This hard-hitting investigation into the 1967 attack on the USS Liberty
raises disturbing questions about an attack by unmarked planes and torpedo boats in international waters during the Six-Day War between Israel and the Arab states. It tells the story of a 75-minute attack on this surveillance ship that killed 34 men and injured 172. The attack was initially thought to be the responsibility of either Egypt or the Soviet Union, but astonishingly Israel, the United States' closest ally, said that the planes and boats belonged to them and that they mistook the ship for an Egyptian vessel despite the prominently displayed Stars and Stripes. This investigative account reveals that the attack was part of a clandestine plan between the United States and Israel known as "Operation Cyanide," which was developed well before the Six-Day War, and was designed to ensure victory for Israel in the Middle East. By blaming the attack on the Arab world, this book asserts, United States retaliation on a grand scale would be justified. Based on interviews with former government officers and the examination of official documents, this book questions why the White House twice called back rescue planes from helping the Liberty
; what the CIA's role was in this attack; whether Lyndon B. Johnson knew about the attack in advance; and why the U.S. government accepted Israel's explanation. The massive coverup that has endured to this day is explained-the attack on the USS Liberty
remains the only maritime incident that has not been investigated by Congress.
Author Biography: Peter Hounam was the chief investigative journalist for London's The Sunday Times from 1986 to 1994. He is the author of The Woman from Mossad. He has made a number of documentary films, including Dead in the Water, which was about the sinking of the USS Liberty. John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs editor.