This is a piece all Americans should read by Phillip F. Tourney, survivor and past president of the USS LIBERTY Veterans Association three times and co-host of the LIBERTY HOUR radio show. This post appeared in the Blog Bits and Pieces
“I was murdered! Can you hear me?”
August 8, 2008
Can you hear me as I scream out from my watery grave in the Mediterranean Sea? Can you hear me from the tomb in the mass grave at Arlington National Cemetery? Can you hear me from my grave in the rolling hills of Kentucky? Can you hear me from my grave next to Mom & Dad’s house in Wisconsin? I am in many graves throughout this land in America. Can you hear me, so my death was not in vain?
…I was 19 years old and had the rest of my life ahead of me. I sure miss Mom and Dad, my kid brother. Most of all I miss the love of my life, Jenny. We met in second grade. We went to the prom together. She went off to college and I went off to the navy to serve my country. I loved her so much. How could I have looked into the future and known that my fate had already been sealed? I was to be murdered in cold blood…
…I had been in the navy for 9 years and was a chief petty officer already. The navy was my life. My wife accepted my decision to retire from the navy. We had a home in Norfolk, VA with our two kids, Debbie and little Joey. Joey loved to put on my chief’s hat and run around the house barking out orders. We all obeyed them. What good times we had together. As our ship left the pier, Cindy, my wife, would wave goodbye and stay until our ship was completely out of site over the horizon. I miss my family so much. How could I have known I was to be murdered, never to see my family again?…
…I graduated from the naval academy. What a proud day for me, Ma and Pa especially! Everyone was there, even my great-aunt. She came all the way from Hawaii to wish me well. I will never forget the great big hug she gave me. It felt so good. I really enjoyed my jobs in the navy, starting out as a lowly ensign. But how exciting were the tasks asked of me. I was just glad to be in the navy. I was on a blind date along with my roommate from the academy when I met his sister. He fixed me up with her. I really didn’t expect what I saw when I met her. Nothing against Tom but he wasn’t the most handsome man on the block so my expectations were pretty low, to say the least. She opened the door and I fell in love immediately. She was beautiful, breathtaking is a more fitting word. We were married 6 months and 4 days after I first saw her. We both wanted a family so we started immediately. I was blessed with three kids; two girls and a son. I had progressed in the navy and was now a Lt. Commander and the executive officer of my ship, the USS LIBERTY. How could I have ever imagined that sunny day in May as we set sail that I would never see my family again. God, I hope they all pull through this without me. I was to be murdered in the first week of June, 1967…
…I was retiring from the navy. I had already put in all of my time and hated that. I wanted to stay in until I was 90 years old, that’s how much I loved my job serving my country. My ship was about to sail off without me. I could not stand that I couldn’t go with her just one more time. I begged the captain to change my orders and he finally gave in and said ok, I’ll make sure you can make one more cruise with us. Now I had to go to my other captain, my wife, and tell her what I had done. My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing. Then I told her. I said honey the old man said I can make one more trip on the ship I love but I won’t go unless you and the kids say it’s ok. She started laughing, kissed me deeply and said I will not say no to something you love so much. I kissed my wife and kids goodbye, then hurried back to my ship. How her heart must have been broken when she heard I had been murdered aboard my good ship, the USS LIBERTY on June 8, 1967, by the Government of Israel….
I hear your voices, shipmates as do your other mates. We promise you WE SWEAR TO YOU IN THE NAME OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN AND IN THE NAMES OF OUR FOREFATHERS WHO MADE THIS GREAT NATION–we won’t let you die in vain. I hear your voices, shipmates. You remember me? My name is Ron Kukal. I’m the one who brought your lifeless and blown-up bodies out of the torpedoed spaces. I hear your voices. I won’t let you die in vain.
Forty one years ago, on June 8, 1967, my shipmates were murdered in cold blood by the Government of Israel in a sneak attack upon our ship in international waters. Our ship was attacked by jet aircraft using rockets and napalm to strafe our ship and burn us alive with their deadly napalm.
The Israelis sent 3 torpedo boats in for the kill, firing five torpedoes at us with one hitting the starboard side of our ship, instantly blowing to bits 25 brave American sailors and marines.
Our ship was in great danger of sinking so we put over our three remaining life rafts. The rest were shot up or burning. The Israelis shot two of the remaining rafts out of the water and took one aboard their boat. I guess they took it as a trophy for murdering their American friends. No survivors were to be allowed.
They then sent troop-carrying helicopters to finish us off. If it had not been for an incorrect message that help was on the way, I would have joined my brothers in death that fateful day.
Our government knew we were under attack and refused to come help us. Our government left us out there to die at the hands of our assassins, the Government of Israel. When it was all said and done our ship had over 800 canon and rocket holes. Thousands of armor piercing bullets were in her skin and a torpedo hole so big you could fit your house in it.
The torpedo gunmen made sport of shooting our fire fighters and stretcher bearers. I know this first hand because I was on the receiving end of their bullets. Thirty-four sailors and marines were murdered, 174 were wounded, and a 40 million dollar ship was in ruins.
The U.S. Government ordered all of us to never breath a word about what Israel did to us under penalty of prison or death. They made us part of the cover-up. Many survivors today will not speak of these war crimes for fear of our government. But many of us survivors chose to speak up and protest this act of treason by our own government officials who protect Israel with the phony excuse of ‘mistaken identity’.
The congress, then and now, are under the thumb of the Israeli political actions committees in this country and it is disgraceful that our spineless elected officials have no guts to confront them. The media–with few exceptions–are bought and paid for by the same people–ISRAEL.
I hear my shipmates every night, crying out from their graves for justice so their lives will not have been taken in vain. The only way I can drown out their voices is with my own voice as I cry back to them–I hear you, mates, and I will speak up for you until my last breath.
Now America, you know the story. Speak out–SHOUT–from the rooftops for justice, for the dead, and the wounded aboard the USS LIBERTY AGTR-5. It’s your duty as Americans.
Written in memory of the 34 murdered aboard the LIBERTY and all of the wounded.
Phillip F. Tourney, survivor and past president of the USS LIBERTY Veterans Association three times and co-host of the LIBERTY HOUR radio show through republicbroadcasting.org.