Couple Denied Entry Into U.S. Because Of Tweets

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.


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Photo Credit: Twitter Screenshot.


Samantha Richardson

Wow, this really makes you wonder if Homeland Security isn't just a bunch of incompetent fools.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Homeland Insecurity, ICE and all those other fascist police orgainsations really must start employing people that are capable of distinguishing between slang and real words. Take a word like fag. I once made a comment I was going outside for one, and people looked at me with shock written all over their faces. In England a fag means a cigarette and in the land of the un-free it means a male homosexual. There are plenty of these differences in the English language, since English have developed all over the world. Australia, Southafrica, Canada, US, etc, don't use words the same way. HS and TSA and other morons need to understand these things and stop harassing ordinary tourists. It'll come a time when noone wants to visit or invest and the economy will hit rock bottom because of that.

Barb Prasow
Barb Prasow5 years ago

Funny how the terrorists get in but tourists cant.
Another case of big brother is watching you. I think we all have to watch what is posted on Twitter and Facebook and for that matter anywhere online.

Natalie Samuels
Natalie Samuels5 years ago

Rob and Jay B. - wanted to send you a green star for your comment... but couldn't so, this will have to do: Five Star comment!!!!

Homeland Security personnel may be a bunch of thugs - but they are just doing the dirty work for someone in the Govt.

Ralph Henderson
Ralph Henderson5 years ago

I'm so very proud.
There must be a decent place to live in this world. A place where there is a little sanity left? Please?

Michael C.
Michael C6 years ago

Moronic Americans, sorry to all the simple morons out there.

The Dept of Homeland of Insecurity...You know them by their catchy slogan..."Keeping America Safe from Freedom and Democracy for over 10 Years."

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

If these are the morons defending your country, be afraid, be REALLY afraid....

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Homeland Security...the NEW word for moron.

Shan D.
Shan D6 years ago

"However, rather more seriously, the denial will probably prevent access to grown-up countries such as Australia, Japan and Canada." - Thom L. -

Since Prime Minister Harper loves copycatting every stupid thing the American government does, I can see something like this happening here. Except it won't be a comment about Marilyn Monroe - it'll be somebody commenting that they like pie. Or that they want to buy a pie. See, when a Canadian is completely fed up enough to make it clear to a politician just *how* completely fed up he/she is, in the past it was sometimes done by throwing or splatting a cream pie in the politician's face. But after Alberta's Ralph Klein got hit by a banana cream pie, he had the pie thrower arrested and charged with assault. The guy actually got jail time. Klein denied that he had overreacted, since the pie contained real banana slices and "it hurt." (what a waste of a perfectly good pie!). And then there was the guy who was accused of intending to throw a pie at a politician just because he happened to be walking past said politician's entourage *while carrying a piece of cheesecake he'd bought for a mid-morning snack*...

It must be true: "The two most common elements in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity."

Christy Elamma
Christy Elamma6 years ago

More stupidity from a government that is violating all of our rights constantly. Absolutely ridiculous.