Official website of Author and Temple University Professor Joan Mellen. Her twenty-four books, most recently "Blood in the Water", include "A Farewell To Justice," "Our Man In Haiti" and "The Great Game in Cuba," explore the history of the Central Intelligence Agency and its role in the planning and cover-up of the Kennedy assassination.
In 2014 I was completing a book exposing dark truths about President Lyndon Johnson that had been suppressed by Johnson’s official biographers whose goal in recent years was to provide cover for an official whose actions not infrequently bordered on the criminal. One day I received an email from a fellow researcher who offered a challenging question: will you be including Johnson’s role in the attack on the USS Liberty? I had never heard of the USS Liberty. When I learned of the ambush of this unarmed USS Intelligence ship, and of Johnson’s role in planning it and then covering it up, I was at once committed to a course that resulted in a new book, “Blood in the Water,” whose subtitle is “How the US and Israel Conspired in the Ambush of the USS Liberty” devoted entirely to the events surrounding the LIBERTY. My goal was to discover who had planned the attack and what was their motive.
I had for more than a decade been writing books of investigative journalism, tackling historical issues about which the government had kept the public in the dark. The best known is called “A Farewell to Justice,” which tackled another unsolved case, the assassination of President Kennedy, and is set in New Orleans where Lee Harvey Oswald lived during the spring and summer of 1963. “A Farewell to Justice” became a biography of District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation and took seven years to complete.
By the time I committed to the Liberty story I had published 23 books. None focused on Israel or the Middle East. Nor had I written anything about the U.S. military.
When you begin a book whose issues are unfamiliar, the writer invariably hears an inner voice with the warning, “I can’t do this.” I knew nothing about the US Navy, its protocols and hierarchies. I knew a bit about the intelligence services whose activities figure in this story, CIA and the NSA, National Security Agency. There had been several books published about this attack on LIBERTY, an unarmed US intelligence ship, by Israeli commandos and ships, on June 8, 1967, in the middle of the Six-Day War. All insisted that Israel, who admitted to have attacked ship by planes and torpedo boats, was acting alone, but they made no sense to me: why would Israel attack a vessel belonging to its sole ally, for by now France had canceled its arrangements to offer Israel military support? None of the books or articles, and I read them all, could answer this question or entertain why Israel would engage in so foolhardy an operation. Israel had on the same day admitted that they had been behind the attack, but the “explanation”, that it was an “accident,” was flimsy and easily challenged.
At left is Meir Amit, chief of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence services, in 1967, the year of the attack on Liberty , at the right is John Hadden, chief of station for CIA in Tel Aviv, at the same time.
Shorko Joan Mellen’s new book, “Blood in the Water: How the US and Israel Conspired to ambush the USS Liberty”, will be published in November 2018 by Prometheus Books.
Joan Mellen will be launching the book in Colebrook, New Hampshire, on December 1 at the Colebrook Country Club.
About “Blood in the Water: How the US and Israel Conspired to ambush the USS Liberty”
Presents evidence of collaboration between the United States and Israel in an attack on a US naval surveillance vessel during the Six-Day War pointing to collusion between the US government and the Israeli Mossad.
On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, an unarmed intelligence ship reporting to the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the auspices of the National Security Agency, was positioned in international waters off the coast of Egypt when it was attacked with deadly violence by unmarked jet planes firing rockets and machine guns and throwing napalm onto its deck. This ambush was followed by a torpedo strike that blew a forty-foot hole in the starboard side of the ship. Lacking the capacity to defend themselves, thirty-four sailors were killed and 174 wounded, many for life. By the end of the day, Israel had confessed to having been the aggressor, simultaneously arguing that the attack had been an “accident” and a “mistake.”
The facts said otherwise. So intense and sustained was the attack – it lasted for nearly an hour and a half – so specific was the aiming for the antennae and satellite dish on deck, that it was scarcely credible that Israel’s aggression was not deliberate; such was the view of Marshall Carter, the director of the National Security Agency, his deputy director Louis Tordella, and Richard Helms, the Director of Central Intelligence.
Based on interviews with more than forty survivors, knowledgeable political insiders, and Soviet archives of the period, investigative writer Joan Mellen presents evidence suggesting complicity between US and Israeli intelligence in the attack on Liberty and the more than fifty-year long cover-up. What were the underlying motives? Was this a false flag operation conducted in the midst of the Six-Day War? Was it conceivable that Israel would have initiated such an operation without a green light from the United States?
For the sake of justice, truth and the murdered and surviving sailors, this is a story demanding to be told.
Joan Mellen’s most recent book, “Faustian Bargains” has been chosen for the April Kindle Monthly Deal. For one month, the ebook for Faustian Bargains will be $1.99, and the book will be featured in Amazon’s Monthly Deal promotions.