/06/2004 12:45:56 AM PDT by solmar_israel (Break the alliance with Old Europe)
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To: Orblivion

"Hey dude, I understand all that stuff. I'm not sayin this guy Spector is guilty of anything. Except being a pretty hateful human being."

I agree. He's an a$$. It happens.


27 posted on 06/06/2004 12:47:10 AM PDT by solmar_israel (Break the alliance with Old Europe)
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To: adam_az
You don't know me at all.

Yet you go personal in the attack.

If IQ is what matters to you... Then...

The various IQ tests I've taken over the years have yielded results between the low 160's to the mid 170's. Ya, I wish I was smarter.

What's yours?

And as far as reading comprehension, there is a difference between speculating and implicating. The possibilities he offers are antisemitism or greed. In his mind that's the only choices. That says a lot about him and those who think like him.
28 posted on 06/06/2004 12:47:55 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: solmar_israel

I'm not dumping on Israel.

I am dumping on this guy.


29 posted on 06/06/2004 12:48:47 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: Straight Vermonter
Did you bother to check out the site that you are positng from?
I would like to see the actual comments, not unnamed sources. The site is full of outright lies. The Israeli Jets had Israeli markings, noticeable in the pictures of the attack. (Of course, crewmen could have miossed these markings, just as the Israeli pilots could miss t he flag on the Liberty, something that the conspiracy ty[pes will never admitt.)
30 posted on 06/06/2004 12:52:35 AM PDT by rmlew (Peaceniks and isolationists are objectively pro-Terrorist)
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To: solmar_israel

While I mostly agree with that, the man's apology does matter. Especially to those he hurt. His "apology" offers more injury than healing.

As far as what the NSA did, wasn't the ship in international waters? Did it not have every right to be there?

And yes accidents do happen. It is what you do about them once they happen that really matters.


31 posted on 06/06/2004 12:55:45 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: Orblivion
The USS Liberty was an unidentiofied ship in a war zone, hundreds of miles east of where the US government said our ships would be.
General FUBAR. Trigger-happy Israelis, secret espionage mission, naval misinformation given to a combattant in war, and a refusal by the US to provide a naval liason led to the attack.
There are a lot of people with blood on their hands here.
32 posted on 06/06/2004 12:56:09 AM PDT by rmlew (Peaceniks and isolationists are objectively pro-Terrorist)
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To: adam_az

did you have to bring this up now?


33 posted on 06/06/2004 12:57:30 AM PDT by rmlew (Peaceniks and isolationists are objectively pro-Terrorist)
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To: solmar_israel

It's a lot more complex than that! Well I didn't intend my comment to be a smear of israel by any means. Reading it a second time it definitely didn't quite make the point I was tryin to make. Anyways. to discuss it further would mean endless debate and on and on.. . :)

So I take my comments back except to say. I damn sure hope this guy isn't indicative of israeli military hero's, or israelis in general. :)


34 posted on 06/06/2004 1:10:13 AM PDT by Orblivion
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To: adam_az; Aeronaut

Typical ATC pukes. Lead you into disaster then after it's too late, record something on the tapes to make it sound like they warned you off.


35 posted on 06/06/2004 4:26:20 AM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: adam_az
"I'm sorry for the mistake. In war mistakes happen," Spector said. "But it wasn't my mistake." He added he remained baffled that the conspiracy theories live on that Israel deliberately attacked the US intelligence ship. He suggested it might be due to anti-Semitism, or anti-Israeli sentiments. He has never in the past 37 years ever met with any of the Liberty survivors, but had no qualms about doing so now. "These people never, ever spoke to me. Perhaps they are anti-Semites? Or these guys feel hurt and are looking for guilty parties, maybe to get compensation, or money? I am not afraid to meet them. Anyone who wants to meet with me is welcome. I don't have any claims against them. I don't want any compensation from them or anything. If they want they can look me up. And they best not deal with lies and deception since it won't help. It's best they tell the truth."

Unmitigated garbage. This lousy excuse for a professional military man has had his identity protected for the almost 40 years that have gone by - it's not "antisemitism" that kept the survivors from confronting him.

He and his compatriots didn't bother getting in close to identify a ship before attacking it - they raked it with cannon and rocket fire, then when that didn't cause enough damage, napalmed the thing. The fact that the ship didn't shoot back should've been a major clue. The fact that no one in the attacking aircraft got up on an international radio channel to interrogate the ship to ascertain its identity before attacking is another clue. (The was little chance that a 20-knot ship could get away from 500-knot aircraft during the pause required to get positive identification).

I am and have been a strong supporter of Israel, but this brutal attack remains a festering sore with me and this Air Force Colonel's attitude is callous and insulting to the memory of our murdered and maimed sailors.

