Thursday, October 30, 2008

John McCain Sr. -- USS Liberty treason and cover-up

The USS Liberty incident remains the only peacetime attack on a U.S. Navy vessel not investigated by Congress. (9/11 was also NOT INVESTIGATED!)

The cover-up would have been impossible but for the complicity of Admiral John S. McCain Jr., father of the Arizona Senator, who was then stationed in London as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe.

Read the explicit details from Chapter 4 of the book BELOW ... (CHAPTER 1 is HERE)

Guilt by Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War by Jeff Gates

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General Moshe Dayan may have ordered that the USS Liberty be sunk in order to preclude the possibility that the Israeli invasion would be halted before Israeli troops could occupy the Golan Heights the following day.

Chapter 4

McCain Family Secret: The Cover-up

America is proud to be Israel’s closest ally and best friend in the world.
-- President G.W. Bush, May 15, 2008, Jerusalem

John McCain’s father covered up the Israeli killing of 34 Americans aboard a U.S. Navy ship during the Six-Day War of 1967. As senior naval officer for Europe and the Mediterranean, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. helped President Lyndon Johnson deceive Americans about that little known incident involving the USS Liberty. This chapter reveals that family secret.

On June 8, 1967, Israeli jets attacked the USS Liberty, a 455-foot vessel, firing 30 mm aircraft cannons and rockets and dropping napalm. Three Israeli torpedo boats then attacked the ship with 20 mm cannons, 50-caliber machine guns and torpedoes. One torpedo blew a 39-foot hole in a former cargo hold of this refurbished WWII Liberty ship that had its cargo space converted to research facilities for an intelligence team. The blast killed 25 and left the ship listing nine degrees to starboard.

Liberty crewmembers testified that Israeli torpedo boats fired onfirefighters and stretcher-bearers. Israeli machine gunners also strafed the ship’s fire hoses and destroyed its life rafts at close range as survivors sought to douse fires and evacuate those most grievously wounded. The attackers killed 34 and wounded 174 of a crew of 294 for a 70% casualty rate.

Insight into the motivation for this presidential cover-up began with identifying how Lyndon Johnson allowed himself to be manip- ulated. The first clue emerged after a discussion with former Congressman Paul Findley, an 11-term Republican from Illinois (1961-1983). During his 11th term, Findley suggested that, if there was to be peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Tel Aviv should talk to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Upset by that proposal, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) targeted Findley for defeat in 1982. Richard Durbin, Findley’s AIPAC-recruited successor, has since been elected to the Senate where he is second ranking in the leadership. AIPAC has since evolved into a 100,000-member, $60 million per year polit- ical powerhouse now embroiled in a spy scandal involving Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin who provided two senior (and now former) AIPAC officials with classified U.S. military intelligence on Iran.

AIPAC evolved from the American Zionist Council when, in 1959, Isaiah "Si" Kenen adopted that nondescript name for an international network of political operations organ- ized to shape U.S. policies critical to Israel, including influencing key U.S. elections. Kenen served as executive director from 1951 to 1954, guided and funded by the Israeli government.

From 1947 to 1948, Kenen had served as the Jewish Agency’s information director at the U.N. The Council was restructured as the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs when Council leaders became uncomfortable using tax-exempt overseas funds to sway elections in the U.S. The Committee registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for Israel. To date, AIPAC has resisted registration as a foreign agent.

In response to a question, Findley identified Arthur Krim as the Jewish adviser and fundraiser closest to Lyndon Johnson. Research quickly uncovered published materials on Krim written by the late Grace Halsell, a speechwriter for LBJ and later an author of books chronicling the political influence of Christian Zionists such as Jerry Falwell. Johnson personally hired Halsell, a native Texan, who, impor- tantly for this analysis, was inside the White House Situation Room during the Six-Day War. With that war, Israeli security became a priority of U.S. foreign policy and a focal point of Pentagon coordination as Tel Aviv became a favored recipient of U.S. military technology.

