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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence


Home arrow Blog arrow January 2008 arrow January 1, 2008

January 1, 2008
WAWA Blog January 1, 2008: The Blow Back from "My nightmare in the Mediterranean" : 6th in the LIBERTY series "It was God that kept us afloat"

During the last few days of 2007, Ron Kukal the Chaplain of the USS Liberty Veteran's Association and retired CT [Communications Technician] First Class and the Petty Officer in charge of the crew who recovered the remains of the 34 Americans who were murdered on June 8, 1967, and I conversed on phone and email about our frustrations of being labeled anti-Semitic when ever we speak up about the injustices the secular state and apartheid regime of Israel has been allowed to get away with. While I have only been speaking up for the last two and a half years, the old canard of 'anti-Semitic' has been hurled at me a multitude of times, but Ron and the survivors of that other day in infamy have  endured that blasphemy for four decades.


Ron informed this civilian journalist, "For the last forty years I have taken offense to all the people who have labeled us LIBERTY Vet's anti-Semites just for trying to get an open transparent Congressional investigation to what happened to us on June 8, 1967, which was my nightmare in the Mediterranean.

"Before going on board the LIBERTY, every last CT underwent a thorough back ground check by the FBI. We were totally trusted and referred to as the elite of the Navy; we all were totally committed to the USA. The FBI went back two, maybe three generations checking us all out. They knew my grandparents came from Prague. They mingled in my hometown for days talking to everyone who knew anything about me. Family, neighbors, classmates all gave their input and I was given Top Secret Clearance.


"A CT handles the most sensitive information and our government trusted us implicitly! Our instructors made it perfectly clear that we were the elite of the Navy and a racist would never qualify for Top Secret Clearance!

"I cannot in good conscience leave this world without telling the truth about what happened on June 8, 1967 and the Court of Inquiry never gave me a chance! For forty years we survivors have been waiting for Congress to allow us to speak on the record and have been denied this right of freedom of speech!

"My motivation for speaking about that day is to give all the glory to God for keeping us alive. It may be possible that the only reason God saved the LIBERTY was so that we could tell our story. The LIBERTY was sailing 15 miles off the coast in international waters when the Israeli Defense Force attacked us. We were subjected to torpedoes, 50 caliber machine gun fire, napalm, and rocket fire. There were over 800 holes in the LIBERTY after the attack and we were on fire in many places. Thirty-four men were killed and close to 70% of the crew were wounded, of which I was one."

Ron was one of the men who were below the water line when the only torpedo hit the USS LIBERTY, an unarmed spy ship that Israel brutally attacked and the USA government not only failed to protect, but did not even come to the aid of until the day after.


"Looking back before I boarded the LIBERTY, I remember having an ominous feeling that followed me like a dark cloud. It entered my mind as I was about to be deployed for the second time to the African Coast. Our first trip to Africa was pretty much uneventful, and we spent Christmas of 1966 in the port of Abidjan parked in front of a British freighter. Of course we got together with the British on Christmas, and the partying went well into the night of Christmas Eve and on into Christmas Day. Had I only known then, what was about to happen on my second deployment, I might have found a way off the LIBERTY.

"I was acutely aware of Jean Dixon's prediction concerning the LIBERTY . Although I do not remember her exact words, they were meant to warn us of impending disaster on our up coming voyage to Africa. I tried to put her words behind me. After all what did she know, or how could she know anything?"

In Assault On The LIBERTY, by survivor Jim Ennis, he states that a prophecy by Jean Dixon that the LIBERTY was going to sink had been read by some of the sailors in The National Enquirer, but the tabloid was unable to locate it in its archives. In a letter to Ennis from Dixon on October 30, 1974, she denied that she had ever made any prediction at all about the LIBERTY . "Nevertheless, the belief was widely held among the crew that a prophecy had been made, and the belief contributed to a feeling of unrest in the ship."-Page 14.



Ron has maintained for forty years, "For what seemed like an eternity many miracles occurred during, and after the attack. The only armament we had was 50 caliber machine guns, and they were like peashooters against the French built Mirage jets that attacked us. It was a miracle that those planes didn't sink us. Then the torpedo boats bore down on us, with one thing in mind, and that was to put us to the bottom of the Mediterranean. Only one torpedo found its mark and this was the second miracle that I witnessed that day, the first being our surviving of the onslaught by the jet aircraft.

"That 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 and 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.  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 that an antenna and that was the fifth miracle.

"The attack had gone on for two hours and we had lost our steering control yet, we were able to steer the ship manually, and made it to the island of Malta and to dry dock. This was almost a one thousand mile journey and we were on a ship that had a forty by forty-foot hole in her side, was on fire, and riddled with holes! This was the sixth miracle that happened in my nightmare on the Med.

"In Malta , I was in charge of the crew that went down below to recover and identify the deceased. 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 that dark area down below.

"I had been heavily sedated those first three days after the attack. I had injured my back while in the flooded spaces and once we docked in Malta, I hurt my back again from lifting up all those water logged bodies.

"I was discharged in August 1967 and went home and lived in a bottle; I drank to self medicate and would wake up in the middle of the night in rages, thrashing, hollering and screaming. My first wife put up with it all and I kept drinking. I spent forty-four days in the Hot Springs VA Hospital and they diagnosed me with psychoneuroses. Back then, medicine did not yet know about combat stress or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. My Dr. thought I was hallucinating when I told him about my nightmare in the Mediterranean. The LIBERTY story was only in the papers for a few days, so very few people knew anything about it. The Dr. called the Navy and got my story verified and he kept me sedated and assumed all my pain was psychological. The technology hadn't yet been developed to diagnose my back injuries.


"I tried college but would wake up with nightmares and disturbed the entire dorm, so I dropped out. I had nobody to talk to about my nightmares on the Med and I was the one who initiated the divorce from my first wife. All I wanted to do was go off by myself and drink.


"I met my second wife who was a nursing student while doing a job in a hospital. I was still drinking and we had four kids and that marriage ended after nine years. It's been tough on my kids and two of them are estranged from me. It's a battle to this day for me to even see my grand kids. I don't know if my kids think I don't love them, or that they are ashamed of me, but this is part of the blow back from my nightmare on the Mediterranean.

"And it all boils down for me that I must get all this out for National Security reasons! Americans need to know all about June 8, 1967 and how our government failed to support the troops.

"In 1981, I found my way into church and ever since, I only drink a limited amount on holidays. I also became a journeymen electrician and worked at it for twenty-five years. I married my third wife in 1991, and things are good.

"With the Internet and a candidate like Ron Paul, I see that the multitudes of Americans who are fed up are speaking out and that's good news. The government of Israel doesn't speak for all Jews and this government of ours doesn't speak for the LIBERTY Vets. America needs to change direction and course, and God willing we the people will make it happen through the World Wide Web."


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People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

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The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
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Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
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