I am posting here to understand better why an old question of mine was closed. Also to determine if I can resolve the concerns of the down voters and mod by rewording my question to their satisfaction.
I wish to present:
- Short background
- Excerpts from an NSA report which was used to call into question the legitimacy of my question
- An overview of quotes I used to substantiate the legitimacy of my question
- A review of the American investigations into the incident,
- The wordings of my two failed question attempts
- Solicitation for ideas
The official Israeli position is that the 1967 Attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. That the American ship was previously identified, but then was later confused with an armed Egyptian ship half it's size. That the American Ship contributed to this Israeli mistake because: (see below excerpts discussing Israeli Court Enquiry).
NSA Report used to support the Israeli Position in my original Question:
From NSA Report on Israeli Court of Enquiry Jun 19, 1967: Declassified Dec 11 2006
page 4 of 6
- The USS Liberty was covered with thick smoke.
- When asked to identify itself the USS Liberty did not do so and acted suspiciously.
- It appeared to the DivCom that there was a gun on the foredeck of the USS Liberty which was firing towards MTB's.
- Finally if we add these factors under the circumstances when the ship was completely covered with smoke there was, in fact, apparently a great similarity between it (The 10.7 ton, 455 foot USS Liberty) and the (2.8 ton, 275 foot)El QUSEIR. (Egyptian Gun Boat)
Bottom of page 5 of 6
1. ALL ABOVE IS AS DICTATED BY LTC EKRAT WHO WAS TRANSLATING FROM A DOCUMENT WRITTEN IN HEBREW.
2. LTC EFRAT PAUSED AT ONE POINT IN HIS READING TO POINT OUT THE GOI HAD RECEIVED A STATEMENT FROM USG SAYING THAT LIBERTY HAD BEEN IDENTIFIED SIX HOURS PRIOR TO THE ATTACK RATHER THAN ONE HOUR AS STATED IN AN EARLIER USG COMMUNICATION.
3. LTC EFRAT PROBABLY NOTED ALUSNA'S APPEARANCE of SURPRISE AND INCREDULITY AS HE READ OFF SOME OF THE ABOVE POINTS. WHEN HE FINISHED HIS READING HE ASKED THAT ALUSNA THOUGHT OF THE FINDINGS QUOTE OFF THE RECORD UNQUOTE. ALUSNA PRETENDED HE HAD NOT HEARD THE QUESTION AND THANKED THE COLONEL FOR HIS TIME. THE BURDEN OF DIPLOMACY BORE HEAVILY ON ALUSNA WHOSE EVALUATIONS ARE:
4. WHILE WALKING TO THEIR CARS, LTC EFRAT MENTIONED THAT GEN RABIN HAS NEVER BEEN SO ANGRY AS WHEN HE READ THE CURRENT NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE COMMENT ON THE LIBERTY INCIDENT. ALUSNA REMARKED THAT HE TOOK NO NOTICE OF NEWS MEDIA REPORTING ON THE INCIDENT.
Clearly the US reaction to the Israeli Court Findings as represented in this once classified NSA report, do not show the United States representatives as supporting the Israeli Court Findings as was originally presented.
Overview of Quotes I Used to Substantiate the Legitimacy of my Question:
At one point my question was called "conspiracy theory" and optioned out to the StackExchange:skeptics site. How can a question with supporting quotes from 20 highly placed senior American sources all in positions of responsibility at the time of the attack be considered "conspiracy"? These supporting quotes all expressing doubt as to the Israeli findings:
- Secretary of State
- Under Secretary of State
- Chairman of the President's Foreign Advisory Board
- General Legal Council for the Department of Defense
- Former US Ambassador to Lebanon
- Deputy head of the US mission to Cairo
- Assistant Secretary of Defense
- US Navy JAGC
- Director of the CIA
- Deputy Director of the CIA
- Director of the National Security Agency
- 3 Deputy directors of NSA
- Chief of Operations of the National Security Agency
- 4 United States Navy Admirals
I used a survivors site of the USS Liberty which lists these quotes. If the objection is I should have gone to the original sources I can provide original sources for each quote. But none of the quotes themselves were questioned in the exchange on the veracity of the question.
Review of the American Investigations into the Incident It was also stated that there were 6 United States inquiries into this attack all of which supported the Israeli findings. This is just not true, but I could not respond at the time given the question was closed.
The facts are there were 7 times the United States Gov publicly addressed this attack. 3 of them were investigatory bodies. But none of those investigatory bodies dealt with the scope of Israeli findings for the attack.
Investigative Reports highlighted below
Paraphrased From Wikipedia: USS Liberty incident see US Gov Investigations of Attack.
* U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry of June 1967. Scope limited to US Navy personnel actions before, during and after the attack. "It was not the responsibility of the court to rule on the culpability of the attackers, and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation"
* Joint Chief of Staff's Report of June 1967. Scope limited to Communications failures within the US Navy surrounding the attack.
* CIA Intelligence Memorandums of June 1967. Two memo's one laying out sources of information, the other detailing the Israeli courts findings.
* Clark Clifford Report of July 1967 - says after reviewing all available information, "The unprovoked attack on the Liberty constitutes a flagrant act of gross negligence for which the Israeli Government should be held completely responsible, and the Israeli military personnel involved should be punished."
* Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony during hearings of the 1967 Foreign Aid Authorization bill, July 1967. Comments about the attack while the Senate was dealing with other business.
* House Armed Services Committee Investigation of 1971 - "Review of Department of Defense Worldwide Communications". Was not an investigation on the attack. Contained a section describing communications during the attack.
* The NSA History Report of 1981 - reviews the court of inquiry and several other documents but provides no conclusion regarding culpability.
First Wording of My Question: Why was the USS Liberty Attacked?
Now my original question, may appear to be too broad; however I think there were specific difficulties in the US Israeli relations preceding the event which could be presented as a reasonable response; Which I would like to attempt.
Second Wording: Using The USS Liberty attack, June 8th, 1967 as a fulcrum or pivot what historical events had the most influence on relatively cool relations (as demonstrated using US Foreign Aid to Israel as a metric) prior to 1967, and exponentially improving relations after 1967?
I also tried to change my question to better focus on the events leading up and following the attack rather than the attack itself which is well documented elsewhere. Using the USS Liberty as a pivotal moment in time between cool relations and exponentially improving relations using US foreign aid as a metric. There were several comments asking for me to make a new question out of that. Two questions on my part. (1) First off is this a more acceptable question? (2) Why can't we open the existing question given as written the original question asked for reasons for the attack, and was not about the attack itself. Both question dealt with events leading up to the attack.
Solicitations for Ideas:
- Could this topic be a legitimate one for a question? Or Not?
- My contention is given how many senior people on the US side express doubt on the Israeli position and the age almost 55 years ago. This is a legitimate history question. Granted a controversial one.
- Can I re-word my question to make it more legitimate?
- Perhaps someone can make the case this is not a legitimate topic as it's not settled history, given the NSA is still releasing classified information on this event?
- Perhaps it is felt this topic is too controversial for this board?
Thank You for your time in reading my meta question and your consideration.