A Palestinian family reacts after Israeli bulldozers demolished their home in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Feb. 5, 2013. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Newly elected Israeli Knesset member Yair Lapid (l), leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to Naftali Bennett, head of the hard-line national religious party the Jewish Home, during a Feb. 5 reception in Jerusalem marking the opening of the 19th Knesset. (URIEL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES)
Richard Curtiss at work in his Washington Report office. (STAFF PHOTO D. HANLEY)
Then-Vice President Dick Cheney (l) and Likud chairman Benyamin Netanyahu, out of office at the time and serving as the official Israeli opposition leader, at a March 23, 2008 breakfast meeting at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (r) shares candies with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim during a Feb. 11 visit to the rebels’ stronghold in Sultan Kudarat on the island of Mindanao. (KARLOS MANLUPIG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Emad Burnat views his five broken cameras in his documentary of the same name. (PHOTO COURTESY KINO LORBER)
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2008, page 67
Ray McGovern on the USS Liberty
RAY MCGOVERN, who was a CIA analyst for 27 years—from the John F. Kennedy administration to that of George H.W. Bush—spoke about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty at an Oct. 15 briefing at the Servant Leadership School at Washington, DC’s Festival Center. The retired intelligence officer explained what happened on June 8, 1967, during the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War and why this tragedy remains important today.
To introduce the subject, McGovern gave a quick overview of the Israel Lobby in the United States and why Americans are so susceptible to its power, citing Holocaust guilt and fear of being called anti-Semitic. He recommended recent books, including John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s The Israel Lobby, Jimmy Carter’s Palestine:Peace Not Apartheid, and Body of Secrets by James Bamford (all available from the AET Book Club).
McGovern said he was troubled by the fact that Mearsheimer and Walt “left out the most telling incident that shows the power of the Lobby—the USS Liberty cover-up.” It was the lobby’s first important success: a U.S. president covered up a foreign attack on his own ship so as not to embarrass Israel. “That was the most sensational proof of the power the Lobby knows it can exert over our government and Congress,” McGovern said—because from then on, Israel and its U.S. lobby knew they could, quite literally, get away with murder.
McGovern telephoned Sgt. Bryce Lockwood, a crewmember on the USS Liberty, whom McGovern first met in 2006 when he gave a talk on Iraq at the National Avenue Church in Springfield, Missouri. That day, as well as on a cell phone call during the Washington, DC briefing, Sergeant Lockwood described the attack and the many years he kept quiet about it, obeying orders. Lockwood”˜s voice broke as he described the sorrow he feels every day that goes by when his government continues to cover up Israel’s attack on his ship.
For more information see McGovern’s article on this subject: <http://www.antiwar.com/mcgovern/?articleid=11719>.
—Delinda C. Hanley