USS Liberty Incident

Effective Date: 8 November 2006

CLASSIFIED BY: Louis F. Giles,
Associate Director for Policy

Reason for Classification: 1.4(c)
Declassify on: 20320108


3. added REL to classified portions. NZL//20320108 . GBR. B.4 and A. 1 (U) Formatted to standard. NZL//20320108 (U) Change Register Change Change Date Made By No. added reason for 12/14/06 gjh FOUO.29 changed to (U) with remark added and changed B. CAN.” A. AUS. A. AUS. if needed. GBR.25 reworded from “not good enough” to “2nd response.7 remarks chanced to (C). CAN. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA.30 description to (U). OK with DC35 2 (U) B25 changed to U as per C/DC3 1/25/07 gjh 3 (U) Changed declass date to new 1-52 as per POC – C/DJ2 3/27/07 gjh SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA.B. fixed spelling errors.

(U) The fact that a SIGINT (S//SI//REL) The fact that Readiness “ALFA” was called by NSA declared a SIGINT NSA for Middle East targets and Readiness ALFA for Yemen UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A terminated three days later (April (April 1967) and extended it 1967). CAN. VHF. Associate Director for Policy Description of Information Classification/ Reason Declass Remarks Markings (U) Guidance regarding activities “during the mission” refers to the time period of 24 May 1967 through 8 June 1967. Communist countries these countries remains classified. NZL//20320108 CLASSIFICATION GUIDE TITLE/NUMBER: USS Liberty Incident.4.5. She had an overall length of 455 feet. Targets A. (U) The U. a maximum speed of 18 knots with an allowable personnel complement of 9 officers and 151 enlisted men along with an additional 6 officers and 128 enlisted men from the Naval Security Group. Liberty materials only applies to the time of the Liberty mission. Information declassified in the release of U.2. to the Saudi situation (May 1967) remains classified.3. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. A. (U) The fact that NSA (C//SI//REL) The fact that extended the BRAVO CRAYON to the BRAVO CRAYON Soviet targets (10 June 1967). (U) The fact that NSA (C//SI//REL) The fact that So. CAN.S. AUS. instituted a SIGINT Readiness the ALFA extended to any intercepting communicatio ALFA to watch Soviet moves on 5 UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A other country or to European ns from all of June 1967. (U) This guide reflects a number of separate OCA decisions made over a period of time. (U) A. Liberty was commissioned in May 1945 as a victory ship and later converted into a (TRS) technical research ship (December 1964). UHF N/A N/A intercept of Moroccan SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA.1. AUS. (U) The fact of the Liberty UNCLASSIFIED (U) Details of plain language targeting Moroccan HF. GBR. 10-10 PUBLICATION DATE: 8 November 2006 OFFICE OF ORIGIN: DC32 POC: PHONE: ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY: Louis F. A.S. Giles.S.S. A. A. GBR. extended to any other UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A country or to European Communist countries remains classified. (U) The fact that NSA raised its ALFA to SIGINT Readiness “BRAVO CRAYON” for all UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Middle East communications (May 1967). NZL//20320108 .

Algerian. and reporting in the UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A weeks before the Six Day War included requesting the Liberty’s deployment on 23 May 1967. CAN. AUS. B. B. Text processing. began round-the- UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A clock SIGINT operation at Fort Meade B.S.N.8. NZL//20320108 and radioprinter communications. Morocco communications. G6.6.S. B.S.S.S. communications related to the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June 1967 may be released. (U) B. (U) The fact that the NSA action office. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. GBR.R.S. CAN. (U) The fact that the (U) Any further details intelligence requirements took on a concerning the growing sense of urgency in late May-early UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A requirements from U. Georgetown and Belmont in UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A South America.S. Algeria and UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A intercept of U.A.S.R. the U. then near SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. A. communications were sent to USN-24 (Rota) and USN-12 (Morocco) remains classified. (U) The fact that other SIGINT collectors at this time included the U. Valdez. (U) The fact that the Liberty (U) Details of plain language targeted U. A. UHF. (U) The fact of the Liberty (U) Details of plain language targeting Algerian HF.. and Moroccan communications related to the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June may be released.N.A.5. the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June 1967 may be released.. and the U. from the Mediterranean. intelligence users remain classified. AUS. VHF.7. NZL//20320108 . GBR. (U) The fact that the choice of ship narrowed between the UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A U. (U) The fact that NSA actions to improve SIGINT collection.S. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A intercept of Algerian and possible VHF multichannel communications related to communications.3. A. June 1967. G6.4. (U) The fact that technical (C//SI//REL) The fact that summaries of Moroccan and information copies of the Algerian communications were technical summaries of forwarded to NSA’s Middle East Moroccan and Algerian UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Office.N. Muller off Cuba. the U.S.S. Valdez enroute to the U.1.2. Miscellaneous B.S. Oxford and Jamestown in Southeast Asia.

