211. Telegram From the Defense Attaché Office in Israel to the White House 1

0825. ALUSNA called to FLO to receive report.2 Israeli aircraft and MTB's erroneously attacked U.S. ship at 081200Z position 3125Z 33–33E. May be navy ship. IDF helicopters in rescue operations. No other info. Israelis send abject apologies and request info of other US ships near war zone coasts.

  1. Source: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History Historical Collection, Series VIII, Box 16d, DIA (USDAO, Tel Aviv) re Liberty. Confidential; Flash. Sent also to OSD, CNO, the Department of State, COMSIXTHFLT, CINCSTRIKE, CINCNAVEUR, and JCS. Repeated to DIA, USUN, CINCEUR-USEUCOM, CTG 60, USAFE, and CINCUSAFEUR. The message was received at the National Military Command Center at 10:45 a.m.; see Document 219. An unsigned note on White House stationery, June 8, 11 a.m., states that the Defense Attaché in Tel Aviv “has informed us that the attack on the USS Liberty was a mistaken action of Israeli boats.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. 3)
  2. Telegram 900 from USDAO Tel Aviv, June 15, which provided a chronology of events surrounding the Liberty incident as observed and recorded by U.S. Naval Attaché Commander Ernest C. Castle, USN, states that Castle received the report from Assistant IDF Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bloch. (Ibid., NSC Special Committee Files, Liberty)