Operation Cyanide

Io2010 About What's New CryptoVideos Publications Project Archive Links Cloak & Dagger MLK & COINTEL PRO Underground to Under Cover Underground Art Gartel Art Review War Is Fraud Edge Artists Transmodern Alchemist Draconian Utopia Schumann Resonances HAARP Helix to Hologram Sedona Vortex The Sedona Effect Pineal DMT Zero Point Just Say Know Dune Meme St. Germain Code Manifest Destiny Uninvited States Dodecahedral Universe Antibothis 3 Paranoia 2010 Fog of Lore MRU PTSD Politics Truth For Reel GOD Never Sleeps NAPTE 2010 Aftershock: In HARMS Way Grave Consequences Operation Cyanide Corrosive Secrets Cryptocracy Decoded Eyes Only Blue Sky Spy UFO Geocities Retrieval Ayahuasca Portae Lucis Saint Germain Triangular Book Dragon Lineage Triangle Book Photos Hermetic Garden 1 Hermetic Garden 2 Sex & the Sidhe Bioluminescence N=50 V=6 Abramelin Background Abramelin Quest Riverbank Labs Vampyr Theatre Iona Mystic Island Blog Photo 6 What's New What's New Custom 3 Photo 4 Photo 5

Operation Cyanide

OPERATION CYANIDE is an outrageously toxic codename for ANY operation, but it lived up to its lethal promise even in its failure. It was a failed attempt at a false-flag operation, in which LBJ attempted to sink the USS Liberty with Zionist aid, for US-Israeli alliance domination of the whole Middle East. Since the ship failed to sink, and since a USSR ship was watching the whole thing, the intent failed and US personnel were needlessly and brutally sacrificed. They failed to blame it on the Egyptians or some Arab nation, so the U.S. could attack Egypt with Israel.

The following appeared in MILITARY HISTORY BOOK REVIEW MH-122 December 2003

"President Lyndon B. Johnson and some key officials, seeing the increasingly Soviet-leaning Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser as a threat, made secret arrangements to help Israel in its coming June offensive with the intention of toppling Nasser.
"As part of Operation Cyanide, USS LIBERTY was sent to operate off the Sinai coast, where it was to be sunk with all hands by unmarked Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats, after which the United States would blame the attack on Egypt and launch carrier airstrikes against Cairo...
"The stubborn refusal of LIBERTY'S crew to die or let their ship sink after 75 minutes of air and sea attack - in spite of two American carrier sorties to aid her being inexplicably called back - led to the cancellation of Operation Cyanide, Israel's apology and offer of restitution for a 'tragic mistake,' the Johnson Administration's swift acceptance of that explanation and an equally quick, reassuring 'hot line' telephone call to Soviet premierAlexei Kosygin."

Information about Operation Cyanide has been uncovered by former BBC investigative journalist Peter Hounam. Allegedly, the American plan was to sink the Liberty and blame Russia and Egypt.
According to an article in American free Press, "It now it appears that American political, intelligence and military persons played a key role in setting up the Liberty...The plan... was to sink the defenseless, unarmed American ship sailing in international waters off the coast of Egypt. The Soviets and their Arab allies (in particular Egypt) would then be blamed for the event.” - American Free Press , Liberty Attack Part Of Grand Scheme
OPERATION CYANIDE: Why the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World WarIII, by Peter Hounam, Vision, a division of Satin Publications, Ltd, London,2003, $24.95



Newly Uncovered Evidence Indicates Assault May Have Been Pre-Planned ‘Useful Disaster’


* * *

By Mark Glenn

This June 8, 2007, marks the 40-year anniversary of Israel’s bloody attack on the USS Liberty, a lightly armed U.S. Navy ship sailing off the coast of Egypt at the time.

Over the years, there have been numerous reports indicating that the unprovoked assault caught the White House and the military by surprise.

New information, however, reveals that officials in various agencies in the U.S. government played a key role in setting up the Liberty for the purpose of drawing the Soviet Union into a fight in the Middle East and ultimately igniting World War III.

For those who follow the intrigues and explosive events surrounding the relationship between America and Israel over the last four decades it is easy to “get into a rut” so to speak and blame every single catastrophic event solely on the treachery of Israel. The tragedy though (and certainly the hardest part to swallow by patriotic Americans who would sooner take their own lives than betray their fellow countrymen) is that there have been and are players on the American side of the equation whose hands are just as dirty as those of their Israeli counterparts.

Whether it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK, the bombing of the twin towers in 1993, the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995 or the events taking place on 9-11, the only way these could have taken place is if elements within the U.S. government cooperated with the planning, execution and subsequent dissemination of propaganda in the aftermath of these operations.

Now, a new and terrible tale has surfaced indicating yet again that elements of the U.S. government were involved at the highest level in even more criminal acts against the very same American people whom it is charged with protecting. The case in question involves the June 8, 1967, attack on the USS Liberty by the air and naval forces of the state of Israel during the height of the Arab-Israeli war that led to the deaths of 34 American servicemen.

