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Offline GreyLmist

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http://www.usslibertyinquiry.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340

06-08-2004, 10:25 
David Carmichael 
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Jerusalem Post article of June 3, 2004


Wouldn't want the Jerusalem Post to misplace this article in trying to slip in the "30mm with AP" revision... we'll store it here for safekeeping


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satell...p=1006953079845
Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed


Arieh O'Sullivan Jun. 3, 2004


At 1:58 pm on June 8, 1967, Capt. Yiftach Spector lined up his Mirage IIICJ fighter jet above the USS Liberty and raked it from bow to stern with his armored-piercing bullets from his 30 mm guns.

Even now, 37 years later, the attack by the Air Force on the American spy ship on the fourth day of the Six Days' War fuels the fire of intrigue, conspiracy and cover-up theories. Nevertheless, what follows is powerful evidence that the attack was a tragic mistake.

The Israel Air Force archives have audiotapes of the radio transmissions made prior, during and after the attack. They have never been made public. The Jerusalem Post was allowed to listen to these tapes on an exclusive basis together with other Air Force historians. Here, for the first time, the actual transcripts of the radio transmissions between the pilot and ground station appear in the press.

Historians will be the first to say that raw material needs context. Therefore, it is important to present the entire unedited transcript of the attack to prevent Israel bashers from dissecting out the unflattering and incriminating comments and using them out of context.

This said, it is also vital that the text be annotated, translated from the jargon of 1967 Air Force language, to one that can be understood today.

There are a number of dramatic moments, including jockey calls by a pilot: that it would be a "mitzvah" to sink the ship before the Navy arrived and another says it was 'easier than MiGs.'

Another is when suddenly, in the middle of the attack, an unknown voice cuts in from the side: "What is this? What about the Americans?" And finally, the confusion over the identity is dwarfed by the split second decision making made by the chief air controller Col. Shmuel Kislev.

Obviously, listening to the tapes sends chills down one's spine.

The pilots speak only before and after they act. There are full minutes of almost total silence and you know that men are being killed.

The only sound is of an automated female voice of the time being red out every 20 seconds. "The time is now 14 and two minutes."

There are two tapes, one of the radio transmissions between the pilots and controllers, and the other is of telephone conversations between the chief air controller and regional air controllers. The audiotapes themselves were not released. The following transcript is a mix of the two tapes into one transcript, which explains the time overlaps.

Cast of characters:
Homeland - Air Controllers
Kislev - chief air controller at general headquarters in Tel Aviv
Menachem - chief air controller at Air Control South
Yigal - Menachem's deputy
Robert - chief air controller at Air Control Central
Shimon - Robert's deputy
L.K. - Capt. Lazar Karni, weapons system officer
Kursa - two-ship formation of Mirage IIICJs commanded by Capt. Yiftach Spector
Royal - two-ship formation of Super-Mysteres that made the second run on Liberty
Nixon - two-ship formation of Mysteres armed with bombs for third strike
Pagoda - three torpedo boats commanded by Lt.-Cmdr. Moshe Oren
Migdal - one of the three torpedo boats that communicates with the pilots

Background:
The Navy has just identified a mysterious vessel off El Arish possibly shelling the ammo depot on the beach. It dispatched three torpedo boats against it, but has asked the Air Force to intercept the ship.

13:50
KISLEV: Yigal, you have a ship at 26 (site designation). Take Kursa over there. If it's a warship then screw it.

YIGAL Clear

13:51
UNKNOWN Wait a minute Kislev. The Navy says that our torpedo boats are in the area and are called Pagoda. They're on frequency 186.

KISLEV If it is a warship you can attack. There are two of our torpedo boats there and they want (the pilots) to either see them or contact them on frequency 186. (There were actually three boats) Robert, do you have Royal?

ROBERT Royal?

SHIMON He is at Hava 16 (grid coordinates) That's route 15.

KISLEV Robert, take Royal along the coast so that if Kursa identifies then he'll be able to go in too.

ROBERT All right

KISLEV Menachem, how much fuel does Kursa have?

MENACHEM he has a lot. About a minute ago he had 3000 (liters)

13:52
KURSA What's the range? Seven turns, 040 degrees. Roger, I'll stay on 19 and 9 (frequencies). How do you call the torpedo boats? Pagoda? Kursa 9 and 3.

13:53
KURSA Homeland, keep on directing me to the place.

HOMELAND 045 degrees, 20 miles. Ah, can you see them at the moment?