After that 1967 conflict, the U.S. also emerged as a major Israeli arms supplier. Pro-Israeli advisers surrounded Johnson in the decision-making that led to the 1967 war. "Everyone around me, without exception was pro-Israel," Halsell recalled. She identified more than a dozen close advisers to Johnson, including Walt Rostow, his national secu- rity adviser, and brother Eugene Rostow serving as under secretary of state for political affairs, and former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, then serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

White House counsels Leo White and Jake Jacobsen were like- wise pro-Israel as were two key speechwriters: Richard Goodwin, husband of biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Ben Wattenberg whose parents moved to the U.S. from Palestine. Likewise domestic affairs adviser Larry Levinson and John Roche, an avid Zionist and Johnson’s intellectual-in-residence.

It was the role of Arthur Krim, however, that confirmed the lengthy pre-staging of the 1967 war and explained the orchestration that led to LBJ’s cover-up of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. A New York attorney and president of United Artists,

Krim also served as finance committee chairman for the Democratic Party when Johnson was its leader and Jewish contributors accounted for more than half the funds raised.

A series of Jewish males chaired the finance committee for the Democratic Party at critical junctures. Those men include August Belmont, a Rothschild financial agent after whom the New York horseracing track is named. Belmont’s financial backing matured into his chairmanship of the National Democratic Committee, 1860-1872.

Henry Morgenthau, a naturalized German Jew, chaired the finance committee of the Democratic National Committee during Woodrow Wilson’s successful presidential campaigns of 1912 and 1916.

In 1913, the same year Wilson appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. acquired a farm near Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Hyde Park estate.

In 1914, Morgenthau Senior arranged for Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb & Company to raise $50,000 to rescue Jewish settlements in Palestine. Absent this Morgenthau/Schiff alliance: "Palestinian Jewry almost certainly would have perished."12

Morgenthau Senior led one of several elite Jewish delegations to the 1919 Paris Peace Conference where Wilson’s 14 Points were scuttled, including Arab self-determination. In its place, a "mandate" system forced long-warring tribes of Sunnis, Shias and Kurds into a single state (Iraq). As part of the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I, an onerous reparations burden was imposed on Germany.

That debt-imposed humiliation provoked an extreme form of German nationalism and a recession-fueled fascism that led to World War II and Germany’s embrace of the National Socialist Party. Under Adolph Hitler, the Nazi government portrayed all Jews as complicit in the un-payable debts imposed at Versailles. As President Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury during WWII, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. advised that FDR limit Jewish immigration to the U.S.

Deep Insiders

Mathilde Krim, a striking blonde Italian 20 years younger than her husband, was previously married to Davin Danon. Raised in Pales- tine, her handsome Jewish-Bulgarian husband was exiled by the British for his activities with Irgun Zvai Leumi, the Zionist-terrorist network led by Menachem Begin who emerged as Likud Party Prime Minister in 1977. Mathilde also worked as an Irgun operative, largely in Europe.

The Krims became regular guests at the LBJ Ranch. As Halsell explained: "There were also many instances in which Arthur and Mathilde were guests at the White House, and other times when, for many days running, Mathilde (without her husband (was a guest there. The Krims built a vacation home near the LBJ Ranch known as Mathilde’s house, and Johnson often traveled there by helicopter."15

As with Morgenthau’s proximity to Roosevelt, the Krims’ prox- imity to Johnson ensured that their friendship flourished when the Senate majority leader became John F. Kennedy’s surprise pick as Vice President and then succeeded him to the Presidency following Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963.

Over the 1967 Memorial Day weekend, the Krims were house- guests at the LBJ Ranch when the commander-in-chief learned of Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin’s warning that "if Israel starts military action, the Soviet Union will extend help to the attacked party." While waiting for the State Department to draft a response to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Johnson and the Krims drove to a neighbor’s home where an aide brought the message for the president’s review. Halsell described the changes that LBJ made to the message (in italics below)) while in the Krims’ company (to explain America’s perspective on the pending conflict:

After reassuring Eshkol of America’s interest in Israel’s secu- rity, the draft message continued: "It is essential that Israel not take any preemptive military action and thereby make itself responsible for the initiation of hostilities." LBJ restated the warning by adding two key words so that the sentence conveyed a message far more amenable to Tel Aviv, "It is essential that Israel JUST MUST NOT take any preemptive military action..."17

According to Kennedy Under Secretary of State George Ball, Johnson made it clear both to the Israelis and his Jewish-American supporters that the U.S. would not object if the Israelis took matters into their own hands.

