Findings of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty, the Recall of Military Rescue Support Aircraft while the Ship was Under Attack, and the Subsequent Cover-up by the United States Government
CAPITOL HILL, WASHINGTON, D.C.
ADMIRAL THOMAS H. MOORER, UNITED STATES NAVY, (RET.)
GENERAL RAYMOND G. DAVIS, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, (RET.)*
REAR ADMIRAL MERLIN STARING, UNITED STATES NAVY, (RET.)
AMBASSADOR JAMES AKINS, (RET.)
We, the undersigned, having undertaken an independent investigation of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty, including eyewitness testimony from surviving crewmembers, a review of naval and other official records, an examination of official statements by the Israeli and American governments, a study of the conclusions of all previous official inquiries, and a consideration of important new evidence and recent statements from individuals having direct knowledge of the attack or the cover up, hereby find the following: **
WHEREUPON, we, the undersigned, in order to fulfill our duty to the brave crew of the USS Liberty and to all Americans who are asked to serve in our Armed Forces, hereby call upon the Department of the Navy, the Congress of the United States and the American people to immediately take the following actions:
FIRST: That a new Court of Inquiry be convened by the Department of the Navy, operating with Congressional oversight, to take public testimony from surviving crewmembers; and to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the attack on the USS Liberty, with full cooperation from the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the military intelligence services, and to determine Israel’s possible motive in launching said attack on a U.S. naval vessel;
SECOND: That every appropriate committee of the Congress of the United States investigate the actions of the White House and Defense Department that prevented the rescue of the USS Liberty, thereafter threatened her surviving officers and men if they exposed the truth, and covered up the true circumstances of the attack from the American people; and
THIRD: That the eighth day of June of every year be proclaimed to be hereafter known as
We, the undersigned, hereby affix our hands and seals, this 22nd day of October, 2003.
Thomas H. Moorer
General of Marines Raymond G. Davis, USMC, MOH*
*IN MEMORIAM: General of Marines Raymond G. Davis, one of America’s most decorated military heroes (including the Congressional Medal of Honor), Vice Chairman of the Liberty Alliance, and one of the principal members of this Independent Commission of Inquiry, passed away in Conyers, Georgia, on September 3, 2003.
**  Captain Ward Boston, USN, JAGC, Ret, the chief Navy attorney for the 1967 U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry into the Israeli attack, has recently come forward to repudiate the Court’s conclusion that the attack was “a case of mistaken identity”. Captain Boston has revealed that all available evidence, in fact, pointed in exactly the opposite direction — that it was a deliberate attack on a clearly identified American ship. In his affidavit dated October 9, 2003, Captain Boston states, “Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors who had ordered the attack, were aware that the ship was American.” [See Exhibit attached]. Captain Boston stated that he has personal knowledge that Admiral Kidd found the attack to be “a case of mistaken identity” in 1967 only because he was under direct orders to do so by Defense Secretary McNamara and President Johnson.
 Lieutenant Commander David E. Lewis, the Liberty’s chief intelligence officer (who was severely wounded in the attack) has reported a conversation with Admiral Lawrence R. Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, who visited Lewis after he had been medically evacuated by helicopter to the aircraft carrier USS America. According to Lewis, “He (Admiral Geis) said that he wanted somebody to know that we weren’t forgotten…attempts HAD been made to come to our assistance. He said that he had launched a flight of aircraft to come to our assistance, and he had then called Washington. Secretary McNamara came on the line and ordered the recall of the aircraft, which he did. Concurrently he said that since he suspected that they were afraid that there might have been nuclear weapons on board, he reconfigured another flight of aircraft - strictly conventional weaponry - and re-launched it. After the second launch, he again called Washington to let them know what was going on. Again, Secretary McNamara ordered the aircraft recalled. Not understanding why, he requested confirmation of the order; and the next higher in command came on to confirm that…President Johnson...with the instructions that the aircraft were to be returned, that he would not have his allies embarrassed, he didn’t care who was killed or what was done to the ship…words to that effect. With that, Admiral Geis swore me to secrecy for his lifetime. I had been silent up until I found out from Admiral Moorer that Admiral Geis had passed away” [transcript from NBC’s Liberty Story, aired on national television 1/27/92]. This statement by Commander Lewis has recently been corroborated by Tony Hart, a Navy communications technician stationed at the U.S. Navy Base in Morocco in June, 1967. Mr. Hart connected the telephone conversation between Secretary McNamara and Admiral Geis and stayed on the line to keep them connected. Hart has been recorded as saying that he overheard Admiral Geis refusing McNamara’s order to recall the Sixth Fleet rescue aircraft while the ship was under attack. Mr.Hart reported that McNamara responded,“we are not going to war over a bunch of dead sailors.”
 New evidence of intercepted radio communications between attacking Israeli pilots and the Israeli War Room, recorded by a U.S. Navy EC-121 spy plane, in which the Israeli pilots report seeing the Liberty’s American flag flying, has been collected by investigative author James Bamford - for 9 years the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s
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