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back to article Brit pair deported from US for 'destroy America' tweet

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 …

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Happy

oh..

Dear America

You're a laughing-stock.

Love, everywhere-else.

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RE: oh..

".....Love, everywhere-else." Please don't include the rest of us in your attempt at intellectual superiority. Indeed, I suggest you try a little World travel before making such comments. As a starter, please go to Thailand and Tweet an insult of their King (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/man-arrested-for-allegedly-insulting-thailands-king-on-facebook/3333). Of course it's not just monarchs, there are plenty of countries where you can get arrested for just insulting their presidents (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/lebanon/7914474/Man-arrested-for-insulting-Lebanese-president-on-Facebook.html). Most of them aren't that bad, you might just spend several years in a really nasty prison rather than one night in an American one (http://dailynews.co.zw/index.php/news/34-news/3415-white-farmer-arrested-for-insulting-mugabe.html).

I'm sure these two twits are giving an unbiased account of how they threw away their chance at a holiday in the States (can't have been cheap) by no-doubt not throwing their hands up to the Yanks and saying "Yes, we were really stupid, we didn't mean it and we're sorry" - antagonising officials just about anywhere in the World is a stupid idea. Statements that can be preceived to admit an intent to commit a criminal act will get you in trouble just about anywhere, no matter how harmless you think they are, the authorities are usually duty-bound to investigate. Don't believe me? Do please go try something like Tweeting that you intend to dig up the Kabah's cornerstone, then hop on a flight to Riyadh. We'll see you - maybe - in fifty years, if you're lucky.

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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.

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compare, compare

Oh, what joy to have USA compared with such pillars of democracy as Thailand! Or Lebanon. Or Mugabe-land. It's almost on par with comparing Chinese censorship of the Internet (terrible, soooo terrible for democracy) with the US ever-so-gentle meddling (it's only meant to protect your against costly litigation). So, for a silly joke, you only get a free stay in a stateside hotel of the World's No 1 democracy, a true bargain. They might have, after all, gone for your balls, so be grateful they didn't!

And, as the Internet never forgets, I'm sure I'll get that stupid smirk wiped off my face on my next visit in the Land of 1st Amendment, when somebody comes up with an A4 printout and says: right, sir, so what _exactly_ did you mean when you (anonymously) posted that snarky comment on the Register board, on the day of our Lord, 30th January 2012, at 2:57 P.M.?

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Anonymous Coward

compare, compare

Oh, what joy to have USA compared with such pillars of democracy as Thailand! Or Lebanon. Or Mugabe-land. It's almost on par with comparing Chinese censorship of the Internet (terrible, soooo terrible for democracy) with the US ever-so-gentle meddling (it's only meant to protect your against costly litigation). So, for a silly joke, you only get a free stay in a stateside hotel of the World's No 1 democracy, a true bargain. They might have, after all, gone for your balls, so be grateful they didn't!

And, as the Internet never forgets, I'm sure I'll get that stupid smirk wiped off my face on my next visit in the Land of 1st Amendment, when somebody comes up with an A4 printout and says: right, sir, so what _exactly_ did you mean when you (anonymously) posted that snarky comment on the Register board, on the day of our Lord, 30th January 2012, at 2:57 P.M.?

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@ Matt Bryant

"Please don't include the rest of us in your attempt at intellectual superiority."

You've told us here before that you're from the US. Why now pretend you're not and pretend you speak for the rest of the world? I know Americans do tend to think they speak for the whole world, but really, you don't.

Generally, if you're going to pretend you're something you're not in the hope it'll somehow add some validity to your post (it didn't), then it's a good idea to at very least post AC if you must do it on forums where you've already previously contradicted your claim. Otherwise it just makes you look like you kinda actually know you're wrong, but don't want the truth to be the truth, and are hoping that by spreading a bit of FUD you can change people's perception away from the truth (that bit didn't work either btw).

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RE: @ Matt Bryant

"......You've told us here before that you're from the US...." LOL! You must have me confused with someone else, but then I suspect there is a lot of confusion in your life. I do travel to the States quite often, and I do intend to retire there (just down the road from Mickey's place, probably), but I'm English. If you insist on not believing me then do please link to any quote where I've said I was a Yank. In the meantime, I'll be waiting with more than little smile on my face at your inability to accept that everyone doesn't share your anti-Yank views.

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Yes Matt, that's right, replying to someone with insults is a good way to cover up the fact that you've been caught red handed talking bullshit.

Not that there was ever any confusion as to whether anything you said was bullshit in the first place of course.

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Mushroom

And they wonder why...

