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Home arrow Blog arrow November 2007 arrow November 5, 2007

November 5, 2007
WAWA Blog  November 5, 2007: Veterans Day is a week away, Remember LIBERTY

"It Was God That Kept Us Afloat"
Part 1 in a Series




It was the events of THAT DAY we call 9/11 that woke this pampered physician's wife up to the fact on the ground that people in the world hated the U.S. so much, that they would target and murder innocent Americans.

I did not react with fear, but curiosity. I did not want to shop as President Bush encouraged us all to do if we wanted to help. I wanted my questions answered and the MSM was not asking them and Congress was not demanding them.

Seven years ago, I was your typical uninformed, misinformed American, but with diligence and persistence I have learned much. But, it was not until June 2005 and my first journey to the Little Town of Bethlehem: Occupied Territory did my rage erupt against the empire; the American governments allegiance to Israel's Military Occupation of Palestine.

It was not until the whistle-blower of Israel's WMD Program, Mordechai Vanunu informed me of things I had never heard of did I wake up to the depth of the deception of America's 'best ally' and blind collusion of the U.S.A. government. It was at a rooftop restaurant in east Jerusalem, where they serve the fish with skeleton and head intact, and fries on the side, that Vanunu blew my mind, "Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Gurion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’ Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Gurion open up the Dimona for inspection. When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.”

It was not until October 13, 2007, when Phil Tourney, Petty Officer and survivor of the attack on the USS LIBERTY affirmed that, "It was God that kept us afloat" at the "No More Wars for Israel Conference" in Irvine, California:


What REALLY Happened on 13 October 2007


That I Woke Up to that day in infamy which remains "the only incident of damage to a major US ship since the sinking of the USS MAINE in Havana Harbour in 1898, prior to the Spanish-American War, that has not been investigated by the US Congress."-Captain Joseph Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, page 175, Operation Cyanide, by Peter Hounam.


On November 2, 2007, I conversed on the phone with fellow Floridian, survivor of the USS LIBERTY, and the current President of the USS LIBERTY'S Veterans Association, Ernie Gallo, who was a Petty Officer and Communication Technician on the LIBERTY. We shared our frustrations seeking justice for the LIBERTY by beseeching the professed Christian and our Republican Senator Mel Martinez.

Ernie quipped, "I met with Martinez's legal council and let me tell you that Congress will not lift a finger to help us. AIPAC would crucify them! Our government is lock stepped not to say anything about the LIBERTY."

For forty years our government has denied justice to our Veterans and crucified the truth because "We will not embarrass an ally." -President Lyndon Johnson, June 8, 1967.

Forty years ago the American government not only colluded with Israel in the treasonous cover-up of the attack on the USS LIBERTY the survivors "were ordered to remain silent under threat of court martial, imprisonment or worse...The U.S. government has never challenged the obviously phony Israeli excuse of "mistaken identity" nor have they attempted to expose the dishonorable cover up that continues to date. Truth and America's honor were ignominiously sacrificed to provide cover for Israel's transparent lies and despicable act of perfidy." -Phillip F. Tourney, President USS LIBERTY Veterans Association, June 8, 2007, Marriott Courtyard, VA.

The Veterans of the USS LIBERTY have repeatedly requested an open independent panel to investigate the horrific and unprovoked attack upon them and have only received pro-forma letters from a White House staffer in this Administration stating that the attack had already been investigated.

"This is a bald-faced lie!" Tourney wrote in a postscript to our Commander In Chief in his most recent appeal.

"The declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel… showed [that] the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel. The documents also suggest that the U.S. government, anxious to spare Israel's reputation and preserve its alliance with the U.S., closed the case with what even some of its participants now say was a hasty and seriously flawed investigation."-
http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/printedition/
tuesday/chi-liberty_tuesoct02,0,1050179.story?coll=chi_business_ugc

"Israel got away with cold blooded murder! Forty years ago the CIA and the NSA all threatened the survivors not to talk! They scared me so much; I didn't for twenty years… Israel wanted the world to believe that Egypt [committed the crime]…Thirty-four were killed and 172 were wounded out of a crew of 294…The Israeli planes marked out the Star of David so we wouldn't know who was attacking us… Our keel was broken, we should have sunk but God kept us alive…Eighteen hours after the attack we were rescued…McNamara said, 'We're not going to attack our ally.' How did McNamara know who attacked us?"- Phillip Tourney, On October 13, 2007.

