56 Forsyth Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
with the provisions of the law as set forth in 28 United States Code § 372(c)(1), and in conformity with the local
rules of the Judicial Council of the Eleventh Circuit governing complaints of judicial misconduct or disability, I hereby
bring to the attention of this Court certain conduct on the part of A. Jay Cristol, a Federal Bankruptcy Judge of the Southern
District of Florida, which I firmly believe this Court will find prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration
of the business of the courts, and for this purpose my Statement of Facts follows forthwith. My interest in this matter
stems exclusively from my being a founding associate member of the USS Liberty Veterans Association (www.ussliberty.org/jim/ussliberty) and the sole author of An Eight Part Peace Proposal for Greater Jerusalem.
STATEMENT OF FACTS I firmly believe and hereby allege that A. Jay Cristol
has breached both the letter and spirit of the American Bar Association Code of Judicial Conduct (adopted by the
House of Delegates of the ABA on 16 August 1972) by:A) lending the prestige
of his office to advance the private interests of a certain foreign state and of certain foreign nationals, which violates
Canon 2(B);B) casting doubt on his capacity to decide impartially
any issue that may come before him, which is in violation of Canon 4(A);C)
abandoning the proper restrictions on the conduct of judges by engaging in political activity both of a controversial and
an international nature and which properly falls within the constitutional mandate of the Congress of the United States of
America, which is in violation of Canon 7(A)(4). Specific details of the
aforementioned allegations are as follows:
The NEW YORK TIMES of 30 April 2001 published Judge Cristol’s letter of 23 April and identified him as “a federal
judge in the Southern District of Florida” (please see Exhibit A, attached). In his letter, Judge Cristol, writing
under the color of authority normally accorded an individual exhibiting such high rank, seeks to rebut indications arising
from James Bamford’s new book, Body of Secrets (New York: Doubleday, 2001), that Israel’s attack on the
US Navy audio-electromagnetic surveillance ship USS Liberty while on NSA duty during the Six Day War of 1967 was indeed deliberate
and not an accident.
The occasion for Judge Cristol’s letter to the editor was a news report in the NEW YORK TIMES of 23 April (page A7)
by James Risen on the imminent release of Bamford’s book the very next day (Exhibit B). In the small space allotted
to any contributor to the letters section, Judge Cristol briefly states that he has conducted research on the matter for a
period of thirteen years and that this as well as his analysis of eighteen governmental reports supports their conclusions
that there is no evidence that the attack was intentional but was rather a tragic mistake.
While Judge Cristol is certainly entitled to his
own opinions on this subject, he crossed a line that should not have been crossed when he failed in his professional responsibility
to make sure that the editors did not leave open the suggestion that Judge Cristol’s research and analysis were conducted
under the authority of the Federal Judiciary. Indeed, unless one were familiar with the particulars of this case; namely,
that Judge Cristol’s research and analysis were carried out as a doctoral dissertation, THE LIBERTY INCIDENT (Exhibit
C), in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Departments of History and of
International Relations at the University of Miami, one would be almost certain to connect in one’s mind Judge Cristol’s
research and analysis - as mentioned in his published letter - with his exalted position on the Federal Judiciary which appears
under his name! I submit to this Court that an overwhelming percentage of those who read Judge Cristol’s letter
would fall into this category.
This not inconsiderable deception tends to favor one side in a dispute about the real circumstances and true story of the
attack on the USS Liberty; namely, the Government of Israel and the Israeli individuals who perpetrated the attack and coverup.
Judge Cristol’s black robe advances their collective private interest in seeing their side of the story prevail.
Moreover, Judge Cristol’s judgelike adventure
helps these Israelis continue to avoid the “disciplinary measures which international law requires in the event of wrongful
conduct by the military personnel of a State” during the course of a war, which then Secretary of State Dean Rusk called
for in the American reply to Israel’s apology for the attack (Exhibit D). Judge Cristol’s lack of probity
in hoodwinking an unwary public is matched by his outright bias in favor of Israel.
B) Judge Cristol’s
dissertation is so full of superficial analysis and avoidance of key evidence and uncritical acceptance of the findings of
others as well as a possible instance of outright fabrication that one feels compelled to conclude he lacks the judicial temperament
required for a position on the Federal bench.
Harking back to the news article in the NEW YORK TIMES (Exhibit B) that triggered Judge Cristol’s letter to the editor
and which brought this matter to the fore by publicly connecting his work with his Federal judgeship, I note that Judge Cristol
sidesteps entirely the key point of James Risen’s article; namely, that new and compelling evidence indicating a deliberate
attack on the USS Liberty has been found. Since Judge Cristol cannot integrate into his own findings and conclusions
a report that crewmembers of a US Navy EC-121 surveillance aircraft overheard the Israeli attackers saying their target was
flying the American flag, he simply ignores this matter and declares as if by rote that he found no evidence that the attack
was deliberate! How typical of this man!
abound: In his letter Judge Cristol cites “10 official United States investigations of the incident by the Central Intelligence
Agency, the United States Navy, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Board, the Department of Defense and the National
Security Agency, plus five Congressional investigations.” Inasmuch as none of these 15 investigations puts the
actions of the Israel Defense Force on the day of the attack under serious scrutiny - indeed, not one of these investigations
went so far as to speak with the perpetrators of the attack - common sense dictates that their conclusions as to Israeli intent
and culpability are therefore worthless. Clearly, Judge Cristol either lacks this common sense or such apparent deficiency
masks the guile it takes to announce to the worldwide readership of the NEW YORK TIMES that a federal judge has looked into
this matter and has found all fifteen of these “investigations” wholly convincing. Whatever the case, Judge
Cristol does indeed mislead the public by characterizing as reliable and conclusive these politically motivated and severely
limited US investigations, which generally rely on the Naval Court of Inquiry presided over by the late Admiral Isaac Kidd,
who assured me in several telephone conversations during the past decade that his investigation was “entirely shipboard”;
i.e., the focus was exclusively on the actions of the United States Armed Forces and the USS Liberty crew and not on the Israel
Defense Force. Moreover, contrary to the deep impression Judge Cristol’s letter leaves with NEW YORK TIMES readers,
the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty remains the only major peace-time incident at sea involving a US Navy ship which has
not been the subject of a full Congressional investigation!