13:54
KURSA Affirmative, it looks longer by eyesight.

LK What is this? Americans? (the weapons system officer in the general headquarters blurted out in what he later testified was a hunch.)

SHOMON Where are Americans?

KISLEV Robert, what are you saying?

(quickly disregarding the comment, Kislev moves on)

KISLEV Does he see more torpedo boats north of him?

13:55
KISLEV Menachem, if there are three torpedo boats, then this could be ours. (he is aware of the correct number of boats now)

SHIMON Pay attention, Kursa

13:55
KURSA Pagoda from Kursa. Migdal?

MIGDAL Affirmative

KURSA Are You attacking some ship now?

MIGDAL We're on our way to one.

KURSA OK. I'll come and give you a hand. Where are you?

KURSA Migdal from Kursa. Are you three? There is no need. Bring yourselves up some 10-15 kilometers from the ship. Is it in the direction of your home?

KURSA I see you on a right turn. Why are you turning? It's not in that direction.

MIGDAL OK, all right. Affirmative Affirmative.

13:56
MIGDAL Can you identify the target?

KURSA Can you identify his target, Migdal?

KURSA She's running from you in the direction of El Arish, correction, Port Said. What is it? What is it? A destroyer? A patrol boat? What is it?

MIGDAL Kursa, Can you manage to identify it?

KURSA I can't identify it, but in any case it's a military ship.

MIGDAL OK, what is it?

KURSA It has one mast and one smokestack

MIGDAL Roger

KURSA It has one mast up front.

13:56
SHIMON Menachem, Kursa is calling you.

SHIMON He says he is starting to strafe them.

MENACHEM I told him that if it is a warship then he has authorization to attack. That was the last command.

KISLEV Menachem

MENACHEM Does he have authorization to attack?

KISLEV He does. If this is a warship then yes. Royal is to be directed to there.

MENACHEM OK

KISLEV Send Royal over there with bombs

ROBERT On what frequency are you attacking?

SHIMON She's running away from this (he says this as he monitors the Liberty on his radar screen)

KISLEV Menachem, after he attacks have him explain to Royal how to find her.

SHIMON She's fleeing very fast.

KISLEV OK, attack.

SHIMON Robert, have Royal call us on 19.

ROBERT Royal to you on 19.

13:57
SHIMON Just a second, Kislev, we see the ship. (on radar) That's one hell of a ship.

ROBERT Menachem, I passing 105th (Super Mysteres squadron) to you on 19. Royal (over) El Arish at 20 (20,000 feet)

KISLEV Menachem, have (Kursa) tell us if there is anti-aircraft fire.

13:58
KISLEV Menachem, nu?

MENACHEM We're asking him. She's not shooting back.

KISLEV Not shooting? Give me 19. (his voice has a puzzled expression)

13:59
KURSA We've hit her a lot ...but maybe she is doing it (putting out smoke) on purpose, I don't know. Oil is spilling out into the water. I'm in eye contact. Great! Wonderful! She's burning! She's burning!

MENACHEM Did you hear? He's hit her a lot. There's a lot of black smoke. There's an oil leak into the water. He's continuing.

KISLEV Was there any anti-aircraft fire on him?

MENACHEM She's burning! The warship is burning!

MENACHEM Shumlik, she's burning! The moment Kursa is finished we're sending in Royal.(he uses Kislev's first name Shmulik in his excitement)

KISLEV That's right, to sink her. (he says this flatly)

MENACHEM To sink her, OK.

14:00
ROYAL Eye contact with the target. Eye contact with Kursa. Royal requests 15 (15,000 feet)

KURSA OK, Kursa is coming in ..you a bit further in. I'll go in the direction OK (his comments are to his wingman)

KURSA I think she is putting out smoke on purpose. It's coming out of the smokestack. OK. I'm finished too. The ship is really burning. There is a large fire and a lot of black smoke.

14:01
KURSA Royal, you altitude? We're at 5 (5,000 feet).

ROYAL You're east, right?

KURSA We're south of the ship.

14:01
KISLEV Menachem

MENACHEM We're sending in Royal

KISLEV Good

ROBERT (garbled) this ship?

KISLEV Menachem, if Royal has napalm it would be more efficient.

14:02
KURSA Affirmative

ROYAL Not ours?

ROYAL Homeland, can you hear? Call Homeland on 19. Ask if it's allowed to go in.

ROYAL I understand do not go in. Fine. We're circling above the ship at 15. (15,000 feet) Tell him that the Navy will be arriving before us. I can see.

