257. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel 1
Washington, June 11, 1967, 4:24 p.m.
210199. Memcon between Amb Harman and Under Secretary Rostow, June 10.
- Under Secretary Rostow presented Amb Harman text of USG note concerning Liberty incident (sent septel).2 Before reading note Harman noted GOI was appointing committee of inquiry to investigate incident.
- Harman said he would refrain from commenting on note but expressed hope that any publication of it would follow line that this was a tragic mistake for which GOI accepted full responsibility. Rostow agreed incident tragic mistake but added that circumstances surrounding it very mysterious. Word used in our note was “incomprehensible” [Page 426] and we hope board of inquiry would take appropriate action against responsible parties when investigation concluded.
- Rostow said USG presenting this case to GOI in same manner in which it would present similar case to any other government.
- Harman noted three things: GOI did not know location of ship, location was scene of active hostility, and GOI had promptly apologized for this tragic episode.
- In closing Harman again reiterated GOI desire to handle incident as tragic mistake for which GOI accepted full responsibility.