Ex-Navy attorney: LBJ, McNamara ordered coverup of Liberty attack

A former Navy attorney who helped lead the "investigation" into the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 has released a sworn statement that the inquiry was ordered to conclude the assault was an accident.
In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Capt. Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy's inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

Boston was senior legal counsel to the Navy's original 1967 review of the attack. He said in the sworn statement that he stayed silent for years because he's a military man, and "when orders come ... I follow them."
The main defense of Israel in this matter has increasingly become something like "Why would Israel - America's bestest buddy in the whole wide world - have done something like this on purpose?"

It's not much of a defense. Do we have to know the exact reasons why Ruby shot Oswald, or Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, or Luther posted his 95 Theses to be able to say that these were all intentional acts and not "tragic accidents"?

But for people who want a reason, here's one: Israel's position in the Middle East was still not entirely secure in 1967. World and western opinion, and especially that of the US, would be crucial for it to maintain its place in the region and continue carrying out the plans of its leading figures (Ben-Gurion, Sharett, and a still-young man named Ariel Sharon, for example), many of whom believed in the "Greater Israel" project. If the USS Liberty had been sunk, with no clear evidence of who did it (the Liberty's radio transmission frequencies were jammed for most of the attack), it would have been very easy to pin the attack on the Egyptians. There was a precedent for this: another "dirty tricks" or "false-flag" operation had, in fact, been carried out 13 years earlier by Israeli agents against Western targets in Egypt in what became known as the "Lavon affair". Israel's perceived Cold War-status as "bulwark against communism" in the Middle East and defender of Western civilization against the Arab hordes would have been greatly enhanced if it had been seen on American television fighting against the Soviet-supported pan-Arab nationalist Gamal Abdul Nasser, who had the nerve to attack and sink an American ship on behalf of his Soviet masters. Increased hostility to the "Arab cause", already high among the various Western publics for various reasons, wedded to anti-communist sentiment would have been an unbeatable ideological victory for Israel. There's no need to look to specific, tactical reasons for the attack on the Liberty - a larger strategic view explains it.

As it turned out, the ship didn't sink. So it was necessary for Israel to apologize and begin speaking of a "tragic mistake", when the only "mistake", from the point of view of the people who ordered this assault, was that the job wasn't done properly.

So now Boston has added his voice to the long list of experts and people in a position to know who have already stated that the attack was not an accident. We await either a new coverup of silence or furious denunciations and character assassination of Boston.

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