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tv   The Day Israel Attacked America  Al Jazeera  October 10, 2017 4:00am-5:00am AST

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goes against the morals of go to law as he saw as he is in the capital a nationalist perspective to believe the present punish culture which. catalonia must fight in its time on al jazeera wild. yes. al-jazeera where ever you are. i'm richelle carey in doha let's take a look at the top stories on al-jazeera turkey's president has described to us decision to suspend most basic services for turkish citizens as upsetting the phrases in response to the arrest of a u.s. consulate employee in istanbul will kids have links to last year's failed coup. immediately imposed a measure suspending its own bases services in the us political hay reports from
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washington d.c. . after the arrest of a worker at the u.s. embassy in ankara and a warrant issued for another the us took the unusual step of saying they would stop issuing visas for some turkish nationals travelling to america the first explanation was posted by the u.s. ambassador to turkey on twitter we don't know if these arrests are singular events or if we should expect other turkish staff members to be arrested turkey quickly followed suit with similar measures by president rich a type erdogan said he did it reluctantly and on kind of this is a very sad decision and the ambassador has taken a decision and started implementing it so it's a source of sadness this is just the latest in a growing list of diplomatic back and forth the relationship between these two nato allies started souring during the syrian civil war turkey upset the u.s. didn't do enough against the assad government even angrier when the u.s.
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backed kurdish fighters and later armed them. then last year's coup attempt and it got worse blame to clerics between the golan who lives in the u.s. they wanted him extradited for his alleged role the obama administration refused and the trump administration hasn't moved on it either that was a big issue when he first met president donald trump but that was overshadowed by what happened when he left the oval office. turkish security officers violently attacked what appeared to be peaceful protesters outside the turkish ambassador's residence fifteen of them were indicted in u.s. courts and as a result the u.s. stopped a planned sale of small arms to turkey turkey further angered the u.s. when it agreed to buy a russian missile defense system equipment that wouldn't work within nato has indicated he would be willing to trade americans imprisoned in turkey for good lawn but given that would be hard to do within the legal system something he really wants the case thrown out against her citizen reza zurab who is awaiting trial in
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the u.s. for allegedly helping turkey in. they'd sanctions against iran it was a matter of wanting it back than wanting the case to go away it wanting him not to testify not wanting any of the details about their role in helping iran evade sanctions coming out in the course of a trial will be yet another chance for the ole reddy frosty relationship to cool even more political al-jazeera washington more than sixteen hundred suspected boko haram fighters are facing mass trials and. the trials are being held behind closed doors at a military facility rights groups say they're worried about the lack of transparency at least twelve for hanjour refugees have drowned after their boat capsized on its way from me a mark to bangladesh and ten at the dead were children eight people were rescued it is the third incident of a hedger refugees drowning since the latest crackdown by the me and more military
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began in august british prime minister theresa may says the amount the u.k. will have to pay to exit the e.u. won't be known until the country leaves an address to parliament and they said the final details of prince withdrawal deal will be agreed to at the end of the negotiating process and that's in march of two thousand and nineteen reports indicate brussels could demand as much as eighty billion dollars from the u.k. to satisfy commitments made under treaties catalonia high court has requested extra security from spain's national police on tuesday in the event its regional parliament declares independence officials in the u.s. state of california say ten people are dead as fast moving wildfire spread ass evacuations have taken place as the wildfires move through northern california's wine producing region flames covered eighty hectares of land in napa county while a second fire burned in neighboring so no my county the are the headlines the
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news continues on al-jazeera after the day israel attacked america keep it or. early june one thousand nine hundred sixty seventh the six day war in the middle east between israel egypt jordan and syria is underway a spy ship very lightly armed but bristling with antenna steams into the mediterranean to eavesdrop on the conflict it is patrolling in international waters off the egyptian curves at two in the afternoon on june the eighth with the wall reaching its climax israeli jets and mo to torpedo boats launched an unprovoked attack on the ship that dropped napalm and strafe its decks with rockets cannon
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fire and piercing rounds before trying to sink it with talk paedos. we had no way to defend ourselves and it was just we're just slaughtered and a shot of a life raft. that were put into the water and they shot i want to we're still on board the ship. full of holes shell holes everywhere blood the fo'c'sle the front part of the ship was just red with blood. throughout the attack the ship flies the stars and stripes the flag of israel's closest ally the united states of america its name the u.s.s. liberty is freshly painted on its stern and the bow carries the distinctive numbers of an american naval vessel. out of
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a crew of just under three hundred there were thirty four killed in one hundred seventy two injured in greece two. life threatening life debilitating injuries so that was more than two thirds of the crew. this audiotape which has never been broadcast before was recorded in real time by the israeli military during the assault the woman's voice in the background is counting down the seconds it proves that israeli commandos knew all along that they were attacking an american ship. and. america. for the first time this and other evidence allows us to reveal the true story of
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what happened that day and what came after when a deadly assault by one ally and another was covered up and an american president was manipulated by the secret agents of a foreign power events that have shaped u.s. israeli relations ever since.
