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 …

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  1. lansalot
    Happy

    oh..

    Dear America

    You're a laughing-stock.

    Love, everywhere-else.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.?

        1. quartzie
          FAIL

          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?

          1. Jean-Luc Silver badge
            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.

            1. Naughtyhorse

              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

              1. Tinker Tailor Soldier
                Thumb Down

                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.

                1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
                  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.

                2. Naughtyhorse

                  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)

          2. 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.

          3. Daniel 4

            China vs. U.S.?

            "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."

            Odd, that's not how it seemed to me. On the other hand, both the US and China are big countries and it's easy to only catch a slice of native life when you are visiting, even for years. Still, as a yank, I have to say that I /think/ I have cleaner air and water in the cities, better access to medicine and general infrastructure in the country, and despite a really intrusive, obnoxious government, one that is just a little less likely to come arrest/shoot me for running my mouth off online than the average Chinese. In short, I don't think I live in a free country - but to compare the U.S. to China seems a bit much to me.

            -d

            P.S. - I really am only commenting on US vs. China. The article is bloody ridiculous, even if it did make me giggle at least once (Jetsetting grave robbing? Announced on twitter? Really, that would be surreal).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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.?

        1. MacroRodent Silver badge
          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...

      3. Mr Cheddarfingers

        @ 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).

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          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.

          1. Mr Cheddarfingers

            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.

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @ Matt Bryant

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

                Nuff said.

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              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).

          2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          3. Kobus Botes
            Facepalm

            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.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              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?

      4. Christoph Silver badge
        FAIL

        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.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        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.

      6. Grigor

        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.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          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.

          1. PT
            FAIL

            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.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              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?

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          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.

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ 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.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          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.

      9. ToddRundgren
        Flame

        @Matt Bryant

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

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

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            "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 "

            I see you're equating anti-moron sentiment with anti-Yank sentiment. Good job you're not engaging in knee-jerk responses.

            Now push off.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Devil

              RE: Robert Long 1

              Thanks for supplying yet another example to laugh at! Please do carry on.

      10. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ...

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

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          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.

      11. Carl

        Yes...

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

    2. Mr Cheddarfingers

      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.

      1. Misha Gale

        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.

    3. Homer 1
      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]

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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?

    5. Chris_Maresca

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    7. Turtle

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So would you be

        after the hundredth time of hearing it

      2. earl grey Silver badge
        Flame

        Humourlesss, maybe

        We're talking downright incompetant here.

    8. Dana W
      Unhappy

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

    9. Jaymax
      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.

  2. sabba
    Mushroom

    It's time we made the Yanks...

    ...feel as welcome coming into our country as they make us feel trying to get into theirs. Oh, yes, but that would mean our government would have to grow a pair and so that's not likely to happen.

    Funny how times change twenty years ago it was all well and good for the Americans to openly sponsor those lovely little freedom fighters known as the Provisional IRA whilst the blew the what-not out of mainland UK. Soon as they have their own terrorist attack, awful as it was, the glove's on the other hand.

    Having recently spent three hours queuing at JFK to get through the department of homeland security checks whilst being forced to listen to an annoying video loop of "how great it was to have us as visitors" I could almost sympathise with Al Queda (that's a joke if anybody from the CIA/FBI/DHS are listening in, I don't sympathise with 'em :-) ).

    I guess it'll be rubber gloves and a quick exit for me next time I visit.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Hey Skippy....

      I freaking LIVE here and won't fly if I can avoid it!

      To top that off, TSA has VIPR teams on our highways, Fed offices, trains, etc.

      I'm sitting here wondering why the hell I tweeted El Reg's story without READING THE FUCKING HEADLINE with 'destroy America' in it.

      Yeah, it's like that. FUCK!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But look at who is doing this

      Every country has a segment of its population that desire to be jackbooted thugs. In the UK they just join the met. In the US the ones that don't make the intelligence grade to be cops become prison guards. Those that can't make the grade to be prison guards join the tourist scaring agency.

      Remember that before TSA and DHS federalized them they were employed by the airlines/airports - and made less than the burger flippers at McDonalds. So these people who have the power to basically screw over your lives are the ones that couldn't get a job at a fast food joint. A sense of humour isn't the only thing they lack.

      Fortunately they aren't representative of the normal 'merkin, any more than the scumbags beating the shit out of each other on the terraces were representative of the average Brit.

      But if you want to avoid the aggro - then don't give them anything to be interested in. It's really not that hard to avoid being a dickhead.

      AC - because I live in the land of the free and spend way too much of my time in airports.

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Kinda, maybe

        Senator Rand Paul was detained in Nashville due to an anomaly during the body scan - it was later admitted by TSA that the machines themselves create 'random' patdowns via software.

        http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/23/rand-paul-on-tsa-detainment-i-was-barked-at-do-not-leave-the-cubicle/

        Dicketry is not required for TSA aggro.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Dicketry':Yes it is

          I always pop a V1@gr@ before I go through security, just to make their day.

