The American Legion Denies 2018 National Convention Booth to USS Liberty Survivors
by Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor
In a shocking letter dated May 22, 2018, The American Legion has refused to allow USS Liberty survivors to purchase a booth at their 2018 National Convention.
At previous National Conventions our booth has been very popular.
Legionnaires learned about the June 8, 1967, Israeli attack on our ship.
They learned that USS Liberty crewmen:
saw the unmarked aircraft as they attacked our ship;
heard the jamming of our radios on both US Navy tactical and international maritime distress frequencies;
witnessed the deliberate machine gunning of life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship;
witnessed the slow circling of our ship by Israeli torpedo boats as they fired from close range at crewmen who were either trapped topside or who ventured topside to help their wounded shipmates;
saw the Israeli helicopters filled with armed assault troops hover very close to our ship in an apparent attempt to find a place to allow those troops to rappel down to the ship; and,
witnessed the torpedo boats immediate departure from the scene of the attack after cessation of hostilities instead of offering assistance as is their obligation under international law.
They also learned that among the awards won by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty are the Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, eleven Silver Stars, twenty Bronze Stars, nine Navy Commendations, 208 Purple Hearts, 294 Combat Action Ribbons, the Presidential Unit Citation and the National Security Agency Exceptional Service Civilian Award which makes the USS Liberty among the most decorated ships in US Navy history for a single event.
American Legion Resolution 40 calls on the US government to investigate the attack.
At the same time, The American Legion will not allow the victims that are the subject of Resolution 40 to educate Legionnaires about the attack.
Legionnaires must call on their National Organization to persuade them to allow the victims of that attack to have a booth at their 2018 National Convention.
The phone number is (317) 630-1200.