Defense Secretary Robert McNamara offers a different account, recalling that Johnson and he "put immense pressure on [Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban] to persuade his government not to pre-empt." Johnson’s Kosygin-prompted note to Levi Eskhol, written in the presence of Arthur and Mathilde Krim, suggests that both men are correct: Tel Aviv could preempt provided the Amer- ican public could be induced to believe that Israel was the victim and not the aggressor, a strategy fully consistent with game theory.

Johnson then traveled to New York for a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser on June 3 sponsored by Arthur Krimwho chaired the President’s Club of New York. Mathilde was seated next to Johnson when Abe Feinberg, the American Zionist community’s legendary political fundraiser, leaned over Mathilde’s shoulder and whispered: "Mr. Pres- ident, it [Tel Aviv’s attack] can’t be held any longer. It’s going within the next 24 hours."19

The next day, Johnson visited the home of political adviser Abe Fortas for a dinner with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and New York investment banker John Loeb.

Fortas had cemented his confidante relationship with Johnson in 1948 when, in LBJ’s first Senate race,

the Washington lawyer finessed the extensive vote fraud apparent in the Democratic primary, in which Johnson claimed an 87-vote victory, including 200 votes tallied in alphabetical order.

Fortas’ legal strategy ensured that Johnson’s name appeared on the November 1948 ballot as the Democratic Party candidate. In what was then a strongly Democratic state, that Fortas-enabled result assured the ambitious Texan a seat in the U.S. Senate. 23 In October 1965, as president, "Landslide Lyndon" appointed Fortas to replace Arthur Goldberg on the Supreme Court after persuading Goldberg to serve as U.N. Ambassador. Fortas became embroiled in scandal when it was discovered that stock swindler Louis Wolfson offered to pay Fortas and his wife $20,000 per year to make up for his lost income as a lawyer.

Justice Fortas accepted the first installment in January 1966. The payment was revealed in 1968 as part of a successful Senate filibuster by Republicans and "Dixiecrats" (conservative southern Democrats) when Fortas was denied his Johnson appointment as Chief Justice to succeed Cali- fornian Earl Warren.

Pre-staging the Six-Day War In a scenario reminiscent of Eddie Jacobson tearfully lobbying his friend Harry Truman to recognize the Jewish state in 1948 (chronicled later in the Criminal State series), Lyndon Johnson was lobbied in 1967 by Arthur Goldberg to protect the Jewish state in the lead-up to the Six-Day War.

When Goldberg deployed heart-rending rhetoric to portray Israeli vulnerability and the pending victimization of Jews at the hostile hands of an Arab "ring of steel," Johnson waved a Central Intelligence Agency report predicting Israel could win any war in the region in two weeks. When Goldberg persisted, Johnson ordered the CIA to revisit their analysis. The agency returned with a revised report concluding that Israel could win any war in the region in one week.

On June 4, as the Fortas dinner party was winding down, Fortas cautioned Johnson that war might soon erupt in the Middle East. When LBJ turned to Defense Secretary McNamara for his opinion, the Pentagon chief said there would be no war. Johnson confirmed that U.S. intelligence agencies agreed with McNamara’s assessment.

Johnson left for the White House at 10:58 p.m. At 4:30 a.m. on June 5, Walt Rostow called LBJ to inform him that Israel had attacked Egypt. Mathilde Krim, the former Irgun operative, was Johnson’s guest at the White House that night. Before informing anyone else, LBJ stopped by the blonde beauty’s bedroom to tell her, "The war has started." Not until more than three hours later, at 7:45 a.m., did Johnson speak with Soviet Premier Kosygin who expressed his hope and expectation that the U.S., as Israel’s closest ally, would restrain Tel Aviv.

