THE LIBERTY INCIDENT REVEALED

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THE LIBERTY INCIDENT REVEALED
The Definitive Account of the 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781612513409
  • Binding: Hardcover & eBook
  • Era: Cold War
  • Number of Pages: 416
  • Subject: Naval History
  • Date Available: September 2013
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Full Description:

The Liberty Incident Revealed is the complete story about the controversial attack on the USS Liberty by the Israeli Air Force and Navy during the Six-Day War in June 1967. The combined Israeli assault killed 24 Americans and wounded 171, while the Liberty was monitoring 12 miles offshore in international waters.  Cutting through all of the conspiracy theories about Israel’s deadly assault, Cristol revises his acclaimed study of the event with an expanded and painstaking analysis of all of the sources, including tapes of intercepts recently released by the National Security Agency (NSA).

While Cristol’s earlier book, The Liberty Incident, was praised by reviewers as the most detailed account of the attack when it was published in 2002, there still remained unanswered questions, particularly about the Israeli Air Force cockpit audiotapes. The NSA intercepts of those transmissions had not yet been released, and some alleged that the tapes would prove that the Israeli attack was, in fact, planned and not a tragic case of mistaken identity. Cristol’s successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the NSA resulted in the release of those tapes, but anti-Israel sources insisted that the NSA tapes were fraudulent and part of a larger conspiracy to deceive the American public.

After a quarter-century of intensive research in both Israel and the United States, researching all relevant archives from NSA, CIA, and the State Department, reviewing both formerly classified and open-source documents, and interviewing all then-living individuals directly involved in the incident, Cristol contends that the documentary record is clear. He maintains that despite the fact that all of the official records and transcripts are now available for review, the truth has proven to be of no interest to those individuals and organizations with hidden agendas, conspiracy theories, or plans to sensationalize the story in the media. Documenting his findings in six new chapters, Cristol establishes definitively that the Israeli attack was a tragic mistake and presents a convincing case that will be regarded as the final chapter in the long-simmering debate about this incident.

Capt. A Jay Cristol, USN (Ret.), JD, PhD, served as a naval aviator in Korea and Vietnam. He wears the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal, among many other military decorations. After eighteen years as an aviator, he served as a Navy lawyer, followed by twenty-five years practicing civil law. He currently serves as a federal judge and teaches law as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami and was named a Legal Legend by the Historical Society of South Florida in 2011.


~ Advance Praise for The Liberty Incident Revealed ~

“Like Cristol’s 2002 book, The Liberty Incident, this updated version is painstakingly researched and meticulously footnoted and sourced. Doubtless it will not put an end to some of the conspiracy theories that continue to surround the Israeli attack on USS Liberty because conspiracy theories take on a life of their own that can be quite independent of the evidence.  But no one should form an opinion on the Liberty incident without reading this masterful work.”

—Rear Adm. Thomas A. Brooks, USN (RET.), former Director of Naval Intelligence


~ Praise for The Liberty Incident ~

“The Liberty Incident Revealed leaves few stones unturned. Little documentary evidence appears unexamined or unreleased, and there is less reason to believe that it would materially alter the conclusion that the incident was a tragic accident. It is surely the definitive account; one that cannot be ignored and is unlikely to be surpassed.”

—International Journal of Maritime History

"Cristol's scholarship in investigating the incident will not convince all persons about the reason or lack thereof for the attack, but it is an impressive work of investigation, well worth reading."

—The Daybook

“This is thus both a readable and relevant book.”

—The Naval Review

"This is a masterful analysis of a critical incident between friendly nations which serves today as a lesson of the importance of the fusion of effective joint command, communications and tactical intelligence with trained and experienced operational personnel."

Headmark, Journal of the Australian Naval Institute

"The author, a US aviator and two decades a naval judge has minutely examined the evidence and concludes that the attack was indeed a tragic accident, which he describes as ‘blue on blue.’”

— Warships International Fleet Review

“A superb account.”

— Foreign Affairs

“A painstakingly detailed and footnoted account.” 

— The Miami Herald

“The most thorough study to date. . . . Those who are interested in this story will want to read this book.”

— Middle East Journal

“[Cristol’s] research is stunningly complete.”

