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Remember the Liberty!
By Phillip F. Nelson
June 2, 2017
The astounding story in this new book is about one of the most explosive and hidden
secrets in U.S. history – one that has never been previously told in such a transformative
way.  It is a story that has been kept so secret from most Americans that it is completely
unknown by the vast majority, and those who have even heard of it have accepted the lie
that it was an accident, a case of “mistaken identity.”  But the very reason it was kept as
“Top Secret” by the government and embargoed by the mainstream media was because
it was always about presidential treasons and treachery of the highest order.
Remember the Liberty! explores how a sitting U.S. president collaborated with Israeli
leaders in the fomentation of a war between them and their Arab neighbors, Egypt, Syria
and Jordan.  It had been planned for months, as much as two-plus years – though
disguised as “spontaneous” – to be a war that would ensure a victory for Israel, the
weakening of her enemies in neighboring Arab nations, and include the acquisition of
additional territories for Israel, all incentives to ensure the support of Israeli leaders.

But the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, harbored his own
interests in facilitating what would become known as the Six Day War: To him, the
highest tier of his interests always centered around his accumulation of power, and in
this case, it was about holding on to it the following year by ensuring his reelection.  
Upset with his loss of popularity by Jewish voters, he wanted to give Israel as much
covert – and ultimately, had the plan succeeded, overt – support as possible in the plan
to engage their neighbors in that war, including the creation of a pretext to join them in
attacking Egypt.

This book finally exposes the actual cause – the only realistic possible explanation – of
the mysterious, and unresolved, vicious attack on a U.S. Naval ship. After the botched
plan had been executed, the ship refused to sink even after being hit by a torpedo,
leading the attack to be cancelled and a massive cover-up invoked, including severe
threats for the crew members to “keep their lips sealed.” As the ex-CIA analyst Ray
McGovern put it in the book’s Foreword, those orders “put steroids to the PTSD suffered
by many of the survivors.” That cover-up is still, barely, in place, and now completely
exposed. Written largely by three of the survivors themselves (Ernie Gallo, Ron Kukal
and Phil Tourney), the truth is finally being told, with the remaining secrets of the real
story finally revealed.

USS Liberty, before the attack

USS Liberty, after the attack

Remember the Liberty! puts much more focus on the brutality with which the Johnson
administration and the U.S. Navy hierarchy treated the sailors themselves, not only then,
but, as importantly, continuing even now.  It began before, during and immediately after
the attack but – because of the threats of prison “or worse” if they ever uttered a word
about it, even to their wives or parents – it festered for decades, while they had to live –
alone, sans support groups – with the horrors they had experienced first-hand, in real
time. It meant keeping their appalling memories within themselves for 15-20 years before
they felt safe enough to even discuss it with anyone else.  Their stories relate how they
have continued to be marginalized and dismissed by the mainstream media (MSM) and
accused of anti-Semitism by Israeli defenders in knee-jerk fashion.  In fact, the book
contains an entire chapter dedicated to this point, along with other references to the
same point within other chapters.

Another very significant point – never previously noted in any other book on this
“incident” – is how, after the motor torpedo boats had fired four torpedoes and all had
missed the target, the fifth torpedo which hit the Liberty was fired, according to one sailor’
s account, as the result of a presidential order to one of his own ships.  The severely
wounded sailor who discovered this part of the story – a well-respected man of
impeccable reputation – was nearly killed during the attack, only saved by another sailor
who came to his rescue and helped him to the medics, holding his intestines inside his
abdomen until he delivered his fellow sailor to the ship’s only doctor.  When he was
finally released from the hospital and returned to the U.S., he then discovered that his
Navy records had been fudged to hide the fact that he was even on the ship, so he had to
hire an investigator to prove it in order to obtain his disability acknowledged.  His
investigator had high-level Pentagon contacts who revealed many of the hidden secrets
to him, and that’s how the survivor found out about that “fifth torpedo.”   No one else has
ever come forward to verify his story, and allow their names to be released, so,
accordingly, we had to treat this part of it very “deftly,” almost as though it was merely a
“rumor” that may one day finally be acknowledged.

