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NSA’s USS Liberty Incident Classification Guide

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SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY CENTRAL SECURITY SERVICE (U) CLASSIFICATION GUIDE FOR USS Liberty Incident 10-10 Effective Date: 8 November 2006 CLASSIFIED BY: Louis F. Giles, Associate Director for Policy Reason for Classification: 1.4(c) Declassify on: 20320108 SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

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

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 CLASSIFICATION GUIDE TITLE/NUMBER: USS Liberty Incident, 10-10 PUBLICATION DATE: 8 November 2006 OFFICE OF ORIGIN: DC32 POC: PHONE: ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY: Louis F. Giles, 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. Information declassified in the release of U.S.S. Liberty materials only applies to the time of the Liberty mission. (U) This guide reflects a number of separate OCA decisions made over a period of time. (U) The U.S.S. Liberty was commissioned in May 1945 as a victory ship and later converted into a (TRS) technical research ship (December 1964). She had an overall length of 455 feet, 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. (U) A. Targets A.1. (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). to the Saudi situation (May 1967) remains classified. A.2. (U) The fact that NSA raised its ALFA to SIGINT Readiness N/A “BRAVO CRAYON” for all UNCLASSIFIED N/A Middle East communications (May 1967). (C//SI//REL) The fact that A.3. (U) The fact that NSA the ALFA extended to any instituted a SIGINT Readiness N/A other country or to European ALFA to watch Soviet moves on 5 UNCLASSIFIED N/A Communist countries June 1967. remains classified. A.4. (U) The fact that NSA (C//SI//REL) The fact that extended the BRAVO CRAYON to the BRAVO CRAYON Soviet targets (10 June 1967). extended to any other UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A country or to European Communist countries remains classified. UNCLASSIFIED A.5. (U) The fact of the Liberty (U) Details of plain language N/A targeting Moroccan HF, VHF, UHF N/A intercept of Moroccan SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 So, intercepting communicatio ns from all of these countries

