Loss of Freedom of Speech and My Navy League Termination
I am a loyal American and a survivor of the June 8, 1967 deliberate and vicious
Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, the most decorated Navy ship since WWII. The Presidential Unit Citation
and 246 metals were awarded to include the skipper who received the Medal of Honor. Unbelievably, the Israeli
and U.S. government lied indicating that the attack was an accident. Some senior U.S. government officials
and the Liberty crew know differently. Unfortunately, this state lie implies that we are anti-Semitic because
the incident involves Israel. In seeking justice, I give speeches indicating the truth, evidence, and the
fact that 34 Americans were killed, 174 were wounded, and the attempted murder of 294 Americans (torpedo attack) by Israel.
We have irrefutable proof that Israel knew this intelligence ship was U.S. before and during the attack in international
I was asked and gave a presentation
to the St. Augustine Navy League (SANL). My speech was warmly received and as of November 2005 I became
an enthusiastic SANL loyal member.
have undertaken numerous tasks during my membership. One of the projects I suggested and successfully initiated
was the “Captain William McGonagle Memorial Library”, named after the USS Liberty skipper. New
and used books were gathered and distributed to SANL support components and to every ship at Mayport. I
have distributed over 5,000 books. When a box of books was presented to a command, I talked freely
about Captain McGonagle, his Medal of Honor, and his courageous efforts to get us out of harms way. When
I stated that the Israeli attack was brutal and deliberate (a historical fact), I received a few irritated comments by a few
SANL members. None of the military commands ever complained about the USS Liberty story. Based
on what happened to us, my fear is that it could happen again and Admiral Mullen agrees.
Ending 2009, I was presented with the SANL Presidential award and elected Vice president for Military Affairs by the
membership. In addition, I continued to carry out my USS Farragut liaison duties and the Capt. William
McGonagle Memorial Library project.
On January 1, 2010, a new SANL president
took over. This individual, an Israeli supporter, found my Israeli statements offensive and in February
attempted to officially curtail my freedom of speech. When I sought justice, I was kicked out as requested
by the new president and eventually supported by the Northeast and all Florida presidents, and Washington Navy League officials.
(FYI: Navy League Headquarters indicated that I should believe the attack was accidental as they
do.) Upper level managers supported the hierarchy chain of command rather than review my past record or
my first amendment rights. After total support since 2005, my membership was suddenly terminated and I
was forbidden to participate in future Navy League events locally and all of Florida. This was arranged
so that I could not speak to the council to defend myself. In fact, while in my presence, I witnessed
speeches indicating I supposedly stated that I wanted Israel wiped off the map, I was anti-Semitic, and I was mentally sick
for not supporting our ally. The SANL president and the all Florida president who is also the St.
Johns Veterans Council Chairman indicated that if I never talk about the USS Liberty again and be placed on six month probation,
I could return to SANL without resuming my elected position. I refused reaffirming that I did nothing wrong.
The prior SANL president was viciously
criticized for his support of me by the current SANL president and Florida aforementioned superiors which resulted in his
SANL council resignation. This individual, a retired Navy Chief, was one of the most caring, active, effective,
and proficient SANL members. SANL cannot dispute his documented hard work.
America must come to grips with the lack of U. S. government honesty by placing
a foreign country and their supporters above the murder of 34 Americans and USS Liberty survivors’ military service.
Truth is the benchmark for honest government -- no matter how difficult it is. These attributes
should also pertain to the Navy League. God bless America.
Ernest A. Gallo, former CTM2, Palm Coast, FL