Joan Mellen’s BLOOD IN THE WATER: How the U.S. and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty

29 Mar

My recommendation of Joan Mellen’s Blood in the Water: How the U.S. and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty


If you are able read just one book in 2019 I urge it to be Joan Mellen’s Blood in the Water: How the U.S. and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty.


The author on the basis of meticulous research probes every detail to establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the sinking of USS Liberty in the midst of the 1967 War is the greatest moral and political scandal in all of American history. In what was long described as a ‘mistake’ or ‘accident’ Israeli planes and submarines attacked the Liberty, killing 34, wounding 174 American naval personnel. Subsequent critical writing had established convincingly that the United States Government refused to authorize an inquiry that would have established that Israel deliberately attacked the ship of its ally. Those who took the trouble to read the critical literature or were among the surviving crew members were shocked by a coverup that was willing to overlook what amounts to the murder of American servicemen. Mellen addresses these allegations in a definitive manner that includes evidence that Lyndon Johnson, as president, called off a rescue operation, which seems confirmed, and if properly pursued would seem to indicate both an impeachable offense and indictable as treason.


This alone would make Joan Mellen’s book well worth reading, but her contribution goes far beyond what prior research and scholarly writing had established and alleged. She demonstrates that the real story of theLiberty attack was far worse than a coverup of Israeli criminality, it was a mixture of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘collusion,’ that is, a deliberately planned collaborative attack by Israel and the United States that was designed to be blamed on Egypt. The purpose of this operation was to provide a satisfactory pretext for launching retaliatory strikes against Egypt with the primary objective of destabilizing the Egyptian Government, and removing Gamel Abdul Nasser from power. At the time Nasser was a thorn in the back of both Israel and the United States. The American and Israeli national security establishments, including some identified sinister figures in the CIA and Mossad, regarded Nasser as a major threat to American regional objectives in the Middle East, Israeli security and expansionist ambitions, as well as to the prevailing grand strategy of the Cold War. The reason that the collusion was never consummated by the contemplated attack on Egypt was a result of the failure to sink the Liberty so as to eliminate evidence and survivors. The contrived rationale of responding to an Egyptian provocation was no longer viable. Even with this overwhelming exposure of the events, it is hard to accept the reality of a democratically elected government so sacrificing its own citizens so that it could hide aggression beneath a phony claim of self-defense.


Such shocking revelations, even long after the events, comes at a time when the momentous events surrounding the 9/11 attacks remain shrouded in suspicion and mystery. It is notable that the Liberty incident occurred under a Democratic president. It would seem that political liberalism is always subordinate to the security imperatives of the militarized American state. What happened in 1967 could easily occur in 2019. None of the pieces have been removed from the great geopolitical board game of the deep state. What Mellen demonstrates so clearly is that democratic elections and public trust are cast aside to satisfy the demonic greed of those within the government bureaucracy who are in the secretive business of slaying monsters in distant settings while pacifying their own citizens with lies and evasions.


We need to read and upon reflect upon Blood in the Water, asking ourselves two familiar political question: ‘what needs to be done? How can it be done?” It is little wonder that although published in 2018 this crucial book has so far flown far beneath mainstream radars.


Blood in the Waterpublished by Prometheus Books can be obtained from all booksellers, including Amazon.    


16 Responses to “Joan Mellen’s BLOOD IN THE WATER: How the U.S. and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty”

  1. Falk-Uncensored March 29, 2019 at 10:39 am #

    Of course, Falk wouldn’t be Falk if he couldn’t take up another opportunity to bash Israel, let alone the US.

    • Richard Falk March 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

      Is not the real question whether or not the devastating argument of this book is true or false.

      To shift the conversation to me is basically irrelevant? True, if the charges are absurd or lacking
      in credibility, then you have point. But I dare you to read the book, and then come honestly to the
      conclusion that it is worthless propaganda. This book is based on dedicated research concerning delicate issues
      that bear on whether the citizen of a constitutional democracy can or should trust its government.

  2. Beau Oolayforos March 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    A damning historical incident, and an ominous portent of present-day, imminent dangers, when ignorant, rapacious men in high places come to regard military heroes as expendable pawns in their geopolitical game.

    This somehow recalls the State Department’s refusal, shortly after WW2, to allow a group of American veterans to visit Belgrade and help plead for the life of Mihailovich, whose forces had rescued and succored some of their comrades; to give that civil-war-torn country the benefit, perhaps, of what we had when Lincoln said “With malice toward none, with charity for all…”

    Civilian control of the military is good policy in the ideal, but as we see, is liable to grave abuse.

  3. Gene Schulman March 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm #

    Thanks for this review, Richard. I certainly will want to read this book. One of my closest friends here in Geneva knew all about this as he had lost many friends from his days at the Naval Academy who served on the USS Liberty, and was active in trying to expose it. He had told me about it long before it became public knowledge. He, himself, had served as an officer on a ship involved in the Gulf of Tonken false flag incident. It is no coincidence that our dear President LBJ was involved in both. Until now, the best description I have read of the incident was Tom Segev’s in his book, ‘1967’.