Sheriff: Boy, I say, boy, wha dew wanna destroy America, an' desecrate the grave of our greatest icon? Is you sum kinda Goddamn hippie, commie, terrorist?

Tourist: No, it's just that you're a bunch of humourless gits who are too stupid to understand sarcasm, and want to infect the whole planet with your extremist politics.

Hmm, I suppose that's me permanently off the flight list. [Breathes sigh of relief]

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps the problem is that they didn't tick "yes" on the little green visa waiver form where it asks "do you intend to overthrow the government?"

Lying to DHS officials is a very serious offence ya know?

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Let's see - from right under the article...

Twitter Bomber Joker Found Guilty

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/10/twitter_bomb_joker_guilty/

At least we don't send people to jail and given them a criminal record for making a joke. We just deport them...

Dear UK - call us back when people actually have rights.

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USA a free country?

With the current legislation, China is much more a land of the free than the venerable US of A.

The US like to tout democracy as the ultimate freedom, but apart from their right to vote, the average chinese person does indeed have much fewer obstacles in their life. Travelling to the US? Prepare to be searched, questioned, probed, groped, scanned and have your entire notebook copied/confiscated, all at the liberty of the omnipotent TSA. If you go to China, you might be refused a visa, but the entry is much more pleasant.

Now which is the land of the free?

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Anonymous Coward

"everywhere-else."

I live there, we even have our own flag.

It's the same as America's except ours is on fire.

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@ Matt Bryant

"your predjudices have made you look stupid (again)"

Nuff said.

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Wise old saying.

"The police never think it's as funny as you do." And applies to police and security forces throughout the world; they are quite humorless.

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Anonymous Coward

Reading and comprehension

I saw a fine mentioned, no prison. But then I am English and can read English as a native language.

You may be unaware that, if I remember rightly, this was not long after somebody did have a good go at blowing up a British airport. It may have made them a bit sensitive. Then again, Britain had 30 years of IRA bombs, thanks in large part to American money. Again, sensitivity may be a bit exaggerated as a result.

However, his use of Americanised vulgarity probably merits prison.

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Anonymous Coward

So would you be

after the hundredth time of hearing it

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Nice to know that the US wouldn't ever, ever do anything so nasty as to throw innocent people in a vile jail for many years with no trial. Well, apart from them doing exactly that of course. And Guantanamo is the one we know about - there were lots more 'rendered' to anonymous torture chambers in other countries.

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Humourlesss, maybe

We're talking downright incompetant here.

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Yes, yes. There are morons working for governments everywhere but that doesn't make these bullies any better than the scumbags they are. Someone quoted a TV series and they used it as an excuse to get a hard-on by pushing some foreigners around. Racist, thuggish, stupid, and indefensible. Just like the same sort of people who work in these jobs in Thailand are everywhere else that allows any knuckle-dragging imbecile a job where they can abuse their power with impunity. Over here, of course, we call it "The Met".

But, you know, thanks for the "two wrongs make a right" speech.

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So, you're comparing the USA to Lebanon, Thailand and Saudi Arabia? Cool. Do you think the world should think the same about the States and the Middle east? OK, then. Done.

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RE: Grigor

"So, you're comparing the USA to Lebanon, Thailand and Saudi Arabia?...." The point was obviously a bit too subtle for you. Thousands of people travel to all those countries mentioned every day without the type of trouble Ms Bunting and Mr Van Bryan managed to get themselves into. Indeed, the mere fact that the story is newsworthy is because it is so unusual - if it was happening every day it wouldn't have been noticed. Which makes all the anti-Yank hyperventilating of you and your chums all the more farcial. Please go see if you can buy a sense of perspective as there seems no chance of you developing one.

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Mushroom

@USA a free country?

So useful to have intelligent comments like yours.

Just as people might be thinking that the US of A does indeed have some serious stupidity in the way they "defend" their country, in comes a brilliant quote to put an end to that scrutiny.

Lessee, what might be more important? Traveling in relatively hassle free conditions? Or the right to vote? Hmmm, hard, that. Still, I bet it was eaaaaasy traveling near Tibet last time they had riots.

Wait, it gets harder. What might be more important? Having a recourse to sue your government officials? Or having said government officials exert undue influence on your life, to the point where you need to be friends with the party?

Having 2 quite unimpressive political parties? Or just one approved Party?

Having SOPA proposed? Or living the Great FireWall of China?

I am not arguing that the TSA was clever in this here lil caper. Nor am I arguing that the US (where I don't live) doesn't have serious problems. I upvoted most of the non-Matt stuff as it was funny as heck.

