"Earlier this year, I acquired a copy of the audiotape of the attack as it had unfolded, the real time conversations between Israeli Air Force pilots and their controllers back at base. It had never been broadcast before." Richard Belfield speaking of his Al-Jazeera production.
I quote below from my Athenaeum post written in 2010 and entitled "What I know About the USS Liberty.
It appears that Belfield, an Englishman, (chapeau) has obtained through FOIA the tapes of the in flight conversations among the Israelis concerning the strikes on USS Liberty. I wrote in my post quoted below of having read transcripts in the Spring 0f 1968 that were of exactly the same material. It seems likely that this is the same material now released by NSA. My wife has a contemporary memory of me mentioning the existence of this material.
I was a student in the Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course at Ft. Holabird, Maryland (Baltimore) in 1967-1968. The course lasted about ten months. We students were required to take several electives from a group offered and I took a course in Cryptology. This was taught by people from the NSA School at nearby Ft. Meade. This course was taught in the winter or early spring of 1967-1968. There were several sub-courses, one of which had to do with voice intercepts. In the course of this, the instructor introduced a booklet produced at Ft. Meade as material for the course. It contained various course materials. Among them were transcripts of the translated intercepts of radio conversations between the Israeli strike commander and his base before and during the attacks on USS Liberty. The instructor, a retired cryptologic warrant officer or NCO identified the transcript as being of the Liberty incident. It was also so marked in the booklet.
In the transcript, the flight leader spoke to his base to report that he had the ship in view, that it was the same ship that he had been briefed on and that it was clearly marked with the US flag. I think he said that the ship was displaying the US flag on an upper deck, but my memory of that might be inexact. He asked for confirmation of his orders to attack the ship and seemed reluctant (understandably) to attack the ship. He asked more than once and was told to carry out his orders and attack the ship.
There was some further discussion of damage to the ship.
That is all I remember." pl