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the vietnam war you know all ten thousand troops would die that year the americans were trapped they couldn't be and they couldn't win. war looked inevitable there was growing tension between israel and its arab neighbors armies were mobilizing israel promised the white house they would not attack first but on the fifth of june they jammed the radar sets of the us embassy in tel aviv so the americans couldn't detect their jets taking off to launch a surprise assault on egypt. meanwhile the u.s.s. liberty was sailing across the mediterranean into the war zone liberty was
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a state of the our intelligence gathering vessel of the time and what we did is we list it we were listening ship my name is light painter i was a research officer we consent we could receive any signal that was out there low band high band anything intercepting it recording it and we get him on board some translators who could have immediate translation what's going on with actually bad things off the back to n.s.a. we were were spies i'm jim cavanaugh was a communication technician aboard the u.s.s. liberty and i intercepted morse code were spies when we were intercepting messages from embassies military bases police anything and everything that we could get to ensure that the united states was comfortable what was going on in the world and known as conspiring against us and basically was to protect our interests.
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this was the cold war american president lyndon johnson knew that the russians already had substantial military influence in egypt he needed to find out what they were going to do next to make sure that a local conflict did not become a world war with the usa backing israel and russia siding with the arab cause. i was assigned as a russian linguist aboard the ship on bryce lockwood united states marine corps retired israelis our primary purpose was to intercept communications of the russian spy aircraft as it were at alexandria egypt and and it was our job was to find them and they were not targeted against israelis life was very relaxing and one of the nice things about the liberty is we had air conditioning because we had communications equipment so we were cool in the hot days it was a very laid back very clean ship it was it was spotless the morale was pretty high
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i mean very high by the time the liberty arrived off the coast of egypt on the eighth of june the war had just two days left to run israel had seized the old city of jerusalem the west bank and the gaza strip jordanian forces were beaten and egypt was conceding defeat only syria held out. the airwaves were dead the only voices we did get while those of israeli or hebrew were what we were hearing my name is bob wilson i worked for and on june eighth one thousand nine hundred sixty seven when what we were trying to monitor find something coming from the direction of egypt there just wasn't i think they own the skies and around and everything that. i don't think there was anything moving at the time that they didn't know about it was listening to the chatter night before knew it was american ship that came into the area they knew who we were five
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fifteen a.m. first light the ship's log recorded an israeli photo reconnaissance plane flying over the liberty. it was easily identifiable as a nor atlas or a craft and those are photo reconnaissance aircraft israeli records obtained by al-jazeera show that they recognizance plane reported that they body as an american spy ship number g t five well i was on the bridge i'm john scott i was the damage control officer. circled the ship kind of a broad circle and headed back towards israel israeli planes then continued to fly over the liberty all morning. and they would do half moon passes over us and we saw that they were israeli they were slowly lumbering over our ship and we were waving at them they were waving at us they were sophisticated almost as sophisticated as we were as far as surveillance and technology they had everything we supplied it with all the technology to this day and i felt that we weren't we were in great
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shape because they knew we were there our friends we felt safe actually was a secure feeling to see them there was one other thing which made the crew feel safe we had an american flag flying the standard and then we put up the holiday colors which is a huge american flag and was a bright sunny day with the wind blowing out of five or ten knots the flag was unfurled you could see it for miles meanwhile israeli military jets were on their way on the real time audio tape obtained by al-jazeera at one fifty three p.m. the pilots asked the base control room about the ship. right. the u.s.s. liberty was the only ship of any size in the area. the american sixty eight including two aircraft carriers was five hundred miles away oh it was
