Paul Craig Roberts and the Attack On the USS Liberty

by Al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

Back on June 11th of this year I did an article on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty back in 1967, a subject I felt was legitimate to comment on since there is still stuff floating around on the internet about it.

I got flack from fellow Christians who seem to feel that no one is supposed to ever say anything against Israel, no matter what. It seems that is an unspoken 11th commandment that has been added to the first Ten which states: “Thou shalt never speak a word against the government of the state of Israel, no matter what!”

I received a comment back from one man which asked “Are we now supposed to hate all Jews?” Who said anything about hating Jews? Does being critical of the government of Israel automatically mean we hate all Jews? If so, then, I suppose, being critical of our own government in Washington must mean we automatically hate all Americans!

Unfortunately, whether they realize it or not, many American Christians have been placing their loyalty to the state of Israel over their loyalty to Jesus Christ. This is the result of generations of bad theology. This bad theology is now coming back to haunt us, of which I will say more in future articles. Having said that, and possibly making more of the brethren angry at me, I will now deal with Paul Craig Roberts’ commentary on the attack on the USS Liberty.

I just recently ran across an article by Paul Craig Roberts on the internet for July 26, 2016 https://www.paulcraigroberts.org in which Dr. Roberts made many statements that should make thinking Americans take a second look at a large part of our foreign policy.

For those who know nothing about Dr. Roberts, he has a doctorate from the University of Virginia. He has taught at Stanford University and the University of New Mexico. Later, he became an analyst and advisor “…at the United States Congress where he was credited as the primary author of the original draft of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. He was the United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan…A former associate editor at The Wall Street Journal…and he is the author of more than a dozen books…” So Dr. Roberts has been around the barn a couple times and knows what the game is.

Dr. Roberts noted, in his July, 2016 article that: “For a number of years Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was my colleague at the Center for Strategic and International Studies…expressed to me his concern that US politics and foreign policy was in the clutches of Israel and that America was being led into war with the Arab Middle East. Admiral Moorer and the State
Department and Pentagon at that time did not think that war with the Arab countries served the interests of the United States. However, Admiral Moorer thought that the war could not be avoided because of the hold Israel has over the US government. What convinced him of this was Washington’s coverup of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty which resulted in 208 killed and wounded Americans…I raised the issue of the USS Liberty eight or nine years ago in a syndicated newspaper column, which, as I suspected would be the case, only a few news sources dared to publish. However, the article editor at Hustler magazine saw the article and contacted me. He said that Hustler was popular among US sailors…Would I write the USS Liberty story for the sailors so they would be aware or the betrayal that might await them?”

It’s a pity that, to find out some of what the government is doing to people, you are forced to read something like Hustler.

Here are some of Dr. Roberts’ comments from the Hustler article. “The Liberty was an intelligence ship. Its purpose was to monitor Soviet and Arab communications in order to warn both Israel and Washington should the Soviets enter the war on behalf of its Arab allies. The Liberty was armed with only four machine guns to repel boarders. It’s request for a destroyer escort had been denied. The assault on the Liberty is well documented. With no warning, the Liberty was attacked by successive waves of unmarked jets using cannon, rockets and napalm. The attacking jets jammed all of the US communications frequencies, an indication they knew the Liberty was an American ship. The air attack failed to sink the Liberty. About 30 minutes into the attack three torpedo boats appeared flying the Star of David. The Israeli boats were not on a rescue mission. They attacked the Liberty with cannon, machine guns and torpedoes. One torpedo struck the Liberty mid-ship, instantly killing 25 Americans while flooding the lower decks. The Israeli torpedo boats destroyed the life rafts the Liberty launched when the crew prepared to abandon ship, sending the message there would be no survivors.” If this is what a supposed ally does, one can only imagine what an enemy would do!

Roberts continued: “The US government’s official position on the USS Liberty corresponds with Israel’s: The attack was unintentional and a result of Israeli blunders. This is the official position despite the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State Lucius Battle, and a long list of US Navy officers and Liberty survivors are on record saying the Israeli attack was intentional.

So the question has been asked by Roberts “Why did Israel attack the Liberty? Was something super secret going on that is so damaging it must be protected at all cost?”

Apparently, Dr. Roberts has spoken with survivors of the attack because he wrote: “Survivors with whom I spoke said the attack was the easy part of the experience. The hard part has been living with 40 years of official cover-up and betrayal by the US government.” This next comment, I felt, displayed where a significant part of the Christian church in America is really at regarding Israel. Dr. Roberts noted: “One survivor said he was asked to leave his Baptist church when he spoke about the Liberty, because the minister and fellow church-goers felt more loyalty to Israel than to a member of the congregation who had served his country. His church’s position was that if our government believed Israel, the survivors should also.” As I read that, I thought How sick is this??? A Christian man asked to leave his church because, as a survivor of the attack, what he experienced on the scene dared to differ with what Israel said about the attack! I thought–how many other churches in America would have done exactly the same thing? Dare to question anything the state of Israel does and, buddy, you are out of here!

This is a sad, sad, commentary on the state of many of our churches. What the state of Israel says is really law in these churches–in spite of evidence to the contrary.

And we dare to talk about “revival” in this country? Who are we kidding? As long as our churches are in such a state that will be no revival, and that’s something we really need to think about.

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