14:02
SHIMON Menachem, Royal is calling you.

MENACHEM He got off the line

KURSA I've got him. (Kursa is relaying to control for Royal)

ROYAL Does Royal have permission?

[20 empty seconds pass]

SHIMON Kislev, there's doubt as to the identification.

KISLEV If there is a doubt, don't attack.

SHIMON Don't attack Menachem.

ROBERT Pay attention. There is doubt as to the identification. (Robert consults with a naval liaison officer in his headquarters)

KISLEV What does that mean?

ROBERT OK, you can go in. (apparently resolving the issue with the Navy)

KISLEV You may go in.

KURSA Affirmative, you have permission, Royal.

14:02
ROYAL Sausages, in the middle and up in one pass. Two together. (he instructs his wingman on dropping the napalm) We'll come in from the rear. Watch out for the masts. Don't hit the masts, careful of the masts. I'll come in from her left, you come behind me.

SHIMON Next formation - get a briefing on what took place.

14:03
ROBERT Authorized to sink her?

KISLEV You can sink her.

SHIMON Royal is exchanging words. They started chatting

ROBERT One Eight (sector coordinates) that is not the ship. Wait a minute

14:04
KISLEV Menachem, Is he screwing her?

MENACHEM He's going down on her with napalm all the time.

KISLEV You don't need anymore for the ship. Enough.

MENACHEM There is no need. Our forces are there. The Navy's there too.

SHIMON It'll be worth it just for the insurance.

KISLEV But napalm went there.

UNKOWN What does napalm do (to a ship?)

14:04
ROYAL on the right side of the stern ..

14:05
ROYAL WING You've missed by an undershot.

ROYAL a deep gash

14:05
KISLEV What is Kursa reporting? Was there any ant-aircraft fire?

MENACHIM I've passed him on to 33 (frequency) and asked for a report.

KISLEV Robert, ask Kursa if there was any anti-aircraft fire.

ROBERT Kislev, the Navy asks not to sink her completely. They want to get close and have a look.

SHIMON Have them rescue the people with the torpedo boats to help.

ROBERT OK, finish with this formation. The torpedoes are coming up to the them.

14:06
KISLEV What does Kursa say?

ROBERT I'm telling you already. 'This is easier than (shooting down) MiGs.'

KISLEV What is the situation now?

UNKNOWN I don't know. Two (Royal wingman) hit the ship with (napalm) and now he's strafing.

14:07
ROYAL Fine pull up.

ROYAL I'm behind you. Careful of her antennas.

14:08
ROYAL Homeland from Royal, how do you hear me? She has some kind of marking, P30 and something.

KISLEV Robert, take formation 116 (Nixon) out there too.

ROBERT Good

MENACHEM Her marking (he is cut off by Kislev)

KISLEV Yes I heard. We are checking.

14:09
ROYAL Homeland, if you could have a two-ship formation with bombs (here) before the Navy arrives then it would be a mitzvah. Otherwise the Navy will be here in 10 minutes.

SHIMON Before the Navy arrives, it will be a mitzvah.

KISLEV In the meantime take formation 116 (Nixon). Who is checking this? (the mysterious markings on the ship)

SHIMON Royal reported that it would be a mitzvah before the Navy comes!

KISLEV Look for a flag if they can see one. Have Royal look. See if they can identify her with a flag.

14:10
ROYAL Twelve o'clock ..look higher. Now left, slowly, slowly a bit faster so it will stay external, OK?

14:10
ROBERT Kislev, they (the Navy) are asking us not to do anything else about her. They want to take her. It's a pity to sink her. I want to receive an answer.

KISLEV No, no, We are attacking meanwhile.

14:11
ROBERT Menachem, Is Royal leaving?

MENACHEM Not yet. Just a moment. He is reporting something.

KISLEV OK attack, Menachem (he orders Nixon in for a third strike)

ROBERT Menachem, has Royal left?

MENACHEM Not yet.

14:11
ROYAL Homeland from Royal, do you read me? Pay attention. This ship's markings are Charlie-Tango-Romeo 5. There is no flag on her! She looks like a minesweeper with that marking. Roger, I'm leaving her. I'm staying around one more minute. (the Liberty's correct markings were GTR-5)

14:12
ROBERT What altitude? What altitude is Royal reaching?

MENACHEM Charlie-Senator-Romeo (he incorrectly recalls CSR-5)

KISLEV Leave her! (his flat tone changes dramatically as he realizes this was no Egyptian ship)

ROBERT Leave her. What ship is this?

