[Congressional Record: June 8, 2009 (Extensions)]
[Page E1331-E1332]



                        HON. ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                          Monday, June 8, 2009

  Mr. CUMMINGS. Madam Speaker, on June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty was 
patrolling the waters of the Mediterranean when Israeli planes and 
torpedo boats attacked the ship. I rise today to pay a special tribute 
to those who lost their lives and the survivors of this attack on the 
42nd Anniversary.
  Shortly before the Six-Day War began, the USS Liberty was ordered to 
proceed to the eastern Mediterranean to perform an electronic 
intelligence collection mission. On June 8th, air and naval forces of 
Israel attacked the ship without warning.
  Of a crew of 294 officers and men the ship suffered 34 killed in 
action and 173 wounded in action. The ship itself, a $40 million state-
of-the-art signals intelligence platform, was so badly damaged that it 
never sailed on an operational mission again and was sold in

[[Page E1332]]

1970 as scrap for a mere $100,000. No ship in our history has ever 
received such damage and casualties by accident.
  After 34 years, the voices of Liberty's dead and wounded seamen must 
finally be heard. Despite the continuing efforts to uncover the real 
truths about the attack, Martin Luther King Jr., said it best--
``History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period 
of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but 
the appalling silence of the good people.''
  Although no amount of time can ever erase the memories of that tragic 
event or bring back those who perished, it is my hope that the wounds 
of their loved ones have begun to heal.