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The Six Day War and Israeli Lies: What I Saw at the CIA

By Melvin A. Goodman, CounterPunch

On too many occasions in U.S. history, the use of force has been justified with either corrupt intelligence or just plain lies.

Such was the case in the Mexican-American War; the Spanish-American War; the Vietnam War; and the 2003 Iraq War…

The checks and balances that were needed to prevent the misuse of intelligence were not operative, and Presidents Polk, McKinley, Johnson, and Bush deceived the American people, the U.S. Congress, and the press.

In 1967, Israeli officials at the highest level lied to the White House about the start of the Six-Day War. (And do you believe that USA administration was actually deceived?)

As a junior analyst at the CIA, I helped to draft the report that described Israel’s attack against Egypt on the morning of June 5, 1967.  There were sensitive communications intercepts that documented Israeli preparations for an attack, and no evidence of an Egyptian battle plan.

The Israelis had been clamoring about indications of Egyptian preparations for an invasion, but we had no sign of Egyptian readiness in terms of its air or armored power.  The assumption was that the Israelis were engaging in disinformation in order to gain U.S. support.

My own view was that Egypt would be unlikely to start a war with Israel while half of its army was tied down fighting in a civil war in Yemen.  CIA’s Arabists believed that Egyptian President Nasser was bluffing, and cited the low quality of Cairo’s military equipment.

Walt Rostow meets with President Johnson in the Oval Office. Rostow played down US intelligence estimates in favor of what turned out to be Israeli lies.

We were therefore shocked when President Johnson’s national security adviser, Walt Rostow, refused to accept our intelligence assessment on the Israeli attack.  Rostow cited “assurances” from the Israeli ambassador in Washington that under no circumstances would the Israelis attack first.

Over the protests of Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan, the Israeli government lied to the White House about how the war started.  President Johnson was told that the Egyptians had initiated firing on Israeli settlements and that an Egyptian squadron had been observed heading toward Israeli. Neither statement was true.

As a result, our report describing surprise Israeli attacks against Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian airfields encountered a hostile response from the National Security Council.  Fortunately, CIA director Richard Helms supported our assessment, and the National Military Command Center corroborated the report as well.

Rostow summoned Clark Clifford, chairman of the President’s Foreign Advisory Board and a leading NSC Arabist Hal Saunders to examine our analysis, and both men provided corroboration.

In addition to lying to the White House about the start of the war, Israeli military officers lied to the American ambassador to Israel, Walworth Barbour, about non-existent Egyptian military movements.

The CIA, meanwhile, had the benefit of satellite photography that showed Egyptian planes parked on airfields wingtip-to-wingtip, which pointed to no plan to attack.

Twenty years later, I learned that a confident of the president, Harry McPherson, was in Israel at the start of the war and accompanied Ambassador Barbour to the meeting with Prime Minister Eshkol.

When Israeli air raid sirens began to wail during the meeting, Israeli intelligence chief General Aharon Yariv assured everyone there was no need to move to an underground bunker.  If we had this information in 1967, it would have corroborated our analysis that the Israelis had destroyed more than 200 Egyptian planes on the ground.

Israeli forces attacked the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, killing 34 and injuring over 170.

In addition to lying about the start of the war, the Israelis were even more deceitful three days later when they attributed their malicious attack on the USS Liberty to a random accident. 

If so, it was a well planned accident.  The ship was a U.S. intelligence vessel in international waters, both slow-moving and lightly armed.  It brandished a five-foot-by-eight-foot Stars and Stripes in the midday sun, and didn’t resemble a ship in any other navy, let alone a ship in the arsenal of one of Israel’s enemies. Yet the Israelis claimed that they believed they were attacking an Egyptian ship.

The Israeli attack took place after six hours of intense, low-level reconnaissance.  It was conducted over a two-hour period by unmarked Mirage jets using cannons and rockets. 