In the war’s first few hours, the "victimized" Israelis destroyed the Egyptian Air Force while its aircraft were still on the ground. By evening, the Jordanian Air Force was also largely destroyed. Walt Rostow sent Johnson a memo describing Tel Aviv’s military success as "the first day’s turkey shoot." LBJ also received a memo that day from Arthur Krimthat read, "Many arms shipments are packed and ready to go to Israel, but are being held up. It would be helpful if these could be released." Johnson ordered the arms shipped. By the evening of the second day, two-thirds of Syria’s air force had been destroyed.

According to Halsell, the glee in the State Department Opera- tions Room was palpable, leading Eugene Rostow to caution, "Gentlemen, gentlemen, do not forget that we are neutral in word, thought and deed."At the State Department’s mid-day press briefing, spokesman Robert McCloskey repeated Rostow’s official "neutrality" lie.

White House counsel Harry McPherson arrived in Tel Aviv enroute to the U.S. from Vietnam the night before the war broke out. In A Political Education, he describes arriving at the foreign ministry for a brief meeting with Abba Eban the first day of the war before conferring with Israel’s chief of military intelligence. In response to the repeated question, "Did the Egyptians attack?" McPherson and U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour received only evasive answers.

As air raid sirens wailed, McPherson recalls: Barbour suggested that we might continue the discussion in the underground bunker. The general studied his watch. "No, that won’t be necessary. We can stay here." Barbour and I looked at each other. If it wasn’t necessary, the Egyptian air force had been destroyed. That could only have happened so quickly if it had been surprised on the ground. We did not need to ask for confirmation, but left at once to cable the news to Washington.

Israel was neither under attack nor under threat of attack as Israeli commanders later conceded. The air raid sirens were props in the stagecraft of waging war by way of deception. The circumstances were stage-managed to make both Israelis and foreign observers believe the Jewish state was endangered while Tel Aviv annexed land belonging to its neighbors that it still occupies four decades later.

The Non-Separation of Powers

In the lead-up to the Six-Day War, Fortas emerged as a back channel between the Israeli embassy and the White House. He had known Israeli Ambassador Avraham Harman since the ambassador’s arrival in Washington in 1959. During Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s visit to the U.S. in March 1960, Fortas sponsored a breakfast at his home attended by Harman and Johnson who was then Senate Majority Leader.

Fortas’ biographer conceded: "For several weeks before the crisis erupted into war, the Israeli ambassador was ‘in very frequent contact’ with Fortas and regularly visited the justice at his chambers or his house."

Fortas also attended a critical White House strategy meeting on the Middle East on May 26, 10 days before the war began. When it came to Israel, Fortas was far from a neutral adviser. "When they get back from Egypt," a law clerk in his office overheard Justice Fortas say, "I’m going to decorate my office with Arab foreskins."31 Throughout the six days of war, Near East experts met daily with Johnson in the Cabinet Room. Justice Fortas attended each meeting.

Reflecting on comments by Fortas to Johnson at their June 4 dinner party, John Loeb wrote to Fortas on June 6: "You were prophetic about the Middle East. Thank the Lord the President has you as a friend and counselor." In the summer of 1970, The New York Times reported that Fortas had registered as a lobbyist for Kuhn, Loeb & Company.

Abraham Kuhn and his brother-in-law, Solomon Loeb, made their first fortune in Cincinnati during the Civil War selling trousers to Union troops. They opened their first New York store as an outlet for men’s trousers. According to biog- rapher Ron Chernow: "The color-blind Solomon seemed strangely placed in the textile trade. In 1867, flush with their wartime profits, Kuhn and Loeb inaugurated a New York banking house."34

In 1873, Jacob Schiff joined Kuhn, Loeb & Company in Manhattan and, two years later, married Therese Loeb, Solomon Loeb’s daughter.