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 and radioprinter communications. A.6. (U) The fact of the Liberty targeting Algerian HF, VHF, UHF, and possible VHF multichannel communications. A.7. (U) The fact that technical summaries of Moroccan and Algerian communications were forwarded to NSA’s Middle East Office, G6. A.8. (U) The fact that the Liberty targeted U.A.R., Algeria and Morocco communications. Text (U) B. Miscellaneous B.1. (U) The fact that NSA actions to improve SIGINT collection, processing, and reporting in the weeks before the Six Day War included requesting the Liberty’s deployment on 23 May 1967. B.2. (U) The fact that other SIGINT collectors at this time included the U.S.S. Oxford and Jamestown in Southeast Asia, the U.S.S. Georgetown and Belmont in South America, the U.S.N.S. Muller off Cuba, and the U.S.N.S. Valdez enroute to the U.S. from the Mediterranean. B.3. (U) The fact that the NSA action office, G6, began round-theclock SIGINT operation at Fort Meade B.4. (U) The fact that the intelligence requirements took on a sense of urgency in late May-early June 1967. B.5. (U) The fact that the choice of ship narrowed between the U.S.N.S. Valdez, then near communications related to the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June 1967 may be released. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A (U) Details of plain language intercept of Algerian communications related to the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June 1967 may be released. (C//SI//REL) The fact that information copies of the technical summaries of Moroccan and Algerian communications were sent to USN-24 (Rota) and USN-12 (Morocco) remains classified. (U) Details of plain language intercept of U.A.R., Algerian, and Moroccan communications related to the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June may be released. (U) Any further details concerning the growing requirements from U.S. intelligence users remain classified. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 Gibraltar, and the Liberty in port at Abidjan, Ivory Coast. B.6. (U) The fact that the Liberty had undertaken five separate missions off the west coast of Africa in the two years prior to deployment to the Mediterranean. B.7. (U) The operational locations of the Liberty in the eastern Mediterranean. B.8. (U) The fact that the Liberty received orders and departed Abidjan at 0530Z, 24 May 1967. B.9. (U) The fact that the SIGINT unit USN-855 was on board the U.S.S. Liberty. B.10. (U) The fact that USN-855 had the following equipment: full duplex radiotelephone circuit, a secure one-channel moon-relay system, technical research ship special communications system (TRSSCOMM), and a receive-only terminal. B.11. (U) The fact that the SIGINT collection positions included: one for direction finding, 17 for radiotelephone, 20 for manual Morse, 7 for electronic countermeasures, and 33 for nonmorse search and development. B.12. (U) The fact that communications between INSCOM, U.S. Army Communications Support Units and NSA were via U.S. Army Strategic Communication Command facilities and encrypted on KL-7A equipment using the Adonis system (KAK-199). B.13. (U) The fact that the U.S.S. Liberty was under the management of NSA and control of DIRNSA. B.14. (U) The fact that daily Sitreps were sent to CINC USN Europe and NSA. B.15. (U) The fact that SIGINT managers had designated five operational areas numbered west to east in the eastern Mediterranean near the coastline of the U.A.R., Israel, Lebanon, and Syria to facilitate USN-855’s collection management. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A (U) References to all other SIGINT units remain classified. (U) Each area measuring about 50-by-50 miles. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 B.16. (U) The fact that the Davis, Massey and Papago escorted the Liberty to Malta B.17. (U) The fact that the Davis, Masey, or Papago trailed in Liberty’s wake to recover papers. B.18. (U) The fact that by 19 June 1967, all classified matter (including 168 large canvas bags) had been stowed under guard in a secure space aboard the Liberty. B.19. (U) Preliminary estimates indicated that the cost to reconfigure the platform would range between four and six million dollars. B.20. (U) The fact that the Liberty had: a. (U) Extensive reserve, onboard cryptographic keying materials. b. (U) TEXTA, Techins (Technical Instructions), Informal Technical Notes (ITNs), MUSSO documents, and COMINT Technical Reports for Middle Eastern countries and the USSR. (U) Collection Management records recapitulating intercept assignments by case notation at U. S. SIGINT sites worldwide. B.21. (U) The fact that NSA determined that there was only minimal security damage and no compromise had occurred. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A (U) Total materials recovered by the Papago weighed eight pounds. c. B.22. (U) The fact that the Israeli attack had taken the lives of 34 Americans – 25 from the SIGINT unit. B.23. (U) The fact that the Liberty held technical materials which would reveal the mission of the ship and that it had electronic equipment which would compromise U.S. success in SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 demultiplexing VHF and UHF multichannel communications. B.24. (U) On 8 June 1967, NSA confirmed that the U.S. airborne collection flights out of Athens would continue without interruption. B.25. (U) The fact that Dr. Tordella discussed Liberty’s cover story with the Director, Naval Security Group. They agreed that on questions concerning civilians, the first response should be that they were “DoD communications technicians.” A second response, if needed, is that they were communications security technicians assisting the USN in its operation of the Liberty. B.26. (U) The fact that USN-855 held comprehensive documentation