The Fog of War & the USS Liberty

June 7, 2013 — Leave a comment
spy ship

USS Liberty
Photo Courtesy of US Navy

Today marks the forty-sixth anniversary of a tragic and deadly encounter between the US Navy and the Israeli Defense Force. Four days into the Six-Day War, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was operating off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The ship had been ordered to withdraw from the area, however, miscommunication had resulted in the ship keeping its station in an area hotly contested by Israeli and Egyptian forces.

Mistaking the vessel for an Egyptian warship, the Israeli Air Force and Navy launched an attack on the ship which left 34 American servicemen dead and 171 injured. In the years since the attack, anti-semites and conspiracy theorists have used the attack to paint the Israeli state as an enemy of the United States and a perpetrator of an assault on an unarmed vessel. Numerous investigations have refuted these allegations and, indeed, it would have been against Israeli interests to alienate the United States as the Israeli people faced threats from all sides. Ultimately, miscommunication and the fog of war resulted in a tragic loss of life and only fueled the fires of those who seek to wipe the nation of Israel from the map.

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