IT’S LIBERTY DAY!
June the Eighth
Last Thursday, June 4th, as any paperwork American or public school history student could tell you, was the 76th anniversary of D-Day. Then, thousands of American men were wounded or killed in the late stages of the second phase of the Great Civil War of the West. With massive Soviet assistance, their compatriots and allies went on to claim victory. The celebrations and remembrances were muted this year due to our cities burning and the plague and so forth. Perhaps general interest wanes.
Similarly, not so many folks know the significance of today, the 53rd iteration or anniversary of Liberty Day. It was a time just after the horrific changes of 1965 and just before the abortion of 1973, another day of unprecedented events of American military and cultural history.
This day honors the valiant, if tragic combat trials of the USS Liberty, AGTR-5. She was probably the most advanced surveillance warship (a Technical Research Ship) of her day, a model of Navy and NSA efficiency and ingenuity. Unmistakable in appearance, she bore her numbers prominently and, with her unique, multi-antenna design, she resembled no other vessel in the world.
On the afternoon (local time) of June 8, 1967, a Thursday, while cruising lawfully and peacefully in international waters, she and her crew were suddenly attacked by a determined and vicious opponent. Barrage after barrage came from the sea and the air. During the hellish whirlwind, she withstood 30 mm cannon fire, rockets, napalm, and torpedoes. 34 Americans were killed and another 174 were wounded. Though the ship herself – due to the heroic efforts of the crew – remained afloat, she was unsalvageable, being decommissioned the following year.
This incident was a first (and only) in American history. Never before had a Navy ship come under an unprovoked attack without warranting a suitable counterattack. Liberty successfully radioed the Sixth Fleet and a rescue force was dispatched from the USS Saratoga. However, as has never happened before or since, the US fighters were recalled under direct orders from the accursed and surely damned Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. Neither he nor the bloated and wicked Lyndon Johnson had any use for their own servicemen. No retaliatory action was ever taken against the hostile foreign country which almost, pursuant to their plan, destroyed and sank an American ship.
The results for the crew were mixed at best. While they were sternly ordered, under penalty of Court Martial, not to speak about their harrowing travail, they were quietly and belatedly commended for their efforts.
This episode would have been worthy of a Johnny Horton ballad, had he not died in 1960. Imagine, if you will, something along the lines of The Sinking of the Reuben James, Sink the Bismarck, or John Paul Jones. Here, out of respect for the dead, the warriors, and the artist, I won’t even attempt one of my spoof covers.
The ship’s awards include:
The Medal Of Honor, Commander William McGonagle;
11 Silver Stars;
20 Bronze Stars;
200+ Purple Hearts;
The Combat Action Ribbon; and,
The Presidential Unit Citation.
She remains the most decorated Navy ship for single combat engagement. Oddly, Johnson, may he burn in hell, didn’t see fit to personally present the awards. Unlike previous (or subsequent) heroes, these brave men were not invited to the White House. They didn’t receive the Unit award until 1991 when George “The Vomiter” Bush saw fit to kind of toss it at the survivors as his limousine whizzed by. All ceremonies were clandestine and the name of the hateful enemy was purposely omitted. (Imagine a D-Day commemoration without mention of Nazi Germany). The events were long hidden from the public; odds are, this is the first time you’ve heard the tale, no? There also has never been a formal inquest. Many and dastardly firsts.
There is a semi-credible rumor, a theory that the attack was a related diversion, orchestrated by Johnson (who was just the kind of guy to do such a thing), that was supposed to be the kick-starter for something much worse. Again, Johnson would have been the one. Yet, we’ll leave that, for now, to the speculative or to your own research. Either way, it was another day of infamy, buried under decades of further infamy.
Many never knew. Some know and denigrate this important chapter of our history. Among the latter-day trash, is worthless neo-con dipshit Charlie Kirk, who dismissed the attack as a “conspiracy theory.” Dishon. Dan Crenshaw won’t even publicly discuss or acknowledge the date of the incident. Yet and still, there were investigations of limited scope. Excuses were given. Some apologies made. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Admiral Thomas H. Moorer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, among many others, concluded unequivocally that the attack had been deliberate, intended to destroy Liberty, kill her crew, and entangle America in another war. A friend of mine was, upon a time, close friends with Admiral Moorer. He also met with several survivors. None of them thought there was anything theoretical about the attack – in the premeditated murderous conspiracy or in the lethal action.
We owe more than can be imagined to Liberty’s brave crew.
If you would like to further honor the men of Liberty, or if you would like more information about the chief incident of 6/8/67, then please contact the following:
James E. McPherson
Acting Secretary of the Navy
Office of the Acting Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 4D652
Washington, DC 20350
Embassy of ISRAEL
3514 International Drive N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tell them that we will never forget – not the attack, not the ship, not the crew, not the cover-up. Further, learn about our fading American history, especially the parts that the agents of evil would rather you never discover. Remember the Liberty! Or, ignore her and let the battle be a metaphor for the strafing of America.