Long believed that players within the Johnson administration simply assisted in the cover-up of the attack so as “not to embarrass” America’s greatest ally, Israel, it now it appears that American political, intelligence and military persons played a key role in setting up the Liberty for the purpose of igniting WW III in what was code-named “Operation Cyanide.”

It was a heady time, to be sure. The United States and the Soviet Union were neck-deep in the Cold War, and by all appearances it seemed that a shooting match between the two superpowers was inevitable.

The incident in question took place only a few short years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and at a time when America seemed unable to stop the spread of communism in Asia and other parts of the world.

In the Middle East, states such as Egypt, with dynamic, fiery and recalcitrant leaders such as President Gamal Abdel Nasser, were forming strong bonds with the Soviets for military and economic aid. Using the same rationale that led to America inserting itself militarily into Korea and Vietnam, it was believed that, if not stopped, the Soviets would entrench themselves in the Middle East to the point that America’s access to the oil of that region would be directly jeopardized and that, just as the communists had predicted decades before, the West would be conquered “without a shot being fired.”

It has long been assumed that Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty was just another of Israel’s made-to-order false flag operations done simply for the purpose of dragging an unwilling America into a Middle East war on the side of the Jewish state. However, new information uncovered by former BBC investigative journalist Peter Hounam reveals that the U.S. government—and more specifically the administration of Lyndon Johnson—was not as much the unsuspecting victim in all of this that Israel has claimed these last 40 years.

Based on relatively new evidence, the attack on the Liberty was actually part of a much larger plan. The Liberty incident was just one domino in a series that had as the ultimate goal a real live shooting war between the United States and the Soviets. Had the Liberty been sunk with no witnesses as planned, the world would be a much different place as a result—and certainly not for the better.

The plan for that awful day in American history was to sink the defenseless, unarmed American ship sailing in international waters off the coast of Egypt. The Soviets and their Arab allies (in particular Egypt) would then be blamed for the event.

As with the sinking of the USS Maine nearly 70 years earlier, the cry would be “Remember the USS Liberty” and America’s “justifiable” response to such a horrendous act would be the launching of nuclear weapons against Egypt, an ally of the Soviet Union. Working in tandem with the United States would be allies such as Israel, Great Britain and, interestingly, Australia.

The end result would be a Middle East free of any Soviet presence, leaving America and her ally Israel in possession of Arab oil for the foreseeable future and in a better position to dictate terms to the communists. In the minds of powerful men such as these—men who sit in comfortable offices and expensive chairs and who do not have to answer to anyone for their actions, the rationale for such an act was simple: It is better for 300 U.S. sailors to die in the service of their country than have the “free world” fall into the clutches of Soviet communism.

What prevented all of this from taking place was that—simply by the grace of God—the Liberty did not sink, and the world was spared. Of course, there is no official confirmation of Operation Cyanide. In fact there is no mention of it at all. In various interviews that have been conducted over the years, individuals from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to Dean Rusk to Richard Helms to Mossad spy chief Rafael Eitan have demonstrated great intellectual and verbal dexterity for men their age when discussing various items. However, they clam up instantaneously when Operation Cyanide is mentioned as if they were witnesses to an organized crime hit and they feared for their lives.

However, the smaller players involved at the time have a different tale to tell. Piecing together all the small parts that they individually bring to the table fleshes out a picture that, although not crystal clear, is clear enough to suggest that America was involved in the murder of 34 young men on that day in a much deeper fashion than previously thought.

For the sake of those men who died then, and for those who survived the attack and who have endured the assault of lies that has been waged against them these last 40 years, the truth concerning what took place must be told.

In the opinion of many, exposure of the Liberty incident may very well hold the key to freeing America from the bondage it suffers under men such as those who have murdered not only American citizens, but our traditional political system as well.

A former schoolteacher fluent in several languages, Mark Glenn spoke at the AFP-TBR conference on the Middle East panel. He is a prolific writer whose provocative essays have been published worldwide. He and his wife Vicki and their eight children maintain a ranch in northern Idaho. His book, No Beauty in the Beast, can be ordered from TBR BOOK CLUB (1-877-773-9077) for $28 ppd.

(Issue #23, June 4, 2007)


MILITARY HISTORY BOOK REVIEW MH-122 December 2003           Edited 7/23/2003

OPERATION CYANIDE: Why the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III, by Peter Hounam, Vision, a division of Satin Publications, Ltd, London, 2003, $24.95 

Since it reviewed A. Jay Cristol's book, THE LIBERTY INCIDENT, in August 2003, MILITARY HISTORY was bombarded with letters, including some from outraged survivors, insisting that the Israeli attack on their ship on June 8, 1967, was not in error, but deliberate (see letters, P. 8), and demanding that the guilty party confess to the crime.  Absent from all such accusations, however, was a substantial explanation of motive:  What would make it worth Israel's while to attack a ship -- even a spy ship -- being operated by one of its few supporters in the world? 

