The American Legion Denies 2018 National Convention Booth to USS Liberty Survivors–UPDATE (SEE BELOW)
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.
The American Legion has lied to Legionnaires who called the National Organization in order to find out why the USS Liberty Veterans Association (LVA) has been denied a booth at the 2018 American Legion National Convention.
Legionnaires have been told that at the time the LVA requested a booth there is no space available.
For this to be true the National Organization would have to run out of exhibit space on May 7, 2018 – three months and 17 days prior to the National Convention.
LVA President Ernie Gallo signed the application paperwork on April 10 and LVA Vice President Larry Bowen signed it on April 16, 2018.
Before sending the application in, we called Andrea Watson to let her know we’d be sending in the application with all that was required except the Certificate of Insurance which expires before the date of the event. We told her we’d send that as soon as the insurance company sends us the bill to renew. Our insurance certification expires on July 10, 2018.
Ms. Watson then told us that we would not be allowed in the convention.
Despite this and knowing that there is an active American Legion Resolution supporting our call for a complete and comprehensive public Congressional investigation of the attack on our ship, we sent in the check and application by certified mail on May 4, 2018. According to the signed certified mail receipt they received our paperwork on May 7, 2018.
Give Ms. Watson a call at (317) 630-1393 and ask what their excuse du jour is.
Under what provision of their Constitution and by-laws are they allowed to BAN FOR LIFE an American military veterans group from purchasing a booth at their National Convention?