the Israeli “Preliminary Report,” otherwise known as the “Yerushalmi Report” (Exhibit E), which the
Israeli Ambassador presented to the White House on 14 August 1967, the State Department legal advisor at the time, Karl Salans,
rejected it as lacking in credibility in a report (Exhibit F) that Liberty survivors eventually obtained two decades later;
I myself regard this official Israeli report as a subtle vehicle of blackmail of the United States Government (Exhibit G,
p 51; Exhibit E, par 3) and I opine that this is one of the reasons behind Ambassador Evron’s request that the “Yerushalmi
Report” be withheld from the people of the United States. Why does Judge Cristol embrace so openly what technically
remains secret evidence? How could he endorse a report whose author wrote, “Although considerations of the credibility
of witnesses should not be part of my functions...”? (Exhibit E, par 19) How does such behavior accord with
the cherished traditions of the Judiciary in the USA?
Judge Cristol is not without bias; he schmoozes well with Israeli connections on his and their extensive travels but conveniently
overlooks many troubling aspects of the attack such as: the shooting of all life rafts; Ambassador Barbour’s
cable (Exhibit H) denying Israel made preliminary inquiry about presence of US ships in the area; the highly visible, white-painted
satellite dish on the stern which set Liberty apart from any supposed target in the Egyptian Navy or any other navy; the electronic
jamming of Liberty’s radios during the attack, which presupposes knowledge of frequencies and their users.
Judge Cristol seemingly pulls out of thin air (Exhibit I) Egyptian sappers to explain the huge explosion in Al Arish which
provided a pretext for the attack; namely, an obvious prevarication about Liberty’s conducting a shore bombardment from
beyond 12 miles out with all 4 of its .50 caliber machine guns! We have neither footprints of these sappers nor a footnote
Certain difficult questions arise concerning the
legal and national security implications of the Halakic prohibition that a Jew cannot inform on another Jew (Exhibit J), which
either by design or sheer ignorance are beyond the scope of Judge Cristol’s dissertation. Credibility and accountability
Judge Cristol falsely asserted that I wrote that
“it is not possible to capture the ‘impregnable Golan Heights’” whereas I had indicated strong skepticism
about Israel’s taking of “the virtually impregnable Golan Heights in less than 24 hours” and only after
taking out Liberty’s big ear. (Exhibit G, p 50)
space do not allow an exhaustive description of the manifold flaws and imperfections of Judge Cristol’s dissertation.
These should be studied, as I do fear his incompetence very likely extends to the bench.
C) The Israeli Government
and its supporters in the USA have long treated the Liberty incident merely - and quite effectively! - as a public relations
problem and not as an issue of war crimes and justice denied let alone as an historic military action that is revelatory of
the Realpolitik and of the hobbled quest for peace in the region.
Indeed, the assault on the USS Liberty is closely linked chronologically
to the "miracle" taking of the Syrian Golan Heights which proceeded apace only after Liberty’s NSA eavesdropping
capability had been neutralized - a circumstance that strongly suggests an extraordinary need for secrecy with regard to the
Golan operation. This should be studied not only in the interests of justice but of peace as well.
Whatever the case, Judge Cristol’s open advocacy
of what in reality has been a sustained cover-up by the governments of Israel and the USA tends to be supportive of Israel’s
illegal occupation and settlement of the Syrian Golan Heights, which is not in accord with United Nations Security Council
Resolution 242 and the Fourth Geneva Convention or with the USA’s constitutionally mandated commitment to honor its
UN treaty obligations by enforcing these measures. Zionism is actively opposed to the enforcement of these constitutionally
mandated UN treaty obligations of the USA and open discussion of the Liberty incident threatens to awaken American public
opinion that would be adverse to these goals.
Thus, the failed Middle East peace process can be seen as a function of domestic politics here in the USA even as the European
Union seeks to fill the void. Indeed, only two weeks ago in Brussels, Belgium, the External Relations Commissioner of
the European Union, Christopher Patten, affirmed: “All settlement activities in Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem
and on the Golan Heights are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to peace...; these territories
do not form part of the State of Israel under public international law.” Sooner better than later the USA must
realize that no Israeli Prime Minister - with or without the support of the Israeli people - can make a “startlingly
generous offer” of illegally occupied territory no matter what the public relations mavens have to say on the subject!
This is the current reality in which the USS Liberty
survivors find themselves as their pleas for a full and impartial Congressional investigation still fall on deaf ears.
In this regard Congress remains remiss in its duty “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high
Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations.” (Constitution of the United States of America, Article I, Section
8) Judge Cristol tried but failed to fill this void that only Congress can fill and in so doing threatens to bring disrepute
on the Federal Judiciary. Meanwhile, the Liberty survivors, their families and friends as well as those of the 34 who
gave their last full measure of devotion to this nation on that fateful day, continue in their dignified and commendable way
to seek redress; let the Special Committee per 28 USC § 372 (c) establish judicial evidence as a fitting prompt