Brit pair deported from US for 'destroy America' tweet
Also intended to disinter Marilyn Monroe, Homeland Security claims
A couple of Brits were unceremoniously ejected from the US last week after one of them ill-advisedly tweeted he was off to "destroy America".
Leigh Van Bryan, 26, and pal Emily Bunting, 24, jetted into Los Angeles last Monday ahead of what they hoped would be a lively Stateside holiday. Their shorter-than-expected trip certainly delivered, although the pair weren't expecting to be arrested, internally probed and thrown in a cell for 12 hours with hungry Mexican narcos.
The Department of Homeland Security had already earmarked Van Bryan and Bunting for a warm welcome before they even touched down at LAX. The agency had picked up on a couple of Van Bryan's tweets, which suggested they intended to wipe out the US and disinter Marilyn Monroe.
The first, posted on 3 January, said: "3 weeks today, we're totally in LA pissing people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!"
The second, written on 16 January, declared: "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America."
Van Bryan and Bunting had their collars felt after clearing passport control. They were first quizzed for five hours, during which they failed to convince the authorities of the innocent nature of the tweets.
According to the Daily Mail, Bunting said: "The officials told us we were not allowed in to the country because of Leigh's tweet. They wanted to know what we were going to do. They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party.
"I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe. I couldn't believe it because it was a quote from the comedy Family Guy which is an American show."
She added: "It got even more ridiculous because the officials searched our suitcases and said they were looking for spades and shovels. They did a full body search on me too."
Van Bryan described the ordeal as "almost funny" but "really scary". He said: "The Homeland Security agents were treating me like some kind of terrorist. I kept saying to them they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me 'you've really fucked up with that tweet boy'."
The two then spent the night in jail, where the Mexican drug cartels put Van Bryan on involuntary hunger strike. He explained: "When we arrived at the prison I was shoved in a cell on my own but after an hour two huge Mexican men covered in tattoos came in and started asking me who I was.
"They told me they'd been arrested for taking cocaine over the border. When the food arrived on the tray they took it all and just left me with a carton of apple juice."
Van Bryan and Bunting were deported back to the UK the next day. Van Bryan's rap sheet, explaining why he was refused entry, says: "Mr Bryan confirmed that he had posted on his Tweeter [sic] website account that he was coming to the United States to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe. Also on his tweeter account Mr Bryan posted that he was coming to destroy America." ®
You're a laughing-stock.
The real funny part is that many Americans tend to hate the whole "big government" and high taxes thing yet they're actually paying, with their tax money, to employ people, who track down the real identity of someone who posts a joke on Twitter, add them to some list, and then have multiple staff actually waste hours questioning them. I mean, what's the job role? "e-Stalker in Chief"?, "Head of Anti-Tourism"?, "Lead Troll"?
...and I thought UK public sector had a lot of amusing non jobs. America is actually paying people to sit reading Twitter, to stalk innocent holidaymakers online and find their real life identities, and to disuade anyone from ever visiting for business or pleasure.
Someone really needs to have a word with the Antitourist folks at the Department of Homeland Insecurity and tell them to get a grip. Seriously, the terrorists totally won the war on terror, because America has allowed itself to become completely terrorised.
It's time we made the Yanks...
...feel as welcome coming into our country as they make us feel trying to get into theirs. Oh, yes, but that would mean our government would have to grow a pair and so that's not likely to happen.
Funny how times change twenty years ago it was all well and good for the Americans to openly sponsor those lovely little freedom fighters known as the Provisional IRA whilst the blew the what-not out of mainland UK. Soon as they have their own terrorist attack, awful as it was, the glove's on the other hand.
Having recently spent three hours queuing at JFK to get through the department of homeland security checks whilst being forced to listen to an annoying video loop of "how great it was to have us as visitors" I could almost sympathise with Al Queda (that's a joke if anybody from the CIA/FBI/DHS are listening in, I don't sympathise with 'em :-) ).
I guess it'll be rubber gloves and a quick exit for me next time I visit.