6. Lebanon.15. classified. B. GBR. B. a secure one-channel moon-relay UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A system. (U) The fact that the SIGINT (U) References to all other unit USN-855 was on board the UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A SIGINT units remain U.14. 20 for manual UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Morse. B. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA.10. NZL//20320108 Gibraltar. technical research ship special communications system (TRSSCOMM).S. (U) The fact that the SIGINT collection positions included: one for direction finding.S. (U) The fact that the Liberty had undertaken five separate missions off the west coast of UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Africa in the two years prior to deployment to the Mediterranean. (U) The fact that SIGINT (U) Each area measuring managers had designated five about 50-by-50 miles. CAN. Army Strategic UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Communication Command facilities and encrypted on KL-7A equipment using the Adonis system (KAK-199). NZL//20320108 . Israel. 7 for electronic countermeasures.R. (U) The fact that daily Sitreps were sent to CINC USN Europe UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A and NSA. and a receive-only terminal. B. (U) The fact that communications between INSCOM. Army Communications Support Units and NSA were via U.A. and 33 for non- morse search and development. CAN.. Ivory Coast.S. B.S.9.S. B. 24 May 1967. 17 for radiotelephone.S. and the Liberty in port at Abidjan. (U) The fact that the U. (U) The fact that the Liberty received orders and departed UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Abidjan at 0530Z.8.12. Liberty was under the management UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A of NSA and control of DIRNSA. Liberty. B. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. B. AUS. AUS.11. B.13. (U) The operational locations of the Liberty in the eastern UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Mediterranean. (U) The fact that USN-855 had the following equipment: full duplex radiotelephone circuit. GBR. operational areas numbered west to east in the eastern Mediterranean UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A near the coastline of the U. and Syria to facilitate USN-855’s collection management. U. B.7.

GBR.S. Massey and Papago escorted the UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Liberty to Malta B. and COMINT Technical Reports for Middle Eastern countries and the USSR. Informal Technical Notes (ITNs). NZL//20320108 .16.23. (U) The fact that the Israeli attack had taken the lives of 34 UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Americans – 25 from the SIGINT unit. (U) Extensive reserve.22. weighed eight pounds. all classified matter (including 168 large canvas bags) UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A had been stowed under guard in a secure space aboard the Liberty. (U) Total materials Masey. (U) TEXTA. (U) Collection Management records recapitulating intercept assignments by case notation at U. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. CAN. NZL//20320108 B. AUS. GBR. S. (U) The fact that by 19 June 1967.20. on- board cryptographic keying materials. MUSSO UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A documents. or Papago trailed in UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A recovered by the Papago Liberty’s wake to recover papers.21. (U) The fact that the Davis.18. c. AUS. B. (U) The fact that NSA determined that there was only minimal security damage and no UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A compromise had occurred. B. (U) Preliminary estimates indicated that the cost to reconfigure the platform would UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A range between four and six million dollars.17. Techins (Technical Instructions). (U) The fact that the Liberty had: a. B. (U) The fact that the Davis. success in SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. B. B. b. B.19. SIGINT sites worldwide. CAN. (U) The fact that the Liberty held technical materials which would reveal the mission of the UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A ship and that it had electronic equipment which would compromise U.

is that they were communications security technicians assisting the USN in its operation of the Liberty. (U//FOUO) Y Routers UNCLASSIFIED// FOIA N/A FOR OFFICIAL Exemp- SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. CONFIDENTIAL// except for “00” and “0”.4(c) 20320108 in use today and is a system NSA remains classified. GBR. (consistent with the released NK comms in case 41796. B. eastern Mediterranean mission. (U) The Values. Tordella discussed Liberty’s cover story with the Director. (S//SI//REL) Information that (S//SI//REL) The Hebrew would show the use of the Hebrew transliteration system is still transliteration system that is used at SECRET//COMINT 1. NZL//20320108 demultiplexing VHF and UHF multichannel communications. //REL shows how well we interpret or do not interpret collected information. if needed. the first response should be that they UNCLASSIFIED N/A were “DoD communications technicians.27. 67” The Producer Designator Digraphs (PDDGs) are U//FOUO. B.32.28. are classified. B. airborne collection flights out of Athens UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A would continue without interruption.4(c) 20320108 classified. They agreed that on questions concerning civilians.29. Naval Security Group. the PDDG “IN” is U//FOUO.” A second response. B VAL (U//FOUO) SIGINT reports and. (U) The fact that USN-855 (U) Countless records were held comprehensive documentation UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A not specific to USN’855’s and was NSA in microcosm. CAN.26.e.24. GBR. (U) The fact that Dr. B. AUS. (U) The Liberty’s experience. B.) B. NZL//20320108 . (U) Fact that NSA had together with the Pueblo capture. (U) On 8 June 1967.4(c) 20320108 REL the above example. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. NSA confirmed that the U. In 1. (U) Intelligence Source (C//REL) Product serial Indicators (ISIs). and the ISI “ISA” is classified. //REL unique to NSA and the intelligence mission.25. C VAL (which are terms still containing these values are SECRET//COMINT in use today and remain classified) 1. i. CAN. appraised the JCS of led to some emphasis on file SIGINT from North Korean reduction and on measures to UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A communications portending facilitate destruction of cryptologic difficulties for the Pueblo materials and equipment. B.. AUS.S.30. found in product example: “2/IN/ISA/R146- serial numbers. The remainder of the Product Serial is releasable. B.

