To the Editor:
The U.S.S. Liberty sailed into the Gaza Strip in June of 1967. An intelligence gathering ship, she carried elaborate gear to locate both Israeli and Egyptian radio and radar installations and to monitor and tap all military messages sent between command posts and the battlefield. The crew of the U.S.S. Liberty was a well-trained group of sailors, having received intensive experience in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
At 0720 on June 8, the U.S.S. Liberty was floating 13 miles off the coast of El Arish, Sinai, in international waters, flying the American flag. At 1403 hours, the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked by two Israeli jets firing rockets. Following the rocket barrage, the Israelis attacked with napalm. The entire superstructure of the ship was a sheet of flame.
Forty-six years have passed and the name of the U.S.S. Liberty is not very well known. What is known is that 34 American sailors died that day. One hundred and seventy-one were wounded. And yet our staunch allies, the Israelis, have never given any justification for the attack.
We have placated them and paid homage to them for years and yet this atrocity was swept under the rug by the United States for many, many years. Is it any wonder that the Arab World reviles us?
We fear the Israelis to such an extent as to allow them to kill our sailors and do nothing but sit back and praise them for their so-called courage.