LBJ, Israel & the USS Liberty Massacre

On June 8, 1967, the Israelis attacked the USS Liberty, in international waters, 13 miles off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula, and tried to sink it, and kill all 294 American on board the spy ship (“Assault on the Liberty,” James M. Ennes, Jr. and James Bamford’s “Body of Secrets.”) The Israelis then falsely claimed it was just a case of “mistaken identity.”

However, according to Peter Hounam, the author of the expose’, “Operation Cyanide,” the murderous Israeli attack was a set up to blame the Egyptians and bring the U.S. into the 1967 war on their side. The Liberty was a “sitting duck” for the Israeli jet planes’ missiles and rockets and their torpedo boats. The attack lasted at least 75 minutes, killing 34 brave Americans and wounding 172 others. Liberty survivor, Petty Officer Ernie Gallo, said, “I mean for a group of people, who are suppose to be the children of God, (the Israelis), they didn’t show any mercy for us.”

Both Captain Ward Boston, an ex-Navy attorney, who participated in a Court of Inquiry, with respect to the Liberty, and Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff, (who recently died), believe that President Lyndon Baynes Johnson ordered a massive “cover-up” after the attack by the Israelis (10/23/03,

On first hearing of the Liberty attack by allegedly “unidentified aircraft,” the U.S. launched planes from the Sixth Fleet carriers, then located in the Mediterranean, off Crete, armed with nuclear weapons. They were headed for Cairo to retaliate. Only minutes before reaching their target, they were recalled. Why? The Israelis had failed to sink the Liberty! The Zionist predators had mistakenly believed U.S. planes were also on their way to rescue the Liberty, so they were forced to stop their assault. Only then, did they admit to the U.S., that they were the culprits.

According to Hounam’s research, the White House knew within minutes of the Liberty attack, that the perpetrator was really Israel (p. 94). On two separate occasions, the White House recalled aircraft rescue missions for the Liberty. On the last attempt, LBJ told Rear-Admiral Lawrence Geis of the Sixth Fleet, “I WILL NOT EMBARRASS OUR ALLY.” The Liberty was then left “dead in the water,” without any assistance for over 16 hours. (See also, an excellent documentary of the same title by the BBC and affidavits and statements found at

At pp. 267-268, Hounam said, “Sinking the Liberty and blaming Egypt and the Soviets would have freed Johnson’s hand to do almost anything – even to drop an atomic bomb on Cairo. Trouble only arose when the Israel operation failed – and the damned ship stayed afloat.”

Hounam revealed that within LBJ’s hawkish administration, there was shadowy clique that met under the rubric of the “303 Committee.” Richard Helms, the late CIA Director, said that entity was, “A device for examining covert operations of any kind and making a judgment on behalf of the President, so he wouldn’t be nailed with the thing, if it failed.”

Out of the “303 Committee,” came a project labeled, “Frontlet 615,” which was furthered defined as, “A secret political agreement in 1966 by which Israel and the U.S. had vowed to destroy (Egypt’s Gamal Abdel) Nasser.” The military name for the operation was, “Operation Cyanide.” The U.S. also had a draconian plan, entitled, “Condition November,” a strategy for a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. All of the above ended up being interwoven into the tragic saga of the Liberty.

LBJ was an extremely ambitious man, who was, in 1967, seeking reelection. The Vietnam War was going badly for him and his popularity was plummeting. He had surrounded himself with Zionist zealots, like the late Walter Rostow, his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs.

Here is how Hounam described Rostow, “A sinister, Svengali-like figure, or simply the biggest and best fixer? Of all the people in Johnson’s entourage, he was crucial in determining which way the U.S. might respond to the threatened hostilities in the Middle East… Rostow was a hawk who believed in the justness of the Vietnam War and, as a Jew, his Zionism was strongly felt and expressed…(He) had daily contact with the President. This gave him especially close access.” He had acquired enormous influence running the committee (303 Committee) that sanctioned covert operations by the CIA. He also knew in taking Israel’s side on most issues he was playing to the President’s tune. He described Johnson as the ‘most pro-Semitic man’ he had ever met.” Rostow was also an “advisor” to LBJ when he used the phony “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution,” in 1964, to launch the U.S. into the disastrous Vietnam War.

Just imagine for one moment, if an individual dedicated to putting America’s interests first – before the interests of the Zionists – had been the U.S. President on June 8, 1967. Instead of recalling our aircrafts that were on their way to rescue the Liberty, he (or she) would have ordered them to continue on their mission, not only to defend the Liberty and to stop the massacre, but to retaliated against the Zionist aggressors by bombing their naval base at the port of Ashdod, their military headquarters at Tel Aviv and Haifa, and for good measure, dropping a few MX missiles on Dimona, their secret nuke-making plant, located in the Negev desert. If, only?

What kind of man was LBJ? Well, here is what the distinguished British statesman, Denis Healey, one of his contemporaries, had to say about him: “LYNDON JOHNSON WAS A MONSTER. He was one of the few politicians with whom I found it uncomfortable to be in the same room. He exuded a brutal lust for power which I found most disagreeable…” (p. 131).

As a result of the Six-Day War, the Israelis illegally seized vast areas of land belonging to Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian people. It also began being armed by the U.S. and treated as a strategic ally. Since 1967, Donald Neff pointed out (WRMEA, 08/02), Israel has also received enormous amounts of U.S. aid. Incredibly, it is “many times over the cost of the Marshall Plan to regenerate Western Europe after WWII.”

Query: Why are we giving billions of dollars of foreign aid to a country, Israel, that deliberately attacked and tried to sink our vessel, the Liberty, and that continues to make us more enemies in the Islamic World?

Finally, the last word on the horrors of the Israeli attack on the Liberty, and the cruel indifference of LBJ to its fate, has to be left to one of the injured survivors of that terror-filled day, Lt. George Golden, the Liberty’s chief engineer. He told author Hounam, (at p. 240-41), in a recent interview, “We were the guinea pigs to get shot up, to make it look like the Egypt was doing this so the U.S. could step in…to give our country an excuse to get in there to help Israel…” When asked how he felt when he was told all of this about being damned guinea pigs, Golden responded, “I thought I was going to cry because I couldn’t believe something like that would happen. I didn’t think our government was that way…”


William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (Iuniverse, Inc.), which is avaiable at