In OPERATION CYANIDE, Peter Hounam, an investigative reporter for the SUNDAY TIMES and the British Broadcasting System with 30 years' experience, presents the results of his research into the question of "who really dunnit," which evolved into more of what he called a "why dunnit."  Hounam structures his book accordingly, as the reader follows him from interview to interview, gathering clues like a detective from testimonies that tend to be scattered, fragmentary, guarded and sometimes almost cryptic.  As Hounam "connects the dots," however, the scenario that emerges is fantastic and yet, in view of the United States' rush to war with Iraq in 2003, not entirely implausible.

In essence, President Lyndon B. Johnson and some key officials, seeing the increasingly Soviet-leaning Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser as a threat, made secret arrangements to help Israel in its coming June offensive with the intention of toppling Nasser.  As part of Operation Cyanide, USS LIBERTY was sent to operate off the Sinai coast, where it was to be sunk with all hands by unmarked Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats, after which the United States would blame the attack on Egypt and launch carrier air strikes against Cairo -- with nuclear weapons if necessary.  The stubborn refusal of LIBERTY'S crew to die or let their ship sink after 75 minutes of air and sea attack -- in spite of two American carrier sorties to aid her being inexplicably called back -- led to the cancellation of Operation Cyanide, Israel's apology and offer of restitution for a "tragic mistake," the Johnson Administration's swift acceptance of that explanation and an equally quick, reassuring "hot line" telephone call to Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin. 

The first book to seriously examine the possible reason behind the attack on USS LIBERTY, OPERATION CYANIDE presents fragmentary evidence to support an extraordinary theory.  If, however, the emergence of further evidence proves its premise to be true, one cannot help but wonder if their being set up for destruction by the government they swore to serve, in the interests of starting a nuclear war based on a lie, is the sort of truth that LIBERTY'S bitter survivors were hoping for. 

Jon Guttman                                        


By John Simpson

BBC World Affairs Editor 

This is an extraordinary story, one of the most extraordinary, perhaps, of the entire twentieth century.  Suppose, in an attempt to shore up his critically damaged presidency, Lyndon Johnson deliberately engineered an event in which American lives were sacrificed and the United States was brought disturbingly close to an all-out nuclear war with Russia?  Suppose this involved a secret agreement between Israel and American intelligence, which resulted in an Israeli attack on an American naval vessel, in the latter stages of the Six-Day War?    It sounds, I know, like one of those depressing conspiracy theories which cluster round every big controversial event from the death of Princess Diana to the attack on the World Trade Centre.  People often have problems in handling the banality of truth, and prefer to imagine deeper, darker plots beneath the surface.  Yet this book is based on careful, rigorous investigation by a well-known and respected journalist who has meticulously tracked down the people and the documents who have survived from the event itself: the attack on the USS Liberty, in the eastern Mediterranean in June 1967.    

As with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, four years earlier, the official version is even more unlikely than some of the conspiracy theories.  In order to believe the hasty, often contradictory account which came out of Washington, you would have to accept all sorts of virtual impossibilities: that Israeli planes and torpedo boats could have mistaken a modern American warship of ten thousand tons for an elderly Egyptian horse transport less than a quarter of its size, come to within fifty feet of it without spotting that it was flying a particularly large American flag, and blazed away at it from close range for forty minutes before realizing what it was they were shooting at.  A hasty American enquiry immediately afterwards called it 'a bona fide mistake.' That seems, to say the least, a little implausible.    

Yet this is the official version, which stands to this day.  Any other version -- that of the Liberty's surviving crew members, for instance -- has been extremely hard to establish because of the intensity of the security blanket which the Israelis and Americans wrapped around the entire incident.   The blanket remains in place to this day, yet this book provides sufficient evidence for any open-minded person to see that something else lies underneath:  something very disturbing.    I have found Peter Hounam's research compelling, and the story which unfolds in these pages rivetting.  It is time a little daylight was shed on Operation Cyanide.  This book does precisely that, and we should be grateful for it. 

John Simpson, Paris, October 2002

The Liberty’s naval designation was AGTR-5, meaning that it was the fifth ship in a series undertaking “Auxiliary General Technical Research.” It was, in fact, a converted World War II Victory ship, the former Simmons Victory. It had been refitted by the NSA (National Security Agency) for use as a signals intelligence (SIGINT) “platform”, a floating listening post. It had a very sophisticated system of radio antennae including a “Big Ear” sonar-radio listening device with a clear capability range of over 500 miles. Up to that distance the Liberty could intercept virtually any form of wireless communication, including military and diplomatic traffic, telemetry data, rocket guidance and satellite control, among others. It could then decode and process the intercepted messages and relay them back to the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland, via short-wave radio or through a very special communications system called TRSSCOM, using a 10,000-watt microwave signal bounced off the surface of the moon. The USS Liberty was America’s most advanced spy ship.

