171. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1

208426. 1. Cairo radio has made false charge US aircraft provided fighter cover over Israel during raids by Israeli aircraft on UAR June 5, and played role against Jordanian forces.2 Charges are absolutely false. No US aircraft carriers have been in or near area of hostilities nor have US aircraft.3

2. You should categorically deny charge at highest level and issue public denial. Both State and Defense Departments have already issued denials.4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Unclassified; Flash. Drafted by Houghton, and approved by Davies. Also sent Flash to Damascus, Rabat, Khartoum, Tunis, Baghdad, London, Kuwait, Tripoli, Jidda, Algiers, Paris, Beirut, Moscow, Amman, Jerusalem, and Cairo.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 170, and Document 153 and footnotes 2 and 3 thereto.
  3. Telegram 208427 to USUN, June 6, states that at 3:45 a.m. the Department had denied the charges and protested vigorously to Ambassador Kamel, requesting immediate action to terminate the broadcasts. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR) Nolte had already telephoned the Foreign Minister to give him a categorical denial that U.S. planes or ships were involved in any way in the fighting, and Political Counselor Richard B. Parker had given a categorical denial to Abdul Aziz in Mohieddin’s office. (Telegrams 8567 and 8569 from Cairo, both dated June 6; both ibid.)
  4. A press release issued by the Department of Defense on June 5 stated that reports that Sixth Fleet aircraft had flown to Israeli airfields or had participated in the conflict were erroneous; all Sixth Fleet aircraft had been and remained several hundred miles from the area of conflict. (Telegram 208283 to Amman, June 5; ibid.) Secretary Rusk stated at the White House at 9:05 a.m. on June 6 that the charges were “utterly and wholly false.” He also stated, “We know that they and some of their friends know where some of our carriers are. We can only conclude that this was a malicious charge, known to be false, and, therefore, obviously was invented for some purpose not fully disclosed.” (Circular telegram 208457, June 6; ibid.; Department of State Bulletin, June 26, 1967, pp. 950–951)