The Holocaust Historiography Project


Assault on the Liberty

Assault on the Liberty

  • ASSAULT ON THE LIBERTY, James M. Ennes, Jr., Random House, 300pp, hardback. ISBN: 0394-50512-3.

reviewed by Lewis Brandon (David McCalden)

Subtitled “The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship,” this book must certainly carry much more clout than its predecessor: It was written by a crew member.

Ennes was a cryptological officer on board the USS Liberty when it was attacked and 34 of its crew killed by Israeli marines in 1967. Ennes was aghast that the whole affair should be hushed up and that the American government should meekly accept the Israelis' lies. He felt it his duty to his 34 murdered comrades that the truth should be told. Consequently, he set about the arduous task of interviewing dozens of officials, and collating hundreds of documents. Many times he was warned to drop the subject.

It was not until he finally left the service in 1978 that he could speak freely. This book is the result. It is packed with details and first-hand accounts. This book truly is “survivor testimony “

There is such attention to detail here that it puts to shame the one previous work on this subject, Conspiracy of Silence, by journalist Anthony Pearson. Although Ennes does not mention the previous book by name, he does have a few scathing comments for those who speculate on fantastic, impossible devices which would intercept and scramble radio messages before re-transmitting them.

Bibliographic information
Author: Brandon, Lewis
Title: Assault on the Liberty (review)
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Summer 1980
Issue: Volume 1 number 2
Location: Page 184
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.