Israeli boats fired machine guns at close range at those helping the wounded, then machine-gunned the life rafts that survivors dropped in hope of abandoning the ship.  The NSA investigation of the disaster remains classified to this day.

Note: It is about time that the US citizens stop believing that the press, congress and Presidents were fooled and lied to in every expansionist/ pre-emptive wars


USA citizens, especially the Evangelical Zionists, should have serious reasons to dislike State of Israel

Philip Giraldi: Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, administrative detention, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military, assassination.

Worse, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away.

Louis Brendise was US supreme Court Justice in 1915 and the chief of World Zionist Organization. He was very close to President Woodrow Wilson.

From 1915 to 1917, they pressured England to support and ratify an understanding for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. Among other economic and financial reasons for participating in WWI, this Jewish question was a major demand. Over 250,000 US soldiers died for this insane new colonization in the Near-East.

In 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry concluded that the demand for a “Jewish State” was Not part of the obligations of the Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate.

Even in the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, when Zionists sought to “establish a home for the Jewish people”, there was no reference of a “Jewish State”.

US reasons to dislike Israel and what it represents that go way back.

1. In 1952’s Lavon Affair, the Israelis were prepared to blow up a U.S. Information Center in Alexandria and blame it on the Egyptians.

2. In 1967, the Israelis on purpose attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen, and then used their power over President Lyndon Johnson to block an investigation into what had occurred.

3. In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel with investigators determining that he had been the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.

4. In the 1960s, Israelis stole uranium from a lab in Pennsylvania to construct a secret nuclear arsenal. And the spying and theft of U.S. technology continues. Israel is the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing U.S. secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are Americans, receive a slap on the wrist.

5. And Israel gets away with killing American citizens — literally — in the cases of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan of the Mavi Marmara.

6. And let’s not forget Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians which has made the United States complicit in a crime against humanity.

7. Tel Aviv has also played a key role in Washington’s going to war against Iraq, in promulgating a U.S.-led global war on terror against the Muslim world, and in crying wolf over Iran, all of which have served no U.S. interest. Through it all, Congress and the media are oblivious to what is taking place.

8. Israel is a net recipient of over $123 billion in U.S. aid and continues to get $3 billion a year even though its per capita income is higher than that of Spain or Italy. 

9. In 1995, the Senate and Congress enacted a law declaring Jerusalem as Capital of Israel. Nobody even suggested that a referendum by Israelis be conducted on that question. It is evident that the Evangelical Zionists decide for the State of Israel.

Donald Trump and his close Zionist circle has pronounced Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, against the will of the international community. 128 members at the UN gave Trump a resounding slap. Only 8 minor countries, all of them colonies of the US have sided with Trump decision.

No one questions anything having to do with Israel while Congress rubber-stamps resolution after resolution virtually promising to go to war on Israel’s behalf.

Note: Israel cannot be an only and exclusive Jewish State. Here why https://adonis49.wordpress.com/…/israel-cannot-be-an-only-…/

The Day Israel Attacked America

Al Jazeera investigates the shocking truth behind a deadly Israeli attack on a US naval vessel in 1967.

Investigation aired on October 30, 2014

In 1967, at the height of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, the Israeli Air Force launched an unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty, a US Navy spy ship that was monitoring the conflict from the safety of international waters in the Mediterranean.

Israeli jet fighters hit the vessel with rockets, cannon fire and napalm, before three Israeli torpedo boats moved in to launch a second more devastating attack. Though she did not sink, the Liberty was badly damaged. Thirty-four US servicemen and civilian analysts were killed, another 171 were wounded.

Later Israel apologised for what it claimed to be a tragic case of mistaken identity. The flag – known as the “holiday colours”  was huge, clearly visible for miles, and I knew immediately that no one could ever have been in any doubt about the nationality of the ship beneath it.

It said that it had believed the ship to be hostile Egyptian naval vessel. US President Lyndon Johnson was privately furious but publicly the White House chose not to challenge the word of its closest Middle East ally and accepted that the attack had been a catastrophic accident.

