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USS Liberty vets to mark attack

Veterans of the USS Liberty and their supporters will commemorate 40 years since Israeli combat planes strafed the ship, killing 34 U.S. sailors. The commemoration will take place June 8 in Washington. The veterans and their supporters in the anti-Israel community claim the attack, during the 1967 Six-Day War, was deliberate and that Israel never faced consequences because of a U.S. government cover-up. Israel – which says that in the heat of battle it mistook the ship for an Egyptian or Russian vessel – has apologized for the attack and paid more than $12 million in damages. Various investigations, including one in recent years by historians for the U.S. National Security Agency, which ran the ship, back Israel’s version. In 2003, the NSA released its own recordings of the Israeli pilots who carried out the attack as well as their handler in Tel Aviv. Their tone and commentary as they discover that they’re attacking a U.S. vessel clearly suggest shock and dismay.