A State Secret: The Closest the U.S. Ever Came to a Nuclear Confrontation: June 8, 1967

HINT: It wasn’t the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis – that was a distant second on the list

The 53rd anniversary of the United States’ closest-ever nuclear confrontation event will soon come and go with nary a mention of its significance – certainly not in the “Main Stream Media” (MSM) where it should appear, but probably very little in the “alternative” press either.

That is because it is still shrouded in secrecy, for the sake of protecting the presidential legacy of a man generally mis-designated as one of the ten “best” presidents of all time by people who self-identify as credentialed “historians,” who are purposely ignorant of the incident because knowledge of it is not “politically correct.”   The ironies abound, given that this incident was merely another – and not even the worst – of his treasons.

Six Days of War: June ... Oren, Michael B. Best Price: $2.49 Buy New $17.27 (as of 03:21 UTC - Details) The documented facts (at least by the BBC and Al Jazeera, since no American MSM source ever investigated it) are that at 8:45 a.m. EDT (2:45 p.m. off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula) on June 8, 1967 two A-4 bomber aircraft loaded with nuclear bombs were dispatched from the aircraft carrier USS America, bound for Cairo with orders to drop those bombs on that city.[1]

It came on the fourth day of the Six-Day War between Israel and three of her neighbor states: Egypt, Syria and Jordan (the trio was known as the United Arab Republic – U.A.R., for their defense pact).  It was a war that had been planned for months, provoked and started by Israel but falsely blamed on Egypt. That war is still celebrated in Israel for how it resulted in expanding its borders; a sub-operation, to be examined below – the attack on the USS Liberty, which Israel had no real motive or reason to conduct – had been inserted by President Johnson for his own muddled political reasons.

But it backfired on him when the Liberty did not sink, a “miracle” some say, only possible through Devine Intervention.  Johnson’s outrageous actions might have resulted in his impeachment had he not initiated the broadest, most effective cover-up of his presidency; indeed, it was arguably the largest, most enduring cover-up of all time, as evidenced by the fact that most Americans have still never even heard of it, nor the fact that a major nuclear conflagration with the U.S.S.R. – the “Soviet Union” (now known as merely as “Russia”), was likely aborted with only a few minutes to spare.  At the last minute – with the A-4 bombers flying over Egyptian territory, probably shaken into his senses by his aides and SECDEF McNamara frantically urging him to do so – President Johnson finally cancelled the attack.

Though it could be argued that Johnson’s other cover-ups of his own treasons – involving JFK’s assassination and the murders of a number of other men whom he believed were dangerous to his continuation in office, or his later “legacy” – were just as highly effective in hiding his secrets. The difference is that this outrageously brazen incident, due to the stricter military secrecy protocols put into place, still remains an “official secret,” thus largely unknown to a public that is now so disinterested in all of it that the myths may live on forever.  Those others – i.e., the murders of JFK, RFK, MLK (etc.) – have been force-opened sufficiently to essentially disprove forever the “official stories” (myths), at least within the minds of those who have studied them closely.  The remaining deconstruction of the primary one (JFK’s assassination), might coincide with the release of all remaining government secrets, has now been rescheduled by President Trump for April, 26, 2021. (He had made a number of statements before the original disclosure date (October 26, 2017) that he fully intended to open the files and therefore the last-minute delay must be assumed to be a temporary one). Remember the Liberty!:... Phillip F. Nelson, Ron... Best Price: $12.75 Buy New $10.00 (as of 07:20 UTC - Details)

Another False Flag for LBJ

As detailed in my book Remember the Liberty!, President Johnson had persuaded Israeli leadership to include a plot called “Operation Cyanide” in their war planning: It called for Israel to attack his own reconnaissance ship, the USS Liberty, then blame Egypt for the brutal attack.

The plan was to embed LBJ’s operation into the first day of the war – to ensure that it would be seen as another part of the general chaos that could be expected that day – which had long been scheduled to begin on June 15, 1967. But, for curious reasons, Israel “jumped the gun” and started the war ten days early, on June 5, when they effectively destroyed the entire Egyptian Air Force, an act which should have also destroyed Operation Cyanide, had the U.S. President been of sound and rational mind.

On June 5th the Liberty was still steaming its way across the Mediterranean Sea, as ordered directly by the Joint Chiefs of Staff ,by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, on May 23rd, from its previous position on the Ivory Coast of West Africa; according to the original schedule, it would take two full days before it reached its destination off the coast of the Sinai on the evening of June 7th.

Despite that disconnect, Johnson pressured Israel to proceed with the attack four days later, on June 8th, despite the fact that (to a rational person), it would no longer be salable to the public – how were they to believe that it was done by a country without an air force?  That was merely one of a number of signs that Israeli leadership – conflicted by Johnson’s persistence and forceful resolve and the potential consequences if the plot were ever revealed – was never fully unified behind the plan, and finally balked after the vicious attack that failed to sink the ship.

One of the most compelling of the signs of Israel’s diffidence was the failure of their torpedo boats to hit the ship with any of the four torpedoes they fired at it:  If there were any uncertainties about their ability to hit it, there was nothing to prevent them from getting as close as necessary to the shot-up, still-burning, crippled and defenseless ship to guarantee multiple torpedo hits. ZACX Fishing Pliers, F... Buy New $23.99 (as of 03:21 UTC - Details)

As to the fifth torpedo – that actually did hit it – there has been evidence produced that the torpedo was fired by a U.S. submarine:  LBJ, in a state of high-frenzied psychosis – has been accused by a Liberty crew member, who hired an investigator with high-level Pentagon sources, of ordering one of his own submarines to fire that torpedo; other men, from that submarine, have acknowledged the veracity of that report, though they have done that anonymously for obvious reasons.  That is understandable because of the implications to the men whom he ordered to do it, and the horrendous fact that they were given merely seconds to make such a revolting life-or-death (and risk of probable court-martial) decision to obey – or not – a presidential order.