— Middle East Quarterly

“. . . [A]n exhaustive analysis . . . the author knows more about than anyone else who has written on it.”

— Proceedings

“After years of research for this book, Judge A Jay Cristol has reached a similar conclusion to one my father reached in his June 18, 1967, endorsement of the findings of the court of inquiry. I commend Judge Cristol for his thoroughness and fairness, and I commend this work.”
Sen. John McCain

Capt. A Jay Cristol, USN (Ret.) JD, PhD, entered the U.S. Navy as an aviation cadet in November 1951. As a naval aviator, he flew day and night from the aircraft carrier Princeton during the Korean conflict. Upon return to civilian life, he joined the Naval Air Reserve where, during the 1960s, he flew volunteer missions to Vietnam. He wears the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal among his more than a dozen military decorations. After eighteen years as a naval aviator, he became a Navy lawyer for another twenty years. In civilian life, he concurrently practiced civil law for twenty-five years. He currently serves as a federal judge and teaches law as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami. Cristol was named a Legal Legend by the Historical Society of South Florida in 2011.

More by this Author

THE LIBERTY INCIDENT REVEALED
The Liberty Incident Revealed is the complete story about the controversial attack on the USS... Read More

Events and Conferences

Met the Author & Book Signing
8:00pm, Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, FL Read More
Featured Speaker & Book Signing
11:00am, Miami Book Fair Int’l. – Room 8313 (Bldg. 8, 3rd Floor), Miami Dade College, 300 NE Second... Read More
Guest Speaker
10:30am, Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, 20400 N.E. 30th Ave., Aventura, FL Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
10:00am, Jacksonville Book Fair, c/o The Jewish Community Alliance, 8505 San Jose Blvd.,... Read More
Customer Reviews
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Average Customer Reviews
1.00 Stars
Sorry Jay, Sky King Came out of the blue of the Western Sky – Not the Attacking Israeli Aircraft
Friday, September 27, 2013
By: Joe Meadors
Cristol’s work reads more like a poorly written legal brief than a highly-touted, impeccably-researched work of historical accuracy. Barely 38 words into the opening flyleaf he claims there were 171 wounded during the attack. I can only assume he is not including the 34 who were killed in that number. After decades of researching the attack on our ship you would think he would have learned there were 174 Purple Hearts awarded to the survivors. A small point? Obviously to him and to those who have heaped praises upon his work. Not to those of us who survived the attack and we hope not to those in the USNI community. That same mistake is repeated by the NSA Historian in the NSA 60th Anniversary Book. Then again, the NSA historian isn’t the best source authority when it comes to the USS Liberty. He has the USS Liberty already on station when the Six Day War broke out when, in fact, we didn’t arrive until the fourth day of the war. That NSA historian is cited by Cristol as claiming “the attack was a tragic mistake.” He doesn’t know how many were wounded during the attack, he doesn’t know when we arrived on station and he hasn’t interviewed a single USS Liberty crewman but he does know that “the attack was a tragic mistake.” Another fact missing from Cristol’s work is that among the awards won by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty are the Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, eleven Silver Stars, twenty Bronze Stars, nine Navy Commendations, 208 Purple Hearts, 294 Combat Action Ribbons, the Presidential Unit Citation and the National Security Agency Exceptional Service Civilian Award which makes the USS Liberty arguably the most decorated ship in US Navy history for a single event. In his advertising Cristol claims he interviewed every living USS Liberty survivor. A legitimate historian interested in telling the complete story about the attack would have. Cristol did not. I personally invited Cristol to attend a USS Liberty reunion in order to address and interview the crew. He refused. To date not a single crewman has indicated to me that he was interviewed by Cristol and some have told me that interviews Cristol claims to have conducted with them didn’t happen. If he wants to create a complete history of the USS Liberty attack why doesn’t he interview the survivors? Why does he refuse to attend a USS Liberty reunion? On page 1 he tells us that the air attack was initiated when the Mirages dropped out of the west from 10,000 feet and began their strafing run. If Cristol had bothered to interview USS Liberty survivors instead of just claiming he did he would have known that that is not how the attack began. We had just secured from general quarters and were on a westerly course. LtJg Lloyd Painter noticed very high speed contacts coming up our starboard side traveling so low that they were visible on our surface search radar. Thinking that this would be just another circling of our ship as had occurred so many times that morning a number of us (including me) ran up to the Signal Bridge to watch the aircraft. They flew at very