Nope, I am only saying that you are a twit, my dear.

p.s. No offense to you Brits, but the Twitter airport bomb dude case wasn't _that_ dissimilar.

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fzz

Customs is Limbo

US citizens have the same absence of rights at US borders, so at least this is nondiscriminatory.

US customs and DHS personnel are screened for total lack of humor and immunity to irony/sarcasm.

Finally, in the middle of the Republican party's presidential primaries, I doubt two fewer drunken Brits in the country will cause Americans any concern.

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PT
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Bryant, why don't you go and have a beer with your pal Gumby and calm down? You're not achieving anything here with your laughable and predictable ad-hominem attacks on everyone who disagrees with you.

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I don't know why did Matt deserve so many downvotes; the man was merely informative.

Sure, the reaction of American authorities was vastly exaggerated and the couple didn't deserve to sit in custody with heavy criminals. In essence, this is another sad story from the paranoiac post-911 world.

Having said that, this should also be a cautionary tale for all ignorant and arrogant tourists out there who travel abroad with assumption that they are welcome everywhere and that customs and conventions of their home country apply everywhere. Do some homework about your intended destination before booking a plane ticket and either adjust your attitude accordingly or abort your plans if you disagree with conditions there. It is as simple as that.

"Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!" -- George Bernard Shaw

Daniel

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Lessee, what might be more important?

the right to vote??

a chioce between an extreme right wing candidate, and a batshit crazy facist.

and the vote is irrellevent anyways as bush jr showed.

im all for an easy commute me

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Oh god, Godwin's Law

OK, just a reference to Fascism... Seriously, as someone who grew up in a real police state, comparing the current PotUS to a Fascist is just silly. Guy is about as centrist as you can get and only bat shit crazy libertarians could have the stupidity to believe otherwise.

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Unhappy

I'm ready to leave, believe me, but middle aged, and disabled nobody else is going to take me.

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Coffee/keyboard

Reported a post...

'cos this shoulda been an hilarious forum thread, but the boy had to go and suck out all the funny with his doofishness :-( No ratio of thumbiness can get through to some folk it seems.

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@ Matt Bryant

I don't think that comparing America to Thailand, Lebanon and Zimbabwe is making the compelling case that you think it is. Are you intentionally insinuating that America is an oppressive dictatorship?

Because that's what everyone here is saying, so I guess we all agree!

Sarcasm aside, this is this kind of high-level xenophobia that might just stop me from ever buying a ticket to the US. A member of my family was sent back to the UK in handcuffs after a ten hour flight to New York, on the basis of a spent drug conviction from THIRTY YEARS ago. One part of the story always stuck with me, the DHS/Immigration agent who told the family member: "Not even the President can help you here. The only thing above US immigration is God".

Scary stuff indeed.

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Joke

@AC 30th January 2012 15:03 GMT

"when somebody comes up with an A4 printout and says"

Will not happen. The officials would never use such un-American paper sizes. It will be on a Letter or a Legal.

But these guys really have no flexibility. The only time I visited the US, I had my fingerprints scanned along with other foreigners. On the next queue, there was a guy who had a hand that was very seriously disfigured by some accident or disease. They still tried to fingerprint the hand, although figuring out which of the knobs on it were fingers, and trying to press them against the scanner was holding up the queue...

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@Matt Bryant

I fear you are trying to defend the in-defensible Matt.

Twats everywhere, but jeez in the states there are some doozys!

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...

I don't think Thailand markets itself as the leader of the free world.

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You've obviously never been to the UK with your great big fucking metal claw hand, your big fakre rolling eye, and your threats to rip down our government and kill every single one of us. If you did you'd also get a free house paid for by the UK society at large.

so fuck off you dimwit. i should imagine threatening to blow up an airport somehow ranks higher than a couple of idiots saying they will "dig up marilyn monroe". My guess is that one of them idiot cops had already dug her up and has her in his freezer right now. he ejected this pair as he to keep that a secret. over here we tend to let sleeping "dogs" lie.

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Big Brother

A reference to Fascism

Amerika as a fascist state, discuss. Some of the core tenets of fascism are:-

Nationalism: A very strong national identity. Merkins as a group are probably more readily defined in national terms than any other nationaly

Single party state: Is there really a difference between the democrats and the republicans?

Authoritarian democracy: AKA the ruling elite classes.

Militarism: need I say more?

Mixed economy: State and private sector direct the economy, but the means of production are under private ownership and profit is the main driving force behind economic activity.

