PHILLIP F. NELSON joins S.T. Patrick to discuss the June 1967 attack on the USS Liberty. Phil Nelson is the author of Remember the Liberty! Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas. Nelson not only lays out the Israeli attack on the American USS Liberty itself. As the author of two previous LBJ books, Nelson weaves the story through the Johnson administration and its corresponding events (i.e. Gulf of Tonkin). In conjunction with the attack, Nelson and Patrick also discuss the roles of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, John McCain Sr., McGeorge Bundy, Israel, the Six Days War, LBJ’s 303 Committee, Operation Cyanide, Operation Mockingbird, and Senator John McCain Jr.
Nelson can be followed and contacted at LBJMastermind.com.
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Jonathan G. Tidd says
Phillip Nelson is correct, I believe, as to LBJ’s character and as to what happened to the Liberty.
Why the government of Israel agreed to attack the Liberty is not clear to me. I have read that the Liberty may have intercepted electronic messages indicating misbehavior by certain military units.
I do not believe it is reasonable for anyone to assert confidently what JFK would have done in Viet Nam if he had not been assassinated. I say this as a close student of the war in Viet Nam, as a former officer with the 525 Military Intelligence Group in III Corps, and as one trained at the Defense Language Institute in a language spoken in parts of Viet Nam.
JFK, after all, was enthralled with the Green Berets (army special forces), which were working creatively with villages throughout South Viet Nam to oppose the Viet Cong. Some observers at the time believed the “unconventional warfare” practiced by the Green Berets was the key to defeating communists in third world nations. (These observers did NOT include the upper leadership of the army, who despised and disparaged the Green Berets.)
Militarily for the U.S. Army, the war in Viet Nam was, in part, a laboratory in which to experiment with lots of new tactics and equipment. JFK, a James Bond devotee, found at least some of the experiments intriguing.