The "I was fighting a war and sh_t happens" defense is garbage and the accusation that the survivors are looking for money is scurrilous.

The questions have not been answered and the responses that we have gotten are not satisfactory. How would Israelis have responded if we had attacked them, killed and wounded their young men, then said that "they were lucky that we weren't armed with bombs or we would have sunk them like the Titanic"? Scummy.

36 posted on 06/06/2004 5:21:00 AM PDT by USMCVet
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To: DB

I've tested in the same range. My dad has tested higher, so there's hope for me yet.

As for myself, there are times I've wished I were simpler, so welcome to the club. I've learned to often keep my mouth shut offline, but haven't learned the same lesson online.


Let's be honest, you went personal in the attack on this guy, which I believe is unwarranted. Also, you moved the goalpost, which is unfair.

The typical claim by the Liberty activists is that "Israel knew" and attacked the Liberty intentionally.

The worst charge you can make after reading this, is that the pilots were negligent - IE made a mistake.

The Liberty folks for years have charged Israel with intentionally attacking their ship. One of the pilots had offered to meet with them, and was consistently rebuffed, because his story did not match their beliefs... and then you attack the pilot for speculating as to why.

Many WWII vets have met with their Japanese counterparts - and they were bitter enemies during the war. After being rebuffed for years after a friendly fire incident, you might just turn bitter, too.

If you respond, I won't be back home for hours - I'm about to go take the Jeep out to Tonto National Forest to find some pretty scenery and then drive over it. ;)


37 posted on 06/06/2004 6:30:14 AM PDT by adam_az (Call your State Republican Party office and VOLUNTEER!!!!)
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To: adam_az

Oh this thread should be fun to watch...


38 posted on 06/06/2004 7:13:13 AM PDT by My Favorite Headache (Rush 30th Anniversary Tour Tickets On Sale Now!)
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To: taxesareforever

There was an American flag flying on the ship. They actually used an oversized flag in the hopes that the attacking planes would see it and realize their mistake. I think they used something like a 7 or 10 foot long flag, which is pretty hard to miss from a plane...

But I guess I'm anti-semetic for just not accepting the apology outright.


39 posted on 06/06/2004 8:14:05 AM PDT by Bulwark
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To: USMCVet

{He and his compatriots didn't bother getting in close to identify a ship before attacking it - they raked it with cannon and rocket fire, then when that didn't cause enough damage, napalmed the thing. The fact that the ship didn't shoot back should've been a major clue. The fact that no one in the attacking aircraft got up on an international radio channel to interrogate the ship to ascertain its identity before attacking is another clue. (The was little chance that a 20-knot ship could get away from 500-knot aircraft during the pause required to get positive identification).}

Your analysis leaves little room for improvement. Conspiracy theory or no, the baffoons flying those aircraft should have been, at the least, court marshalled.
Instead, arrogant SOB's like Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yiftach Spector are promoted to base commander. And many on this thread will continue to wonder why the Liberty continues to be a smoldering hot point of US/Israeli relations for some.....


40 posted on 06/06/2004 9:08:07 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
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To: ScreamingFist
The concepts of "measured response" and "accountability" seem to be alien to generations of Israeli leaders. We have been their most dependable (and generous) allies since the nation of Israel was formed. We have stood by them against all comers and I still remember watching workmen spraypainting Stars of David over the US insignia on A-4 Skyhawks as they were being prepared in Norfolk to be sent to replace Israeli losses in the '73. We sent those planes and we sent tanks and we sent everthing else we could during that dark and desperate time, even though virtually no one in Europe would assist us and we paid a hard price in the Arab Oil Embargo that followed.

Despite this history, there has been no real investigation, no real accounting, and no real conclusion to the acts that killed and wounded so many American servicemen aboard the Liberty. There are conspiracy theorists in abundance (particularly on this FreeRepublic of ours) because Israel has stonewalled its best friend with inadequate responses and in the case of this IAF officer, unfeeling arrogance. He and all of those in responsibility for that attack should have been court-marshalled. There should have been a meaningful apology and there should be a memorial in Israel to the American men who fell at their hands.

41 posted on 06/06/2004 9:28:48 AM PDT by USMCVet
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To: Bulwark
The power of the internet is amazing. Apparently Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yiftach Spector doesn't believe the IAF to be as ethical now as they were back in the days of the Liberty.

Arutz Sheva IsraelNationalNews.com

Nine "Rebel" Pilots Suspended IAF Commander Gen. Dan Halutz has suspended the nine active pilots who signed last night's "pilots' letter" from further flights. They will be summoned for talks with their base commanders, and if they do not retract their position, they will apparently be discharged from active duty. Those who do retract will be able to fly again only if approved by Gen. Halutz.