What Were LBJ’s Dubious Motives?

There was a well-known precedent for LBJ making such a “false flag” operation when he did: The similarity was the long-planned election-year provocations in 1964 that led to the (phantom) Gulf of Tonkin “attacks” three months before the November presidential elections that year. That operation guaranteed Johnson’s landslide re-election in 1964 as he briefly pretended to be a cautious statesman and seeker of peace. After his election he soon reversed that pretense as he “Americanized” the Vietnam civil war; two years later, his escalation of that war had backfired on him. Because of the intense public backlash he apparently decided — based upon the documented facts of his actions — that he would need an even larger, more ominous event to guarantee him re-election in 1968. His diabolical plan went off track when the Liberty refused to sink, as did his chances for being re-elected.

The nation, Johnson undoubtedly expected, would have immediately understood the reason for his quick and decisive retaliation against Egypt, which would have been quickly blamed for the attack; with the ship and all its men on the bottom of the sea, no one would be the wiser.  Egypt’s president Gamal Abdul Nassar – hated by Johnson since at least 1956 for his role in seizing the Suez Canal and thereafter becoming a “puppet” of the Soviet Union – was expected to be killed in a massive attack on Cairo, to be carried out under the battle cry of “Remember the Liberty!”

Whether he had considered the probable repercussions – the reaction of the USSR – of his attack on their ally will never be known, short of a full release of all related military files.  As it is, the few that have been released, as examined in Remember the Liberty!, appear to be the result of either clerical errors at the LBJ Library or, as some believe, “Devine Intervention.” Operation Cyanide: How... Hounam, Peter Best Price: $37.31 Buy New $67.00 (as of 03:21 UTC - Details)

But Johnson’s real intent, it can now finally be deduced, was to turn the tide of public opinion that had risen against his Vietnam war policies.  He had come to believe that it had been led mostly by young Jewish people, whom he felt should be among his strongest backers.  Men like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and others who had gained fame for leading the war protestors in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, with their incessant chants, “Hey, Hey LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?”  His reaction to those chants has been documented well by many of his own aides, like Joseph Califano; even the sycophants among them, like Bill Moyers and – for awhile, until he had had enough – Richard Goodwin. Goodwin devoted two chapters of his memoirs to describing Johnson’s erratic and psychotic behavior, and why he finally decided to leave his position, which he summed up in these words:[2]

Later I was to question my failure to disclose what I knew of Johnson’s mental condition, inwardly speculating that through misplaced loyalty or personal cowardice I was betraying my obligation to the country . . . During the next few years, as I campaigned with [Eugene] McCarthy and then [Robert] Kennedy, I never disclosed – even to my closest friends and colleagues – the wild surmise that had preoccupied my final days in the White House. But my own active, fervent opposition was always, in part, informed and motivated by the knowledge that Lyndon Johnson had become a very dangerous man. (Bold italics added by author)

The contrast between those words – and the rest of what Goodwin had to say about Lyndon Johnson’s demented mental condition and character flaws – and the Alice-in-Wonderland, inane dreck recorded by his wife Doris Kearns, is stunning.   To some, it seemed that by combining her fantasies about her intimately thrilling days with the former President, and Goodwin’s horrid recollections of a psychotic President in real-time, a strange sort of abstruse equilibrium was reached by both (their brand of “pillow talk” must have been of the therapeutic kind).  In aggregating their diverse experiences, were they hoping to solidify their defenses against critics who might point out that neither of them did anything in real-time to expose the legendary deceits of the 36th president?  It took another decade and a half, after Johnson’s death, for Goodwin to publish his “limited hangout.”

They might not have been aware of the closeness the world had come to nuclear annihilation – as neither of them were under his employ on June 8, 1967 – but the fact that they were both in positions which should have given them access to some of his darkest secrets, and thus provoked their curiosity, is enough to conclude that they were complicit in keeping them (and “it”) hidden. LBJ: The Mastermind of... Phillip F. Nelson Best Price: $7.91 Buy New $11.23 (as of 06:30 UTC - Details)


 Remember the Liberty! – Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas, was published in 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the June 8, 1967 attack, by TrineDay Publishing.  Three survivors of that attack – Ernie Gallo, Ron Kukal and Phil Tourney  co-authored much of the book with their personal stories of the treachery they experienced, and how, for fifty years, they have been fighting the government to get the real story presented.  It is a story of treason on the high seas, the direct result of disgraceful presidential treasons of the highest order:


[1] Hounam, Peter, and John Simpson. Operation Cyanide: Why the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III. Chatham, Kent, UK: Mackays of Chatham, Ltd., 2003, pp. 181-82.  (Also see the BBC video “Dead in the Water” available on Youtube).

According to Mike Ratigan, who served on board that carrier as a center-deck catapult operator responsible for maintaining the catapult in working order. He remembered the call to general quarters (battle stations) in the early afternoon of June 8, 1967, later learning that this was due to the attack on the Liberty. The A-4 bombers were each fitted with two bombs having a gold-colored tip, a type that he had never seen before: “I’d never seen that particular type of ordnance, and as we had gone into Condition November (notice of imminent nuclear war) subsequent to being in general quarters, it was definitely not a drill. Marine guards were escorting the A-4, and that was a very unusual experience. I’d never seen anything like that in the four years that I was in the Navy as a Cat operator.”

[2] Goodwin, Richard, Remembering America, New York: Little, Brown & Co., 1988 (p. 416)

Reprinted with the author’s permission.