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a great day hello i'm jim smith damage control when in engineering i mean i'm twenty years old it's a time i come from a small town you stole hay bales and in a summer time for blocking our sun was shining blue sky clouds nice people sunbathing ahmed that we had lunch and five minutes later maybe here came the jets and when nobody really knew what was happening then we started a fire. captain said to me alert the forward gun math we're under attack and i tried to raise the the two sailors in the forward gun mats i looked at and they were they were blown to pieces by the rocket when the attack started and we realized that we needed help we tried to communicate with the sixth fleet they were jamming both our distress frequencies and our tactical frequencies the tactical frequencies is all right but
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the international distress frequency is a violation of international law to jam them and the israelis were jamming and we could not get a single rose here's a question i have to ask who would know the frequencies other than an ally and who is the ally in the war who was in egypt it was israel they would know and only they would know in this conflict what our frequencies would be. now cut off from the outside world the crew on the liberty was defenseless we had four fifty caliber machine guns on board that were basically there to repel any boarders that might come by you know a pirate situation. certainly weren't designed to bring down jet aircraft that were hammering at us but you can't shoot a jet going six hundred miles an hour with a fifty caliber machine gun work it was just a surreal scene people who'd been standing there earlier joking and laughing were
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now dead dying and with the walking dead and wounded it was just unreal gasoline barrels stored on the deck of the ship burst into flames the crew rushed to try to put out the fires mahler's watching the aircraft as they circled around and when they got to coming back towards the ship i just holler at him down then fire the circle back around we jump back up and keep fighting fire the rocket noise was horrendous when iraq it explodes. you can't escape iraq now here where you go. what the crew didn't know was that at three minutes past two the israeli pilots bolted to use a new much deadly a weapon. that the biggest problem i guess from from that was the napalm which they dropped from
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the airplane the napalm had burned scorched almost seen tire from part of the ship the bridge area. the whole top side of the ship and then set on fire and was all charred it was no longer a navy grey you have to stop the fire stop the flooding to keep the ship afloat that's your home you've got nowhere else to go you can't pack up and go down the road because there is no doubt no road up above the israeli military argued about what should happen next and who should sink the liberty. was. complete. i remember thinking i was in pretty good shape then i thought i said i think i can swim to the shore. and i thought sharks and i thought a lot of things i'll call quickly you know. at eleven minutes past two with the israeli jets running out of ammunition the
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pilots were instructed to fly down and confirm the identity of the ship. it was now twelve minutes past two and the israeli control tower knew for certain this was an american ship the same one its forces had first identified at five fifteen a.m. that morning and then buzzed again during seven additional reconnaissance flights throughout the day. the jets then pulled out but three israeli navy motor torpedo boats were already on their way. the u.s.s. liberty was a spy ship in the event of an attack it was standard procedure for the spies on board to destroy everything just in case it fell into enemy hands everyone was
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destroying material everyone was. stripping information off of computers ripping computers open pulling information out that's something you just don't want to hear aboard ship you've done all this work collected this intelligence and processed it and now you have to destroy it you just didn't want the enemy or to get a hold of anything classified at two thirty five the israeli motorboats fired five torpedoes for missed but one hit. it had been over nine hours since the israeli military first identified deliberately israeli planes had flown over it repeatedly and twenty minutes earlier that control tower had confirmed it yet again as an american ship twenty five
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americans were about to die in a single moment. this is what it looks like when it's repeat of hits the ship the size of the liberty. the torpedo through a step in the air like a rollercoaster felt like one coming down dead silence like salo smoke and haze everywhere i went back to the drinking fountain and filled it with blood reached down to get a drink and black man stared back at me. and when it's all back to get right it just kept getting wrong camp sank in and sank and sank. we just waited all of us waited thinking that this was it well going down . and i figured that was the end of life for me. and the two of peter who had blown a huge hole in the hollow thirty nine feet by twenty four killing twenty five americans
