JUNE 8th, 1967, Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats attacked the American intelligence vessel USS Liberty in international waters. 34 American sailors were killed and 174 wounded . American carrier planes were launched but immediately recalled by President Lyndon Johnson, who said that he did not want to “embarrass my ally,” who were at the moment strafing the Liberty’s life rafts.

Despite the National Security Agency withholding tapes and documents that bear on the matter, there is overwhelming evidence, including NSA intercepts of the pilots’ transmissions, that this was a deliberate attack, seemingly designed to keep the U.S. from knowing of Israel’s impending attack on the Golan Heights, which Washington opposed. The Liberty sailors were ordered to be silent on pain of court martial, and the Navy conducted a superficial investigation, admitting that its purpose was not to “assign culpability.”

To this day the official position of the Israeli and American governments is that the incident was an accident, which is about as likely as the attack on Pearl Harbor being accidental.