View Full Version : Could this turn out to be the "October Surprise?"

Bob Cleek
10-21-2008, 02:17 PM
October 17, 2008 Southwest News-Herald - City & Suburban

McCain Should Explain About Liberty Killings


If Barak Obama’s association with 1960s radical William Ayers is a critical issue in this campaign, then Sen. John McCain’s role in protecting the actions of his father in the deaths of 34 American sailors is an issue, too.

While most Americans know all about the Ayers controversy, few know that McCain’s father, Navy Admiral John McCain Jr., was involved in the cover-up of the Israeli assault on the U.S.S. Liberty on June 8, 1967.

On that day, Israeli fighter jets, torpedo boats and helicopter assault ships killed 34 sailors and wounded 174 others during the Arab-Israeli war.

McCain and pro-Israel activists insist the attack was an “accident.” But eyewitnesses on the ship, American veterans in uniform who went into the Mediterranean Sea as champions of Israel, insist Israel wanted to sink the ship to force the United States to join the war against Egypt, then a Soviet client.

Phillip Tourney was a young officer on the Liberty working in the security and communications room. In an interview on Radio Chicagoland on WJJG last week, which is online at RadioChicagoland.com, Tourney described what really happened.

“The Israeli Air Force had been flying around us for seven hours. They knew exactly who we were,” Tourney said. “The Israeli planes left and a dozen unmarked planes returned and began firing on us.”

Tourney said the planes put more than 800 holes in the ship, dropped napalm and strafed the ship with gunfire, killing 10 sailors.

“We were waving an American flag from the deck that was 7 by 13 feet in size. They knew we were American and they shot at the soldiers carrying the flag,” Tourney said.

The Liberty sent an SOS to Capt. Joseph Tully, the commander of the U.S.S. Saratoga, which was a part of the 6th Fleet. Tully’s order to help was reversed by 6th Fleet Rear Admiral Lawrence Geiss. Geiss received his orders not to protect the Liberty directly from Admiral McCain.

Five clearly marked Israeli torpedo boats returned and one of the torpedoes hit the ship and immediately killed 24 young men.

That means 24 American soldiers died after McCain intervened and prevented the 6th Fleet from responding to help the besieged American soldiers.

As the attack intensified, the Israelis sent several assault helicopters filled with assault soldiers to finish the job.

“They planned to come on board and kill every one of our men. They wanted to wipe us out,” Tourney said. “If they would have sunk our ship and killed all our men, everyone would have thought the ship had been sunk by the Egyptians and the United States would have attacked Egypt. I believe the Israelis wanted to drag the United States into the war.”

The Israeli strike force only withdrew when it became clear that Israel had been identified as the attacking force, not Egypt.

Several books by Liberty survivors were written documenting these events. But Admiral McCain’s son, Senator John McCain, decided a few years ago to endorse a book written by a pro-Israeli activist who insisted the attack was a “mistake.”

If Obama must answer to his friendship with Ayers, doesn’t McCain have an obligation to explain his father’s role in the deaths of 34 American soldiers?

Doesn’t Senator McCain have an obligation to explain his subsequent actions to protect his father’s name, rather than stand up for the dignity of our soldiers?

We need a real, open investigation. The survivors and the families of those who died deserve it.

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Dunno if this is just a bunch of bunk or not. If not, it's pretty scarey, given McCain/Palin's pro-Israeli Middle East military platform. I've heard the story about Israel supposedly knowing it was a US ship that was attacked, but I've never heard the details like they are laid out here, no McCain Sr.'s involvement in the incident.

Anybody have any inside info on this?

John of Phoenix
10-21-2008, 02:28 PM
If Obama must answer to his friendship with Ayers, doesn’t McCain have an obligation to explain his father’s role in the deaths of 34 American soldiers?

Nothing to gain by playing that game.
Let Palin/McCain wallow in the 60's, Obama's working the future.

10-21-2008, 02:31 PM
I once briefly knew a former petty officer from the Liberty. He was the teacher of a course on electron microscopy I took in June of 1987, so the subject came up by accident while we were on a break. It must have been around the 20th anniversary of the attack. His version of the story was that the crew of the Liberty originally believed the attack was an accident that would be recalled when the ship's identity was known, and that Israel was a friendly nation. They spread out huge flags and made radio calls so that the Israeli aircraft could not possibly be mistaken. He was wounded in the attack.

The man I spoke with was very matter-of-fact in his story telling. He did not take a political stand against Israel (except regarding the attack) but he did believe that it was deliberate to conceal some sort of Israeli communications (since communications interception was the mission of the ship at the time.) I don't recall that he said anything about the U.S. command preventing a rescue or defense of the ship.