A. Liberty.5 and A.3.2. (ACRP) remain classified. (U) Details regarding SIGINT system produced airborne collectors remain COMINT during May and early classified. June 1967 on the U. GBR. regarding requirements remain classified.A. involvement with the //REL U.8 above. (U) The fact that U.3.) D. (U) The fact that the U. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. (U) The fact that VHF/UHF was collected from intercept sites UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A near the transmitters and by airborne collectors. C.S.4(c) 20320108 classified.S.6. classified.S. Any further details military subjects.R. (U) Any further details SIGINT system had knowledge of regarding VHF/UHF UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Middle East VHF/UHF communications remain communications. and merchant shipping via ground and (U) Details relating to the UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A air collection.S.4. overt (U) Any further details and covert ground sites remain SECRET//COMINT concerning the activities and 1.2. //REL locations of the collection sites remain classified. CAN. D. (S//SI//REL) The fact of SECRET//COMINT 1.S. (S//SI//REL) U. D.4(c) 20320108 GCHQ/U. (U) The fact that NSA (U) Details regarding the increased the EC-121 and C-130 Airborne Collection collection flights to daily instead of Reconnaissance Program UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A the usual eight flights a month.K. NZL//20320108 . overt (U) Any further details collection sites during 1967 remain SECRET//COMINT concerning the activities and 1. AUS. D. (U) Applies to the time intelligence had growing preceding the Liberty requirements for information on UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A mission. (S//SI//REL) U. NZL//20320108 USE ONLY tion 3 (U) C. and merchant shipping remain classified (except as indicated in Remarks for items A. – U. D. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA.U. CAN.1. (U) The fact that the U.S. U. C. Collection D. (U) The fact that there were technical limitations in the collection of VHF/UHF UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A communications in the Middle East.R. AUS. (U) D. //REL locations of the ground sites remain classified. . Level depends on the specific information.K.S. D. GBR.4(c) 20320108 classified. Second Party Cooperation C. (U) The fact that SIGINT planners felt that the average orbit time of the C-130s and EC-121s UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A was too short for the desired sustained collection.1.5.7.K.

GBR. retained UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A full responsibility for processing intercepted Israeli communications.12. (U) The fact that NSA performed backup processing on Arabic language materials.8.10. Julie Alger SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. Blalock. (U) The fact that USN-855 identified 22 frequencies as Israeli. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A D.A. GBR.9. information that has not been declassified and released is b.A.15. (U) E. NZL//20320108 . D.14. Wilson were NSA UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A unclassified: civilians aboard the USS Liberty.11. incident from 5 – 8 June 1967 may be released as well.1 (U) The following names of (U) Donald L. AUS. positions produced three tapes of Israeli air traffic. (U) Details of plain Israeli Helicopter and language intercept of navigational air activity Israeli communications unrelated to the Liberty related to the USS Liberty incident.R. D. coastline. (U) The fact of 6 Arab linguists on board to work on UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A U.R. (U) The fact that the Navy’s VQ-2 and EC-121 and Air Force’s C-130 intercepted in daily flights UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A off the Israeli and U. and that courier time was 72 hours. (U) The fact that the Liberty had VHF/UHF multichannel UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A collection capability. D.13. NSA employees and assignees have Allen M. and Robert been released and are considered L. (U) The fact that one of the airborne platforms collected voice conversations between two Israeli UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A helicopter pilots and the control tower at Hazor Airfield. D. CAN. D. Blue. (S//SI//REL) Other (See Remarks). . CAN. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. (U) The fact that on 8 June helicopter to ground 1967 VHF search communications). (U) The following items (U) Only the portion of the concerning intercept of Israeli tapes dealing with the communications are releasable: UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A Liberty incident has been declassified (Israeli a. Releasable Names of NSA Employees and Assignees E. (U) The fact that a technical research ship (TRS) was the equivalent of 13 airborne collectors UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A and was more economical to operate. AUS. D. communications. NZL//20320108 D.

. Bolstridge John Connell Charles Cowardin Benjamin G. CAN. D. Edward Koczak Lt. Wilson.. Cmdr. Farley William D. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. GBR. E. Bennett Donald L. Cmdr. Klumfoot Lt. Lewis CTC Terry L. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA. Millington Henry Schorreck Eugene Sheck Clyde Wesley Way Robert L. Blue Col. John McTighe Henry W. NZL//20320108 Lt. Allan Deprey Billy Durham Robert D. Robert T. Leslie J. Wilson Vincent J. Gerhard Lt. Green Richard Harvey William Holleran BG William Keller Clarence R. Maury H. Cwalina Walter Deeley Lt. AUS. Jr. AUS. NZL//20320108 . GBR. Col. CAN. Blalock Allen M. McFarland Lt.