USS Liberty Survivors Testify at New Hampshire Hearings Aimed at New Investigation, at Worst Possible Time for Israel

After two hours of attack on a perfectly clear day with two huge American flag flying on the ship they even machine-gunned the life boats.

About time to counter the Navy whitewash reports that it was an accident. When Israel hits Red Cross convoys like it just did in Gaza it always knows exactly what it is doing. Every USS Liberty survivor says it was 100% deliberate, as did Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and Director of CIA Richard Helms

Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

“I have never believed that the attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. That is ridiculous. I have flown over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, thousands of hours, searching for ships and identifying all types of ships at sea.”

Thomas Moorer Letter of June 8, 1997

“But sir the ship is American!” “Nevermind, hit it!” – Declassified documents, Haaretz, “But sir, it’s an American ship.’ ‘Never mind, hit her!’ When Israel attacked USS Liberty


USS Liberty Veterans Testify in the “Live Free or Die” StateFor more than 40 years, the Washington Report has published insightful analysis of the political, economic and historical realities of the U.S.-Middle East relationship. Our magazine is packed with special reports on the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, current Middle East issues, and…

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2024, pp. 32-33

USS Liberty Veterans Testify in the “Live Free or Die” State​

Special Report​

By Delinda C. Hanley

“LIVE FREE OR DIE” is the official motto of the State of New Hampshire. That motto was brought up repeatedly on Jan. 12, 2024, during the dramatic testimony of USS Liberty survivors in support of the State of New Hampshire’s House Bill 1041, which calls for the establishment of a commission to investigate the Israeli’s shelling of the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 and its aftermath.

Sponsored by Republican Representatives Jason Gerhard and Michael Granger, this legislation would help the survivors and families of the 34 killed shipmates to get meaningful answers to their many questions about this attack. Of the original crew of 294 officers and civilians, 34 men were killed and another 174 wounded in action that day.

“These sailors have sacrificed so much, some of them even lost their lives in this attack. I feel that the least we can do is finally give them some closure with an investigation that is satisfactory,” Gerhard told the New Hampshire’s State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee.”“LIVE FREE OR DIE” is the official motto of the State of New Hampshire. That motto was brought up repeatedly on Jan. 12, 2024, during the dramatic testimony of USS Liberty survivors in support of the State of New Hampshire’s House Bill 1041, which calls for the establishment of a commission to investigate…

Commander David Edwin Lewis, who was born, raised and died free on Oct. 16, 2021, in Colebrook, NH, was a senior cryptologist who earned a Purple Heart onboard the Liberty. Gerhard read from his obituary: “For the rest of his life, Eddie bore the scars of that day, and he was deeply involved with the group of survivors, proving that the state of Israel and the Johnson administration deliberately staged the attack to try and draw the U.S. into the Israeli-Egyptian Six-Day War in 1967.”

Larry Bowen, who also received the Purple Heart for his service on the Liberty, told the committee: “I’ve never had the opportunity to tell the American public what happened. Our government failed to come to our rescue. Our government put a gag order on us to not speak about this and threatened us with imprisonment and fines if we did. Our government failed to do a thorough investigation of the attack. The Navy held a formal court of inquiry and took testimony from several of my shipmates but then were given guidance to modify the testimony that they received so that it would comply with the mistaken identity claim Israel made when it apologized for the attack.

“We’ve waited 56 and a half years for the opportunity to speak before a government body…I believe this bill will put in motion the commission that will do what Congress should have done over 56 years ago. There are still many questions to be answered related to the attack and its aftermath. Please support this effort to help get closure for the crew and the families of my fellow shipmates. God bless you and help you to make the right decision.”

When asked what a commission could accomplish so many years after the incident, Bowen explained that the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency are holding onto classified information they won’t release. Their ship was overflown half a dozen times by Israeli aircraft doing reconnaissance, Bowen recalled, but “we felt safe because they were allies who had our backs.”

The attackers used unmarked planes to strafe and drop napalm so the crew didn’t know who was attacking them until the torpedo ships with the Star of David emblem came to finish them off. “There were voice intercepts between the Israeli pilots and their ground controllers who did identify us as an American ship,” Bowen said. The crew believes Israel hoped Egypt would be blamed for sinking their ship. A lot of facts have come together in the years since the attack that have never been put together, Bowen concluded.

Bryce Lockwood, then a gunnery sergeant, now a retired Baptist minister, passed around photos taken the morning after the attack by crew from the USS America; in one of them, he was only 10 feet away from the torpedo hole. “Every protocol designed to protect against accidents was broken,” Lockwood said. “They used unmarked aircraft. They jammed our distress frequency. They machine-gunned our life rafts. We were not in a combat zone, we were in international waters, 13 and a half miles off the Sinai Peninsula.

“There has been no investigation by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 10 of the U.S. Constitution to investigate acts of piracy on the high seas. When the USS Cole was attacked and 17 Americans were killed, there was a 9-month investigation.” Twice as many were killed on the Liberty and that flawed investigation was concluded in five days, Lockwood said. President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered Admiral Isaac Kidd and Ward Boston, who took testimony from shaken survivors right after the attack, to report that the attack on the ship was a case of mistaken identity.”

US Naval Institute:

The Spy Ship Left Out in the Cold

“The 8th of June this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty (AGTR-5), a spy ship the Israelis repeatedly strafed, napalmed, and torpedoed during a ferocious hour-long assault that The Washington Post later described as “one of the most bloody and bizarre peacetime encounters in U.S. naval history.”

In the five decades since that tragic afternoon on which 34 Americans were killed and another 171 wounded, the Liberty has become an albatross.”

The long-standing pleas of surviving crew members—convinced Israel intentionally targeted the ship—for a congressional investigation have fallen on deaf ears. Lawmakers never have—nor likely ever will—pick up a cause that even a half-century later remains so politically fraught that midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy were barred from even asking questions about it during a 2012 visit by the Israeli ambassador….”


– perfectly clear day, Liberty had two huge American flags flying unfurled you could see for miles.

– Israeli recon planes flew over it all morning, pilots and sailors even waved at each other

– Israel attacked for 2 hours with rockets, cannon, napalm and then even a torpedo boat

– One Israeli pilot refused orders, and was arrested on landing

– The plan was to sink the ship with all witnesses and blame it on Egypt, which Israel was at war with. This would have dragged US directly into the war

The only reason the ship did not sink was the incredible heroism of the American sailors, fighting fires and ship damages while wounded and tending to worse wounded, tying up veins and applying torniquets while handling fire extinguishers. The decks were slippery with blood.

Other References:

Chicago Tribune: New revelations in attack on American spy ship

Official survivors website: USS Liberty Veterans Association

Survivor Interviews Documentary “The Day Israel Attacked America” (view at Rumble)

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