In another sign that the world has gone completely mad, a pair of tourists from Britain who planned to fly to America for a Hollywood holiday were instead detained by Homeland Security, questioned for 12 hours, fingerprinted, photographed and denied entry to the U.S. — because of jokes they had made on Twitter.
Leigh Bryan, an Irish national, made a joke to a friend on Twitter two weeks ago prior to his American vacation asking them if they were “free this week for a quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.” The word “destroy,” in this British slang sense, was used to mean “party rather vigorously”, according to Bryan. However, Homeland Security decided that this tweet was obviously a real and credible threat towards America. Making the Homeland Security agents even more anxious was Bryan’s statement that he was going to be “diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”, a reference to a quote from the show Family Guy.
Homeland Security questioned Bryan and his companion for hours, accusing them of actually having plans to dig up the body of the late Marilyn Monroe and searching their bags for spades and digging equipment, accusing Bryan’s companion of coming to be the “lookout” as he dug up Monroe’s body. As Bryan tried to explain the context, DHS agents told him (in what I’m sure was a very reasonable, rational manner) “You’ve really f***ed up with that tweet, boy.” After interrogation, they recorded the following on his charge sheet: “[He wrote] 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[sic] account Mr. Bryan posted that he was coming to destroy America.”
Leigh and his companion, Emily Bunting, were eventually deported and shipped back to the UK through Paris. Homeland Security issued a statement saying two people had been taken for “secondary interviews” and said that during those interviews, information was uncovered that “revealed both individuals were inadmissible to the United States.”
Ahem. While border security is, of course, a difficult job and one that can very easily be hit and miss, you can be forgiven for snickering up your sleeves at this one. Certainly, being detained and deported over misinterpreted slang and jokes seems to be, if nothing else, an epic waste of Homeland Security’s time and money.
Photo Credit: Twitter Screenshot.