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USS Liberty Survivor Named US Delegate on Gaza Flotilla

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | July 9, 2018

Joe Meadors, a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty,  has joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States. He will board the Al Awda (The Return), which left Corisca Sunday night for  the final 1,000 miles to Gaza.  Al Awda is one of four boats on the 75-day voyage from Scandinavia.

Meadors was a signalman on the bridge of the USS Liberty, a surveillance vessel operating in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israreli war.

Meadors: From the Liberty to Al-Awda

Israeli war planes and torpedo boats attacked the vessel, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 174 crew members.

A 2003 U.S. commission led by Admiral Thomas Moorer found:

“1. That on June 8, 1967, after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty, the world’s most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 173 wounded American servicemen (a casualty rate of seventy percent, in a crew of 294);

2. That the Israeli air attack lasted approximately 25 minutes, during which time unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on USS Liberty‘s bridge, and fired 30mm cannons and rockets into our ship, causing 821 holes, more than 100 of which were rocket-size; survivors estimate 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes which were jamming all five American emergency radio channels;

3. That the torpedo boat attack involved not only the firing of torpedoes, but the machine-gunning of Liberty‘s firefighters and stretcher-bearers as they struggled to save their ship and crew; the Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty‘s life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded;

4. That there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew; evidence of such intent is supported by statements from Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Undersecretary of State George Ball, former CIA director Richard Helms, former NSA directors Lieutenant General William Odom, USA (Ret.), Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN (Ret.), and Marshal Carter; former NSA deputy directors Oliver Kirby and Major General John Morrison, USAF (Ret.); and former Ambassador Dwight Porter, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon in 1967;

5. That in attacking USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States;

6. That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack; evidence of the recall of rescue aircraft is supported by statements of Captain Joe Tully, Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, at the time of the attack; never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack… .”

Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the incident, wrote: “I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.”

Meadors and Seaman Francis Brown, who was later killed in the attack, hauled up a second American flag from the bridge after the first was shot down early in the air assault. Meadors remained on the bridge throughout the 25-minute attack and was one of several eyewitnesses to the Israeli machine-gunning of the ship’s life rafts.

Meadors has described the Israeli attack in detail on the USS Liberty Veteran’s Association website:

“I watched some jets pass us, then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing us. The attack lasted 90 minutes, during which we got a message off to the Sixth Fleet asking for assistance. We learned later that Joe Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, launched aircraft within minutes of the attack, but he told us later they were recalled before they reached the horizon. We found this out 20 years after the attack.

“The most frustrating thing has been a lack of reaction from the U.S. government. On June 8, 2005, we filed a war crimes report, and they are required to investigate these allegations. They’ve created reports about our mission, but they never did conduct an actual investigation of the attack itself.

“It was an illegal attack. We were on the high seas conducting legal activities. They admitted that they closed the area for military purposes but we tried to find out the boundaries of that area and they wouldn’t tell us.

“The Israelis break international laws with impunity and the U.S. government is not going to hold them accountable, nobody is. There is no doubt that the Israelis were committing piracy on the high seas against the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla and used deadly force against unarmed humanitarians.”

Meadors was aboard the Sfedoni in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. He was in Greece for the 2011 and 2015 Freedom Flotillas.  Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Meadors is a past president of USS Liberty Veterans Association, founded in 1982.

The Flotillas aim to bring attention to the illegal blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times of London and numerous other publications. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and on Twitter @unjoe .

July 9, 2018 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. “The most frustrating thing has been a lack of reaction from the U.S. government. On June 8, 2005, we filed a war crimes report, and they are required to investigate these allegations. They’ve created reports about our mission, but they never did conduct an actual investigation of the attack itself.”

    This is ABSOLUTE proof that the Israeli tail wags the American dog, and it’s probably worse today than it was in 1967. Israel must have “Dirt Files” on everyone in the American government(covering their finances(many are extremely rich) or they have dirt files on their sexual behaviour(The Lollita Express??). How else could a “shitty little country in the Middle East” hold such power over an immobilised Giant???

    When is the USA going to deal with the open contempt that Israel holds for the USA?

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | July 9, 2018 | Reply


  2. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia of Admiral Morrison’s stance against Israel (this section has since been erased, but a copy is still in their editing history here):
    Some believe his Naval career may have been slowed by political undertones surrounding his analysis of the U.S.S. Liberty incident which occurred in 1967. Morrison opposed the official U.S. Navy response to the attack, and proposed an immediate and swift economic and military response against Israel for the attack on an official U.S. Navy ship.

    [Admiral] Morrison’s analysis and political motivation was at odds with the soft non-militaristic response ultimately taken by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Navy. [Admiral] Morrison asserted Israeli intentionally attacked the U.S.S. Liberty, trying to disguise Israeli torpedo boats as Syrian vessels in an attempt to provoke a war between the United States and Syria. This would have increased United State military and financial assistance during the Six Day War.” JIM MORRISON OF “THE DOORS” DAD^!

    http://hugequestions.com/Eric/TFC/FromOthers/Death-of-Jim-Morrison.html

    Comment by Leland Roth | July 10, 2018 | Reply

  3. The symbolism of Liberty-to-Awda should be apparent to any fool, but the fools who run our government at the behest of the militant/political Zionists aren’t into symbols or good governance or policy…unless the policy advances the interests of the Zionist entity so-called Israel.

    I featured Joe Meadors, along with hero-activist Ann Wright, in a program produced for my local public-access cable TV system circa 2008, from a forum conducted at the University of Houston if memory serves. He must be 80ish by now…bless him, his fellow survivors and their families, the 34 fallen and their families, and the grievously-decimated-and-soon-sold-for-scrap USS Liberty.

    Re “On June 8, 2005, we filed a war crimes report, and they are required to investigate these allegations.”, I read of the Liberty crew’s intention, and I filed my own, personal war crimes report to the SECDEF. The bas*ard didn’t so much as acknowledge my transmittal, and he damned well didn’t initiate the REQUIRED investigation. I think Rumsfeld was SECDEF in that time window. In a real (non-Zionist) and just world, he’d be held accountable for impertinence/incompetence/inaction and would be pulling on a prisoner’s uniform tomorrow morning.

    Comment by roberthstiver | July 10, 2018 | Reply

    • “…..and the grievously-decimated-and-soon-sold-for-scrap USS Liberty”.

      The USA Government sold the Liberty for SCRAP??? It was a War Relic. It should have been mounted as a Memorial, maybe in Time Square, NYC.

      It’s as much a crime, as the selling of the scrap Metal, illegally removed from the ‘Demolition’ of “9/11″……I suppose the orders came from Tel Aviv……

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | July 10, 2018 | Reply


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