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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Two Brits Deported From America For Tweets

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TronPaul
PostPosted: 2012-01-30 01:50pm 

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Joined: 2011-12-05 01:12pm
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Source: The Register
Quote:
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."
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2012-01-30 03:10pm 

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Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
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Big brother is watching you.

How can anyone not take this as obvious sarcasm/jokes?

EDIT: have a look at the teet.
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El Moose Monstero
PostPosted: 2012-01-30 03:31pm 

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I hope they go after Jon Oliver next - that bastard has a free-to-download propaganda broadcast where him and his co-conspirators have been known to plot to retake America for Britain.
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cosmicalstorm
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 01:01am 

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Joined: 2008-02-14 10:35am
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At least they were released after a day. Imagine if they were brown, they would have been locked up for a decade with diapers and water torture.
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 01:26am 

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That is glourious. Just glourious.

But yeah, I guess this means we should all be more careful about what we say on the internetubulewebs lest we end up getting freedomized.
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 01:28am 

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Do the agencies dealing with sort of 'threat' actually think that this is effective? Do they really not understand that security is already done better and less intrusively in other riskier to live in places? Or is this yet another make a show of making people uncomfortable and then claim to be 'tough' on terror?
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Kuja
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 02:12am 

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S.L.Acker wrote:
Do the agencies dealing with sort of 'threat' actually think that this is effective? Do they really not understand that security is already done better and less intrusively in other riskier to live in places? Or is this yet another make a show of making people uncomfortable and then claim to be 'tough' on terror?


Undoubtedly it was intended to be a show of "cracking down" on suspicious characters.

That said, I wonder if the unusually specific reference to Marilyn Monroe was what set off the alarm bells. Lots of people rant about America on the internet, I wonder if some search turned up the twitter posts and someone raised the flags not simply at blah blah Murica is bad but at seeing the part about disinterring a body and thinking "huh, this nutjob may actually mean that part." I mean, it's not like every American watches Family Guy (a fucking boneheaded thing for the guy to say).
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 02:19am 

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Kuja wrote:
S.L.Acker wrote:
Do the agencies dealing with sort of 'threat' actually think that this is effective? Do they really not understand that security is already done better and less intrusively in other riskier to live in places? Or is this yet another make a show of making people uncomfortable and then claim to be 'tough' on terror?


Undoubtedly it was intended to be a show of "cracking down" on suspicious characters.

That said, I wonder if the unusually specific reference to Marilyn Monroe was what set off the alarm bells. Lots of people rant about America on the internet, I wonder if some search turned up the twitter posts and someone raised the flags not simply at blah blah Murica is bad but at seeing the part about disinterring a body and thinking "huh, this nutjob may actually mean that part." I mean, it's not like every American watches Family Guy (a fucking boneheaded thing for the guy to say).


At the same time it's easy to do a google search and find out that it is indeed a quote from a popular TV show. Also, Americans have some interesting views of their closest neighbor let alone the UK, so it's only fair for some cynical Brits to poke some fun back at a nation that has an unrealistic view of their nation. These people also obviously don't have anybody moderately young in their social loop or they would know that 'destroy' has a different meaning when related to partying and having a good time doing so.
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Kuja
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 02:30am 

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S.L.Acker wrote:
At the same time it's easy to do a google search and find out that it is indeed a quote from a popular TV show. Also, Americans have some interesting views of their closest neighbor let alone the UK, so it's only fair for some cynical Brits to poke some fun back at a nation that has an unrealistic view of their nation. These people also obviously don't have anybody moderately young in their social loop or they would know that 'destroy' has a different meaning when related to partying and having a good time doing so.


Sure, but by the time you float the excuse the flags are already up and you're in detainment, at which point the DHSmen have a pretty strong interest in proving themselves right. None of them are going to want to admit they fell for a joke from a cartoon show.