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in a single hit the top you know hit the room that i was in and it was just luck this guy died this one live that died it was how much shrapnel was coming in your direction you know the old fashioned typewriters i had the letter h. sticking out of my left foot i had. eighty pieces of shop in my lower extremities. and the place filled up with water that. totally black totally filled with. powder. and oil it was like. gagging and you only had about eight or ten inches of. space where you could catch a breath. the only way i could go in that direction it was drop down and swim underwater for five strokes come back up and then frantically catch
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a breath and try to find something else old i want to. go pull through the hatch and on to the deck others were not so lucky my friend ronnie campbell had a desk right there and i remember ronnie saying you fellows can do what you want to so i'm going to write a letter home and he stuck a piece of paper in his mail is typewriter and began typing dear eileen you won't believe what's happening to us and just seconds after that the torpedo struck and. killed both the two moraines killed. my friend ronnie campbell and my job was to try to get probably twenty or thirty wounded sailors out to the main deck and to the life raft so i went up and looked at myself before i try to get anyone up and that's when i observed a motor torpedo boat is really plainly marked with
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a star of david. machine gunning our life raft. the crew of the liberty were now trapped on board the own ship with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide the torpedo boats came and closer and began to machine gun me. using armor piercing projectiles the armor piercing the shells that they were using were leaving holes about that big around and the metal plating just. peel it out like it was orange peel. i close range the arm a piercing rounds ripped through the steel hull of the ship no way i was safe this bullet was retrieved from one of the navigational books at the rear portion of the bridge penetrated the skin of the ship going through at least one other book and then stopped and in the second book this is part of an armor piercing shell the outer portion or jacket makes the hole at this then goes through and i'm bullet
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like this that hit a seam and francis brown and and killed him he died on the spot just fell of the floor dead is just barely eighteen. there were enough helmets to go around for everyone it was like sitting in a cardboard box and having somebody shoot through it and the bullets were just coming everywhere. throughout the attack the liberty had been silent to the outside world all it's ariel's why the smashed or jammed. we had one would band to know which had were an entire cruise and it had a bullet hole in it one of the radio men had taken a reel of co-ax cable and ran it from one of the transmitters back there to that with antenna. and took some shrapnel in the process he
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got out and made a fire box firefox's says rock star rock star under attack by unidentified surface and naval air units require immediate assistance. the american six fleet was five hundred miles away and picked up the signal so did the israeli armed forces the attack stopped shortly afterwards the american aircraft carriers were in the middle of a nuclear weapons drill and had to rearm with conventional bombs before they could take off. once the israelis knew the us jets were in the air they summoned the american naval attack and told him that been a terrible mistake. the american planes were recalled as they returned israeli helicopters flew out to the liberty this one had . some personnel from. the israeli government
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and the u.s. naval attache dropped a brown paper sack on the deck and for part of the ship. weighted down with an orange added business card in it. it landed right next to the severed leg of one of the deck personnel and the note said. do you have canceled it's. pretty obvious that there were casualties. i mean they're still body parts. and blood streaming down the ball kids. so his message to you have casualties was kind of. out of place. one of the sailors carried that sack back to the captain and the captain took out the know and read it. looked up at
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the helicopter and bought the social thing around. oh is it allison when they're online me what in hurricane winds full almost like thirty six hours these are the things that has to address or if you join us on sat . but we struck up a relationship this is a dialogue tweet us with hash tag a.j. stream and one of your pitches might make the next shot join the global conversation at this time on al-jazeera. now. china's property. fields become cities rivers water pipes forests mocking lungs mostly empty. yana brings international performance
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the illusion of a thriving metropolis and the mix i've been employing the bold economy. chinese dream a witness documentary at this time on al-jazeera. i'm richelle carey and hala take a look at the top stories right now on al-jazeera turkey's president has described to us decision to suspend most cases services for turkish citizens as upsetting the phrases in response to the arrest of a u.s. consulate employee in istanbul ankara has retaliated with its own freeze on visas for u.s. citizens more than sixteen hundred suspected boko haram fighters are facing mass trials in nigeria the trials are being held behind closed doors at a military facility rights groups say they're worried about the lack of
