On the fourth day of the Six Day War (8 Jun 1967), at about 2 PM Sinai time (then, GMT+2), Israeli defense forces attacked the USS Liberty about 14 miles off the coast of the Sinai peninsula, near El Arish.
After ten official US investigations (including five congressional investigations), there was never any evidence that the attack was made with knowledge that the target was a US ship. There is substantial evidence the attack was a tragic mistake caused by blunders of both the US and Israel. Eight US presidents, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43), have each accepted the conclusion that the attack was a tragic case of mistaken identity.
Nevertheless, conspiracy theorists continue to claim the Israelis knowingly attacked a US ship. By some estimates, there are more conspiracy theories about the Liberty incident than about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The focus of this research project is limited to the question: "Did the Israelis know they were attacking a US ship?"
The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship is the result of more than seventeen years of extensive research. The book is derived from the doctoral dissertation The Liberty Incident, completed at the Middle East Studies Institute of the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The dissertation is based on over 500 personal interviews and more than 3,000 documents the author acquired over ten years. Subsequently, additional interviews were conducted and documents acquired which have been included in the book. The dissertation is in the collection of the Library of Congress (LCCN 98135843).
Subsequent to the publication of the book, I sued the National Security Agency under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and on July 2, 2004, the agency capitulated and released audio tapes collected by an NSA unit aboard a Navy EC-121 flying near the scene of the attack on 8 June 1967. On January 12, 2005, The United States Department of State released Vol. XIX of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, which further declassified Department of State, Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency and White House documents. The summary of Volume XIX includes three paragraphs about the Liberty incident.
This website is intended as a supplement to the research material presented in The Liberty Incident. It is not the author's intention to convince anyone of anything. Rather, the intent is to provide access to primary and secondary evidence in order that an interested researcher may have access to relevant evidence prior to reaching a conclusion. Because of space limitations, it was not possible to include the full text of all the material mentioned in the book. This website will permit interested researchers to access materials from the author's collection.
In the compilation of a study of this magnitude, it is almost certain that some errors and inaccuracies will be included. Also, there will be conflicting material. The author has made every effort to eliminate typographical errors and omissions. Upon review, all appropriate corrections will be made to make the data at this site as precise and accurate as possible.