The Odd Disinterest in a Real-Life Spy Thriller

The U.S. is attempting to deport Mosab Hassan Yousef based on his autobiography, Son of Hamas, and I don’t understand why it hasn’t gotten more attention.

Yousef’s father was a co-founder of Hamas, the terrorist organization that masquerades as the government of the Gaza Strip.  I just finished reading the younger Yousef’s book, published earlier this year, which describes how he spent a decade spying on Hamas on behalf of the Israeli government.  In the process he converted to Christianity, which all by itself is reason enough for the “Religion of Peace” to mark him for death.

Yousef initially started following in his father’s footsteps, but quickly soured on the violence, and began tipping off Israel’s Shin Bet security service about planned terror attacks, or when he learned of the location of wanted terrorists.  Eventually he tired of the tension and the danger, and sought asylum in the United States.

Now Homeland Security is using the book to try to deport Yousef for providing “material support” for terrorists — despite the fact that he was saving Israeli lives from those very terrorists.

Why isn’t this bigger news?

I get only 33 hits when I Google for “Mosab”, and a handful of those aren’t even about the same Mosab.  (Googling for “Yousef” unleashes a 3 million-hit deluge, mostly about other Yousefs.) The Wall Street Journal editorial page did its part, weighing in earlier this month:

The problem seems to be that, under a provision of U.S. immigration law, anyone who is shown to have provided “material support” for terrorist organizations is automatically denied asylum. In the relentless way that bureaucracy works, this is being interpreted as leaving little discretion for deserving exceptions like the case of Mr. Yousef.

Mr. Yousef is a native of the West Bank, which is where he would presumably return if he is deported and where Hamas would immediately seek to kill him. … It would dishonor the U.S. to deport a convert in the war on terror because our immigration bureaucracy is too obtuse to make even life and death distinctions.

But aside from the Journal, most of the scant interest in Yousef has come from Jewish and Christian media outlets.  Here’s a well-done report from the Christian Broadcasting Network:

Yousef’s deportation hearing in San Diego is next Wednesday — presumably we’ll all be reading more about him then.  In the meantime you can buy Yousef’s book from my Amazon widget at right.

“Barack Obama Better Be All In” on Afghanistan

At Contentions, the Commentary magazine blog, Peter Wehner assesses the prospects of success for David Petraeus, whom he calls one of the best generals “in our history”:

What Petraeus also needs, apart from time, is the full support of the president and his team. Petraeus had that in Iraq with President Bush. There were no efforts by then-Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to go on Sunday-morning talk shows to interpret troop-withdrawal timelines one way while Petraeus interpreted them another. The Vice President was not actively attempting to undermine what Petraeus was doing in Iraq. Late in the day, the Bush administration, after costly mistakes, decided on the surge strategy and united behind it. Despite enormous political pressure to pull back, Bush gave Petraeus the time and the tools he needed. It was a remarkable demonstration of presidential courage and wisdom. …

On the day Bush met with Petraeus privately in the Oval Office, after the Senate confirmed his selection for a mission that seemed unachievable, Bush said we were doubling down in Iraq. Petraeus said, “Mr. President, this isn’t double-down. … This is all-in.”

Barack Obama better be all in. If he is, he has the right man at the helm. If given the tools, David Petraeus — one more time — can finish the job.