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transparency. at least twelve or hender refugees have drowned after the boat capsized on its way from myanmar to bangladesh it's the third incident of our hands refugees drowning since the latest crackdown by the me and more military began in august the german chancellor says a deal limiting the intake of refugees will help forge a new government coalition. has announced a cap on new arrivals of two hundred thousand a year it's an attempt to unite the conservative bloc after unprecedented losses in last month's election before me didn't. miss i'm happy that we found a compromise we didn't make it easy for ourselves yesterday for many hours we discussed all facets of asylum refugee and immigration. we also analyzed the current situation and it was clear that it is all about an overall concept an overall concept and a regularly true framework for migration. which prime minister theresa may says the
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amount the u.k. will have to pay to exit the e.u. won't be known until the country leaves for an address to parliament may said the final details of britain's withdrawal deal will be agreed to at the end of negotiating process and march of two thousand and nineteen or its indicate brussels could demand as much as eighty billion dollars from the u.k. to satisfy commitments made under a huge treaties no one has high court has requested extra security for spain's national police on tuesday and the event its regional parliament declares and dependence officials in the u.s. state of california say ten people are dead as fast moving wildfire spread mass evacuations have taken place as the wildfires move through northern california's wine producing region claims covered eighty hectares of land in napa county while a second fire burned in neighboring sonoma county those are the headlines news continues in al-jazeera after the day israel attacked america keep it or.
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june the eighth one thousand nine hundred sixty seven the height of the six day war the u.s.s. liberty an american spy ship had just been attacked by israeli jets and two peter boats while in international waters off egypt badly damaged two thirds of its crew were dead or wounded. as soon as the news reached washington the attack on the liberty instantly triggered a domestic political crisis according to documents released under the freedom of information act one solution suggested in american government circles was to sink the liberty so journalists could not photograph it and inflame public opinion against the israelis the n.s.a. rejected this idea with an impolite comment handling the media became the top priority and i was taken to my home and why don't maryland man name is sap
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patricia blue or shock us and my husband was killed on the liberty. and by the time i got there there were any number of people from the national security agency they are they were there to make sure that i didn't speak to anyone from the press and i didn't they stay night and day back in the mediterranean the liberty was now listing at ten degrees a massive hole in the hull above and below the water line. the planes that they said they were sending to us never arrived what i was afraid of and i think most of us was that we were going to sink well the mess next was it was pretty much littered with the wound looks like something out of a horror movie where people standing around or lying wounded and dead and stunned heads missing parts of their bodies the liberty had only one doctor on board with
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very limited medical resources there was not a table that wasn't being usual the body on or wounded body and the doctor fixed compound fractures and treated but it entrapped the wounds while blood transfusions were given to. it was. it was real bad and the doctor said to him you want me to operate he says you're probably going to die if i do and you'll certainly die if i don't and he said go ahead doctor and so when the doctor operated. we held in this tight as we could as horrible pain i'm sure for him and all of a sudden he went he went limp and he died right there. other won't ever see anything like that again. captain mcgonagle received a pretty bad leg injury lost
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a lot of blood he was navigating by the stars we had it a little bit of power and tons of water in our belly which meant the ship waved back and forth all night long and the next day american ships arrived to take the injured in the dead off the liberty the american government now made sure that no journalists could get anywhere near the crew. when i took the severely wounded to various parts and i actually posted guards on the room so that no one could be interviewed by the press the told press blackout was in effect. back in washington the government ensured there was little information for the press while politics went on behind closed doors. i was told to go up urgently to the. seventh floor. oh my name is bill lloyd i was in charge of the arab israel desk sit in because the secretary. of state himself dean rusk had summoned.
