Monday, June 11, 2007
All U.S. citizens must accept a measure of responsibility for Israel’s grip on America. Those of us who knew what was happening did not protest with sufficient force and clarity.
By Paul Findley
"......How did Israel gain this influence?
It all started 40 years ago. On June 8, 1967, the U.S. commander-in-chief, President Lyndon B. Johnson, turned his back on the crew of a U.S. navy ship, the USS Liberty, despite the fact that the ship was under deadly assault by Israel’s air and sea forces. The Israelis were engaged in an ugly scheme to lure America into their war against Arab states. They tried to destroy the Liberty and its entire crew, then pin the blame on the Arabs. This, they reasoned, would outrage the American people and immediately lead the United States to join Israel’'s battle against Arabs.
The scheme almost worked. It failed because, despite the carefully-planned multi-pronged assault, the Liberty crew managed to broadcast an SOS over a makeshift antenna. When the appeal reached U.S. aircraft carriers nearby, the commanders immediately launched fighter planes to defend the ship. Informed of the launch, President Johnson ordered the rescue planes to turn back immediately.
For the first time in history, forces of the U.S. Navy were denied the right to defend a Navy ship under attack. Johnson said, “I don't care if the ship sinks, I am not going to embarrass an ally.” Those were his exact words, heard by Navy personnel listening to radio relays. The ally Johnson refused to embarrass was Israel. To him, saving Israel from embarrassment was more important than saving the lives of the Liberty crew.
The day yielded infamy, —deceit, lies and cover-up at the highest level. When the SOS reached the top military commanders in Israel, they immediately canceled ousHous the assault, claiming it was a case of mistaken identity. ousHous At the White House, Johnson accepted Israel’s claim, even though he knew it was a lie. Then Johnson magnified the day’s infamy by ordering a cover-up of the truth. Liberty survivors were sworn to secrecy. Even those in hospital beds and badly wounded were threatened with court martial if they told anyone what actually happened. The cover-up has been continued by every administration since Johnson’s.
It proved to be a fateful turning point in Israel’s power over U.S. foreign policy. The Liberty experience convinced Israeli officials that they could get by with literally anything--—even the murder of U.S. sailors--in their manipulation of the U.S. government. Financial aid to Israel began to pour like a river, all of it with no stings attached......"