A Tragic June 1967 Day Veterans Will Never Forget


Facebook, Helen Thomas, LBJ and 8 June 1967, a Day that Lives in Infamy for U.S. Military Veterans


by Eileen Fleming


Although it was after midnight when my evening with Helen Thomas ended much too soon: Read more… my questions have only just begun!

Last Sunday afternoon, round about the time I was leaving a few more questions for Ms. Thomas on Michelle’s [her friend and assistant] phone, busboysandpoets‎ tweeted, “Helen Thomas event today got cancelled due to illness. Sry for any inconveniences. Stay tuned for new date!”

I spoke with Michelle last night and Helen is OK, but battling a cold after a weekend of houseguests. Some of my questions follow and I begin with an FYI regarding Facebook:

As my only purpose at Facebook is disseminating my work and learning what others are doing in pursuit of justice by telling the truth, I have an open Wall-meaning anybody in the world can read me and leave comments that reveal their hearts.

When I changed my profile picture from this:

To this:

I ‘received’ hundreds of comments from a few particular people who accused me of being a “Jew-hater” “whore” “ugly bitch” and “liar” but not one has taken my offer to PROVE their slander by citing anything I have ever written in three books, hundreds of articles or said in dozens of YouTube’s to back up their inane accusations that flow from a narrow world view that can only thrive in a heart of stone. 

If I were to care about what people who do NOT know me ‘think’ of me-because they do NOT READ me- I would/could not be a writer. Or would I be a candidate for Congress, but I am both. 

The truth will make one fearless and only an engaged citizenry and thriving dissent can assure the essence of democracy: freedom of conscience and speech and that requires a press that seeks and reports the true facts on the ground. 

Helen Thomas has said, “I do believe that our democracy can endure and prevail only if the American people are informed.”

Let us begin with this day in infamy: 8 June 1967

If the 1967 press had known about LBJ’s and Mathilde’s ‘passionate attachment’ would it have been reported?

Mathilde Krim was twenty years LBJ’s junior, a blonde Italian and Irgun operative.

The Irgun were the Zionist terrorist network led by Menachem Begin who emerged as Likud Party Prime Minister in 1977.

With and without her husband, Mathilde was a frequent guest at the LBJ Ranch as well as the White House.

On the night before the 6-Day War that continues on as a 44-year military occupation, Mathilde was a sleepover guest in the Johnson White House.

“Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”-George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796. 

I wonder if Ms. Thomas knew H.R.Gross, a Republican representative from Iowa, whose words are buried in the 1967 Congressional Record:

“Is this Government now, directly or indirectly, subsidizing Israel in the payment of full compensation for the lives that were destroyed, the suffering of the wounded, and the damage from this wanton attack? It can well be asked whether these Americans were the victims of bombs, machine gun bullets and torpedoes manufactured in the United States and dished out as military assistance under foreign aid.” [1]

By November 1967, lawmakers were willing to spend six million USA tax dollars to build schools in Israel but during the debate, Representative Gross introduced an amendment that not one dollar of U.S. credit or aid of any kind [should] go to Israel until there is a firm settlement with regard to the attack and full reparations have been made [and Israel] provides full and complete reparations for the killing and wounding of more than 100 United States citizens in the wanton, unprovoked attack.

“I wonder how you would feel if you were the father of one of the boys who was killed in that connection-or perhaps you do not have any feelings with respect to these young men who were killed, wounded and maimed, or their families.” [2]

Gross was ‘shot down’ by silence.

Paul Findley is one of many congressional representatives who lost their seat for daring to speak out about the injustices Israel gets away with because of a complicit Congress.

On 8 June 2007 Findley was keynote luncheon spokesperson for the 27th annual American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Conference:

“I was here for the first convention 27 years ago and I still have a fire in my belly for the civil and human rights of Arabs. It is time to speak openly and honestly about Israel. But, in American politics, that is still forbidden.

“Pity that we cannot seem to shed our fear of Israel! We are afraid to speak out on Capitol Hill, for fear of losing the next election. They are more like trained poodles jumping through hoops than leaders!

“Why this fear? How did we get here?

“Forty years ago to this day, June 8, 1967 the change occurred, the floodgates opened and money poured into Israel as never before. When President Johnson heard about the U.S.S. Liberty being attacked by Israel he ordered the rescue fighter planes to return to the deck. The rescue mission was aborted and the survivors have said they heard LBJ’s voice tell Admiral Giess, ‘Get those planes back on deck. I don’t care if the ship sinks, I will not embarrass Israel.’

