The Liberty Incident

Report to the Director NSA, USS Liberty - AGTR-5, 23 May - 8 June 1967

Top Secret

The report to the Director NSA apparently consisted of 15 copies. The copy produced here is copy 7. Original pages of the report are inconsistently numbered. I have numbered them from 1, the first page released pursuant to FOIA Request 50412, to 172, the final page. The first page of the report is numbered 5. Seventy three pages of the report remain classified and were released as blank pages. Those pages are my numbers 8, 10, 11, 30 to 38, 40 to 91, 124 to 132, 147, 148, and 151. The redacted pages have not been posted, with the exception of page 8 which shows exactly how the other 72 redacted pages appear in the released report.

A number of interesting items are in the report.

Page 9 states "The SIGINT tasking of the USS Liberty was directed at coverage of communication related to United Arab Republic (UAR)" [Egypt].

Page 23 states that on May 25, 1967, Liberty was provided with additional linguist capability in Arabic including three NSA civilians. It further confirms "(No Hebrew linguists were available.)"

Page 103 is an attachment to a memorandum relating to scheduling of technical research ships which states "Note: The ship involved is not an addressee on these messages."

Page 154 is a message from Director NSA to numerous addressees but not sent to Liberty.

Page 156 is a message with Liberty included as an addressee assigning Liberty's route and setting closest point of approach (CPA) to various countries.

Page 160 is a message to Liberty regarding operational control.

Page 169 is a message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) with Liberty as an addressee directing Liberty to stand off 100 nautical miles, not received prior to the attack.

Page 170 is a message from Commander Sixth Fleet stating Liberty's report of being under attack received by Sixth Fleet at 1252Z which is 1452 Sinai time and 0852 in the morning Washington time. Aircraft were to be launched to defend Liberty, estimated launch time 1345Z which is 1545 Sinai 0945 Washington time (about an hour after the attack was over) with estimated time of arrival of First ACFT on scene one hour and 30 minutes after launch 1515Z or 1715 Sinai time 1115 Washington time, about two and one half hours after the attack was over.

Page 171 is perhaps the most interesting item in the report. It is from an NSA listening post, NASM-4: Kagnew Station, Asmara, Ethiopia, to Director NSA. The NSA post in Asmara was monitoring US Sixth Fleet radio traffic and intercepted the initial situation report transmitted by USS Liberty. It concludes with the remark "tis [this] station monitoring Sixth Fleet commo [communications]."

This message confirms that Liberty took the approaching torpedo boats under fire with its 50 caliber machine guns.

Index to Director's Report

The Report to the Director consists of 35 pages number 5 through 39.

The Report references tabs A though BB.

The following index is provided to assist the reader in locating Tabs F through BB.

Tab Page
A... 30-31 (redacted)
B... 32 (redacted)
C... 33-38 (redacted)
D... 39
E... 40-91 (redacted)
F... 92-103
G... 104-107
H... 108-112
I... 113-116
J... 117-121
K... 123-133
L... 134-138
M... 139
N... 140-143
O... 144
P... 145-150
Q... 153
R... 154-155
S... 156-157
T... 158-159
U... 160-161
V... 162
W... 163
X... 164
Y... 165-167
Z... 168-169
AA 170
BB 171-172

Download Report to the Director NSA

Download Tabs F through BB of Report to the Director NSA


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