Audio Interviews

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, National Security Agency

On the strength of intercept transcripts of pilots’ conversations during the attack, the question of the attack’s deliberateness “just wasn’t a disputed issue” within the agency.

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, National Security Agency, interview with David Walsh on March 3, 2003, reported in Naval Institute Proceedings, June, 2003
Major General John Morrison, US Air Force, Deputy Chief NSA Operations during the attack and later Chief of NSA Operations

“….did not buy the Israeli ‘mistake’ explanations either. Nobody believes that explanation.” When informed by author Bamford of gruesome war crime (killing of large numbers of POWs) at nearby El Arish, Morrison saw the connection. “That would be enough,” he said. “They wouldn’t want us in on that. You’ve got the motive. What a hell of a thing to do.” —reported in Body of Secrets
 by James Bamford, p233.
Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, National Security Agency

“I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that they knew they were attacking an American ship.”

Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, National Security Agency. Kirby participated in NSA’s investigation of the attack and reviewed translations of intercepted communications between pilots and their headquarters which he reports show conclusively that they knew their target was an American ship. Kirby is considered the “Godfather” of the USS Liberty and USS Pueblo intercept programs. (Telephone interviews with James Ennes and David Walsh for Friendless Fire, Proceedings, June 2003)
Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN, Director National Security Agency 1977-1981

Inman said he “flatly rejected” the Cristol thesis that the attack was an accident. “It is just exceedingly difficult to believe that [USS Liberty] was not correctly identified” based on his talks with NSA seniors at the time having direct knowledge of intercepted communications. No NSA official could be found who dissented from the “deliberate” conclusion. —reported in Proceedings, June, 2003
James M. Ennes, Jr. USS Liberty Survivor, Author of “Assault on the Liberty”
Dave Lewis, USS Liberty Survivor, Head of the Cryptological Detachment on the USS Liberty

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