- When Ahron Jay Cristol, a self-described "amateur
historian," showed up at the National Security Agency's (NSA) National
Cryptologic Museum at Fort George C. Meade, MD., on Jan. 14, 2004, there
was something almost sacrilegious about his presence there.
- He was there to peddle his pro-Zionist Israel book,
"The Liberty Incident." It is a clever, but seriously flawed,
apologia, that attempts to mask the wrongdoing associated with Israel's
premeditated attack on the USS Liberty, an NSA-fitted spy vessel, on June
8, 1967. That attack killed 34 brave Americans and wounded 172 others.
His book also smears those demanding justice in the Liberty matter as "conspiracy
- Who is Cristol? Now, in his 70s, he has worked mostly
as a bankruptcy judge, a federal sinecure that doesn't need congressional
approval. He has a non-combat background in the U.S. Navy.
- Two days before his appearance, Cristol was on a State
Dept. panel, in DC, pontificating about the 1967 "Six-Day War"
and the fate of the Liberty. When survivors of the Liberty, during the
Q&A period, began to speak out about the "Whitewash," one
Marc Susser, a State Dept. honcho, ordered them silenced.
- Cristol's insufferable mantra: "The Israelis'
attack on the Liberty was an accident," was repeated by him ad nauseam
at the book signing. However, the overwhelming credible evidence shows
that the Israeli attack was intentional (James M. Ennes, Jr.'s "Assault
on the Liberty"), and that an insidious cover-up of that fact has
continued down to the present day (James Bamford's "Body of Secrets").
Recently, two individuals from the U.S. intelligence community have come
forward to verify that they had viewed intercepted real-time transcripts,
on June 8, 1967, between Israeli jet pilots and their ground controllers,
in which the Israelis clearly acknowledged that they knew that they were
attacking, and worse still, trying to sink, "the American ship"
- NSA's Cryptologic Museum was built in 1993. It houses
code-breaking, and related artifacts, from our country's past. It also
displays, the actual 5' by 8' American flag the Liberty was flying, when
it was deliberately assaulted by unmarked Israeli jet planes and torpedo
boats for over one hour and 15 minutes. NSA, a/k/a, "The Puzzle Palace,"
is located about 15 miles directly north of Washington, DC. Cristol confessed
that it was his "first visit to the museum," which despite the
small audience for his talk, brought a large police presence, both uniformed
NSA and plain clothes men.
- Also, at the book signing, Cristol made a big deal about
the transcripts of NSA-released communications of June 8, 1967, between
Israeli helicopter pilots. At best, these transcripts mimic an improvised
vaudeville skit of the Marx Brothers and prove absolutely nothing, since
the helicopter pilots arrived AFTER the attack. These particular pilots
weren't part of the original assault force. Therefore, their communications
are immaterial, self-serving and lack probative value. They would be barred
as evidence at any official judicial proceeding worthy of its name. When
I confronted him with the above argument, Cristol gave a long winded non-answer
that wandered all over the ball park and back again.
- The prime suspect, within Tel Aviv's warmongering cabal,
for ordering the attack on the Liberty was General Moshe Dayan, (now deceased),
then Israel's Defense Minister. To start the 1967 "Six-Day War,"
Dayan commanded pre-emptive military strikes on Egypt and Syria and directed
the illegal confiscation of 750,000 acres of Palestinian land in the West
Bank and Gaza. Could one draw a line from this unjust conflict, initiated
by the Israelis, to the fireballs that engulfed the WTC on 9/11?
- At the signing, I asked Cristol, if Dayan had ordered
the attack on the Liberty, and if he didn't, then who did? He answered,
"General Dayan didn't make that decision. It was made at a tactical
- In his book, Cristol claimed that Dayan was out having
lunch out in the countryside, around the time the attack occurred. He even
offered a photo of the luncheon to support his dubious argument. What irrelevant
hogwash! Let's reduce Cristol's alibi for Dayan to its absurd basics. After
WWII, Japan's War Minister, Hideki Tojo, was brought before the International
Military Tribunal. He had ordered the sneak attack on U.S. forces at Pearl
Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941. The idea that Tojo's defense counsel could have
acquitted him by offering a photo that showed him lunching on sushi at
the precise time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor is preposterous. Tojo was
hanged as a war criminal on Dec. 23, 1948.
- The haughty Cristol persisted with his bogus argument,
at the signing, that there has been "seven investigations" that
have exonerated Israel. (In his book, he claimed thirteen! Go figure.)
He even claimed that the House Appropriation Committee has a "classified
report" on the Liberty "locked up in its safe." However,
Terrance O'Keefe's excellent investigatory article in the "WRMEA,"
(12/03), directly contradicted Cristol's unsupported opinion and labeled
it, "pure fantasy." O'Keefe underscored how Cristol had also
alleged that five of 13 supposed investigations had been conducted by the
Congress. In fact, the Congressional Research Service, according to O'Keefe,
revealed that "Congress has never investigated the attack."
- When I queried Cristol whether it was a war crime or
not, under any circumstances, for the Israelis to have machine-gunned the
Liberty's life rafts, he replied, "It's one of the myths that has
grown up," about the Liberty. He said that story "isn't accurate."
- Mark Kram, a Liberty survivor, revealed that the Liberty
was under constant surveillance and that the Israeli planes were, at times,
so close to the ship that he could see the "pilot in the cockpit."
Cristol responded, as if on cue, by saying "Mistakes were made by
the Israelis, terrible blunders," and that there were "a series
of blunders." He said one of the "major blunders" was how
the Liberty marker was "taken off" the board, at Naval Intelligence,
at Haifa. "It was a terrible mistake," Cristol said, as the Liberty
survivors, and their supporters, in the audience shook their heads in total
- Thankfully, Cristol's book is having the opposite effect
from the one its author intended. Instead of laying the Liberty controversy
to rest, it has revived it from the ashes of lies, half-truths and deceptions,
where it has been buried for nearly forty years (See, the compelling "Declaration
of Ward Boston, Jr.," Capt. JAGC, USN, Ret. at: http://www.ussliberty.org/).
Check the Internet out and you will see that the question of what really
happened to the Liberty has become an issue for a new generation of justice
- At the end of the day, it will be the overreaching Cristol
who will get the credit for giving others a golden opportunity to prove
that the Israelis DID deliberately attack the Liberty. When that happens,
our national honor will demand that the parties responsible for the war
crimes committed on June 8, 1967, be brought to the bar of American justice.
I leave the last word on all of the above to the immortal British bard,
William Shakespeare. In the "Rape of Lucrece," he wrote:
- "Time's glory is to calm contending kings,
- To unmask falsehood and bring truth to light,
- To stamp the seal of time in aged things,
- To wake the morn and sentinel the night,
- To wrong the wronger till he render right."
- © William Hughes 2004
- William Hughes is the author of "Saying 'No' to
the War Party" (Iuniverse, Inc.), which is available at Amazon.com.
He can be reached at: email@example.com.