Israeli Attack on US Ship in ’67 Still Fuels Rage

New evidence backs claim that Jerusalem knew it hit Americans
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2007 12:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Recently declassified documents and testimony from military personnel further support claims the 1967 Israeli attack on a US spy ship was intentional. The assault on the USS Liberty, which killed 26 Americans, was deemed accidental by Jerusalem and wasn’t fully investigated by the Navy. But officials say they intercepted Israeli commands to strike an American vessel, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Audio documenting a commander’s green light despite protests—“Never mind; hit it!”—is missing, but enough witnesses remember the peculiar day to cast aspersions on claims of mistaken identity. A lack of plausible motives for such an Israeli decision has long relegated the claims to conspiracy theory; some suspect fears the Liberty would intercept news that Jerusalem wanted to expand its war.