One would think that in this–the post 9/11 age–that a direct, face-to-face threat against the life of a decorated American war hero by someone claiming to be an agent working for a Middle Eastern country tied to previous acts of terrorism against the US would rouse some concern.
That is of course, unless the country from which this foreign agent hails is Israel and the war hero being threatened is a survivor of the USS LIBERTY, attacked by the Jewish state in 1967, leading to the deaths of 34 American servicemen.
As surreal as it sounds (again, in this the post 9/11 age) this nevertheless is exactly what transpired on the evening of Friday, August 6, to Phillip F. Tourney, decorated war hero and survivor of Israel’s deliberate and pre-meditated attack upon his ship USS LIBERTY 43 years ago who was verbally threatened by a foreign national claiming to work for the government of Israel.
No stranger to threats, Tourney has been subjected over the years to a smorgasboard of such business resulting from his refusal to remain silent concerning the deliberate attack on his ship 43 years ago and the cover-up nursed along every day since. These threats have included middle-of-the-night phone calls where the names of his children and grandchildren have been read aloud, guns fired a mere few inches from the phone’s receiver, swastikas painted on his home and, more recently, 2 occasions where the lugnuts on both his trucks were loosened, resulting in both vehicles being totaled in ensuing crashes.
What makes this most recent threat more ominous in its nature (and indicating that the same interests responsible for murdering his shipmates 43 years ago are beginning to take Tourney’s “activism” these days more serious than before) is that this time it took place in a manner “up close and personal,” meaning in a face-to-face encounter in the lounge of a Holiday Inn located in Southern California.
Vacationing the first week of August with Lisa, his wife of almost 30 years, as he sat in the lounge one Friday, August 6th evening, the seat to his immediate right was taken up by a well-dressed man speaking with an Israeli accent who wanted to strike up a conversation about–of all things–the USS LIBERTY. According to both Tourney and his wife, the man in question was in his mid-40’s, well-dressed and carried himself in a very “professional” way. Within seconds of the discussion’s beginning, the Israeli national referred to the LIBERTY as “that horse transport” (the lame excuse Israel has maintained these last 43 years in “mistaking” the USS LIBERTY for the El Quesir, an Egyptian horse ferry ¼ the size) thus conveying the message to Tourney that his new-found friend was indeed an official from the Israeli government. Tourney asked the man what he did, only to be told that he was a “doctor”. When Tourney challenged him to produce a business card, the “doctor” said he didn’t carry them, not bothering to disguise the slight smirk on his face underscoring the deliberate farcical nature of his response.
Obviously trying to get Tourney unhinged (no doubt in the interests of creating a public scene that might eventually turn violent and leading to Tourney’s high-profile/media-intensive arrest) the Israeli then went on discussing the June 8, 1967 butchering of 34 Americans by the government of Israel in mocking, taunting tones.
During the initial few moments of the verbal exchange, the man with the Israeli accent–wearing an outlandishly-over-sized watch–repeatedly put the watch menacingly and directly in Tourney’s face as if he–the Israeli–were a news reporter shoving a microphone in the face of a prospective interviewee. Tourney recognized immediately what was going on, indicated he knew he was being taped and told the man to get the watch out of his face. Again, it can be assumed the man with the Israeli accent was trying to provoke Tourney into some sort of physical action that could result in the police showing up and subsequent newspaper headlines damaging to the USS LIBERTY cause such as USS LIBERTY SURVIVOR ASSAULTS JEWISH DOCTOR IN HOTEL LOUNGE.
Finally, unable to provoke Tourney into throwing that hoped-for first punch, from there the dialogue turned into something right out of an episode of the gangster mini-series The Sopranos. After telling Tourney that the men of the USS LIBERTY “got what they deserved that day”, the man with the Israeli accent admitted he was in fact not a doctor but rather an employee of the same people who murdered the men aboard the LIBERTY 43 years ago. Tourney asked the man what he did specifically, to which the response over and over was “many things“ and “I do whatever my government asks of me”.
The Israeli national then went on to say that his bosses were “not happy” with some of Tourney’s recent “activities“. He mentioned specifically the radio programs Tourney has either hosted or appeared on in recent years as well as the book he recently co-authored along with independent journalist Mark Glenn entitled “What I Saw That Day…Israel’s 1967 Holocaust of American Servicemen Aboard the USS LIBERTY and Its Aftermath”. The man made clear the fact that his government–the government of Israel–planned on putting a stop to all of this sooner rather than later, adding that “We plan to pay a visit to your friend Mark Glenn soon as well”.