Below decks the communications areas which housed the computers, listening and decoding devices manned by linguistic experts and other personnel who were changed according to the ship’s mission, were off-limits to the crew, including Captain William McGonagle. The communication areas were under the direct control of an NSA technician (managing spook). The on-board NSA controller for the Liberty’s June ‘67 mission was known to the crew as “the Major.” With two other civilians he joined the Liberty at Rota in Spain shortly before the spy ship sailed from there for the Middle East on 2 June. The day after Dayan became minister of defense. (A coincidence?)

The Liberty’s movements were controlled by the JCS (Joints Chiefs of Staff) and NSA in Washington.

The Liberty’s mission was TOP SECRET and has not been acknowledged to this day.

It was on patrol, listening, because some in the Johnson administration, perhaps Defence Secretary McNamara especially, did not trust the Israelis to keep their word with regard to the scope of the war.

The Johnson administration had given the green light for Israel to attack Egypt and only Egypt. It was understood that the IDF would have to respond to Jordanian intervention if it happened, but on no account was Israel to seek to widen the war for the purpose of taking Jordanian or Syrian territory. Apart from President Johnson’s public statement that he was as firmly committed as his predecessors had been to the “political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations in that area”, Washington’s fear was what could happen if the Israelis occupied Syrian territory. If they did there was a possibility of Soviet intervention (for face-saving reasons). Soviet leaders could just about live with the Egyptians being smashed by the IDF but not the Syrians too. Through the CIA the Johnson administration was aware of the IDF’s secret agreement with the Syrian regime. So it, the Johnson administration, was reasonably confident that the Syrians would not seek to widen the war by engaging the Israelis in any serious way. The name of the U.S. counter-intelligence game was therefore preventing Israel from attacking Syria. That was the Liberty’s mission.

When the Liberty was ordered to the Middle East, everybody who needed to know did know that the Israelis would have only a few days in which to smash the Egyptians because the Security Council would demand a quick end to the fighting and Israel would have to stop when it was shown the international red card. Which meant that when Israel went to war with Egypt, it would be assigning the bulk of its armour to the Egyptian front. The point? If Israel then decided to widen the war to grab the West Bank and Syrian territory, it would have to re-deploy, very quickly, from the Egyptian to the Jordanian and Syrian fronts. The orders for such redeployment would be given by wireless from Dayan’s Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv to the commanders in the field and they, naturally, would talk to each other. If there was such radio chatter, the Liberty would pick it up and pass it urgently to the NSA in Washington. President Johnston would then demand that the Israelis abort their intention to grab all of the West Bank and attack Syria. So long as the Liberty was on station and functioning, the U.S. would have some control of Israel.

In short, the Liberty was the Johnson administration’s insurance policy. It was there to prevent Israel’s hawks going over the top and, on a worst case scenario, provoking Soviet intervention and possibly World War III. (One could have said then, and one could say with even more point today, that with the Zionist state as its friend the U.S. does not need enemies).

From Dayan’s perspective.. Before he could have a completely free hand to take all of the West Bank and order an invasion of Syria for the purpose of grabbing the Golan Heights, the Liberty had to be put out of business.

For ITN I was in the Sinai covering Israel’s “turkey shoot” advance to the Suez Canal and I witnessed the re-deployment of some IDF units, with Israeli soldiers cheerfully admitting that they were on their way to other fronts.

The attack on the Liberty ought to have been a sensational and headline-grabbing news story, but beyond the fact that an accident had happened and that Israel had apologised, it did not get reported by American (or other) news organisations. If it had been an Arab attackon an American ship, it would have been an entirely different matter, of course. In that event there would have been saturation coverage with demands for retaliation. With Zionist and other columnists and commentators who were pro Israel right or wrong setting the pace and the tone.

There is no mystery about the reason for President Johnston’s decision to order a cover-up. It was entirely in keeping with an earlier decision he made. Less than 15 minutes after the start of the Israeli attack, Captain Joseph Tully launched planes from the American aircraft carrier USS Saratoga to go to the aid of the Liberty. Johnson ordered the planes to be recalled. There was to be no engagement with the Israelis, even if that meant letting Americans die.

There is no question that this attack on a U.S. Navy ship was deliberate. This was a coordinated effort involving air, sea, headquarters and commando forces attacking over a long period. It was not the "few rounds of misdirected fire" that Israel would have the world believe. Worse, the Israeli excuse is a gross and detailed fabrication that disagrees entirely with the eyewitness recollections of survivors. Key American leaders call the attack deliberate. More important, eyewitness participants from the Israeli side have told survivors that they knew they were attacking an American ship.  The Israeli pilot admitted he was ordered to continue to attack on the obviously American ship.