However, as this exclusive Al Jazeera investigation reveals, fresh evidence throws new light on exactly what happened that fateful day – and the remarkable cover up that followed.

By Richard Belfield

I was first told about the attack on the USS Liberty in 1980 over dinner with a former analyst from the National Security Agency (NSA) in Washington DC.

Back in 1980, I promised my friend that if I ever got the chance I would make a film about it. Over the years, I pitched the idea to numerous broadcasters and always got the same response: eyes rolled upwards, usually followed by the statement, “Are you completely mad?”

Fast forward to 2009 and I was a guest speaker at the NSA’s biennial conference on historical cryptography, talking about an unsolved code on an 18th century monument in an English stately home.

While there, I went to two other sessions – both about attacks on American signal intelligence naval vessels.

The first was the capture of the US spy ship, the Pueblo (boarded by North Korean forces in 1968 – and never returned). The survivors of that incident were treated like heroes and feted on stage.

The next day there was a session about the USS Liberty.

James Scott, who has written easily the best book on the Liberty attack, was on stage and limited to his allotted 20 minutes. Ranged against him were three Israeli apologists, all of whom were allowed to overrun their time.

Survivors from the Liberty affair were allowed to sit in the audience, but they were denied any say in proceedings. (What a shame and inflicted indignity)

As an Englishman, I was brought up with a strong sense of fair play and I thought this was a disgrace. It was gruesome to watch.

First, the crew had been attacked in broad daylight by a close ally, then they were betrayed by their government and now they were being humiliated by the same agency many had worked for back in 1967.

Earlier this year, I acquired a copy of the audiotape of the attack as it had unfolded, the real time conversations between Isreali Air Force pilots and their controllers back at base. It had never been broadcast before. I went to talk to Al Jazeera and after careful consideration, the network commissioned the film.

On location, it all started with James Scott (who gets a co-producer credit on this project).

When writing his book, he had already interviewed the survivors as well as many of the key people in the Washington political and intelligence machine from that time. The introductions he made would prove invaluable as we began filming interviews.

The veterans were extraordinary. One after another, they were generous with their time, uniformly eloquent and passionate and above all, honest in their recollections.

They all felt betrayed by the American government but were keen to exonerate ordinary Jewish people both in Israel and without, for any responsibility for the incident. Their beef was simply with the senior Israeli officers in the control room and their superiors higher up the command chain who had ordered the attack.

After a few days filming, I rang Elaine Morris, my producer back in London. She asked how things were going. All I could say was that the quality of the interviews was the best I had ever experienced in many decades in this business.

In Texas we interviewed Bobby Ray Inman, an intelligence officer with a glittering track record at the CIA, Naval Intelligence and as a former director of the NSA.

My contacts in the UK intelligence world had always told me “he is one of the good guys” and I quickly discovered why. He was frank and clear. The top Israeli commanders, he explained, had known exactly what they were doing when they attacked the Liberty and when it came to holding them to account, the US government rolled over for them.

We filmed an annual memorial ceremony in Washington, D.C. It was emotional, visceral and tense, with survivors, family and friends gathered in the morning sun. Listening to a sole bugler playing the US Navy’s lament, ‘Taps’ is a memory that will never fade.

Years earlier, I had visited the US military graves in Arlington Cemetery but now, following the ceremony, I got to go there again with Dave Lucas, one of the survivors of the attack and a truly wonderful man.

We filmed as he walked up the hill carrying a wreath from the ceremony. Alongside him was a crew member, a Portuguese language specialist, who had left the Liberty in Spain just a few days before it sailed off up the Mediterranean to take up position off the Egyptian coast.

He had been temporarily replaced for the mission by an Arab linguist. He wept openly for the comrades he had said goodbye to, never to see again. As we filmed the pair laying the flowers, an interview with one of the other survivors, Jim Kavanagh came suddenly to mind. “I went through hell,” he had said about his shipmates. “But they left this earth.”