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the master harman of israel to come in or gently and. so i sat through the meeting taking notes and in a loud voice secretary west was really demanding some explanation for a why and what had happened the ambassador himself seemed to be ignorant of the incident she immediately said i can't believe what you're telling me it's it would be impossible it would be unheard of it was especially tough for lyndon johnson to date the most pro israeli american president in history johnson was very tough mood. i'm tom he was director in the state department director of intelligence and research at the time of the liberty incident and sixty seven attack on the liberty johnson himself briefed newsweek magazine off the record that the israelis had attacked and the reason that attacked was that they thought this was an
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intelligence ship that was intercepted perhaps israeli as well as egyptian communications but then everything changed the fact that johnson of self was the leaker and briefer of newsweek was soon leaked and this alarmed of course the israeli embassy and leading friends in the jewish organizations the israeli embassy regarded this as a major problem. and that. what johnson told newsweek practically amounts of blood libel declassified israeli documents show they were going to threaten president johnson with blood libel gross anti semitism and that would end his political career blackmail. r m m us navy retired former director of the national security agency.
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but they know if he is thinking about running again he's going to need money for his campaign. so alleging that he's blood libeling is gonna rouse the jewish donors the israeli government hired teams of lawyers some of whom were close friends of lyndon johnson and began an all out offensive they lent on the media to kill critical stories and slanted others in favor of israel. there was a campaign mounted to see if what could be done about returning johnson to his normal. predictable pro israeli position at the time johnson was still undecided as to whether to run for president the following year efforts were to be made to remind the president of the delicacy of his own position that he personally. might lose support. for his run for reelection in one
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thousand nine hundred sixty eight israeli tactics were clever they identified johnson soft spot the war in vietnam and gave him two extraordinary gifts neither of which were made public at the time the first was political. johnson's complaints about israel was that many of the jewish organizations and the heads of. leaders in the jewish community were opposing him. and there were seven becoming more silent as the liberty versus moves so he also knew that there was a road back and his favor of here was moderate. israel there was a second gift much more secret but vital to the american president the dreadful death toll in vietnam was dominating the domestic news agenda the north vietnamese had russian surface to air missiles which were bringing down american aircraft on a daily basis. the american military attacks in israel got
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a surprise visit from a senior israeli intelligence officer took some helicopters and one across the north red sea to the surface to air missile sites and now only captures them put took back everything the launchers the missiles from the manual maintenance manuals for us them and then he went to the u.s. embassy so yeah to say and said i think i have something you might be interested in and of course those were the same missiles that our aircraft flying over north vietnam were encountering they today and countermeasures was a huge issue. so grateful was the american government they gave israel to gifts in return they we supplied them with the weapons they had just lost in the war and the liberty inquiry run by the department of defense the d.o.d. was watered down all its influence by what have we benefited from
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from the capture they say two missile sites so johnson did respond and took a much more lenient lie and wish that the whole incident could be put behind as soon as possible johnson softer approach to israel was immediately reflected in the american navy inquiry which was now underway on board the liberty. we began to realize that a cover up was was this list descending upon us a lot of people that were in a key position to offer testimony were not given an opportunity i testified to the machine gunning of life raf's to the captain state of mind and it was that those two issues in particular totally admitted lloyd painter was not the only officer to have his testimony ignored i saw what looked like unburned vaseline and i scraped a little bit of it off and put it in the jar and sealed the cap on and i presented
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to the court of inquiry and that's the last i saw that jar there was no mention of napalm and i'm sure that's what it was they want to hear any of that i didn't know that at the time i didn't know until many months later that night i had been recorded looking back on it it was a total sham the us court of inquiry reported in just twenty days it was a rush job full of spelling mistakes much key evidence ignored no israelis interviewed and it exonerated them from blame i read the court of inquiry and realized that my statements have been stricken from the record and never recorded so i knew then for certain that the cover up was this massive the israelis then rushed out their own report which concluded that the whole affair was a series of mistakes and that no one was to blame the only dissenting voice was that of the israeli ambassador in washington he sent a secret telegram back home arguing that israel was clearly guilty he cited the
