I totally understand the idea of national security and the desire to protect your country from harm. However, unlike those who’s job it is to make sure these things are taken care of down in the States, I also understand the concept of having a clue what I’m doing.
Two British tourists were barred from entering America after joking on Twitter that they were going to ‘destroy America’ and ‘dig up Marilyn Monroe’.
Leigh Van Bryan, 26, was handcuffed and kept under armed guard in a cell with Mexican drug dealers for 12 hours after landing in Los Angeles with pal Emily Bunting.
The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: ‘Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?’
After making their way through passport control at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last Monday afternoon the pair were detained by armed guards.
Despite telling officials the term ‘destroy’ was British slang for ‘party’, they were held on suspicion of planning to ‘commit crimes’ and had their passports confiscated.
So much for all that cultural training we hear so much about.
Oh, and that grave robbing part? That, apparently, is a quote from an episode of Family Guy. Somebody who watches that show more than maybe once every couple of years can confirm or deny if they’d like, but I’m willing to take these people’s word for it because honestly, why would you lie about such an easily verifiable fact? Although, it doesn’t seem like the authorities involved here are interested in verifying facts. They’d rather search tourists’ suitcases and bodies for spades and shovels…just in case.
They also don’t care to verify the spelling of Twitter. Have a gander at what was written on the pair’s documents before they were sent back home.
After 12 hours in custody they returned to the airport where they were handed documents which stated they had been refused entry to the US.
Emily’s charge sheet stated: ‘It is believed that you are travelling with Leigh-Van Bryan who possibly has the intentions of coming to the United States to commit crimes.’
Leigh’s charge sheet, alongside a police mug shot and finger print, added: ‘He had posted on his Tweeter 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.’
I’d do the headdesk thing, but I am a fan of neither concussions or desk replacements.
Leigh and Emily have now been told they must apply for visas from the US Embassy in London before flying to the US again.
Take my advice. Don’t. Just stay home and destroy your own country. America is doing a fine job of destroying itself, as you can see.