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.”