The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-07-14

Posted on June 9th, 2014 at 11:57 am by

How Media Distorts our News

Since this week is the anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty (June 8, 1967), I thought it propitious to inform members of Ann Arbor City Council what happened on that date. See text of speech (delivered June 2) below signature.

In general, the on-line newspaper provides a pretty good job of reporting what’s spoken at City Council meetings. We have reproduced copies of these reports whenever a member of JWPF addresses Council. However, this week they departed from past practice and altered the entire tone of my remarks by electing to insert the word “mistakenly” in his summary of my talk. Note the effect of this additional word:

7:46 p.m. Henry Herskovitz begins by asking: What if you heard through the news media that fighter jets from South Korea were used to attack a U.S. ship? Our answer would be clear – that the U.S. would not tolerate an attack by an ally. South Korea has not done that, but that’s what happened in 1967 with the USS Liberty when Israel [mistakenly] attacked the ship. U.S. citizens should take it seriously when a foreign government can influence U.S. foreign policy, he says.

I asked the reporter via email:

“Why did you insert “[mistakenly]” in your report? I did not use it.”


Square brackets indicate that this is not your word choice. Granted, inserting a single bracketed word here asks a lot of that single word to convey the complexities of that incident. Without it, however, I think a reader with zero background gets the impression that Israel and the U.S. were at war with each other in 1967.

Wow. So he feels it necessary to soften (read: distort, falsify) my speech, for what? For whom? Why does he feel compelled to protect “Israel’s” image? It’s distressing to see even our local media fall in line with the pro-Israel crowd. And it becomes easier for us to witness the continuity of distortion that begins with local media and ends with ABC, NBC, the New York Times, etc. Click here for Alison Weir’s analysis of our major media’s distortion of the news.

Trying to salvage something out of this situation I sent the reporter the following. Still waiting for a response.

[name withheld],

Your bracketed claim that the attack was a mistake is refuted by quite a few sources. I’m quoting here from a recently published report by investigative reporter Alison Weir:

High Officials Say Attack Was Intentional

There is detailed evidence from Liberty crewmen and other military and intelligence personnel that the Israeli attack was intentional. Numerous extremely high US military, intelligence, and diplomatic officials have espoused this view. Among them are:

Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under LBJ;

Richard Helms, Director of the CIA

Rufus Taylor, Deputy Director of the CIA

Clark Clifford, special assistant to the President

Louis W. Tordella, National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director

General Marshall Carter, former director, NSA

Lucius Battle, former presidential advisor

Major General John Morrison, US Air Force, Deputy Chief NSA Operations

Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, NSA

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, NSA

Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN, Director NSA 1977-1981

Paul C. Warnke, Undersecretary of the Navy and later general legal counsel to the Department of Defense

Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, Staff Legal Office for Commander in Chief US Naval Forces Europe and later Chief Judge Advocate General of the Navy

George Ball, under secretary of state

Dwight Porter, US Ambassador to Lebanon

Lloyd M. “Pete” Bucher, US Navy, Commanding Officer USS Pueblo

Captain Ward Boston, senior legal counsel for the Naval Court of Inquiry

Rear Admiral Clarence “Mark” Hill, co-founder of the Naval Aviation Foundation

Admiral David McDonald, Chief of Naval Operations[45]

Vice Admiral Jerome King, Jr., Deputy Chief of Naval Operations[46]

In 2003 the Moorer Commission, an independent commission headed by Admiral Moorer, reported on Capitol Hill: “There is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew.”

The Moorer report went on to state, “In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against U.S. servicemen and an act of war against the United States.”[47]

In addition, James M. Ennes, Jr. retired from theNavy in 1978 as a lieutenant commander after 27 years of enlisted and commissioned service. He was a lieutenant on the bridge of the USS Liberty on the day of the attack. He wrote a book “Assault on the Liberty“, and refutes mistaken identity as a reason for the attack.

The US and Israel SHOULD have been at war with each other, because this unprovoked attack was clearly an act of war. That was the entire point of my rhetorical question: that pro-Israel forces in the US prevented a call to war that in other cases – South Korea was my example – would have been a slam-dunk.

I don’t think the Chronicle’s readership is well served by bracketing a misleading and incorrect word. Why not substitute “[deliberate]”, which, according to the individuals listed above, it certainly was.


May 24: Eight vigilers
May 31: Five vigilers
June 7 : Seven vigilers
Remember the USS Liberty
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

June 2, 2014 [ 397 words]
Topic: Remembering Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty

Good Evening,

I would like begin my comments tonight by asking Council a rhetorical question. If you heard through our news media that fighter jets and torpedo boats from South Korea attacked a United States intelligence ship in international waters, what do you think the response of the US military would be?

What if these attack jets and torpedo boats were used to kill 34 US sailors and wound 171 others on board our ship in an attack lasting longer than the attack on Pearl Harbor? What if our men fleeing in lifeboats were targeted as well? What if chemical weapons like napalm and jellied gasoline were used in this attack?

I think our answer would be clear: the United States would not tolerate an attack by a so-called ally, and would respond with tremendous force, perhaps even shock and awe. The counter-attack would be immediate, and one can only imagine the magnitude of our retaliation.

Well, South Korea hasn’t done any of this, so let’s cut out the make believe, but let’s do recall that these same events actually occurred against the USS Liberty by a so-called ally of ours: the state of Israel. Next Sunday, June 8th, marks the 47th anniversary of this attack, and as taxpayers funneling 8 million dollars a day to this foreign government, we have a right to demand an investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.

The USS Liberty was not a warship, and when the ship’s Commanding Officer requested that a destroyer be called in to protect this ship, he was assured that protection wasn’t necessary. This ship then became easy prey for Israeli rockets, guns and torpedoes. During the attack, the carrier USS Saratoga launched twelve Phantom jets to defend the Liberty. But Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told them to stand down, saying “Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately”. In addition, the crew of the USS Liberty was threatened with “court martial, prison or worse” if they talked about the Israeli attack.

US citizens – you and me – should take it quite seriously when a foreign government can manipulate our foreign policy, and can with impunity attack and kill American sailors. Let’s remember the deceased sailors from the USS Liberty on June 8th and join the survivors in their demand for a full investigation by the Department of the Navy.

It’s time we knew the truth.

Thank you

One Response to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-07-14”

  1. Ibrahim Soudy

    Thanks for the article. We need to keep track of such distortions and expose them. I would not limit the discussion to the REPORTER but widen it even by going to the next meeting and shed light on the behavior of the reporter. Let’s see how will they distort the exposure of the distortion………..
Powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
%d bloggers like this: