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11 July 2011


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Ken Halliwell

I received an email from Itai expressing a desire to not engage in public discussion of this matter.

I will gladly discuss my views and research findings with anybody seriously interested in this matter -- here or elsewhere.

Charles I

Itai, were the life boats shot up or not.

If so, by who. When?

Naval types: can I shoot at the hull and strafe various life boats, that is, are life boats typically between a ttacking guns and the hull?

Patrick Lang

Ken, Itai et al

I urge you all to discuss this matter with Ken in this string. Itai does not want to debate Ken? I wonder if that is because he has been instructed not to do so. pl


hey... get off his case... he's just following orders.


Ken, Colonel,

It appears that Itai is acting in an IDF (or other) capacity while attending one of our American universities of higher learning. In other words it is most probable that Itai is 'on duty' when he posts, and he is most probably intelligence collecting in some capacity while obtaining his PHD. I concur with the premise that Itai had 'instruction's from his government before he started his posts on this blog, of what to do and what not to do. I concur with the premise that Itai was probably instructed not to debate Ken, as Ken has already punched holes in previous Israeli governmental propaganda attempts regarding their IDF attack on the USS Liberty and their subsequent murders of the ship's crewmen.

I don't think Major Itai is here solely on academic purposes. But that's my opinion.

The beaver

"This is about the democratization of information, and about the fact that you cannot stuff information down people's throats but you can make it more palatable."

Some have the notion that there’s a way to trick and/or influence the western world into supporting the travails of Bibi and Yvet.

Itai must be one of the 120 little soldiers :-) and he can't go one on one with Ken because he needs ammo ( prepared propaganda) from Herzliya and in real time rebuttals, it ain't feasible.


Itai wouldn't be the Israeli software developer who's the first hit on google for that name? Given all the News of the World hacking just what are the IDF software developers up to, certainly not only software bugs aimed at Iran?

Nancy K

He probably is here for his education. I doubt if Israel wants the Liberty issue brought up ever. Possibly he brought it up and was then told to stop. Having known Isralis, they can be very vocal and have strong opinions.

Ken Halliwell

Charles I, Liberty was equipped with inflatable life rafts contained on sliding (downward angled) platforms at the hull's edge, on both sides, in the rear, middle (superstructure) and front of the ship. Additionally, Liberty carried three boats: a whaleboat (26'), a utility boat (33'), and the captain's gig (33').

Post attack photos show clear signs of life rafts damaged in their slide platforms. These were located in the middle of the ship, on the starboard (right) and port (left) sides of the superstructure's second deck, near 0.50 caliber machine guns tubs. The superstructure was heavily damaged by shelling and fire; thus, it's no surprise that these rafts were damaged. Also, the whaleboat mounted on the starboard-side superstructure was completely destroyed.

All life rafts on the starboard side were in locations that suffered attack damage - the rear being less damaged than the middle and front of the ship. Whether or not these rafts were coincidentally damaged due to overall attack damage, on the starboard side, or shelling was directed at these life rafts is not clear. The middle and forward life rafts on the port side were located in areas that suffered significant attack damage. Thus, they may have been coincidentally damaged during the attack. The rear port-side does not appear significantly damaged.

Looking at post attack photos, it's difficult to determine whether or not the utility boat (port-side) or the captain's gig (starboard-side), aft the superstructure, were significantly damaged.

Anyway, all of this does not exclude the possibility that gunners on the torpedo boats deliberately targeted life rafts on the ship. The difference between shooting at the ship's hull v/s shooting at the life rafts would have been only a few degrees of gun elevation, depending on distance from the ship.


Charles, I hesitantly agree that the life raft story is important, the problem I have, couldn't that be considered war business as usual against the Arab enemy? In other words, doesn't move us further concerning the central question. Where the Israelis aware they attacked a US boat? I am obviously aware of the tapes Pat talks about.

Has anyone ever done or thought about a simulation of what can be perceived from a fighter of the USS liberty under the given weather conditions based on all the data? Or is the precise data classified? This should be technically possible.

What's on my mind here is the Israeli response that the USS Liberty was moving at a rather low speed and thus the flag wasn't visible. I'd like to see that in a simulation through the eyes of the pilot of a fighter jet.

Could the classfied files be disappeared or are there rules to prevent that?

After reading all the theories of Jack the Ripper, and finding all of them somehow disappointing, I waited for the date when the files would be declassified, but by then they had gone.


It is really disheartening to read about helplessness of US servicemen in face of Israeli influence.
The iron-clad security of Eric Cantor and Jane Harmon are the testimony to Israeli-firsters immunity even when their actions are borderline treasonous.

Ken Halliwell

LeaNder highlights an important issue: Who knew what about the ship when? Various plausible scenarios can be postulated that greatly limit any individual attacker's knowledge about the ship's identity. It wouldn't be the first time that a group of people all fell off a cliff because each thought the other knew where they were going -- in spite of obvious cautionary landmarks.

An attack simulation would be interesting. I built a 3D computer model of USS Liberty that can be used in a simulation, but I lost motivation to do much with it. The little I have done can be seen here:

Also, here's an aerial view of a real Victory Ship (USS Liberty was a converted Victory Ship) and a real destroyer side-by-side:
A pilot who can't tell the difference between the two, especially on a perfectly clear day with the sun on his back, should not be flying military aircraft.

Itai L

I find it amazing that out of 10 comments (at the time i write this) 60% deals with me, and 40% deals with what supposed to be the subject of this thread.