KISLEV Leave her. (he says tersely) Menachem report the approximate damage. (Redirect) 116 to its original mission.

14:13
ROYAL Homeland, there's external fire on her, a lot of hits on her upper parts. People are jumping into the water. She's not shooting at all. She has hardly any armaments on her. She's going full steam towards the north.

KISLEV Shimon, Robert. We're sending two helicopters to them.

ROBERT Good. Clear. I am dispatching helicopters.

14:14
MENACHEM Kislev, what country?

KISLEV Apparently American.

Coverup
There are two negative stories about Israel-US relations that refuse to die and are raised periodically. One of them is the Pollard espionage affair and the other is the attack on the USS Liberty. They often are mentioned in the same breath.

Dozens of books have been written and documentaries made on the attack that killed 34 US sailors and wounded over 170. At least ten official US and three Israeli investigations concluded it was the result of a tragic mistake made in the heat of battle. But for some in the world it was inconceivable that the Israeli intelligence which orchestrated the enormous victory of the Six Days' War could have made such a gross mistake. There must be another explanation.

"There isn't," says Michael Oren, author of the acclaimed Six Days of War and senior fellow at The Shalem Center in Jerusalem. "Conspiracy theories in general live, and regarding Jews and Israel they are immortal."

"They don't die because they tap into the notion or belief of an international Jewish cabal, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion thing," he says. "The USS Liberty conspiracists all claim that Israel uses its lobbies and threaten to withhold support to anyone critical of the country. It is nefarious and sinister. It is anti-Semitism."

Besides that, the incident includes terrific elements for conspiracies, Oren says.

"It involves a spy ship. It involves Israel committing an egregious error in the middle of a war where it was perceived to have been flawless. The combination of the NSA (National Security Agency) and the Israeli Air Force is a conspiracy theorists dream,"

Oren says, adding there was little Israel could to do fight it.

Meanwhile, the survivors of the USS Liberty continue to gather to remember their friends, but also to perpetuate the conspiracy that not only were deliberately attacked, but that it was covered up at the highest American and Israeli levels.

Less than 20 of the hundreds of survivors came to this year's memorial held two weeks ago (May 22) in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

"We all believe we're finally getting to the point where the truth may be told and the world is ready to listen," says Cmdr. David Lewis, who oversaw intelligence on the ship and remembers most of the attack that left him with superficial burns and destroyed his eardrums.

The view from the cockpit
Of the four pilots who took part in the attack, three are alive today. One died in 1979 during an aviation accident. For years their identities were classified. Last October, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yiftach Spector agreed to be identified and gave an exclusive interview on the attack to this reporter. Here are some of his comments.

"There was a mistake. Mistakes happen. As far as I know, the mistake was of the USS Liberty being there in the first place," said Spector, who at the time was deputy squadron commander of the 101st and used the code name "Kursa" during the attack.

"I did not fire on the Liberty as a human target. I was sent to attack a sailing vessel. This ship was on an escape route from the El Arish area which at that same moment had heavy smoke rising from it," said Spector.

He had been on an air-to-air mission and was not loaded with bombs.

"I was told on the radio that it was an Egyptian ship off the Gaza coast. Hit it. The luck of the ship was that I was armed only with light ammunition (30mm) against aircraft. If I had had a bomb it would be sitting on the bottom today like the Titanic. I promise you," Spector said.

"Every order is given by commanders and the last one to receive it has to decide whether he will pull the trigger or not. In this instance I was the fighter. I checked what I had to check (i.e. that it was a military ship and not one of ours) and pulled the trigger," Spector said.

"The crew should be thankful for their luck (that I was on an air-to-air mission and did not have any bombs) I'm sorry for poor Capt. (William Loren) McGonagle whose leg was wounded and the other guys who were killed and wounded."

"I'm sorry for the mistake. In war mistakes happen," Spector said. "But it wasn't my mistake."

He added he remained baffled that the conspiracy theories live on that Israel deliberately attacked the US intelligence ship. He suggested it might be due to anti-Semitism, or anti-Israeli sentiments. He has never in the past 37 years ever met with any of the Liberty survivors, but had no qualms about doing so now.

"These people never, ever spoke to me. Perhaps they are anti-Semites? Or these guys feel hurt and are looking for guilty parties, maybe to get compensation, or money? I am not afraid to meet them. Anyone who wants to meet with me is welcome. I don't have any claims against them. I don't want any compensation from them or anything. If they want they can look me up. And they best not deal with lies and deception since it won't help. It's best they tell the truth."