At this point, Tourney, wanting to keep the man with the Israeli accent talking as much as possible, then asked how he planned upon silencing him. Was he (Tourney) going to be shot right there in the lounge in front of all present witnesses, and if not, when and where? The man with the Israeli accent merely maintained the same smirk on his face he had displayed before. Tourney then asked him when the next war was going to start, to which the foreign agent replied “Soon…My sources tell me between 30 and 60 days” and to which Tourney responded with another question “And what about me?”, to which the man with the Israeli accent responded “You are on the same list as the Iranians.”
At this point, Tourney’s wife Lisa, hearing what was taking place a mere few feet off to her right and experiencing for the first time the kind of threats that her husband has endured for decades (but which he never shared with her) decided she had heard enough. She got up from her seat, went around her husband so she could stare eye to eye with her husband’s would-be murderer and let loose in the way any devoted wife would–She referred to the man with the Israeli accent as the devil and told him he had no right to do what he was doing, asking him who he thought he was threatening Americans in such a way.
At this point, the elevated discussion was obviously attracting attention from the other patrons in the lounge and as if on cue, the man with the Israeli accent fawned surprise, shock and contrition, loudly protesting with apologies, all the more so as to make Tourney and his wife appear irrational, irascible and out of control and he the innocent victim. Shortly afterwards, hotel security showed up and the Tourneys left the lounge.
Tourney’s first action upon arriving at his hotel room was to call the aforementioned co-author of his book Mark Glenn and relate to him what took place and make him aware of the fact that threats had been made against both of them personally by a foreign national claiming to work for the government of Israel.
The following Monday, a visit to the FBI office in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho was made by Glenn where he met for close to an hour with a special agent and described in as much detail as he was capable of delivering the events of the prior Friday evening. According to Glenn, the agent doing the interview was courteous and professional but at an obvious disadvantage in terms of the nature of what had just taken place, as he seemed to have no working knowledge concerning the slaughter of Americans aboard the USS LIBERTY or even with violent Jewish groups tied to Israel’s Mossad operating in the U.S. such as the JDL or JDO, despite the fact that both organizations are categorized by both the US Justice Department and the US State Department as some of the most dangerous terrorist organizations operating on American soil.
Tourney faired no better in his encounter with the FBI in his hometown in relating what took place. According to Tourney, the agent taking down the report gravitated between boredom and aggravation at his being forced to deal with such business, although he indicated he would contact the Coeur D’Alene office and “compare notes”.
As of the moment of this writing, no follow-up calls have been paid by either FBI office to either parties filing this complaint.
The obvious (which needs no mention but will be nonetheless) are the political realities surrounding this event. If the roles of the various players involved with this event were slightly different, in that they featured an American–war hero or not–being threatened by agents of a foreign country in the Middle East (not Israel) it would make headline news all over the world. Law enforcement officials from virtually every federal agency down to and including the FDA would be pulled off other pressing details in order to bring the full resources of the US government to bear in dealing with the situation and all other news would take a back seat as Americans would be fed a constant din of noise surrounding the latest ”terrorist” threat from the Middle East.
However, just as the world learned in the days and weeks following 9/11, where scores of Israeli intelligence officers (some in circumstances as “interesting” as filming the destruction of the Twin Towers and cheering and others arrested while driving an explosives-laden van around New York City) were apprehended by U.S. law enforcement personnel and then quietly sent back to Israel, the Jewish state can literally get away with mass murder against Americans and nothing will be done. Whether it is the attack on the USS LIBERTY, Israel’s role in 9/11 or the fact that two American families were threatened with death by the government of the Jewish state, Israel and her paid assassins are given a free pass out the back door to a waiting getaway vehicle after their crimes have been committed.
The likely factor that bears consideration as to why Israel has suddenly taken such an interest (and gotten nervous) about the activities of USS LIBERTY survivor Phil Tourney is the fact Americana Pictures has just finished the first draft of a screenplay based loosely and not-so-loosely on the events as recounted in Tourney’s new book. The president of Americana Pictures, Merlin Miller, is a graduate of West Point Academy, spent many years working in Hollywood, has directed and produced several of his own films and has now made the project of producing and directing a new film telling the story of what took place with Israel’s attack on the USS LIBERTY his main priority.
Developments as they occur…
© 2010 Mark Glenn