New Man: A citizen who is a figure of action, masculinity, a member of a disciplined society bereft of individualism and to some extent violent as well (see militarism)

Third Position: A bit tenuous this one, as the third position is seen as anti-communist and anti-capitalist, but also shows signs of producerism and is also associated with right wing nationalist groups. In 2010, the American Third Position Party was founded.

Class collaboration: No, does not meant that the rich help the poor, just that society is divided into separate social classes based on the division of labour, in the broadest meaning this is the globalization.

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RE: PT

"......calm down...."? Oh dear, once again it seems another of you has misjudged my response to your dribblings. Let me set your mind at ease - my response to such posts is a mix of amusement and pity. Now, can we please have a "Epic and farcial fail" icon please? Or maybe allow us to attach more than one icon per post, maybe the "Fail" one along with the smiley?

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RE: ...

"I don't think Thailand markets itself as the leader of the free world." Yet it is a very popular tourist destination, with thousands of untroubled visitors every year. So is the States. One swallow does not make a spring.

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Devil

RE: @Matt Bryant

"I fear you are trying to defend the in-defensible Matt...." I am not trying to defend anything, merely laughing at the hilarious level of anti-Yank posting in these forums. What, you guys can't laugh at your own knee-jerk response, or is it you just don't like the mirror being held up for you? One has to wonder what it is in your pasts that makes you so vehemently anti-Septic, when it is quite obvious the majority of you have never visited the States and probably never will.

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RE: Mr Cheddarfingers

<Yawn> As I said above, please do link to any post where I claimed I was a Yank, otherwise man up and admit your prejudices have made you look stupid (again).

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Yes...

Except the kings of Thailand and Lebanon don't stroll around lecturing everyone else how awesome their type of "freedom" is.

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Cheddarfingers, I'd say it's unlikely that anyone was just trawling twitter all day, but I don't doubt that homeland security have some automated system, and "destroy America" is a phrase which would raise red flags. It'd be easy enough for this automated system to cross-reference with passengers who are booked on flights into the US, and then when the Twit in question presents his passport at border control, the immigration agent sees a notice on their screen to refer them for questioning. I wouldn't be surprised if the first human interaction in this scenario wasn't until they had already landed.

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Oops!

Ooohhh, Matt, Matt, you silly boy!

"..I do intend to retire there".

Calling Americans Septics (various posts - @13:06 here) was a bit shortsighted then. Given the proven lack of a sense of humour in the average American immigration official, as well as their (also proven) web-trawling abilities, I think your ambition to retire there (in Florida?) is now toast.

Now you know and I know (as do probably the majority of the commenters here) it is merely rhyming slang, meant as a joke, but the above story demonstrates that such jokes are not appreciated at all.

Bummer.

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Happy

RE: Oops!

".....as well as their (also proven) web-trawling abilities...." Actually, since I have worked on a number of projects requiring security clearance, and in some countries that hit the flag-lists, I'm certain there is already a file on me somewhere in the US system with far more interesting reading than any Cockney slang terms I may have used. Besides, why would the NSA/CIA/bogeyman be looking at the Reg, unless it was to laugh at a lot of the rabid posters here?

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RE: @ Matt Bryant - "spent drug conviction from THIRTY YEARS ago"

A prior conviction is grounds to bar foreigners from entry into the UK too, whether time has been served or not. As I recall, Russel Brand was also stopped from entering Canada due to a previous record. Maybe your relative should have just been smart and said "no", rather than you bleating on about how it's all the US's problem.

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Happy

RE: turbotroll

"....so many downvotes...." Actually, I like to judge the amount I upset the trolls by their reflexive downvoting. I do sometimes wonder if the fact that the Reg signup process does not reject webmail addresses allows for abuse. Then again, having seen the quality of their posts, I'd put the idea of registering loads of different webmail addresses, just so they can mass downvote those they disagree with, as a bit beyond the capabilities of many of the trolls here.

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Whos comparing barac to a facist? He's the extreme right winger, now newt, mit and palin et all, THEY are the batshit crazy facists.

There IS no centrist voice in mainstream american politics. End your internal dialogue, you are wrong, get over it. Plenty of centerist, or god forbid leftist ideals in american society, but the political system keeps those people firmly on the margins - apparently the corporations who own washington dont like their ideas much.

as for police state - isnt stopping people at the borders because of something they may have said to their friends JUST the kind of thing that used to happen in east germany? just 1 step short of thought crime....

<pedant>

godwin refers to comparasons with nazis, not facists in general

</pedant>

palin is a batshit crazy facist, but she will make the trains run on time!

happy?

(yes i know il duce didnt make the trains... etc etc)

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