The official explanation for the attack is that it was a case of mistaken identity. That explanation is undermined by the following facts:

  • The ship was clearly identified with an American flag.
  • The three Israeli Mirage figher-bombers that attacked the ship were unmarked.
  • The Mirage jets jamed the communication frequencies used by the ship.
  • The jets strafed the ship at close range, where the details of the ship would have been cleary visible to the pilots.
  • The attack included multiple waves of air assaults.
  • The torpedo boats strafed survivors in life boats, an international war crime.
  • The two aircraft sent by the US 6th fleet to defend the Liberty were recalled.
  • The recall order was confirmed by the White House.

While one theory holds that the attack was perpetrated by Israel acting alone, another theory puts responsibility on the Johnson administration. 

Britain and France had their plan for taking back the Suez Canal after it was nationalized by President Nasser of Egypt on July 26, 1956. "France secretly enlisted the help of Israel," writes James Bamford in Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century. Mr.Bamford was Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and has written investigative cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. 

In 1963, writes Mr. Bamford, the JCS proposed secret U.S. attacks on Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago. "Both were members of the British Commonwealth; thus, by secretly attacking them and then falsely blaming Cuba, the United States could lure England into the war against Castro."

The 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, that sparked the Vietnam War, was also deliberately provoked. "Restless from a decade of peace," writes Mr. Bamford, "out of touch with reality, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were desperate for a war, any war."

In the 1960s, as Britain was dismantling its colonies, the U.S. conspired with Britain to receive secretly, gratis, and for 50 years, the Chagos Archipelago. Between 1965 and 1973, to clear the largest island in the archipelago, Diego Garcia, for a listening post for the U.S. National Security Administration, every man, woman, and child was physically removed from the islands, and placed bewildered and frightened, on the islands of Mauritius and Seychelles, wrote a British writer, Simon Winchester.

While falsely blaming their "enemies," the U.S. government, and American "free press," have covered-up for their "friends."

Three days after Israel launched its June 5, 1967, surprise attack on Egypt, it carried out a deliberate and sustained attack on the USS Liberty, with the objective of leaving no survivors.

Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chairman JCS, in a memo dated June 8, 1997 wrote, "I am confident that Israel knew the Liberty could intercept radio messages from all parties and potential parties to the ongoing war, then in its fourth day, and that Israel was preparing to seize the Golan Heights from Syria despite President Johnson's known opposition to such a move."

Mr. Bamford describes the attack:

"Within the first few hours Israeli jets pounded twenty-five Arab air bases ranging from Damascus in Syria to an Egyptian field loaded with bombers, far up the Nile at Luxor. Then using machine guns, mortar fire, tanks, and air power, the Israeli war machine overtook the Jordanian section of Jerusalem as well as the west bank of the Jordan River and torpedo boats captured the key Red Sea cape of Sharm al-Sheikh."
Based on declassified transcripts of radio communications, survivor accounts, and interviews with others in the chain of command on the day ot the attack, Mr. Bamford writes:
"On the morning of June 8, the Israeli military command received a report that a large American eavesdropping ship was secretly listening only a few miles off El Arish. At that same moment, a scant dozen or so miles away, Israeli soldiers were butchering civilians and bound prisoners by the hundreds, a fact that the entire Israeli army leadership knew about and condoned, according to the army's own historian. . . .

"At the time, Israel was loudly proclaiming—to the United States, to the United Nations, and to the world—that it was the victim of Egyptian aggression and that it alone held the moral high ground. Israel's commanders would not have wanted tape recordings of evidence of the slaughters to wind up on desks at the White House, the UN, or the Washington Post." 

USS LIBERTY (AGTR-5), a Technical Research ship was sailing legally and peacefully, in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, twelve and one-half (12.5) nautical miles from the nearest land off the coast of Sinai, during the Arab-Israeli SIX Day war, when it was attacked, without warning or provocation, by four (4) unidentified jet fighter aircraft, firing rockets, machine guns, and napalm.  The ship was then strafed and torpedoed by three (3) Israeli motor torpedo boats.  One (1) torpedo exploded in the Research spaces of the ship, where it caused the majority of the fatalities.  The Government of Israel shortly after the attack acknowledged that  their armed forces conducted the assault.  The apology for the attack was accepted, but the reason for the attack as "misidentification" was never accepted by the US Government.

Thirty-four (34) officers, sailors, a civilian, and a US Marine were killed or died of their wounds as a result of the attack.  One hundred seventy-one (171) additional crew members received wounds as a result of the attack.  The Government of Israel did compensate the families of those killed, the individuals that were wounded, and eventually paid reparations for the damage done to the ship and its equipment.  The ship remained afloat, in spite of the extensive hull damage from the torpedo explosion, and after hull repairs in Malta, the ship returned to Little Creek, VA, apparently to avoid undue publicity that the ship probably would have received had it returned to its home port of Norfolk, Virginia.  No high level Executive Branch members welcomed the ship home to the USA, as was the practice in later years, such as the Battleship IOWA, and other incidences.

