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Ward Boston, Jr. (born 21 June 1923,[1] d. 12 June 2008 at 84 in Coronado, California) was an attorney and a retired United States Navy Captain.[2] He served in World War II as a Navy fighter pilot and worked as a special agent for the FBI. He gained notoriety due to his service in the Navy as a Legal Specialist, where, as chief counsel to the Naval Board of Inquiry investigating the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 crewmen and injured 172, he personally concluded that the attack was most likely deliberate.[1][3] He stated the court was ordered by superiors to ascribe the attack to an accident, rather than to deliberate hostility.[4]

In 2002 Boston told the Navy Times that the naval court was a politicized sham with conclusions preordained to exonerate Israel.[5] In a signed affidavit he stated that U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had ordered the President of the Court, Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr., that the assault be ruled an accident, and to reach the conclusion "that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity'" despite "overwhelming evidence to the contrary."[4] He said he felt compelled to make this information public following the publication of the book The Liberty Incident by bankruptcy judge A. Jay Cristol, which concluded the attack was unintentional, while Boston found that the attack was most likely deliberate. [4] In early 2004, Boston repeated the revelation before a State Department conference about the Six-Day War.[6]

In 2007, Cristol suggested that another individual helped Boston with his initial affidavit and declaration, and very likely wrote or assisted in the preparation of a June 8, 2007 article; he claimed this was part of a much broader propaganda effort emanating from "a small but well-funded and very vocal group of people and organizations principally supported by Saudi Arabian money".[7]

Death[edit | edit source]

Boston, a Coronado, California resident, died June 12, 2008 of complications from pneumonia at a San Diego hospital. He was 84.[1][4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Blanca Gonzalez, staff writer (2008-06-19). "Ward Boston Jr.; helped investigate '67 Liberty attack - Obituary"]. San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080619/news_1m19boston.html. 
  2. Ward Boston, Jr. (2007-06-08). "Time for the truth about the Liberty". San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070608/news_lz1e8boston.html. "Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II." 
  3. Cristol, A. Jay (2002). The Liberty Incident: The 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship. Brassey's. pp. 149. ISBN 1-57488-536-7. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Carter, Chelsea J. (2008-06-18). "Navy attorney in USS Liberty investigation dies". Chicago Tribune via the Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20110522102833/http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-obit-boston,0,2710367.story. 
  5. David C. Walsh (2004-03-28). "Attack on the Liberty". San Diego Union Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040328/news_mz1e29libert.html. 
  6. James W. Crawley (17-02-2004). "Ex-officer alleges cover-up in probe of spy ship attack". San Diego Union Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20040217-9999-1n17liberty.html. 
  7. A. Jay Cristol (2007-06-08). "Why You Shouldn't Pay Attention to the Claims that Israel Attacked the USS Liberty Deliberately". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/39936.html. 

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Time for the truth about the Liberty | The San Diego Union-Tribune Ward Boston, Jr. June 8, 2007. Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II.

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