COULD ISRAEL HAVE BOMBED THE USS COLE?
by Thomas C. Mountain 2000
Did the Mossad, Israel's secret police, bomb the USS Cole? I think they should certainly be considered first amongst all the other "usual suspects". Why do I say this? To be able to understand my reasoning requires one to step back for a minute and review the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in the context of the renewal of the Palestinian Intifada and the public relations nightmare Israel had found itself in.
Ask yourself who benefited the most from replacing images of Palestinian children being shot dead in their parents arms with images of the coffins of dead American sailors amidst weeping family members on the front pages of papers and CNN across America and the world?
Remember now, when the USS Cole bombing occurred Israel was facing a storm of condemnation internationally, and more importantly to their survival,rapidly eroding support amongst the American people.
Who can forget the image of that poor Palestinian boy, shot dead in his fathers arms, front and center in all the news media. For the first time in its history, Israel had begun to lose the public relations battle for the sympathy of the American people. Oh, there has been a serious shift in opinion away from unconditional support since the original outbreak of the Intifada. But the sort of soul searching, disgust and outrage at Israel that was taking place just before the bombing of the USS Cole on the part of the American people was at an all time high.
The bombing of the USS Cole couldn't have come at a better time for Israel. But does this mean Israel did it?
The next question we should ask is why hasn't anyone claimed credit for thislatest victory? The past attacks against the US have all been claimed. Even public relations disasters in the "suicide bombings" inside Israel itself were claimed. Why not now?
If you do a little homework you find a number of "unclaimed bombings"in the past proved to be the work of the Israeli secret police (the Mossad)and/or the CIA.
Okay, so Israel has its committed its share of terrorist bombings, but why would Israel bomb a warship of their Godfather, the USA? Isn't the USA the only country in the world that continues to support Israel in the face of unanimous international condemnation of the Israelis continued massacre of the Palestinians? Israel bomb the Americans, get out of here!
Of course this would not be the first time Israel would have attacked a US military target. Remember the USS Liberty in 1967?
The following is an account by James M. Ennes, Jr. an officer on the USS Liberty, an intelligence trawler patrolling off the coast of Israel and Egypt during the 1967 Israeli-Arab war.
"In June 1967, jet aircraft and motor torpedo boats of Israel brutally assaulted an American naval vessel, the U.S.S. Liberty, in international waters off the Sinai Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack was preceded by more than six hours of intense low-level surveillance by Israeli photo-reconnaissance aircraft which buzzed the intelligence ship thirteen times, sometimes flying as low as 200 feet directly overhead. The reconnaissance pilots were heard by intercept operators in Germany and in Lebanon reporting to their headquarters that they could see an American flag and men sunbathing on deck.
"The carefully orchestrated assault that followed was initiated by high-performance jet aircraft, was followed up by slower and more maneuverable jets carrying napalm, and was finally turned over to lethal torpedo boats which fired five torpedoes. Four missed. The one torpedo that hit the ship blasted a forty-foot hole in the ship's side.
"The attack lasted more than two hours -- killing 34 Americans and wounding 171 others -- and inflicted 821 rocket and machine-gun holes. And when the Liberty stubbornly remained afloat despite her damage, Israeli forces machine-gunned her life rafts and sent troop-carrying helicopters in to finish the job. During the attack, radio intercept operators in Lebanon heard one Israeli pilot identifying the ship as American. He was told to ignore the flag and continue his attack.
"Before the ship arrived in the area, U.S. Sixth Fleet Commander Admiral William Martin promised to provide air support within ten minutes if an emergency arose. Yet when the ship did come under attack, the White House blocked any air rescue for more than 90 minutes. Officers on the bridge of the aircraft carrier Saratoga heard Liberty's radio operators calling for help while bombs burst in the background, but were forbidden to help. When Navy jet aircraft were finally authorized to come to the ship's aid, the Israeli government suddenly ended the attack and withdrew. Only then did the identity of the assailants become known.
"...For 30 years Israel and its supporters have denounced survivors as liars and anti-Semites for reporting what happened to their ship. Members of Congress are unwilling even to listen to their stories. These men seek justice."
Okay, so Israel has attacked US warships before, what else do we have to support their being behind the USS Cole bombing?
A review of what has been going on the past several months in regards to US/Israel intelligence relations should make anyone think twice.
First, there are the reports of the Mossad caught bugging the White house? Then there was the "defection" of a high ranking US Naval Intelligence Officer to Israel. Following this was the unprecedented removal of the top security clearance for the US Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk.
And need we be reminded of the much older case of Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli "mole" who is said to have stolen more critical US top secret intelligence than any other person in US history?
This isn't any sort of smoking gun. Who else would have done it and why didn't they claim credit for one of the more resounding victories against the US military in a long time?
The theories being floated in the media that Bin Laden was behind the attack doesn't hold much water, for why wouldn't Bin Laden's organization claim credit? They did before when all those innocent Africans were killed in theUS Embassy bombings in East Africa. The last time the US retaliated against Bin Laden was a public relations disaster for the US, with the cruise missiles hitting innocent civilians in Afghanistan and destroying the medicine factory in Sudan.
We may never know who bombed the USS Cole. One thing is certain, the Mossad has a well documented track record of being behind "unclaimed bombings" and Israel had the most to gain. Think about it.
Thomas C. Mountain has been a long time supporter of the Palestinian peoples right to self determination and an anti-racist activist. He was a member of the 1st US Peace Delegation to Libya in 1987, a member of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign and a founding member of the Hawaii Alliance for Peace and
Justice in the Middle East in 1982.