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
“This book is very well written with a logical and well-founded thesis. The author acknowledges the arguments of those who feel that the attack was in fact deliberate on the part of the Israelis and refutes their points through studied and well-structured arguments. His inclusion of the copies of the official reports as well as the transcripts of the communication logs between the naval and air assets of the Israeli forces and their command centre provides excellent insight for the reader into the confusion and dysfunction existing within both the US and Israeli militaries. This book provides good value, and it is an excellent read about a side of the incident often overlook in the histories of the Six Day War.”
—Canadian Naval Review
“Cristol uses his law experience and follows precise rules of evidence, as he lays out his conclusions and deconstruction of conspiracy theories, that will be hard to reject. This book is well written, logical in its flow of information, and is recommended for anyone that might find themselves as a member of an investigation board.”
“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."
“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.”
“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