"J.Q. 'Tony' Hart, then a chief petty officer assigned to a U.S. Navy relay station in Morocco that handled communications between Washington and the 6th Fleet, remembered listening as Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, in Washington, ordered Rear Adm. Lawrence Geis, commander of the America's carrier battle group, to bring the jets home. When Geis protested that the Liberty was under attack and needed help, Hart said, McNamara retorted that "President [Lyndon] Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors."

"The Johnson administration did not publicly dispute Israel's claim that the attack had been nothing more than a disastrous mistake. But internal White House documents obtained from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library show that the Israelis' explanation of how the mistake had occurred was not believed. Except for McNamara, most senior administration officials from Secretary of State Dean Rusk on down privately agreed with Johnson's intelligence adviser, Clark Clifford, who was quoted in minutes of a National Security Council staff meeting as saying it was "inconceivable" that the attack had been a case of mistaken identity. The attack "couldn't be anything else but deliberate," the NSA's director, Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter, later told Congress. [IBID]

Ernie Gallo had been above the water line when the torpedo hit the LIBERTY and he informed this reporter, "It was a beautiful clear sunny day and all morning Israeli reconnaissance planes were flying over us, I counted twelve over flights and one came so close I could see the pilots face; we waved and he dipped his wing as he went by. We were all very comfortable because they were our allies. That morning Captain McGonagle called a general quarter's drill. That's a created special kind of emergency –I can't remember what the mock drill was about-but it was to test our skills and the Captain was well pleased. Because we were in dangerous ground he kept the gunners manning the machine guns-two guys on each 'nest' –this was unusual for them to stay in flack jackets and heavy helmets after the drill, but we knew we were in hostile territories. But we were all comfortable; guys were sunbathing and we were all happy because we saw our friends, the Israelis in the sky. We were all so very relaxed because of their over flights; it was like a scene out of McCales Navy.

"It was about an hour and a half after lunch when the unmarked planes attacked us and they knew exactly where to hit; the communication antennas! They knew the machine guns weren't a threat, those pilots were very careful to take out the antennas. Then they dropped two napalm bombs on us, miraculously the fires all staid on the outside, and even though the fire hoses were bullet ridden, like a garden hose and every CO2 canister on board was used, that fire easily could have gone inside the ship, but the firefighters kept their cool and it didn't. A Signalman constantly watched that our flag was raised, the first one burnt up in the fire but in a few minutes he raised the holiday flag and our ship was well marked with USS LIBERTY on it.


"It wasn't until the torpedo boats came at us did I see the Star of David again. But the Israelis claim mistaken identity that they mistook us for the El-Quseir an Egyptian transport ship that only carried horses [and was a third of the size of the LIBERTY] and had been tied up and out of use for a year. The LIBERTY had at least forty antennas- yet Israel claims they made a mistake in identifying us-if this were ever heard in a Court of Law; it would be beyond belief!

"I was a 'spook' an interceptor, a CT; Communication Technician. Back then, the NSA had security groups in all the branches of Military Service. Normal operations were that for four months at a time, up and down the African Coast, anything within the ambient atmosphere; the air waves I would monitor. The CT's had a multitude of talents; Administrators, Linguists, Morse Code Operators, Communicators and Electronics specialists-that's what I did; kept all the equipment working.

"We all worked behind closed locked doors; none of the rest of the crew ever knew what we were doing. Our whole purpose in life was to intercept messages; UHF, LHF, long and short wave. There were two gigantic Christmas tree antennas on the LIBERTY. Mid-ship there was a pedestal; with a sixteen foot dish pointed sky wards. How they could mistake us for a horse carrying ship is beyond belief.

"You know that when the North Koreans attacked the Pueblo, they wanted to capture it? The North Koreans gave repeated opportunities to surrender. The Israelis never gave us one! Any of the torpedo boats could have approached and asked us to surrender or follow them, but that never occurred.

"The most miraculous part, and I honestly believe the Lord saved the LIBERTY for a reason and for this time in the world…That ship was built in 1944, the LIBERTY was a converted cargo ship and the mechanics of that ship should have broken up and sunk! One foot more or less from where that torpedo hit and we would have sunk! But that torpedo hit a brace; and that brace absorbed the energy and kept us from blowing up."




