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6th June 2003
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The USS Liberty
Saturday 17 May 2003 8.55pm-10.05pm

During the Six-Day War, Israel attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty belonging to its closest ally, the USA. Thirty-four American servicemen were killed in the two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats. Israel claimed that the whole affair had been a tragic accident based on mistaken identification of the ship. The American government accepted the explanation.

For more than 30 years many people have disbelieved the official explanation but have been unable to rebut it convincingly. Now, Dead in the Water uses startling new evidence to reveal the truth behind the seemingly inexplicable attack. The film combines dramatic reconstruction of the events, with new access to former officers in the US and Israeli armed forces and intelligence services who have decided to give their own version of events.

Interviews include President Lyndon Johnson's Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, former head of the Israeli navy Admiral Shlomo Errell and members of the USS Liberty crew.

Previous documentaries on BBC Four

"It was a well co-ordinated attack" claims a USS Liberty veteran

  John Hrankowski
The former head of Israel's navy maintains it "was a clear case of mistaken identity"
  Adm. Shlomo Errel

Divers investigate the torpedo wound to the USS Liberty Divers investigate the torpedo wound to the USS Liberty

Message Board
Was the attack an accident? Share your views

Further Links

USS Liberty
Comprehensive site run by two survivors with images and documents

USS Liberty
Another site, with info on the Dead in the Water video

Attack on the USS Liberty
Well-presented academic account of the conflicting arguments

USS Liberty Photo Album
Photos from the 60s and the crew's recent reunions

The Six-Day War
Overview from the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise

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