Finally, we filmed on a sister ship to the Liberty, now moored in San Francisco. The crew hauled an outsized US flag up a mast for us. The flag – known as the “holiday colours” – was identical to that which was flown from the Liberty on June 8, 1967. It was huge, clearly visible for miles, and I knew immediately that no one could ever have been in any doubt about the nationality of the ship beneath it.

Watching the Stars and Stripes unfurl into the wind, I realised that I had got to keep the promise I first made to my friend in a Washington restaurant 34 years ago.

(And the question remains: Why Israel attacked this spy ship? And why the US had to roll over?)

It is these kinds of No responses that emboldened this worst of apartheid state to constantly humiliate the US and its citizens.

 

 

Why I Dislike Israel

Philip Giraldi published on October 06, 2012 in the “Information Clearing House” 

“Even those pundits who seem to want to distance U.S. foreign policy from Tel Aviv’s demands and begin treating Israel like any other country, sometimes feel compelled to make excuses and apologies before getting down to the nitty-gritty.

The self-lacerating prologues generally describe how much the writer really has a lot of Jewish friends and how he or she thinks Israelis are great people and that Israel is a wonderful country before launching into what is usually a fairly mild critique.

I don’t feel that way. And I don’t like Israel very much.

Whether or not I have Jewish friends does not define how I see Israel and is irrelevant to the argument. And as for the Israelis, when I was a CIA officer overseas, I certainly encountered many of them. Some were fine people and some were not so fine, just like the general run of people everywhere else in the world.

But even the existence of good upstanding Israelis doesn’t alter the fact that the governments that they have elected are essentially part of a long-running criminal enterprise judging by the serial convictions of former presidents and prime ministers.

Most recently, former President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape, while almost every recent head of government, including the current one, has been investigated for corruption.

Further, the Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away.

The most recent outrage is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s direct interference in U.S. domestic politics through his appearance in a television ad appearing in Florida that serves as an endorsement of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

The Netanyahu ad and his involvement in the election has been widely reported in the media and has even been condemned by several leading Jewish congressmen, but it has elicited no response from either Obama or Romney. Both should be condemning in the strongest terms the completely unprecedented intervention by a foreign head of government in an American election.

That the two candidates are saying nothing is a testament to the power that Israel and its friends in Congress and the media have over the U.S. political establishment. Romney might even privately approve of the ads, as he has basically promised to cede to Netanyahu the right to set the limits for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

And why is Benjamin Netanyahu in such a lather?

It is because President Barack Obama will not concede to him a “red line” that would automatically trigger a U.S. attack on Iran. Consider for a moment the hubris of Netanyahu in demanding that Washington meet his conditions for going to war with Iran, a nation that for all its frequently described faults has not attacked anyone, has not threatened to attack anyone, and has not made the political decision to acquire a nuclear weapon in spite of what one reads in the U.S. press.

At the U.N., Netanyahu’s chart showing a cartoon bomb with a sputtering fuse reminiscent of something that might have been employed by an anarchist in the 1870s failed to pass any credibility test even for the inevitable cheerleaders in the U.S. media. If the U.S. is to go to war based on a Netanyahu cartoon then it deserves everything it gets when the venture turns sour, most likely Iraq Redux, only 10 times worse.

Even more outrageous, and a lot less reported in the media, were the comments made by Patrick Clawson, director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an organization founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

WINEP is widely viewed as a major component of the Israel Lobby in Washington and is closely tied to the Israeli government, with which it communicates on a regular basis.

Clawson heads WINEP’s Iran Security Initiative. At a briefing on Sept. 24 he said, “I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough, and it’s very hard for me to see how the United States … uh … president can get us to war with Iran.… The traditional way America gets to war is what would be best for U.S. interests.”