One of Liberty's intercept operators, Charles Rowley, said that just before the attack he had intercepted a very strange, very short radio signal that he had forwarded to Washington. Instead of acknowledging his effort, Washington promptly ordered him to destroy any copies of that signal and to ignore any like it that he heard in the future. He felt he was being scolded for doing his job.

Rowley concluded that he had picked up a submarine signal and asked some other technicians about it. These men mentioned "Project Cyanide" but were unable or unwilling to say more. He concluded that "Cyanide" and the strange track on the chart all were associated with a compartmented submarine project to which only a very few people were privy. Most of those men died in the attack.

Frontlet 615

For the next several years, "Cyanide" and the mystery submarine remained elusive. One Liberty survivor mentioned a submarine to a free-lance reporter who wrote a book about it. Nearly everything he wrote was based on guesswork and was wrong. The book did nothing to advance the story.

Then in 1988 the Lyndon Johnson Library declassified and released an intriguing, highly sensitive document with the rare "Eyes Only" security caveat. This "Memorandum for the Record" dated 10 April 1967 reported a briefing of the "303 Committee" by General Ralph D. Steakley. Members present were Walt Rostow, Foy Kohler, Cyrus Vance and Admiral Rufus Taylor.

According to the memo, General Steakley "briefed the committee on a sensitive DOD project known as FRONTLET 615," which is identified in a handwritten note on the original memorandum as "submarine within U.A.R. waters." (At that time Egypt was formally known as "The United Arab Republic.") After considering alternatives, "the proposal was approved by the committee principals."

This memorandum was filed in the LBJ Library's USS Liberty archive. Why there? Obviously it has something to do with the Liberty. Could this have been the submarine we have heard about since 1967?

Survivors filed further Freedom of Information Act requests with the Library, Navy, Department of Defense, National Security Council, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Joint Chiefs of Staff and elsewhere seeking more information. We sent copies of the declassified memo to support our request. In every case we were told that there is no record within the government of Cyanide or Frontlet 615 or of any submarines operating near the Liberty in 1967.

When we called General Steakley, he told us that his job for nine years with the Joint Chiefs of Staff was to win approval of such projects from the appropriate authorities. He was rarely involved in the projects themselves. He could remember nothing about Frontlet 615.


In February 1997, we were contacted by a man who, like the first visitor in the cafeteria, told us, "I was there. We watched the attack through the periscope and took pictures." He added, "News reports said Liberty was under attack for only five minutes, but that attack lasted more than an hour."

This person identified himself as a relatively senior member of the crew of the submarine, but he was unwilling to give his name or to talk to us except through a third party, as he feared punishment for telling the story. He did, however, give us the name of the submarine: USS Amberjack SS522, a Guppy (snorkel)-equipped diesel boat built in 1945. He also told us that Amberjack's mission was reconnaissance within U.A.R. waters. Apparently Amberjack was the Frontlet 615 submarine.

This source gained credibility when we obtained Amberjack's official ship's history from the Department of Defense. Amberjack was indeed in the area during the Six-Day War, just as he said.

Further searches of Navy-oriented Web sites on the Internet quickly turned up four more Amberjack crewmen from the "Med Cruise" of June 1967. Some of these were Amberjack's most senior enlisted men. All four of these men, contacted by telephone, readily told us that They were very close to USS Liberty when we came under attack. Amberjack was so close, they said, and the sound of gunfire, missiles and the torpedo explosion so loud, that some of the crew thought Amberjack was under depth charge attack.

These men, all career submariners and all fairly senior at the time, had not seen or talked to one another for many years. Yet they all told the same story. They were very close to or "almost directly under" Liberty when the ship came under attack. Amberjack was specially fitted for periscope photography and was fully capable of photographing the attack, they said, although none of these four was certain that pictures were taken.

All four men told us that Amberjack proceeded from the Gaza Strip to a brief stop at Souda Bay, Crete, where the ship was kept at anchorage and the crew was not allowed ashore. Next, Amberjack went to Malta, where she tied up near the Liberty.

All four men told us that Amberjack was only one of five submarines in the Gaza Strip area. Others were USS Trutta SS421, USS Requin SS481, and French and Italian submarines. Any of those might also have photographed or recorded the attack.

According to Peter Hounam, the author of the expose', "Operation Cyanide," the murderous Israeli attack was a set up to blame the Egyptians and bring the U.S. into the 1967 war on their side. The Liberty was a "sitting duck" for the Israeli jet planes' missiles and rockets and their torpedo boats. The attack lasted at least 75 minutes, killing 34 brave Americans and wounding 172 others. On first hearing of the Liberty attack by allegedly "unidentified aircraft," the U.S. launched planes from the Sixth Fleet carriers, then located in the Mediterranean, off Crete, armed with nuclear weapons. They were headed for Cairo to retaliate. Only minutes before reaching their target, they were recalled. Why? The Israelis had failed to sink the Liberty! According to Hounam's research, the White House knew within minutes of the Liberty attack, that the perpetrator was really Israel (p. 94). On two separate occasions, the White House recalled aircraft rescue missions for the Liberty. On the last attempt, LBJ told Rear-Admiral Lawrence Geis of the Sixth Fleet, "I WILL NOT EMBARRASS OUR ALLY." The Liberty was then left "dead in the water," without any assistance for over 16 hours.