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audiotape of the attack the existence of which was known to top israeli officials and mentioned the crucial twenty minute gap that followed the liberty's identification and the launch of the torpedoes against him he said they should own up to what they had done and put the guilty on trial his advice was ignored the focus now was to repair the damage to american israeli relations. the israelis have always been very skillful. tracking what the us government is doing saying thinking and effort to influence and they're by no means the only country that does it many do they are just more effective than it must have a great advantage they have as compared to other countries. is their influence in the congress around the time of the attack the washington post had noted that the jewish lobby could help determine the outcome of one hundred sixty nine of the two hundred seventy electoral votes needed to win the white house the big emotive words
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about the attack disappeared from. press releases at the pentagon much more bland neutral sounding. discourse occurred and this was true of the private briefings that official people in the vatican made about the ins but whatever was said to journalists every u.s. intelligence had believed the attack was intentional one of them wrote a nice whitewash for a group of ignorant stupid and inept x. x. x. . jewish community has always been more generous than many of their other counterparts in supporting financially. elections political causes process that does translate into influence many of johnson's closest friends and advisers were pro israeli and they reported back to tel aviv on his every move israeli story
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constantly shifted to counter whatever new intelligence the white house received so sensitive with these communications that the israelis used code names to protect the identity of their white house agents but for the first time. the members of the ring can be named hamlet was a million dollar fundraiser for the democrats when he rang johnson took his calls he was able feinberg. was arthur goldberg the u.s. ambassador to the united nations was david ginsburg a high profile washington lawyer who also represented the israeli embassy. with supreme court justice abe fortas. lyndon johnson had dinner with him on the eve of the six day war the strategy worked the u.s. israeli relationship proved to be stronger than the killing and injuring of more
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than two hundred americans. american israeli relationship was very much at stake. was brought back from the precipice the crucial intelligence came from the u.s. ambassador to the united nations after goldberg he wore in tel aviv that the united states had the audiotape which revealed israeli pilots knew it was an american ship before that time. the tape was quietly buried. and i think just insertion was my to sweep it under the rug to put it behind my reading is that the us government had made the decision to accept the apology and reject the other us now but don't push it further with the politics sorted the only remaining issue was the fate of the u.s.s.
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liberty badly damaged and now in malta for extensive repairs. the torpedo hole was massive and was revealed to be much bigger once they got the ship into dry dock and drained of water the sealed compartment was a water filled too full of bodies body parts and top secret equipment. you could smell death and you could smell the oil that's what i remember and soon as the air hit the bodies it began to deteriorate rapidly you knew what you have to do there were shipmates still are the navy was more concerned with parts than they were body parts but when i went down i knew that you couldn't separate the two we had to start shoveling up the the the parts one hundred sixty eight bags worth elsewhere the make up artists were getting to work we were in the dry dock about six weeks and three hundred maltese workers are working two shifts a day and i think seven days
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a week to try they were cutting out the shell holes welding plates over that. and fabricating metal to cover the torpedo hole and then in one day they painted the entire ship we looked like nothing ever happened and we took it across the atlantic it was like being in a cemetery but when we pulled into port we looked good next press and everything with air and we looked like basically nothing really happened so it's great for the press to downplay what he happened to us. while the survivors met the widows and friends the one hundred sixty eight bags of body parts and top secret equipment were quietly taken to an incinerator and. a year later and the liberty captain william mcgonagle was given the medal of honor america's highest award for gallantry the tradition has always been that it is presented by the president in the white house. i look at these two.
