"A Classic Cover-up that betrays the American people."
On 8 June 1967, USS Liberty, an American ship in international waters, was attacked without warning by the air and naval forces of Israel, killing 34 US soldiers. Israel's reason: It was A mistake. Through the aftermath and decades the US relation with Israel has become tighter than ever.
But, a closer look at this relationship exposes the realities behind what appears to be a cozy, yet lop-sided relationship, to Israel's favor. Why have the US allowed Israel to penetrate so deeply into its political and internal life? Just some of the questions asked in this edition of the Press TV News Analysis.
Press TV's Kaveh Taghvai, conducted an interview with Michael Santomauro, a freelance journalist and blogger from New York, on the eve of the anniversary of the USS Liberty incident this June, to discuss the "Classic Cover-up that betrayed the American people."
To further discuss the powerful Zionist lobbying group in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), that exerts wide influence over the decision-making process in Washington, they were also joined by the following guests:
Alison Weir — Ms Weir is an American freelance journalist and founder and Executive Director of If Americans Knew and president of The Council for National Interest. She writes and speaks on issues covering the situation in Palestine/Israel, addresses the historical context and provides critique of how the media covers issues which challenges U.S. foreign policy and well-funded Israel lobby interests.
Bruce Campbell — Campbell blogger at Veterans Today, started the modern militia movement in 1989 with his book, The New American Man – A Call to Arms. The militia movement lasted until '95 with the state-sponsored destruction of the OKC federal building. The State Department considers him a "mercenary." The FBI considers him a problem. The Secret Service considers him a terrorist. Campbell couldn't care less.
. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: The USS Liberty incident. Tell us; is there a cover-up on the part of the United States or an error as explained by Israel?
Santomauro: Well, it was definitely a cover-up, and the reason for a cover-up in my opinion is because it’s a domestic issue; anything to do with Israel and the United States, especially with the Democratic Party at the time of the 1960s with Lyndon B. Johnson.
According to J.J. Goldberg and his book Jewish Power, about 45 percent of the fundraising during the 1960s, 70s – and currently it’s even higher – comes from Jewish PAC money.
You have to understand that whatever’s very hypersensitive for Israel is going to be a big, big concern for the Democratic Party here in the United States when it comes to fundraising purposes.
Press TV: I believe you disagreed with our guest, if I caught you correctly. Before Alison Weir spoke, you had something to say?
Santomauro: Everything that the blogger from Veteran’s Today says is pure conspiracy, speculation. There’s no blackmailing going on. Anything to do with Israel and the United States is a domestic issue. It has nothing to do with foreign policy.
According to J.J. Goldberg, who’s also Jewish American, he wrote a book called Jewish Power, and Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, updated the data that J.J. Goldberg published back in the early 1990s, that now 60 percent of the fundraising for the Democratic Party comes from Jewish PAC money; 35 percent of the PAC money for the Republican Party comes from Jewish PACs…
This is a group that is two to four percent of the population of the United States; if you count hyphenated Jews, it’s probably closer to three or four percent. According to the US Census Bureau, it’s about two percent.
Forty percent of the billionaires in the United States are Jewish Americans. This is a very affluent, powerful ethnic group that’s very cohesive and there’s no other group in the United States that can compete with their cohesiveness when it comes to the issue of Israel or anything to do with the Middle East.
Press TV: Is it true that there’s a prerequisite for anybody who wants to run for Congress that they actually have to sign a pledge, one of the things in the pledge is that Jerusalem al-Quds is the capital city of Israel; another one that they have to make a commitment to support the military superiority of Israel in terms of the assistance that the United States gives? Is that indeed true; and how is it that something like this has to be in the form of a pledge for people running for Congress?
Santomauro: Well, it’s not a formal pledge where you’re signing your name to it but it’s pretty implicit that, you know, you have to give speeches to make it clear to the fundraising crowd that that’s going to be your position, that Israel comes first in that region, no matter if you’re right or wrong.
If anybody criticizes the United States veto vote in the Security Council, they get marginalized or they get voted out of office.
People on Capitol Hill here in the United States and Washington D.C. are very, very scared of AIPAC, of the Jewish lobby, the Israel lobby. It’s the strongest lobby when it comes to foreign policy. They dictate the terms. It’s not a conspiracy theory. There’s no sloppy thinking involved. It’s just a matter of where the money is coming from.
Press TV: Go ahead, Michael Santomauro [in response to guest speaker Alison Weir’s comments].
Santomauro: Alison makes a point about the individual Jewish Americans and Israelis. They also get marginalized. Norman Finkelstein as of three or four years ago was banned from visiting Israel for ten years, so I guess he’s got six years to go.
If you’re an academic and you have very, very strong reasoning abilities where you can influence the public or a segment of the public, you get marginalized. You get marginalized whether you’re a Jewish individual or non-Jewish individual in this culture.
Getting back to this bizarre theory on the part of Veteran’s Today or James Bruce Campbell, I’ve never heard of anything like what he’s saying. It sounds preposterous. It’s just ridiculous. It’s absurd…
(In response to J. Bruce Campbell’s comments) Egypt had an alliance with the Soviet Union at the time; it would have caused World War III.
- "THE ATTACK ON THE LIBERTY: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship" by James Scott. Simon & Schuster, June 2009. http://ifamericansknew.org/stats/usaid.html
- For more from Michael Santomauro go to: Real Press