At pp. 267-268, Hounam said, "Sinking the Liberty and blaming Egypt and the Soviets would have freed Johnson's hand to do almost anything-even to drop an atomic bomb on Cairo. Trouble only arose when the Israel operation failed - and the damned ship stayed afloat." Hounam revealed that within LBJ's hawkish administration, there was shadowy clique that met under the rubric of the "303 Committee." Richard Helms, the late CIA Director, said that entity was, "A device for examining covert operations of any kind and making a judgment on behalf of the President, so he wouldn't be nailed with the thing, if it failed." Out of the "303 Committee," came a project labeled, "Frontlet 615," which was furthered defined as, "A secret political agreement in 1966 by which Israel and the U.S. had vowed to destroy (Egypt's Gamal Abdel) Nasser." The military name for the operation was, "Operation Cyanide." The secrets of our government can kill.

Nor was the attack on the USS Liberty. The Liberty was a sacrificial lamb (or in the words of those candid few on the inside, a "guinea pig") whose sinking was to be a pretext for the US to nuke an airbase outside Cairo at which Soviet bombers were based. The IDF tried their damndest to sink her and eliminate the entire crew, but could not, and someone, thank God, put a stop to it before they eventually succeeded.

After one recognizes the absurdity of the "accidental friendly fire" cover story it is easily surmised that the US must have put Israel up to the attack on the Liberty for some reason, it becomes fairly speculative as to precisely what the US aims were. Hounam's research indicates that the US may have been after more than simply removing Nasser as a threat to the Saudis and thwarting the USSR from assuming control of the Suez Canal.

Hounam's thesis - and it is well supported - is that the onset of WW III may have been avoided by a mere three minutes. The story is not yet complete. LBJ, MacNamara and their co-consipirators never did own up to their responsibility, leaving all the blame on Israel. The Liberty was not the first USN vessel intended to be sacrificed as a pretext for war; the USS Maine was precedent sixty-nine years earlier. And one can speculate as to whether the Stark and Cole may have been intended tp serve some similar purpose. But in the case of the Liberty, nukes were sent aloft with aircraft launched from the USS America. Could it happen again?

Thanks to Peter Hounam's expose, "Operation Cyanide," more light has recently been shed on the Liberty controversy. The author, a veteran investigative reporter, believes the murderous Israeli attack was a set up to blame the Egyptians and to bring the U.S. into the 1967 Six Day War on their side. The Liberty was an easy target for the Israeli jet planes, which were loaded with rockets, napalm and machine guns, too. Couple that with the repeated attacks on the vessel by their death-dealing motor torpedo boats. The bloodbath, a War Crime, by any fair standard, lasted for over 75 lethal minutes, killing 34 brave Americans and seriously wounding 174 others.

Hounam also disclosed some inside stuff on the "303 Committee." It was working on a project called, "Frontlet 615." It was later described as: "A secret political agreement in 1966, by which Israel and the U.S. had vowed to destroy [Egypt's Gamal Abdel] Nasser." The military name for the operation was, "Operation Cyanide." At the time all of this was going down, LBJ's popularity was hitting rock bottom because of the quagmire that was the Vietnam War.

One of his closet advisors was a Zionist zealot, Walter W. Rostow, his then-Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Here is how Hounam described the Neocon-like Rostow: "A sinister, Svengali-like figure, or simply the biggest and best fixer? He was crucial in determining [for LBJ] which way the U.S. might respond to the threatened hostilities in the Middle East...Rostow was a hawk who believed in...the Vietnam War and... his Zionism was strongly felt and expressed...(He) had daily contact with the President." Shades of Paul Wolfowitz and other  Neocons, who helped to drive the U.S. into the Iraqi War. (5)

For the sake of speculation, just imagine this scenario: The U.S. President on June 8, 1967 was a patriot in the tradition of "Old Hickory," Andrew Jackson. Instead of recalling our aircraft that were on their way to rescue the Liberty, he (or she) orders them to continue on their mission, not only to defend the vessel and to stop the massacre, but to retaliate against the Zionist thugs by bombing their naval base at the port of Ashdod, their military headquarters at Tel Aviv and Haifa, and for good measure, dropping a few MX missiles on Dimona, their then-secret Nuke-making facility, located in the Negev desert. If, only?