I'm not on any level excusing the DHSmen here, but the guy doesn't really strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed. Why would you put that kind of comment up on the net for anyone to see when you're about to travel to a nation that has established quite a reputation for taking itself way too damn seriously and rough-housing foreigners?
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 03:43am 

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Kuja wrote:
S.L.Acker wrote:
At the same time it's easy to do a google search and find out that it is indeed a quote from a popular TV show. Also, Americans have some interesting views of their closest neighbor let alone the UK, so it's only fair for some cynical Brits to poke some fun back at a nation that has an unrealistic view of their nation. These people also obviously don't have anybody moderately young in their social loop or they would know that 'destroy' has a different meaning when related to partying and having a good time doing so.


Sure, but by the time you float the excuse the flags are already up and you're in detainment, at which point the DHSmen have a pretty strong interest in proving themselves right. None of them are going to want to admit they fell for a joke from a cartoon show.

I'm not on any level excusing the DHSmen here, but the guy doesn't really strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed. Why would you put that kind of comment up on the net for anyone to see when you're about to travel to a nation that has established quite a reputation for taking itself way too damn seriously and rough-housing foreigners?


Why would you even think they would bother looking? As an extension of that why would you think a harmless bunch of quotes would be taken so far out of context like this?

I'd be willing to bet many people think that some of the stuff they here about how crazy America is a joke, because a lot of things they do these days sure would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
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mr friendly guy
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 04:00am 

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Their tweet was idiotic. What was even more idiotic was the US response to obvious jokes.
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Kuja
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 04:05am 

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Joined: 2002-07-11 12:05am
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S.L.Acker wrote:
Why would you even think they would bother looking? As an extension of that why would you think a harmless bunch of quotes would be taken so far out of context like this?

I'd be willing to bet many people think that some of the stuff they here about how crazy America is a joke, because a lot of things they do these days sure would be funny if it wasn't so sad.


Because DHS has a rod up its ass to rival the CN Tower, why would you ever make such brain-dead comments in a forum that can be easily searched by the men providing the security for the country that runs Guantanamo Bay?

It would be like if I planned on going to France and made jokes about how I'm going to piss on the Mona Lisa. It's a needlessly antagonistic quote that some security officer with a bad attitude can pin to my ass, and a stupid joke besides.
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 04:15am 

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Kuja wrote:
Because DHS has a rod up its ass to rival the CN Tower, why would you ever make such brain-dead comments in a forum that can be easily searched by the men providing the security for the country that runs Guantanamo Bay?

It would be like if I planned on going to France and made jokes about how I'm going to piss on the Mona Lisa. It's a needlessly antagonistic quote that some security officer with a bad attitude can pin to my ass, and a stupid joke besides.


Why would some random group of people from Britain even know anything particularly much about the DHS? I know it because I'm in Canada and half our news is about American events, but a Brit that doesn't care about politics likely wouldn't. It's also a quote from a popular show and a term for partying that's in rather common usage. There's also a certain expectation of freedom of speech being respected and the like...

If you made a joke that was first started in French media before going to said country then it shouldn't be a big deal.
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PeZook
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 04:38am 

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Kuja wrote:
Because DHS has a rod up its ass to rival the CN Tower, why would you ever make such brain-dead comments in a forum that can be easily searched by the men providing the security for the country that runs Guantanamo Bay?

It would be like if I planned on going to France and made jokes about how I'm going to piss on the Mona Lisa. It's a needlessly antagonistic quote that some security officer with a bad attitude can pin to my ass, and a stupid joke besides.


My guess is that few people really believe in DHS bullshit. I know I find it hard to take it seriously when people report the TSA is confiscating butter knives from pilots in command...
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madd0ct0r
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 05:14am 

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Joined: 2008-03-14 07:47am
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it's far far a stupider response then the airport clamping down on jokes about machine guns in violin cases.


to quote a different thread, it stinks of intimidation. fuck american 'intelligence' agencies
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B5B7
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 05:34am 

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Joined: 2005-10-22 02:02am
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Location: Perth Western Australia
There are two possibilities:
They were joking (pretty obvious) - so the reaction by US authorities was silly.
Or, they actually did have the capability to "destroy America" - in which case one would think the US would be more interested in finding out how this can be done, rather than deporting these people.
Of course, by reacting this way they are actually "destroying" America themselves.
'Land of the Free' - more like 'Land of morons' (with apologies to non-moronic Americans).
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Alyeska
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 08:10pm 

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New reports have surfaced. DHS and the FBI currently does not have the web searching tools to accurately and quickly catch things like this. Instead someone called a LAX tipline and warned the Customs personnel of the tweets.