      2. DanceMan
        Holmes

        "In the US the ones that don't make the intelligence grade to be cops become prison guards. Those that can't make the grade to be prison guards join the tourist scaring agency."

        Amen to that, from prior experience 40 years ago. Also applies to the Canadian border lot -- not all of them. Many are quite pleasant and capable folk, but there's a minority of the other sort.

        At the time, watching late night TV in California I saw a commercial for forest service agents or something similar. The camera zoomed into a closeup of a badge as the announcer intoned, "and with the power to arrest ....." It was a siren call to all those wannabe cops who couldn't get past the psych tests. They collect in the border services, and I'm sure they're universal.

        That said, I no longer visit the US, which is less than an hour away. It's not worth the grief.

  3. foo_bar_baz

    Subtlety not their forte

    Someone explain to our American cousins the difference between figurative and literal. Fundamentalist muslims with explosives on one side, then these guys with killer robot drones and nuclear weapons on the other. I see a bright future ahead.

    Also an excellent demonstration of Internet and surveillance. The older I become the more luddite tendencies I'm beginning to have.

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Windows

      "Two suns in the sunset? Maybe the US race is run.." (Pink Floyd, the Final Cut)

      Fundamentalist muslims with explosives on one side, then these guys with killer robot drones and nuclear weapons on the other.

    2. Audrey S. Thackeray

      @foo_bar_baz

      Billy Bragg said it best when he sang

      "And I don't believe we can defeat no Axis of Evil

      By putting smart bombs in the hands of dumb people."

      Actually he said it _best_ when he sang

      "How can you lie there and think of England.

      When you don't even know who's in the team."

      But that's not quite as relevant to the topic at hand.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cousins?

      I'm neither Spanish, Italian nor German. Nor are any of my relatives. Large areas of USA already have more Spanish speakers than American English. Not my cousins.

    4. fzz

      figurative?

      TSA doesn't hire people who can spell it much less know what it means.

      ALL utterances are taken literally, and that's been so for decades in US airports. Don't bring booze to Saudi Arabia, and don't joke when coming to the US. Flippancy will get you into more trouble with DHS than religious fundamentalism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ALL utterances are taken literally... in US airports

        I think at issue here is that this particular utterance was said online, nowhere near the airport, nowhere near the real time of arrival in the US.

        Effectively the TSA are saying their jurisdiction stretches beyond US borders and well into UK borders. It's one thing to overhear an inappropriate joke in a terminal within earshot, it's another to overhear an inappropriate joke within 3 weeks and 4000 miles of earshot.

        As someone who does a lot of unavoidable travel for business in Security-Era Amerika, I'm deleting my Twitter account and conducting a Facebook 'friends' audit.

  4. Neil B
    Unhappy

    Is this really as reported? I mean... fuck.

  5. Sir Adam-All
    Happy

    LOL. nuff said.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't know why but

      the name Emily Bunting makes me chuckle. What a lovely, rather superb name. :-)

  6. FunkyEric
    Black Helicopters

    rofl

    Carbon-based life-forms have no sense of fun!

    ;-)

  7. Northern Fop
    Stop

    To the Merkin Bashers

    Remember that this is the country that cost a guy his job and a whole heap of money for making a joke about Liverpool airport on Twitter.

    Both cases are obviously *stupid* over-reactions by humourless bureaucratic f*ckwits, but pointing and laughing at our colonial cousins smacks of pots and kettles to me...

    1. Suburban Inmate

      We're not the pot and we're not the kettle.

      We''re the 51st state.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not.

        You're not the 51st state and we would not let you become the 51st state because we would not want you as the 51st state.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That's a relief

          Can we have that in writing?, and please tell our politicians and the Bank of England, they seem to copy every lunatic scheme their US counterparts think up!

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Black Helicopters

        We're the 51st state.

        No your're not, states get to make their own laws, you don't, you have to obey the fedral laws.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Coat

          No, you're NOT the 51st state...

          ..unless you're on the moon (ob. Newt Gangrene reference)

    2. Richard Gadsden

      Robin Hood Airport, actually

      Near Doncaster, I believe.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Directions to Robin Hood airport

        (Taken from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)

        Start from Dover, drive north, keep driving north, turn south at Hadrian's Wall, take the 'Noddinhum' exit, third forest on the right.

        1. Drew V.

          At this airport, does security frisk the rich in order to relieve them of their cash and jewelry?

          If so then I am all for that, actually.

      2. Northern Fop
        Facepalm

        Oh yeah, you're right

        Robin Hood airport, not Liverpool.

        Still, both associated with theiving :)

      3. sabba
        Flame

        Sheffield Doncaster Robin Hood Airport

        to give it its full title.