and was NSA in microcosm. B.27. (U) The Liberty’s experience, together with the Pueblo capture, led to some emphasis on file reduction and on measures to facilitate destruction of cryptologic materials and equipment. B.28. (S//SI//REL) Information that would show the use of the Hebrew transliteration system that is used at NSA remains classified. B.29. (U) The Values, i.e., B VAL and, C VAL (which are terms still in use today and remain classified) shows how well we interpret or do not interpret collected information. B.30. (U) Intelligence Source Indicators (ISIs), found in product serial numbers, are classified. B.32. (U//FOUO) Y Routers N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A SECRET//COMINT //REL 1.4(c) 20320108 1.4(c) 20320108 SECRET//COMINT //REL CONFIDENTIAL// REL 1.4(c) 20320108 UNCLASSIFIED// FOR OFFICIAL FOIA Exemp- N/A (U) Countless records were not specific to USN’855’s eastern Mediterranean mission. (U) Fact that NSA had appraised the JCS of SIGINT from North Korean communications portending difficulties for the Pueblo (consistent with the released NK comms in case 41796.) (S//SI//REL) The Hebrew transliteration system is still in use today and is a system unique to NSA and the intelligence mission. (U//FOUO) SIGINT reports containing these values are classified. (C//REL) Product serial example: “2/IN/ISA/R14667” The Producer Designator Digraphs (PDDGs) are U//FOUO, except for “00” and “0”. In the above example, the PDDG “IN” is U//FOUO, and the ISI “ISA” is classified. The remainder of the Product Serial is releasable. SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 USE ONLY tion 3 SECRET//COMINT //REL 1.4(c) (U) C. Second Party Cooperation C.1. (S//SI//REL) The fact of GCHQ/U.K. involvement with the U.S.S. Liberty. C.2. (S//SI//REL) U.S. - U.K. overt collection sites during 1967 remain classified. C.3. (S//SI//REL) U.S. – U.K. overt and covert ground sites remain classified. 20320108 SECRET//COMINT //REL 1.4(c) 20320108 SECRET//COMINT //REL 1.4(c) 20320108 (U) Any further details concerning the activities and locations of the collection sites remain classified. (U) Any further details concerning the activities and locations of the ground sites remain classified. (U) D. Collection D.1. (U) The fact that U.S. intelligence had growing requirements for information on military subjects. D.2. (U) The fact that NSA increased the EC-121 and C-130 collection flights to daily instead of the usual eight flights a month. D.3. (U) The fact that VHF/UHF was collected from intercept sites near the transmitters and by airborne collectors. D.4. (U) The fact that the U.S. SIGINT system had knowledge of Middle East VHF/UHF communications. D.5. (U) The fact that the U.S. SIGINT system produced COMINT during May and early June 1967 on the U.A.R. and merchant shipping via ground and air collection. D.6. (U) The fact that there were technical limitations in the collection of VHF/UHF communications in the Middle East. D.7. (U) The fact that SIGINT planners felt that the average orbit time of the C-130s and EC-121s was too short for the desired sustained collection. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A (U) Applies to the time preceding the Liberty mission. Any further details regarding requirements remain classified. (U) Details regarding the Airborne Collection Reconnaissance Program (ACRP) remain classified. Level depends on the specific information. (U) Any further details regarding VHF/UHF communications remain classified. (U) Details regarding airborne collectors remain classified. (U) Details relating to the U.A.R. and merchant shipping remain classified (except as indicated in Remarks for items A.5 and A.8 above.) SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 D.8. (U) The fact that a technical research ship (TRS) was the equivalent of 13 airborne collectors and was more economical to operate. D.9. (U) The fact that the Liberty had VHF/UHF multichannel collection capability. D.10. (U) The fact of 6 Arab linguists on board to work on U.A.R. communications. D.11. (U) The fact that NSA performed backup processing on Arabic language materials, retained full responsibility for processing intercepted Israeli communications, and that courier time was 72 hours. D.12. (U) The fact that the Navy’s VQ-2 and EC-121 and Air Force’s C-130 intercepted in daily flights off the Israeli and U.A.R. coastline. D.13. (U) The following items concerning intercept of Israeli communications are releasable: a. UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A UNCLASSIFIED N/A N/A (U) The fact that on 8 June 1967 VHF search positions produced three tapes of Israeli air traffic. (See Remarks). (U) Details of plain language intercept of Israeli communications related to the USS Liberty incident from 5 – 8 June 1967 may be released as well. D.14. (U) The fact that USN-855 identified 22 frequencies as Israeli. (U) Only the portion of the tapes dealing with the Liberty incident has been declassified (Israeli helicopter to ground communications). (S//SI//REL) Other information that has not been declassified and released is Israeli Helicopter and navigational air activity unrelated to the Liberty incident. . b. UNCLASSIFIED N/A D.15. (U) The fact that one of the airborne platforms collected voice conversations between two Israeli UNCLASSIFIED N/A helicopter pilots and the control tower at Hazor Airfield. (U) E. Releasable Names of NSA Employees and Assignees E.1 (U) The following names of NSA employees and assignees have been released and are considered UNCLASSIFIED N/A unclassified: N/A N/A N/A (U) Donald L. Blalock, Allen M. Blue, and Robert L. Wilson were NSA civilians aboard the USS Liberty. Julie Alger SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108

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

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