Twenty-seven "rebel" Air Force pilots sent a well-publicized letter last night - IAF Commander Gen. Halutz said he received his copy via the media - saying that they refuse to take part in bombing missions against terrorist leaders in Arab towns. Only nine of the signatories are in active service.

They wrote that such missions are "unethical," as they endanger and sometimes kill or wound innocent women, children, and other civilians. In interviews with the press, they did not hide the fact that their action is a "political" one, and that it stems from their political philosophy opposing Israel's presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The pilots wore uniforms during the interviews, in opposition to army regulations forbidding reserve soldiers from speaking to the press while wearing army uniforms.

Foreign Ministry officials say that the pilots' letter will require an intense public relations campaign to counter the expected propaganda attacks on Israel.

IDF leaders reacted with resentment towards the pilots. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon said, "I see political statements dressed up in uniform. This is totally illegitimate. The option of pilots refusing orders because of political claims is absolutely forbidden." IAF Chief Gen. Halutz reacted sharply: "We will hold them to the letter of the law. For the headlines, they call themselves pilots... when in fact 18 of them are not even on active duty... and only two of those serve in units in which they could be called on the missions in question... Some of them are merely serial petition-signers."

More to the point, Halutz said, "The IDF is the most ethical army in the world that I know of. We have no intention of harming civilians, and if it happens that they are harmed, we have apologized."

One of the signers, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yiftach Spector, was once a commander of Dan Halutz, and served as head of IAF Operations. His current successor in that position, Gen. Eliezer Shakdi, said, "The letter itself was not ethical. Most of them have not been on active duty for a long time, yet they are taking cynical advantage of their past service to express their civilian political opinions."

The letter states, "We, both active and former pilots, who served and continue to serve the State of Israel many weeks each year, object to carrying out attack orders that are illegal and unethical, of the type that the State of Israel carries out in the territories. We, who were taught to love the State of Israel and contribute to the Zionist enterprise, refuse to take part in air attacks in the center of civilian populations. We, for whom the IDF and IAF are integral parts of us, refuse to continue to strike at innocent civilians."

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Effie Eitam, currently Israel's Minister of Housing, called upon the Defense Minister to discharge the pilots: "This is a grave blow to the army's fighting spirit... it knowingly serves the interests of the worst of Israel's enemies."

Deputy Education Minister Tzvi Hendel said, "The ethical level of the extreme left-wing has dropped to an unprecedented low, and it is absolutely unacceptable. This bunch of dissenters must be punished particularly strongly, as their actions are akin to wartime treachery."

Gen. (res.) Amram Mitzna, a Labor MK, took a lukewarm approach, saying that the letter has an "aroma of rebellion," but blamed Prime Minister Sharon's policies and said that the letter was "political/ethical." Meretz MK Zahava Gal'on, on the other hand, justified the pilots' action and said that Israel's "occupation of the territories" is at fault.

42 posted on 06/06/2004 9:36:23 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
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To: USMCVet

All accounts of this have lead me to believe this was an accident..that doesnt make it so tho. I cannot think of a single reason for Israel to attack a US war ship. Perhaps will will never really know but the conspiracy goons will have a field day as always with this story. RIP the 34.


43 posted on 06/06/2004 9:38:46 AM PDT by rrrod
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To: freefly

.


44 posted on 06/06/2004 9:41:23 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
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To: freefly
Instead, arrogant SOB's like Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yiftach Spector are promoted to base commander. And many on this thread will continue to wonder why the Liberty continues to be a smoldering hot point of US/Israeli relations for some.....

My mistake, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yiftach Spector was promoted to head of IAF Operations.

45 posted on 06/06/2004 9:59:18 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
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To: taxesareforever

That's what I wondered. Why no American flag on the ship?


46 posted on 06/06/2004 10:47:42 AM PDT by hershey
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To: VaBthang4
Why look. It's a USS Liberty thread.

That must mean that this forum is a Joooo-hating Loserdopian forum. < /VaBthang>

47 posted on 06/06/2004 10:49:09 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown" -- harpseal)
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To: dandelion

Right, Spector sounds defensive and hostile. Hmm, he didn't suffer any suspension of rank or privileges after the incident? Hmmm.


48 posted on 06/06/2004 10:49:37 AM PDT by hershey
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To: solmar_israel

I agree. Friendly fire incident happen in the fog of war. They've happened before and as we saw with Pat Tillman recently they go right on happening. Nothing is to be gained by raking this matter over the coals again and again. We have bigger fish to fry in the Middle East.


49 posted on 06/06/2004 10:54:47 AM PDT by hershey
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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