    Segev says that the Israelis sunk the Liberty, a spy ship, because they didn’t want the Americans to find out that they were heading to capture the Golan Heights. Interesting that this book comes out just at the time Trump claims the Golan for Israel. Coincidence?

  4. Schlüter March 29, 2019 at 12:41 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    to my analysis this collusion for an act of great brutallity was preluded by the blackmail power Israel´s Power Elite got over parts of the US Power Elite by MOSSAD´s deep insight into the inside Job of Kennedy´s assassination. See:
    „USA and Israel, the Helpless Giant and his Mad Dog: are there more dirty secrets?“
    Cordial Weekend regards

  5. Jim Harb March 29, 2019 at 1:25 pm #

    I found that this post left me wondering: if there was collusion in the attack aimed at greater military action, what then happened following the attack? Did the collusion go forward? If not, why not?

    In actuality, we know that the collusion did not go forward, and why it did not.

    The main point I find missing from this post is that the attack did not lead to the sinking of the ship, and thus evidence was available from the U.S. sailors about who really attacked. Therefore, the collusion aimed against Egypt could no go forward. That is, if the ship had been sunk, then the U.S. would have been able to claim — without fear of evidential contradiction — that the Egyptians had attacked, and would then have been able to launch an attack on Egypt. The failure to sink the ship is the major factor in the story of the U.S.S. Liberty.

    • Richard Falk March 30, 2019 at 8:23 am #

      Thanks, Jim, for this comment, raising points that I should have raised in my review. If collusion,
      why no attack?

      Confirming with the author, the Egypt bombing plan was cancelled after the failure to sink the ship,
      which nearly happened had one of the torpedos hit the boiler area of the Liberty. When the ship
      failed to destroyed Israel also picked up the SOS call for help, and identifying Israeli planes as
      having mounted the. attack. Secrecy was no longer possible, and attention shifted to the coverup.

  6. Brewer April 7, 2019 at 11:19 pm #

    Pardon a long absence from commenting. I had a stroke – not a lot of long-term damage but severe curtailing of activities.
    I feel the need to share with you a story that, sadly, is not possible to verify – both protagonists have passed on but I think it worth sharing as I have no doubt, knowing my friend as I do.
    My friend was a CPO in the USN. In retirement he sailed the World under canvas. He told me he met the commander of the torpedo boats that fired on the Liberty, Yomi someone or other, in a yacht club in the Med. When he put the question, the Israeli freely gave out that they knew the identity of the ship. When my friend then asked how he, as a naval officer, could fire on allied seamen Yomi replied something along the lines of: “Orders are orders.”
    Though I needed no independent verification, many years later I learned that the Israeli commander was indeed nicknamed Yomi:
    He went on to become the Commander of the Israeli Navy and he did indeed sail the Med during retirement.

    • Richard Falk April 8, 2019 at 10:46 am #

      Thanks for helpful comment..

      I hope your health will be fully restored asap.

    • Gene Schulman April 9, 2019 at 1:01 am #

      Interesting story, Brewer. It helps confirm the one I tell about my own friend, above. There should be no doubt about Israeli intentions, past and future, as they are being exposed every day.

      I join Richard in wishing you full recovery. To health!

  7. Kata Fisher April 9, 2019 at 7:48 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Elmer Towns, his ancestors owned slaves and they did fear God just as well – or so could be said. When they had let the slaves go, not only that they have let them go free – but they also gave their people the land – so that they shall not be economically deprived, and that they “shall not want” according to what was said. And he said, (he as an offspring of slaveholders knows very well) that still in that area there are African-American farmers on the very same land.

    Today, both America (non-immigrant America) and Israel cannot set themselves of the curse due to some things what some American and Jewish Families have done. Perhaps, only what they have done to the ancestors of

    As long as there is a deaf ear to the plights of “American Negro” (as James Baldwin has said – how can Israel and America set them selfs from the source of the curse that is upon both nations (or people-tribes).

    If we do not tell our children truth – we then curse them

    that America has done wrong, and is built by the slave trade and forced slave work – and there is no land given, and no reparations for the victims and the community of the peoples.

    The same goes for those who have started false flags operation in other countries, and disturbed Family wells – to move people from place to place by force like wicked hogs, and dogs would do, so they are and shall be accursed in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    I feel God’s curse coming from Honorable minister Farakah when he speaks – but to me is not a curse, it’s like a morning air-crisp refreshing about the truth that is. It’s a great knowledge – to know, and in true light it is so as he said.

    Who did not hear it – may like to hear it, too. For it may go well with them, and their children, and their children’s children.

    Those who may not agree with his interpretation of the Books – or ma have it any way they want … should and can agree with their own.

    Just a small note on Elmer Towns – if not for him the entire University over there would be one accursed “den of thieves.”


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