In 1967, John Hrankowski, was nineteen years old and on his third cruise on the LIBERTY. "I worked in the engineering department, responsible for the air conditioning, electricity, water and steam. I was topside when out of nowhere the blasting of shrapnel knocked me down. I returned to my general quarters space in the boiler room when the call came, 'This is not a drill; we are under attack.'

"Fifteen feet in front of me the torpedo hit and knocked the ship out of the water! If that torpedo had hit the boiler the steam pressure of 750 degrees mixed with cold water would have been like an atomic bomb exploding!

"The lights went out, the generator was knocked out, shrapnel flew around me like fire flies; it was dangerous but somehow beautiful. I worked with a lantern to keep the steam under control. If that boiler blew the ship would have blown up too!"




One of the men who was below the water line when the torpedo hit was Ron Kukal, who has become the
Chaplain for the USS LIBERTY Vets Association. In an email to me on October 22, 2007, he reported, "On June 8, 1967 during the Vietnam War, I was aboard a Navy vessel called the USS LIBERTY. This unarmed ship was sailing the waters off the coast of Israel during the "Six Day War"…It may be possible that the only reason God saved the LIBERTY was so that we could tell our story.

"The ship was sailing 15 miles off the coast in international waters when the Israeli Defense Force attacked her. She was subjected to torpedoes, 50 caliber machine gun fire, napalm, and rocket fire. There was over 800 holes in the LIBERTY after the attack, she was listing about 10 degrees to the starboard, and was on fire in many places. Thirty-four men were killed and close to 70% of the crew were wounded, of which I was one.

"For what seemed like an eternity… many miracles occurred during, and after the attack. The only armament we had were 50 caliber machine guns, and they were like peashooters against the French built Mirage jets that attacked the LIBERTY…we were not ready for any kind of attack whatsoever. The element of surprise was theirs.

"I survived the attack by the planes, but the worst was yet to come, as five torpedo boats were bearing down on us, with one thing in mind, and that was to put us to the bottom. Only one found its mark. This was the second miracle that I was exposed to that day, the first being the surviving of the onslaught by the jet aircraft.

"The torpedo hit the Liberty almost amidships on the starboard side, and I was approximately thirty feet from the explosion. There were a couple of bulkheads between the explosion, and myself but they were like paper to the several tons of TNT that tore up the bowels of the Liberty. What had been several compartments were turned into one big room in a very short time. I was immediately immersed in sea water, and it was rising fast to the point where it would be above my head in a short time, and even though I could swim, the compartment would soon become completely full, and there would be no place to go. The hatch to the above deck was closed, and dogged down, and so my life again depended completely on what God would do. Just before the compartment became fully flooded the hatch above me was opened to let as many of us as possible out of there before we became a part of a watery grave. This was the third miracle that I saw that day, but there was even more to come, and so as I ran to get to the main deck, I was slipping and sliding because of the water, and blood that was awash within each passageway.

"The fourth miracle occurred when I was exposed to the machine gun fire on the main deck, and still remained alive, and still there was more to come. Every antenna we had was shot to pieces except one, and it had never worked very well. One of the radiomen told me that he tried several times to call for help, and finally when he realized that all the antenna were shot, he switched to the one that had always given him trouble, and when it was needed, it worked. We were able to call the Sixth Fleet, and notify them of our predicament through an antenna that had hardly ever worked. The fifth miracle had just occurred.

"The attack had gone on for two hours, or more, but it seemed like only a few minutes. The captain told us that we had lost our steering control, and that we would have to go aft, and steer the ship manually. We were able to make headway, and in time were headed for the island of Malta, and to dry dock. This was almost one thousand miles away, and here we were with a ship that had a forty by forty-foot hole in her side, on fire, and riddled with holes.

"The Liberty could go down at any minute, but we did sail the thousand miles without incident, and this had to be the sixth miracle of the day. I was one of the crew that went down below to identify the deceased and I know that God gave me the strength to go and do what was expected of me. Let it suffice to say that, under the conditions, only men that were strengthened, and held up by God himself would be able to enter the dark area down below."


"For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known."- Luke 12:2



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