I don't think McCain is answerable for his father's actions, even if the story is true.

Ian McColgin
10-21-2008, 02:33 PM
Anything is possible, but nothing that McCain does or does not do will lift the veil of confusion here.

I see no wrong in McCain choosing to believe his father.

I see great wrong in smarmey innuendo.

The reasons for opposing McCain are that he will wreck the economy more than already is happening, destroy health access for many who have it now, continue a war of aggression, never get it about Afganistan, and carry forward the culture wars from the '60's in a most vindictive manner to encourage back-alley abortions and pretend we could have "won" in Vietnam.

His filial loyalty is not the issue.

10-21-2008, 02:45 PM
Ayers isn't critical, or relevant. By that logic, this isn't either.

Keith Wilson
10-21-2008, 02:46 PM
We've got a ridiculous unending war in Iraq, the economy is going all to hell, and in the context of the election we're talking about the Weather Underground and the USS Liberty? A reasonable person might think we're nuts.

Bob Cleek
10-21-2008, 02:47 PM
I didn't mean to suggest that this should sway anyone's vote one way or the other. The fact that Obama has not "slung mud" like his opposition is a strong point in his favor. I seriously doubt Obama's campaign would touch this issue with a ten foot pole, and shouldn't. However, my concern was not so much with regard to McCain's filial loyalty, as it was with respect to whether his political loyalty to Israel might inordinately influence his perceptions of Middle Eastern politics and military operations. And, I suppose, because the "Liberty" incident is one of those historical questions that has never seemed to have been fully resolved.

10-21-2008, 02:56 PM
I agree with Keith. This is a ridiculous thing to be discussing during this campaign (although it is an interesting but unresolvable historical discussion.)

It could prove a trap for Obama in a number of ways if he touches this. I would hate to see the campaign deteriorate into a battle of words about who does or does not support Israel, which any criticism of Adm. McCain would inevitably turn into. As I said, candidate McCain should bear no responsibility for his father's actions, which have not been proven blameworthy at this point.

John of Phoenix
10-21-2008, 03:07 PM
My concern was not so much with regard to McCain's filial loyalty, as it was with respect to whether his political loyalty to Israel might inordinately influence his perceptions of Middle Eastern politics and military operations.
That can be easily explained by his sell out to the neocon faction of the party.
What they don't have is owned by the religious right and what's left from that belongs to the oil industry.
I think that accounts for all the Mavericky he might have had left.

Paul Pless
10-21-2008, 03:41 PM
Anybody have any inside info on this?Inside info? That's Tylerdurden's area.

10-21-2008, 04:42 PM
and for true insider info, Durden comes to me.

He'll be getting back to you shortly.

Bob Adams
10-21-2008, 05:25 PM
One differance I can think of, McCain did not chose his father, Obama did chose his associates.

10-21-2008, 06:07 PM
OMG! (He)(She) did WHAT? I'll immediately withdraw from my local Party conference, resign my membership and change my citizenship as well! This will SO change my vote in the election, and I just can't thank the poster enough for pulling the wool from my eyes and showing me the "True Path of Enlightenment"! Thank Heavens it happened BEFORE the election!

10-21-2008, 06:33 PM
I'm more concerned w/ what Israel (w/ tacit or outright U.S. approval) may do in the future than w/ this incident. I have no doubt that it was intentional, but can we hold McCain responsible for the sins of his father?

10-21-2008, 06:47 PM
I agree. This is to totally silly to even discuss. Let's talk about what we'd do with Palin in a cheap motel if it was totally impossible for our SO's to find out:D


Phillip Allen
10-21-2008, 06:58 PM
I've been angry about the USS Liberty for years...where's Mosha Dian(sp) so we can kick his a$$...has death cheated the gallows?

Phillip Allen
10-21-2008, 07:30 PM
I just did some reading about the Liberty attack...the captain was awarded the Medal of Honor but apparently LBJ refused to pin it on...I always knew he was an a$$ mole but that is pretty arrogant...

10-21-2008, 07:37 PM
Obama doesn't seem to be the sort get that down and dirty, and I applaud him for being more serious about the real problems. He seems to be a bit amused by all the republican trash talk.

10-21-2008, 09:46 PM
Obama doesn't even know what they do in the Pentagon, how's he gonna dig into this stuff? He wouldn't know a platoon from a poltroon if it bit him on the butt. All those Al Kida guys will be shooting into the air big time if he gets in,