low level up our starboard side. When they got a bit ahead of our ship they turned left. Instead of continuing on their anticipated circuit, when they got almost dead ahead of us they turned and began their initial strafing attack. They didn’t initiate their attack from 10,000 feet out of the western sun. They initiated it at low-level out of the east. The author would have known this if he had only interviewed the USS Liberty survivors instead of just claiming that he did. On Page 2 of his book we see another example of Cristol’s stunning research. There he subjects the reader to the myth of the 10 US government investigations claiming that the evidence and testimony submitted during those investigations support the conclusion that there is no evidence the attack was deliberate. Those “investigations” didn’t ask for nor receive any evidence and testimony about the intent of the attackers. They could just as easily have concluded that Mary had a little lamb or the cow jumped over the moon. None of those reports are based on an investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty. The report that comes closest to being an investigation of the attack is the report prepared as a result of the 4 days of testimony taken during the US Navy Court of Inquiry. One glaring omission from that report is the testimony of Lloyd Painter who testified before the court about his witnessing the torpedo boats deliberately machine gunning our life rafts in the water. Painter’s testimony has been removed from the record. Not redacted. Removed. A fact nowhere to be found in Cristol’s work. Dare I mention the “missing” written statements provided to the Court by some 65 USS Liberty crewmen at the request of the President of the Court? Strange that there is nothing about this in Cristol’s “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” account of the attack. Even ADM John McCain who is the convening authority of the court provided a qualified endorsement for the record of the Court. Why Cristol claims the evidence and testimony supports his theory of “mistaken attack” is open to conjecture -- as is his decision to interview few if any of the living USS Liberty survivors all the while allowing the myth that he interviewed all of us to continue unchallenged by anyone except the USS Liberty survivors ourselves. Why Cristol claims his book is “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” when it is not is open to conjecture as well. He opines that we are just “motivated by hidden agendas” and we “wish to keep alive conspiracy theories.” In fact, our agenda has never been hidden. If Cristol had bothered to attend our reunion he would have spoken with countless USS Liberty survivors who would have told him that during the attack: • We were attacked by unmarked aircraft; • Our radios were jammed on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies; • Life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship were deliberately destroyed by machine gun fire from the attacking torpedo boats; • Attacking torpedo boats slowly circled the torpedoed and sinking ship while firing upon USS Liberty crewmen who ventured topside to help our wounded shipmates; and, • Two flights of rescue aircraft that had been launched from Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers were ordered recalled while we were still under attack and calling for help. Our efforts are focused on ensuring the attack is completely and publicly investigated by the US government. Nothing more and certainly not less. The investigation we are advocating for will have evidence and testimony given under oath with the penalty of perjury attached. Cristol operates under a far less stringent standard than we do. He has the luxury of claiming he is presenting “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” in a format that doesn’t hold him accountable for anything he says. Given he is a retired US Naval aviator and US Navy JAG officer sworn to protect the US constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic one has to wonder why Cristol has gone to such lengths to destroy his reputation and credibility in the US Navy community by writing what clearly is an apologia for the forces who attacked our ship when all he has to do is support our effort to ensure the attack is subjected to the complete and comprehensive public Congressional investigation that routinely follows an attack of this kind but that has been denied the attack on the USS Liberty. Joe Meadors USS Liberty Survivor Director of Operations, USS Liberty Veterans Association
 
Invitation to come on our radio show and prove your story
Saturday, May 24, 2014
By: Ronald G. Kukal
The Liberty Veterans Association has a standing offer of ten thousand dollars to prove that there was ever a congressional investigation of this attack. We have had former Senator Adlai Stevenson on the radio show three times now and he has said more then once he could never get an interest from congress to conduct an investigation, and Captain Ward Boston who was the counsel for the Naval Board of Inquiry has already left a statement that he was forced to make the outcome as an accident. He knew it wasn't, and he left a public statement saying so.
 

 
 

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