Mark Glenn, one of the Coordinators, informed me that three days prior, the Marriott requested payment of $20,000.00, although there was no such requirement in the contract.
Mark told me he was able to secure $8,000 within twenty-four hours and even after a visit from a representative from CAIR, Council of American-Islamic Relations [http://www.cair.com/]informed the Marriott's Events Coordinator that twenty speakers from around the Nation were on their way; the event would not happen at the Marriott as planned.
Dr. Hesham Tillawi, Palestinian American, Political Analyst and TV show host of "Current Issues" reported that he spoke with Marriott Representative, Diana Harrison. "I asked her if we came up with all the money, would that be OK and she responded, 'The event has been canceled.'"
While I did not agree with many things some of the speakers said during the rescheduled event at a local church that began nine hours after originally planned, I uphold that all people have the right to think their own thoughts and speak their own minds.
The conference continued on Sunday, but I had already split and found out on Monday that some of the speakers, who spoke on Sunday, were white supremacists. I thank God I was not in attendance, for I abhor and detest any ideology which presupposes any person is superior to any other.
On June 8, 2007, in the Marriott Courtyard in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Tourney held a press conference regarding the fact that 40 years ago, "Thirty four Americans were brutally slaughtered, 172 wounded [including himself and that] Israel deliberately attacked America's virtually unarmed USS LIBERTY in international waters, knowing full well our identity, in an assault that lasted as long as the attack on Pearl Harbor…the government of Israel put a knife in the back of America…the Israelis began the attack with unmarked jet fighters using rockets, canons, and napalm on our unprotected ship…three motor torpedo boats…fired six torpedoes at us, one hitting its mark, midship's on the starboard side, instantly blowing to bits 25 of America's finest young men."
On October 13, 2007 Phillip remarked to the crowd who had gathered at the conference that began nine hours late in a California church, "It was God that kept us afloat."
I contend that it was also God who kept the Saturday event afloat and as the saying goes; it's not over 'till the fat lady sings.
Forty years ago the American government colluded with Israel in the treasonous cover-up of the attack on the USS LIBERTY and the survivors "were ordered to remain silent under threat of court martial, imprisonment or worse...The U.S. government has never challenged the obviously phony Israeli excuse of "mistaken identity" nor have they attempted to expose the dishonorable cover up that continues to date. Truth and America's honor were ignominiously sacrificed to provide cover for Israel's transparent lies and despicable act of perfidy." -Phillip F. Tourney, President USS LIBERTY Veterans Association, June 8, 2007, Marriott Courtyard, VA.
All the Veterans are asking for is an open and independent panel to investigate the horrific and unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty. They have written to President George W. Bush requesting this just action only to receive pro-forma letters from a White House staffer stating that the attack had already been investigated.
"The declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel…strengthen doubts about the U.S. National Security Agency's position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots -- communications, according to those who remember seeing them, that showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel. The documents also suggest that the U.S. government, anxious to spare Israel's reputation and preserve its alliance with the U.S., closed the case with what even some of its participants now say was a hasty and seriously flawed investigation."-
On October 13th Tourney stated, "Israel got away with cold blooded murder! Forty years ago the CIA and the NSA all threatened the survivors not to talk! They scared me so much, I didn't for twenty years…Our keel was broken, we should have sunk but God kept us alive…Israel wanted the world to believe that Egypt [committed the crime]…Thirty-four were killed and 172 were wounded out of a crew of 294…The Israeli planes marked out the Star of David so we wouldn't know who was attacking us…Eighteen hours after the attack we were rescued…McNamara said, 'We're not going to attack our ally.' How did McNamara know who attacked us?"