"The attack on the Liberty was pre-planned,
perhaps from at least a year beforehand"

Mr. Hounam claims secret elements within the US and Israeli governments colluded to bomb the ship and blame the attack on Egypt and their superpower ally, the USSR, triggering massive retaliation and ensuring Israeli victory. As it turned out, Israel didn't need that help.

U.S. Navy jets were called back

An Israeli military court of inquiry later acknowledged that their naval headquarters knew at least three hours before the attack that the odd-looking ship 13 miles off the Sinai Peninsula, sprouting more than 40 antennas capable of receiving every kind of radio transmission, was "an electromagnetic audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy," a floating electronic vacuum cleaner.

The Israeli inquiry later concluded that that information had simply gotten lost, never passed along to the ground controllers who directed the air attack nor to the crews of the three Israeli torpedo boats who picked up where the air force left off, strafing the Liberty's decks with their machine guns and launching a torpedo that blew a 39-foot hole in its starboard side.

To a man, the survivors interviewed by the Tribune rejected Israel's explanation.

Nor, the survivors said, did they understand why the American 6th Fleet, which included the aircraft carriers America and Saratoga, patrolling 400 miles west of the Liberty, launched and then recalled at least two squadrons of Navy fighter-bombers that might have arrived in time to prevent the torpedo attack -- and save 26 American lives.

McNamara, who is now 91, told the Tribune he has "absolutely no recollection of what I did that day," except that "I have a memory that I didn't know at the time what was going on."

The Johnson administration did not publicly dispute Israel's claim that the attack had been nothing more than a disastrous mistake. But internal White House documents obtained from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library show that the Israelis' explanation of how the mistake had occurred was not believed.

Except for McNamara, most senior administration officials from Secretary of State Dean Rusk on down privately agreed with Johnson's intelligence adviser, Clark Clifford, who was quoted in minutes of a National Security Council staff meeting as saying it was "inconceivable" that the attack had been a case of mistaken identity.

The attack "couldn't be anything else but deliberate," the NSA's director, Lt. Gen. Marshall Carter, later told Congress.

"I don't think you'll find many people at NSA who believe it was accidental," Benson Buffham, a former deputy NSA director, said in an interview.

"I just always assumed that the Israeli pilots knew what they were doing," said Harold Saunders, then a member of the National Security Council staff and later assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs.

"So for me, the question really is who issued the order to do that and why? That's the really interesting thing." Both sides are lying, still holding to the cover story.

How the attack unfolded

National Security Agency documents recount the hours leading up to, during and after the attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli forces that killed 34.


6 a.m. An Israeli reconnaissance plane spots an unidentified ship 70 miles west of Tel Aviv.

9 a.m. A second Israeli reconnaissance plane spots an unidentified ship 20 miles north of El-Arish. Liberty's position is plotted on a map in green, designating a "neutral ship."

10:55 a.m. A naval liaison officer at Israeli Air Force headquarters informs Israeli Naval Headquarters that the previously unidentified ship is an "audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy" named Liberty.

11 a.m. The acting chief of Israeli naval operations orders removal of Liberty from a plot table because he is no longer certain of its position.

11:30 a.m. The Israeli Navy receives an erroneous report that El-Arish is being shelled from the sea.

12:05 p.m. Three motor torpedo boats (MTBs) are ordered to proceed toward El-Arish.


1:56 p.m. Two Israeli Mirage III aircraft, followed by two Super Mystere aircraft, begin their attack on the Liberty.

2:14 p.m. The chief Israeli air controller in Tel Aviv tells the controller who is directing the attack on the Liberty that the ship is "apparently American."

2:20 p.m. The Israeli naval commander orders the commander of the Torpedo Boat Division to attack the Liberty. At almost the same time, the Naval Operations Branch orders: "Do not attack. It is possible that the aircraft have not identified correctly." The commander of the Torpedo Boat Division says he never got any order to cease the attack, although the deputy commander says he passed the message to the commander.

2:24 p.m. Liberty sights three MTBs 4-5 miles away and closing fast.

2:26 p.m. Liberty raises its largest American flag, the "Holiday colors."

2:27 p.m. Three torpedo boats begin strafing the Liberty and launch their six torpedoes.

2:28 p.m. Five torpedoes miss the ship, but one strikes the Liberty's right side, leaving a 39-foot hole.


2:29 p.m. Starting time for an NSA tape of Israeli communications after the attack. A previous tape, which presumably would have captured the air and torpedo attacks, is missing.

3:07 p.m. Israeli helicopters sent to rescue Liberty crewman from the sea arrive and "orbit" the heavily damaged vessel.

3:12 p.m. The helicopters' communications with the ground are intercepted by an American aircraft circling high above the scene. One helicopter pilot reports that he sees an American flag flying from the Liberty's mast.

3:16 p.m. An Israeli ground controller orders the helicopters to return to El Arish

Sources: National Security Agency documents, Tribune reporting, Chicago Tribune



What's New with My Subject?

If I didn't include a news section about my site's topic on my home page, then I could include it here.