"They must understand that a mistake was made here," Spector said. "The fool is one who wanders about in the dark in dangerous places, so they should not come with any complaints."

Spector, 63, who went on to become a triple ace shooting down 15 enemy aircraft, base commander and took part in the infamous 1981 raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor, earned a place in the pantheon of Israeli fly boys. He has spent the past 20 years teaching new generation of fliers. He was dismissed from the IAF last year for signing a letter with other pilots protesting the policy of targeted killings.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satell...p=1006953079845

Offline GreyLmist

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Re: Copy of JP article "Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed"
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 06:58:18 AM »
Quote
like the Titanic. I promise you," Spector said.

http://www.lanevictory.org/museum.htm
>
The triple expansion steam engine displayed in the second museum is an example of the kind of marine engine that powered the Titanic, the Bismark, and the U.S. Liberty Ships. It is a twenty ton, 1000 HP engine built in 1920 by the Vickers Co, of England. >>

Offline gelignite

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Re: Copy of JP article "Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed"
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2006, 10:22:06 PM »
http://www.usslibertyinquiry.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340

[...]

Cast of characters:
Homeland - Air Controllers
Kislev - chief air controller at general headquarters in Tel Aviv
Menachem - chief air controller at Air Control South
Yigal - Menachem's deputy
Robert - chief air controller at Air Control Central
Shimon - Robert's deputy
L.K. - Capt. Lazar Karni, weapons system officer
Kursa - two-ship formation of Mirage IIICJs commanded by Capt. Yiftach Spector
Royal - two-ship formation of Super-Mysteres that made the second run on Liberty
Nixon - two-ship formation of Mysteres armed with bombs for third strike
Pagoda - three torpedo boats commanded by Lt.-Cmdr. Moshe Oren
Migdal - one of the three torpedo boats that communicates with the pilots

[...]

14:11
ROYAL Homeland from Royal, do you read me? Pay attention. This ship's markings are Charlie-Tango-Romeo 5. There is no flag on her! She looks like a minesweeper with that marking. Roger, I'm leaving her. I'm staying around one more minute. (the Liberty's correct markings were GTR-5)

14:12
ROBERT What altitude? What altitude is Royal reaching?

MENACHEM Charlie-Senator-Romeo (he incorrectly recalls CSR-5)

KISLEV Leave her! (his flat tone changes dramatically as he realizes this was no Egyptian ship)

ROBERT Leave her. What ship is this?

KISLEV Leave her. (he says tersely) Menachem report the approximate damage. (Redirect) 116 to its original mission.

Note: 116 was a flight that was apparently being set to attack the Liberty as well.

Quote
14:13
ROYAL Homeland, there's external fire on her, a lot of hits on her upper parts. People are jumping into the water. She's not shooting at all. She has hardly any armaments on her. She's going full steam towards the north.

"People... jumping into the water..."

Could these have been some liferafts being thown overboard?

Quote
KISLEV Shimon, Robert. We're sending two helicopters to them.

ROBERT Good. Clear. I am dispatching helicopters.

14:14
MENACHEM Kislev, what country?

KISLEV Apparently American.

[...]


And there it is, in black and white, clear as crystal. The planes were ordered to discontinue the attack 10-12 minutes into it.

None were ordered to press on in spite of the fact that the markings were in English and the ship was "Apparently American".

Tavni's account is doo-doo. And this is plain for all to see.
I'm quite certain that you honestly believe in the purposes of your advocacy... And I am definitely opposed to banishment ~ your mere presence is a testimony to the value of this forum... Your absence would suggest that we are wasting our time here...

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Offline GreyLmist

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Re: Copy of JP article "Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed"
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 10:10:15 AM »
Quote
"People... jumping into the water..."

Could these have been some liferafts being thown overboard?

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/xix/28060.htm
>
22 missing personnel from the Liberty >>


Could these (or some of them) have been Israeli agents, picked up by the MTBs that weren't recalled after the Liberty was IDed as American?

Offline arden

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Re: Copy of JP article "Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed"
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 10:43:32 AM »


Quote
"But it wasn't my mistake."

"The fool is one who wanders about in the dark in dangerous places, so they should not come with any complaints." -- Israeli pilot who attacked Liberty


What an arrogant ass. 
Sanhedrin: It is the Jewish law and all the nations have to obey this law.