Charles I

Thanks Ken & LeaNder, I have forgotten 99% I learned about this, so much to read, so little time, but here's a true, funny anecdote John LeCarre, real name escapes me, told on a repeat airing of Eleanor Wachtel's fabulous CBC Radio literary interview show "Writers & Company" yesterday. 2 hours from his home, won a New York prize or something last year.

So like maybe a year after WW II, the former wartime intelligence chief has died, M, Q, Intrepid, Admiral Halsey, I dunno who. It is decided the time has come to open his last Most Secret private safe. The appropriate spooks, clerks, Ministers and voyeurs assemble. Keys and combination are produced. There is bemused and fervid speculation about the great secrets, gossip and exploits about to be ultimately revealed.

The safe is opened, and rooted about in in some confusion, as its empty but for a pair of trousers.

There's a bit of a cardboard tag on them.
The treasure in hand are the trouser's of Rudolph Hess, collected by P.C. so & so, Moor X, May 10, 1941.

That's all there there was.

End of Empire indeed.

In BOHICA, the dear departed's safe will contain nothing but Bin Laden's nose. But that safe will be in a foreign country. The Nose will have been lost in a poker game or traded for The Trousers by a nostalgic Straussian DI, and in the American safe that's all they'll find. . . except for a little rusty Remember The Liberty button in the pocket. . .

I'll have to look again, but wasn't there something about a U.S flag or other insignia eventually spread out on the foredeck during the attack?


Thanks, Ken, the flag is relatively tiny in comparison, and I am assuming you used its size in relation to the ships size. On the other hand, the colors are clearly discernible since they contrast with the gray body.

Itai, cites this, from Wikipedia / an interesting selection:

The navel court stated "U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry finding number 2 states: "The calm conditions and slow speed of the ship may well have made the American flag difficult to identify."


On your model the flag appears to be suspended from a horizontal pole--I do not know what exactly it is, neither do I know the technical term--is that correct? If so, why would the ships slow movement matter?

I can understand you are fascinated with the story. Obviously the Israeli statements are very, very contradictory; as US "inquiry". But your site overwhelms me, I tried a couple of times to look closer, but it only reminds me of all the technical basics I am missing to follow it.


Itai, I am not fond of your gloating, and that's what it feels like.

The people representing the 60% could simply have better trained bullshit detectors; in other words sense that your interest is not genuine. So why should they allow you to play games with them?

To offer passages from Yiftah Spector's Jerusalem Post interview as your own perspective isn't a very creative contribution. Nothing to be be proud of at 41 don't you think. Teenagers with an interest on the topic would do better on that.

You obviously did not study this closely, so your interest may well be feigned.

You also don't seem to be the first suddenly surfacing here to present the Israeli narrative on the USS Liberty.

How did you get here, and what's your agenda?


Itai, as asked on the previos thread what of the pilots defence he was only following orders since he had confirmed the USS Liberty was not Israeli or by all his training Egyptian; he and his wingman had made multiple passes with no hostile response, yet orders over the radio supercede all professional judgement? Remember Nuremberg, how about Jerusalem 1961?


I would like to see a debate btween Ken and Itai with everybody else staying out of it. It would be interesting.

Ken Halliwell

Itai, Let's continue our recent private email discussion about the attack here, on SST.

I suggest that you ignore any disparaging comments by others, and stick to discussing factual matters. Otherwise, we will get nowhere fast.

Ken Halliwell

To get discussion rolling again, and somewhat address LeaNder's musing about the flag's visibility, here's the content of a recent messages I sent to Itai.

The flag is not important. There is no international requirement for ships to fly flags, and a ship can fly a false flag. It is an extremely weak method for identifying a ship.

Normally, ship's are identified by their overall appearance and actions, not their flags. If a ship appears like a cargo ship, it's likely a cargo ship. If a ship appears like a destroyer, it's likely a destroyer. If a ship does not shoot at you or perform evasive maneuvers, it's probably neutral or friendly. If a ship appears neutral or friendly, and you want to know its identity, you attempt to communicate with the ship. If the ship does not respond to your communication attempt, and does not shoot at you or try to escape, you note its location and track it.

If you attack a ship from the air, don’t be surprised if it shoots at you when rapidly approaching it with torpedo boats.

This is all common sense, not rocket science…


yet 100% of your comments deal with you.

Patrick Lang

Ken H. et al

I have reached the conclusion that Itai L is a fraud and that all that business about his graduate studies and his status as an IDF major is just baloney.

His low general level of knowledge, poor language skills, constant resort to outrageous insult and constant desire to "talk back" all are marks of the adolescent mind.

I think he is some Israeli kid who is resident here in the states for some reason connected to his parents employment or immigration status.

I will give him a couple of days to enter into serious debate with Ken. If that is not happening then I will ban him and delete his "contributions.

"On the internet, nobody knows that you are a dog." New Yorker cartoon. pl



Off topic. Did you have an opportunity to CT on a ship during your Naval tenure, or were your posts mainly on land? I was just curious if you had your sea-legs is all. :)
Have a good morning.

Ken Halliwell

J, As a CT, I spent exactly 2.5 days on a ship -- a destroyer escort.

A close friend spent two years as a CT on USS Georgetown. After the attack, Georgetown was sent to the Eastern Med to replace Liberty -- a little known fact.

The beaver


This may be informative to you and the others on SST:


You may be flooded with so many Michael Oren wannabees :-)


On the internet, nobody knows that you are a dog." New Yorker cartoon.

So appropriate. Internet false identities, too. Or outright identity theft.

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