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Ear to the Ground

How America Exiles Unwanted Teenagers

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Posted on Jan 6, 2011
Flickr / Stefano Mortellaro (CC-BY-ND)

Note: This photo was chosen as an illustration of detention and abuse. It does not otherwise depict the subject of this item.

Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year old American citizen who was effectively exiled while traveling abroad for the apparent crime of exploring his Muslim heritage. While in Kuwait, Mohamed was added to the no-fly list, arrested, beaten and threatened with torture. Glenn Greenwald has posted a 50-minute conversation with Mohamed.

Glenn Greenwald on Salon:

Approximately two weeks ago (on December 20), Mohamed went to the airport in Kuwait to have his visa renewed, as he had done every three months without incident for the last year.  This time, however, he was told by the visa officer that his name had been marked in the computer, and after waiting five hours, he was taken into a room and interrogated by officials who refused to identify themselves.  They then handcuffed and blindfolded him and drove him to some other locale.  That was the start of a two-week-long, still ongoing nightmare during which he was imprisoned for a week in an unknown location by unknown captors, relentlessly interrogated, and severely beaten and threatened with even worse forms of torture.


 

Mohamed’s story was first reported this morning by Mark Mazzetti in The New York Times, who spoke with Mohamed by telephone, where he is currently being held in a deportation center in Kuwait.  I also spoke with Mohamed this morning, and my 50-minute conversation with him was recorded and can be heard on the recorder below.  Mazzetti did a good job of describing Mohamed’s version of events.  He writes that during his 90-minute conversation, “Mr. Mohamed was agitated as he recounted his captivity, tripping over his words and breaking into tears.”


 

That was very much my experience as well.  It may be difficult at times to understand all of what Mohamed recounts because he is emotionally distraught in the extreme, but it’s nonetheless very worth listening to what he has to say, at the very least to portions of it.  Mohamed says he was repeatedly beaten with a stick on the bottom of his feet and his palms, hit in the face, and hung from the ceiling.  He also says his captors threatened him with both the arrest of his mother and electric shock, and told him that he should forget his family.


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By reynolds, January 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

diamond; he drinks

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, January 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

diamond:

No, I don’t get it. Please explain this one to me. And please point out the bullshit part of my post.

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By rico, suave, January 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

gerard:

“It would be irresponsible to just leave the kid locked up in a foreign country, scared half out of his wits.”

Yeah, let’s invade Kuwait and spring the kid!

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By Charlene, January 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The article says the boy is an American citizen who apparently suffered rendition & torture by authorities while he was in Kuwait, & he is still there unable to come home to America, in fear for his family’s safety.
This is wrong.
However, one has to wonder if this 18 yr old boy is really just innocently over in Kuwait to “explore his muslim heritage” as the piece states.
Even an 18 yr old would have enough sense not to do that if he values his life considering there is a “war on terror” going on.

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By reynolds, January 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

uncle rico; you might find the piece on penis worship
more to your liking.

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By diamond, January 7, 2011 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

‘And besides, what did “America” do? How does a scratchy interview with a scared 18 year old explain “how America exiles unwanted teenagers”? Seems like he went to Kuwait on his own and wasn’t “exiled” at all. It seems that Kuwait is the only one giving the kid a hard time, not the US.’

You just don’t get it do you, Rico? You don’t and you never will because you don’t want to. The bullshit is everything you’ve ever posted on here since day one.

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By gerard, January 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Not enough facts to make any kind of judgment.  I’m waiting to hear the outcome as the kid seems genuinely frightened.  What’s the follow-up?  It would be irresponsible to just leave the kid locked up in a foreign country, scared half out of his wits.  Please continue a.s.a.p.

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By rico, suave, January 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

And besides, what did “America” do? How does a scratchy interview with a scared 18 year old explain “how America exiles unwanted teenagers”? Seems like he went to Kuwait on his own and wasn’t “exiled” at all. It seems that Kuwait is the only one giving the kid a hard time, not the US.

Unless we are to somehow infer from the “journalism” that the US forced the Kuwaitis to hold the kid- which would be entirely in keeping with the basic thrust of truthdig “journalism”: US=BAD, rest of the world (except Israel)=VICTIM.

What a load of bullshit.

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By rico, suave, January 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Is this journalism???

Who, what, when, where, why?

Who?- a guy named Mohamed.

What?- he pissed off the authorities somehow and didn’t get a new visa- but we don’t know anything of importance.

When?- December 20

Where?- Kuwait

Why?- Absolutely no clue from the piece.

What and Why. Toughies for real journalists. Throwaways for red meat theatricals.

And what’s this “held in a deportation center”? Deportation to where? His home of citizenship?

Then there’s the photo. Why not just show a photo of Mickey Mouse? Or an aborted fetus?

What was the point of this stupid story?

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