According to Chernow, "Schiff came from a family that had befriended the Rothschilds and that counted six centuries of scholars, rabbis and busi- nessmen." Paul Warburg married Nina Loeb, daughter of Solomon Loeb of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., then chief financial agent of the Rothschilds in the U.S. Felix Warburg, who moved to the U.S. in 1895, married Frieda Schiff, daughter of Jacob Schiff, then best known for managing bond issues to finance railroads, including a reorganization of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1897.

Orchestrating Realities on the Ground On June 6, the day after Israel launched its attack, Walt Rostow urged that the Israelis not be forced to withdraw from territories they were then seizing unless they first had peace treaties in place with the Arab states. In a memo since made public, Johnson’s national security adviser proposed a strategy similar to today’s proposed strategy for East Jerusalem and the West Bank featuring then, as now, Israeli claims about "realities on the ground."

If the Israelis go fast enough and the Soviets get worried enough, a simple cease-fire might be the best answer. This would mean that we could use the de facto situation on the ground to try to negotiate not a return to armistice lines but a definitive peace in the Middle East.

In other words, peace was possible provided everyone agreed that Tel Aviv could retain land seized with a preemptive attack that was still ongoing. In a memo, Ben Wattenberg and Larry Levinson cautioned Johnson that the U.N. may attempt "to sell Israel down the river." By then, pro-Israeli supporters had gathered in Lafayette Square across from the White House demanding a statement of presidential support for Israel and insisting on a repudiation of the official White House stance of avowed neutrality.

Though Johnson retired for the night at 11:30 p.m., White House records show he received a call at 11:59 p.m. from Mathilde Krim who had traveled to New York earlier in the day though only after leaving LBJ a personal note supportive of Israel and urging that he deliver her message "verbatim to the American people."

Johnson declined to relay her message in a presidential address. He did, however, recommend her comments to Secretary of State Rusk. On the night of June 7, the naval intelligence ship USS Liberty approached within sight of the Gaza Strip. Cruising in international waters more than 12 miles off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula, the vessel monitored communications in that sensitive area, particularly activity by aircrews assigned to Soviet bombers in Egypt.

As Egypt was a Soviet client state, any Egyptian attack on America’s ally Israel could drag the U.S. into a nuclear war. The U.S. had a need to know. Under the command of General Moshe Dayan, Israel was preparing for an attack the next day that would complete this stage in Israel’s territorial expansion for Greater Israel by capturing Syria’s Golan Heights.

Those seeking a reason for Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty suggest it was to prevent Washington from learning that the Israeli offensive was continuing despite calls for a ceasefire by the Syrians, the Soviets and the U.S.

When news of the Israeli attack on Americans reached the U.S., the Israel lobby shifted into high gear along with its Congressional contingent and its media counterpart. Wattenberg assured Johnson that if he supported Tel Aviv’s account of the USS Liberty incident as a case of "mistaken identity" and ignored the 208 American casual- ties, including 34 killed, influential Jews in the U.S. media would tone down their criticism of his policies in Vietnam.

In return for his defense of Israel and a presidential cover-up, the shift in main- stream media opinion provided a temporary political respite for the war-weary president who, less than a year later, declined to run for reelection.

By then Clark Clifford had replaced Robert McNamara, who had grown sour on the war, as Secretary of Defense. On March 22, 1968, Johnson convened a meeting of his senior informal advisory group on Vietnam. To his surprise, only Abe Fortas and General Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, continued to support a hard-line approach. The rest were either lukewarm or opposed to the war.

In his memoirs, Clifford recalls how, nine days later, after LBJ announced he would not stand for reelection, the president "wandered around the White House talking to people and viewing, with evident pleasure, the bewildered analysis of the commentators on television" who failed to anticipate his decision.

Then Clifford and Johnson returned to the West Hall of the White House where they joined a few others with whom the commander-in-chief enjoyed a special relationship, including the Rostows and Arthur and Mathilde Krim.

CONTINUED in next post 31.Oct 2008

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