October 9, 2014
The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy “technical research” ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War.
The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nmi (29.3 mi; 47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.
Israel apologized for the attack, saying that the USS Liberty had been attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship. Both the Israeli and US governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship’s identity.
Others, including survivors of the attack, have rejected these conclusions and maintain that the attack was deliberate.
In this film, broadcast for the first time is an audio tape of the Israeli commanders speaking before the attack, proving that they knew the ship was American. This film explores what impelled Israel to so savagely attack an unarmed spy ship of its closest ally – and what impelled the US Government to cover up the event, when the Johnson Administration was manipulated by secret agents of a foreign power; events which have shaped US-Israeli relations ever since.
Al Jazeera investigates the shocking truth behind this deadly Israeli attack on a US naval vessel.