“LBJ also threatened to court martial anyone who reported what had happened. Johnson accepted Israel’s false claim of “mistaken identity” and he knew it was a lie.  That is when the change began and Israel learned they could get away with murdering U.S.A. soldiers.” 

The attack on the USS Liberty remains the only incident of damage to a major US ship since the sinking of the USS MAINE in Havana Harbour in 1898, prior to the Spanish-American War, that has not been investigated by the US Congress. 

During a phone interview on 3 November 2007, with Lt. Commander Dave Ed Lewis [the officer in charge of 195 men out of the total crew of 294 on the US LIBERTY] informed me:

“Rear Admiral Lawrence Geiss was in charge of the USS Saratoga and USS America. He swore me to secrecy until his death, which happened about nineteen years later. What he told me I kept secret until I learned of his death at the first reunion and twenty year anniversary of the veterans of the USS LIBERTY.

“He told me that as soon as he got the word of our distress he launched aircraft and notified D.C. Immediately he heard from McNamara to recall the aircraft. He said he assumed it was because some idiots in Washington thought that he was launching nuclear weaponry. He reconfigured and then re-launched aircraft without nuclear capabilities. Admiral Geiss notified Washington of this and once again the immediate response that came from McNamara was the order to recall the aircraft. Admiral Geiss challenged the order and pleaded that people are dieing!

“LBJ was heard to say, ‘I don’t give a damn! I won’t embarrass an ally.” 

Now deceased, Retired Adm. Thomas Moorer, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who investigated the attack, wrote in 1997 that he believed Israel intentionally attacked the Liberty to conceal that it was preparing to seize the Golan Heights from Syria.

On January 16, 2004, Adm. Moorer wrote for the Stars and Stripes:

“There is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew. In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against U.S. servicemen and an act of war against the United States.” 

The LIBERTY Vets have been asking for an open congressional hearing and 44 years after that day in infamy they are still waiting.

All the Founding Fathers required for a citizen to enter the U.S. House of Representatives is to be a citizen for 7 years, 25 years of age and live in the state in which your district resides.

It is time for citizens of conscience to run themselves for U.S. House Representative on a platform including calling for a Congressional Hearing of all the LIBERTY survivors who want to speak on that Record regarding what they saw that day in infamy when the LBJ Administration failed to support the troops.

Any government that chooses a ‘passionate attachment’ for another State and willingly sacrifices its own blood is not representing we the people of this republic.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among [people] deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the RIGHT of the people to ALTER or to ABOLISH it.” -July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence.

While navigating in international waters off of Gaza 44 years ago, out of a 294-man crew 34 officers, sailors and civilians were killed and 174 injured by Israeli forces during its attack on the spy ship, the USS Liberty. Those who died that day in infamy:

Lt.Cmdr Philip Armstrong
Lt James Pierce
Lt Stephen Toth
|CPO Raymond Linn
CPO Melvin Smith
PO William Allenbaugh
PO Francis Brown
PO Ronnie Campbell
PO Jerry Converse
PO Robert Eisenberg
PO Jerry Goss
PO Curtis Graves
PO Warren Hersey
PO Alan Higgins
PO Richard Keene
PO James Lupton
PO Duane Marggraf
PO Anthony Mendle
PO John Smith
PO John Spicher
PO Alexander Thompson
PO Homas Thornton
PO Phillipe Tiedtke
PO Frederick Walton
SGT Jack Raper
CPL Edward Rehmeyer
CIV Allen Blue
SN Gary Blanchard
SN Lawrence Hayden
SN Carl Hoar
SN James Lenau
SN David Marlborough
SN Carl Nygren
SN David Skolak

“Never give up this fight for the truth” were Adm. Moorer’s marching orders to Ernest Gallo, Petty Officer and Communication Technician aboard the USS Liberty and Chairman and Liberty Foundation President of the USS liberty Veterans Association. 

If we truly support the troops we must march along and persist to demand justice until justice is done: an open transparent congressional hearing that includes any LIBERTY survivor who want to tell what they saw that day in infamy, 44 years ago. 

1. James Scott, “The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship” Page 216, 271-273.


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Eileen Fleming founded WeAreWideAwake.org. She produced videos "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu".  She has authored many books including; A USS Liberty Remembrance of 50 years USA Government Cover-Up of Israel's 8 June 1967 Attack on USA Spy-Ship, Wabi Sabi Body ETERNAL SPIRIT, and Heroes, Muses and the Saga of Mordechai Vanunu. Click here to see her latest books. Visit Eileen's YouTube Channel