Note that Clawson states his conviction that initiating a crisis to get the U.S. involved in a war with Iran and thereby fooling the American people into thinking that it is the right thing to do is actually a “U.S. interest.” He cites Pearl Harbor, Fort Sumter, the Lusitania, and the Gulf of Tonkin as models for how to get engaged. Which inevitably leads to Clawson’s solution:

“If the Iranians aren’t going to compromise it would be best if someone else started the war … Iranian submarines periodically go down. Some day one of them may not come up…. We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier at that.”

Clawson is clearly approving of Israel’s staging an incident that would lead to war, possibly even a false-flag operation carried out by Israel that would implicate the United States directly, or he is urging the White House to do the job itself.

Clawson not surprisingly has never served in the U.S. military and has a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research, which would at first glance seem to disqualify him from figuring out how to set up a covert operation to sink a submarine and thereby start a war. He might be seen as moderately ridiculous, but like many of his neoconservative colleagues he is well wired into the system. He writes regularly for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal; appears on television as an “expert”; and is a colleague at WINEP of the ubiquitous Dennis Ross, sometimes called “Israel’s lawyer,” who was until recently President Obama’s point man on the Middle East.

Clawson is a useful idiot who would be registered as an agent of the Israeli government if the Justice Department were doing its job, but instead he is feted as a man who tells it like it is in terms of American interests. The distortion of the foreign-policy decision-making in this country is something that can be attributed to Clawson and his host of fellow travelers, all of whom promote Israel’s perceived interests at the expense of the United States. And they do it with their eyes wide open.

I will deliberately avoid belaboring another Israel Firster Pamela Geller and her New York subway posters calling Palestinians savages and Israelis civilized, as I am sure the point has been made about how any lie that can serve the cause of Israel will be aggressively defended as “free speech.” A poster excoriating Jews or blacks in similar terms as “savages” would not have seen the light of day in New York City, another indication of the power of the Lobby and its friends to control the debate about the Middle East and game the system.

And then there are the reasons to dislike Israel and what it represents that go way back.

1. In 1952’s Lavon Affair, the Israelis were prepared to blow up a U.S. Information Center in Alexandria and blame it on the Egyptians.

2. In 1967, the Israelis attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen, and then used their power over President Lyndon Johnson to block an investigation into what had occurred.

3. In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel with investigators determining that he had been the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.

4. In the 1960s, Israelis stole uranium from a lab in Pennsylvania to construct a secret nuclear arsenal. And the spying and theft of U.S. technology continues. Israel is the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing U.S. secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are Americans, receive a slap on the wrist.

5. And Israel gets away with killing American citizens — literally — in the cases of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan of the Mavi Marmara.

6. And let’s not forget Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians which has made the United States complicit in a crime against humanity.

7. Tel Aviv has also played a key role in Washington’s going to war against Iraq, in promulgating a U.S.-led global war on terror against the Muslim world, and in crying wolf over Iran, all of which have served no U.S. interest. Through it all, Congress and the media are oblivious to what is taking place.

8. Israel is a net recipient of over $123 billion in U.S. aid and continues to get $3 billion a year even though its per capita income is higher than that of Spain or Italy. No one questions anything having to do with Israel while Congress rubber-stamps resolution after resolution virtually promising to go to war on Israel’s behalf.

I have to admit that I don’t like what my own government is doing these days, but I like Israel even less…

And it is past time to do something about it:

1. No more money, no more political support, no more tolerance of spying, and no more having to listen to demands for red lines to go to war.

2. No more favorable press when the demented Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a cartoon at the U.N. The United States government exists to serve the American people, no more, no less, and it is time that our elected representatives begin to remember that fact.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a contributing editor to The American Conservative and executive director of the Council for the National Interest. His article was originally posted at AntiWar

Note: I stated in a previous article that Netanahyu is in such a lather simply because is disengaging from the Middle-East, and Israel wants the US to continue its heavy involvement in this uncontrolled region.


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