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and i see. captain mcgonagle never heard words like these from his commander in chief there was no television coverage for him as he was sieved his medal in a quiet ceremony in the navy yard president johnson was just four miles away at the time he stayed in the white house to hand out diplomas to schoolchildren. the reason was revealed in this internal memo which advised president johnson the due to the nature and sensitivity of these awards they should be given by the department of defense not by him the advice was clear no press release regarding them should be made when i received my purple heart and in a secret ceremony in the captain's office i was admonished threat of court martial don't ever tell anyone where you got this don't ever tell anyone how you got this medal. the following year american aid to israel increased for
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folks and president johnson agreed a treaty classified above top secret with israel for the mutual exchange of intelligence and arrangement which is still in place today code named stone ruby. one of the things about this me is. there wasn't a nice explanation of what went on no one wants to talk about the why. because. the big secret the israelis want to protect was their next move they had told the americans that this was to be a limited role and not a land grab but on june eighth one thousand nine hundred sixty seven their forces were poised to attack and seize the golan heights and invade syria something they
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wish to keep from the white house until they've done it. successive american administrations both republican and democrat have refused to deal with the liberty even the issue of war crimes against unarmed americans has never been addressed there was a war crimes report filed by the liberty veterans association to address the issues of such war crimes as firing on life rafts that was never answered properly i don't think was answer period the people who were responsible for attacking the liberty liberty were you know by and large the military individuals in the war room i don't know how many for eight ten. those are the people who came up with the plan those are the individuals who are responsible for the attack the pilots the personnel they were ordered you know you don't follow orders go to go to jail so they have to follow through it wasn't the
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israeli people who ordered that attack it wasn't the average jewish person who ordered that attack we really need. to exonerate the average jewish person israeli from the us and goats wards those individuals who are responsible for the attack no one was really willing to take this on not to start state department the white house not the congress it's in everybody's best interest to just let this go and that's exactly what they did but by doing that they laugh a lot of paying for the survivors and for their families because there was a lot of broken families broken marriages alcoholism depression. post-traumatic stress disorder. so those those crew members suffered
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a lot but so did the family the hardest part was that the reaction of our own government toward us and we were actually the fingers were pointed to us and they israelis where they were that they were never questioned as to why they did it they only questioned us. the families still want answers from their government which remains silent for many some memories never fade we had a wonderful time just being together i met. at a party and we spent a lot of time talking throughout the evening and at the end of the evening he said to me. are you busy tomorrow afternoon and i said well no and he said do you think we could get married then i was tell that he was among the dead it was absolutely the worst moment of my life.
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doesn't go by or think about those guys i mean i went through hell but they left the earth. when i'm walking up to the mass grave i still feel a connection with those people. hard to explain but it's still there. i want to remember that connection. as long as i can what we shared what we felt. it took thirteen years of haggling before both sides finally agreed a compensation deal for the ship by nine hundred eighty the bill plus interest was just over seventeen million dollars israel offered six the americans accepted then sold the liberty for one hundred thousand dollars scrap the settlement for the victims was quicker but many are still unhappy with the today.
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not feel it was a fair settlement i would have bought it but i was so. sad and broken. i just didn't have the energy to take on that fight and it wasn't a fight that i thought i could when the state department. were very eager for the survivors to make that settlement they sent a check for the the amount and that that that was. the american government came up with a formula for the israelis to compensate the widows and children for their loss this included the payment for shock and mental anguish the widows got twenty five thousand dollars with ten thousand dollars for each of the children over five an american government lawyer doubted that children under five could sufficiently
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comprehend the event to suffer shock and grief. the u.s. proposed they should therefore receive nothing and offered the israelis accepted. since the attack on the liberty the usa and israel had grown ever closer at the time george ball the u.s. undersecretary of state noted that it seemed clear to the israelis that as american leaders did not have the courage to punish them for the blatant murder of american citizens they would let them get away with anything.
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well hurrican night has proven to be one of the fastest moving our kids to push across mainland parts of the u.s. particularly across the gulf states hold for echo the system now in the process of what remains of it just pushing its way across the northeast and call it a legacy of shall is coming back in behind the looking to fathom ounce of warmth and place a tempest getting up to twenty six twenty seven celsius in new york and full of d.c. twenty degrees there and elsewhere that's not say bad twenty one. those numbers around
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for denver just highs of around twelve degrees here as we go through tuesday western parts and dry i would say will see a still some wet weather in place just around that northeastern corner found a warning has already been issued for ninety days in the process of phasing out but still some is a possibility over the next douse a clear skies come back in behind that doubts it will see southeastern corner across the gulf states we're looking good as we make our way through the remainder of the way the showers continue across the caribbean some was that just around the last around his great transit is also seeing some rather wet weather from time to time it'll be the same as we go on into a website perhaps a little dry for the greater antilles by this day.
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witness documentaries that open your eyes at this time on al-jazeera i really felt liberated as a journalist was. getting to the truth as i would that's what is. this is al jazeera. carry this is the news hour live from doha coming up in the next sixty minutes.


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