And so this leads to an interesting question. Did one of their friends report this as an intended joke that backfired horribly? Still doesn't excuse the official response. DHS/Customs is getting trashed in the media over this.
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 08:44pm 

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The tipline makes you wonder if there isn't some subset of paranoid nuts scanning the internet for things to report.
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Alyeska
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 09:03pm 

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S.L.Acker wrote:
The tipline makes you wonder if there isn't some subset of paranoid nuts scanning the internet for things to report.


Possible. But figuring out arrival dates and calling the correct airport is a little unusual. Not impossible, but starting to stretch it for a random occurrence.

Either that or DHS is lying through its teeth about the source.
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-31 09:09pm 

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Alyeska wrote:
S.L.Acker wrote:
The tipline makes you wonder if there isn't some subset of paranoid nuts scanning the internet for things to report.


Possible. But figuring out arrival dates and calling the correct airport is a little unusual. Not impossible, but starting to stretch it for a random occurrence.

Either that or DHS is lying through its teeth about the source.


Yeah, true enough. It's gotten to the point where some of the wilder speculations are starting to sound like they could hold a grain of truth when it comes to the US investigating things. So hard to say one way or another, but the recent record is hardly great at making a case for the US being well behaved.
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Tanasinn
PostPosted: 2012-02-01 09:31pm 

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What do you expect from the slime that pass for the folks at Homeland Security?

Shoddy intelligence work as usual from the U.S. government. God knows who else has been intimidated (or worse) for making a comment these pukes interpreted as a terrrorist threat.
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White Haven
PostPosted: 2012-02-02 03:03am 

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Honestly, this sounded more like standard Cover Your Ass from the DHS goons in charge. Once they'd been Officially Notified of a Threat To America, they had two options. Look at it, roll their eyes, and move on (sensible!), or crack down like the fist of God. The problem is, they've got no positive reinforcement either way, no negative reinforcement for cracking down, and a slim chance of getting utterly ruined if they Failed To Respond To A Threat that actually materialized. It's the same reason that the US Government classifies everything as secret, it's bureaucratically safer to do so. From the point of view of keeping your job/not attracting negative attention from higher-ups, you might as well be a humorless, stone-faced asshole, because that doesn't risk reprimand if you Let Something Slip Through.

Also, it wouldn't surprise me to find DHS or TSA employees absolutely desperate to justify the very existence of either organization when laid against the statistical near-vacuum of actual threats to, in this case, American airports. Imagine if the cells that made up your appendix were sentient and scrambling to find a way to prove that they were Doing Something Important to avoid an appendectomy.
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Kamakazie Sith
PostPosted: 2012-02-02 11:03am 

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When I saw this I thought it was an Onion article. Sadly, it isn't. Very disappointed. I don't care so much for taking them aside to speak with them but that's where it should have ended. I'd be nice to read the report so we could get both sides. The statement released by DHS doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that there is more than meets the eye though. It sounded more like a mission statement then an explanation.
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PeZook
PostPosted: 2012-02-02 11:57am 

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Kamakazie Sith wrote:
I don't care so much for taking them aside to speak with them but that's where it should have ended.


Yeah, I mean...a stern talking-to by a uniformed customs official asking them uncofmortable questions and telling to knock off the dumbassery would scare the bejeezus out of them and not result in the entire country having yet another reason to be embarassed.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-02-02 12:24pm 

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White Haven wrote:
Also, it wouldn't surprise me to find DHS or TSA employees absolutely desperate to justify the very existence of either organization when laid against the statistical near-vacuum of actual threats to, in this case, American airports. Imagine if the cells that made up your appendix were sentient and scrambling to find a way to prove that they were Doing Something Important to avoid an appendectomy.
"I know! I know! We'll get inflamed! That'll convince everyone we're important!"

[appendicitis ensues]

Yeah, actually, that might be a good analogy.
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