You may have heard, or perhaps not since it was widely under-reported, that the US government was trying to deport Mosab Yousef, saying that he presented a terrorist threat. I have to admit that I do not know this person, but the coverage of the story made me think something was up. The more I looked into it, the more I discovered that it seemed like everyone agreed that he had saved many lives by acting as a spy against Hamas (when his father was a founder of the group). His former brothers have made clear that they will kill him if they have the chance and deporting him would certainly be a death sentence. Luckily, a judge overruled the efforts of this administration and granted him asylum, but one has to wonder why this administration pushed so hard to deport someone who:
- Seemed to have the support of so many counter-terrorism experts, and
- Would certainly be put to death if deported.
Given that this administration is so concerned about brutality and cruel punishment, wouldn't it make more sense to just put him in prison if we had concerns? In fact, if we really had concerns about his ties to terrorism, why would we release him to a terrorist organization so that he could plot against us? In short, there did not appear to be ANY advantage to deporting him - if one looks at the situation from a traditional American perspective. However, the attempt to deport him did do the following:
- Gonen Ben-Itzhak, an undercover agent in Israel's security service (Shin Bet) and Yousef's handler, revealed his identity
- Sent an unmistakable message to any other muslim that they should not count on US support if they want to counter terrorist attacks
- Sent a message to Israel that we are more interested in befriending the Muslim world than worrying about Israeli safety.
When this is combined with the other recent snubs of Israel and efforts to join with the Muslim world, one has to be very concerned about the direction of this country.
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