To The Editor:
I read Mr. Browning’s letter with interest because I just read an article about a new book named “Blood in the Water” by Joan Mellen that alleges the June 1967 attack on USS Liberty was a conspiracy by LBJ and Israel to promote regime change in Egypt.
The author lost “cred” with me with her phrase “the so-called Six-Day War” and she also said Israel was the aggressor versus Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
I’m totally at a loss why Israel attacked our ship, but they did, and quickly apologized and paid compensation to victims and the U.S. Government.
The fascinating aspect of the book for me is the eyewitness account by then Lt. Cmdr. David Edwin Lewis who says he was sworn to secrecy by then Adm. L.R. Geis, 6th Fleet Carrier Commander, for his lifetime. Geis said they launched relief aircraft to the Liberty twice but were recalled both times by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Geis challenged the second recall and LBJ got on the line and said, “I don’t give a damn if the ship sinks and all the Americans are killed. I will not embarrass my ally.”
The theory is LBJ conspired with Israel to blame Egypt for the attack and in effect destabilize President Nasser. IMHO, LBJ conned Israel. But chances are we’ll never know.