Finally, in drydock, the damages were inspected

Many other books have been written on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.  Some of
those present the case put forth by the U.S. and Israeli governments’ “official story” (See
those by A. J. Cristol, or Michael Oren), developed to perpetuate the contrived cover-up
account, hiding the incriminating facts and essentially writing it off as a freak “accident.”
But that was never the reaction of the State Department officials of the time, or the Navy
brass who were not under orders to conduct a phony investigation designed to cover it
up.  One of them, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer,
observed that the president’s handling of the Liberty attack was “… the most disgraceful
act I witnessed in my entire military career.”  The man who wrote the original fabricated
Navy “Court of Inquiry” report on the incident – the report used by those same authors
as the basis for their books – eventually retracted all of it:  Former Navy Captain Ward
Boston Jr., JAGC, in 2004 wrote a scathing renunciation of the book by A. J. Cristol,
admitting that the original Navy report was designed to cover up the truths and replace
them with bald-faced lies, as we detail in the book.

The many books which have attempted to lay out the substantiated facts behind the
attack all come to the conclusion that the brutal 2+ hour attack was not only intentional –
nor was it designed to merely put the ship out of commission, which was accomplished
within the first five minutes – it was meant to ensure that it sank to the bottom of the
Mediterranean Sea and that there would be no survivors who might attempt to “correct
history.”  These books (primarily those by James Ennes, James Scott and several others
referenced in our book) do not mention the primary factor that actually caused the attack
in the first place, and which then created the massive cover-up.   Some of the best books
(e.g. Peter Hounam’s Operation Cyanide) did point to strange actions going on at the
White House, and suggested that Johnson’s political troubles might have something to
do with the chain of events.

But Remember the Liberty! is the first book to factor into the equation LBJ’s clear
psychosis, known to those close to him but long hidden from the public by the press and
fawning historians.  Only by understanding his manic desire to win back the political
support of Jewish people in the biggest cities – especially New York, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Miami and Los Angeles – who had abandoned him because of his Vietnam
policies, can one understand what really happened.  Like his previous “false flag”
operation – the phantom attack at the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese gunboats on
two U.S. Navy destroyers, conveniently occurring just three months before the 1964
elections, which helped him win his landslide victory – he thought this attack would
secure his re-election the following year.  Yet the opposite happened: When the Liberty
did not sink – and his devious “false flag” plan to use it as a pretext for blaming the
attack on Egypt and join Israel in their victorious “Six Day War” collapsed – his re-
election chances were the only thing that sank.  Nine months later he reluctantly
announced that he would remove himself from the 1968 elections to the very office that
he had lusted for his entire life.

The conflicted goals of the Six Day War are the root cause of the turbulence in the Mid-
East, which the world has witnessed for the last five decades.  It has produced ironies,
such as the fact that over half of the U.S. foreign aid budget goes to Israel, a well-
developed, prosperous economic power set amidst some of the most poverty-ridden
nations in the world.  And it was through the paradox of Johnson’s most sordid
manipulations that the U.S./Israel relationship became so close in the aftermath of the
Liberty attack:  Suddenly, U.S. policy was transformed from being “neutral” towards all
countries in the area – as previous administrations had tried to remain, to avoid being
seen as partial to either side – to that of openly, aggressively, backing Israel in all
possible ways, including its acquisition of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.  
Meanwhile, the tensions between Israel and its Palestinian “citizens” in what they
consider as “occupied territory” has descended into a state of constant fighting between
the two sides, especially as manifested in the walled-off territory called Gaza.  While Israel
claims to be the only democracy in the area, that term seems to apply only to those of the
Jewish faith or their descendants.  For Palestinians, the more correct term would be
“apartheid.”    The worst part of the current state of affairs in the existential Israel /
Palestine state is how all of those facets appear to have been the product of the
insouciance – or worse, the rigidly pro-Zionist views – of America’s leadership,
regardless of the individuals or the parties in power.

This book will undoubtedly come under fire for its controversial assertions.  But any
criticisms of it being biased against Israel will be misplaced, since, if anything, it finally
puts the primary blame for the attack on the USS Liberty where it should have always
been: upon Lyndon Johnson.  Israeli leaders were only taking their despicable actions
because Johnson had insisted on it, implicitly, as a condition for his assistance in their
plans for extending Israeli borders into Palestine.    The fact that his diabolical plan failed,
and the Liberty did not sink, thanks to the heroic efforts of the survivors, saved the world
from the nuclear conflagration which might have otherwise occurred, with Jerusalem –
the “city of peace” – at ground zero.
Remember the Liberty! TrineDay Publishers, 2017
Authors:  Phillip F. Nelson, with Ernest A. Gallo, Ronald G. Kukal and Phillip F. Tourney
(survivors of the attack on the USS Liberty, and Foreword by ex-CIA analyst Ray
McGovern; Preface by Edgar F. Tatro