        At the rate airlines seem to be dropping the place i think they might be glad of a few terrorists flying in just to get the numbers up (and maybe a claim or two on the insurance - nod, nod, wink, wink).

      4. Martin Milan

        Thoust believes correctly...

    3. Drew V.

      Very true, but...

      No Americans deported based on something they said in public or on a public forum, AFAIK.

      Not so far, anyway.

    4. Spudbynight
      Coat

      Wouldn't you need to remove a merkin to do any "bashing"?

  8. 404 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Oh shit....

    Reckon I can expect a TSA VIPR team at my house any time now....

    Fuck!

    :(

  9. Jon Press

    A grave error.

    (body)

    1. Soruk
      Joke

      Re: A grave error

      > (body)

      Yes, but whose body?

  10. Suburban Inmate
    Linux

    What about Canada?

    I had a joint on me about 6 or 7 years ago. I'm reliably informed I'm "morally reprehensible" (or words to that effect) and the visa waiver test quis says I'd have to have my case evaluated by the Reic^H^H^H^HHomeland Security. So yeah thats it USA hopes buggered. Because it's not like people can get over the USA/Canada border piece of piss with the help of an American or Canadian friend or relative!

    Which brings me on to my question: Are Canada under orders from the yank gubmint to act equally mentally unsound with regards to immigration policy, or are the Canadian government still somewhat representative of the nice Canadian people?

    Penguin: Yeah yeah I know, but there isn't a polar bear icon is there?

    1. Poor Coco
      Facepalm

      Here's a hint...

      ...look at the cretin in the Prime Minister's office.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Devil

        RE: Here's a hint...

        Well, it is often said that an electorate get the politicians they deserve rather than the ones that would actually make things better. A cretin PM for a cretinous electorate, maybe?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends where in Canada

      It really depends where in Canada you go. I've always found them really nice at Toronto, but I was once held and questioned for 3 hours in Ottawa for no reason other than the fact I came through the customs gates and just happened to be someone they figured they'd pick on (I have no criminal record, have never even smoked a cigarette let alone anything else, never been done for speeding, am white, British).

      I think it's largely because at Ottawa they've got this insecurity thing going on in that a) they're the capital and so the customs folks see themselves as defenders of Sir Harper, leader of the Canadian free people! and b) Because Ottawa has this whole half-French, half-English identity crisis such that French (or should I say Quebec, because even the French disassociate themselves) border guards see any Brit daring to enter Ottawa as British reinforcements lining up against the front line of everything that is French in Canada. The funny thing is, when you go further East into Quebec, where everything is firmly quite grounded in Frenchness, the attitude actually seems to go away, and the Quebecois over that way are generally quite lovely.

      Perhaps I was just unfortunate in encountering a few bad eggs, but that's my experience anyway and it stems from not just one, but a number of experiences travelling through Ottawa airport where the customs folks seemed horribly more smarmy, and quite annoying compared to those elsewhere in Canada. I don't even use Ottawa airport as a result now, I just use Toronto or Montreal and drive there if that's where I need to be.

      1. Suburban Inmate
        Thumb Up

        Many thanks AC!

        I wasn't interested in that end of Canada anyway.

    3. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
      Stop

      Optional title

      I'm calling Godwin's on this one. Surprised it wasn't sooner.

  11. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    WTF?

    You couldn't make this shit up, could you?

    What worries me is how they linked the silly tweeter account to the flight ticket/person. And even more so how this scheme can be abused in the way of "I have a friend, who is not really a friend but a pain in the arse, who is flying to the Usa in a couple of weeks..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "how they linked the silly tweeter account to the flight ticket/person"

      Fairly simple I think ... his twitter account name is his name (LeighBryan ... though its now "protected"!) and I assume his tweets would have narrowed down when and where he was flying to in the US. All airlines have to give passenger lists to US authorities in advance and as his name isn't too common (i.e. not John Smith) then they could have found him quite quickly. Though from the article it seems he was picked up at immigration so its probably more likely that they simply added the name to a "watch list".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or more likely Homeland Security have free unfettered access to Twitters back end servers and are keyword scanning everything

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "keyword scanning everything"

          I wonder which got flagged up - the 'destroy' or the 'Monroe'.

  12. SuperTim

    *facepalm

    I weep for the stupidity of the Yoof of today, and the utter idiocy of the US border agents.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      RE: *facepalm

      "I weep for the stupidity of the Yoof of today, and the utter idiocy of the US border agents."

      People need to realise that if you are stupid enough to be making such comments it will screw your holiday, even if you're just airing your stupidity on dross mediums like Twitter. And it's not just the US - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4104719.stm

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm sorry, but WHAT???!!

        Stupid enough to make such comments?

        So young people are limited in what the way they communicate things because they could be mis-interpreted by government machines. While I hate it, its quite common for young people to describe things they think are crappy as being 'gay'. They certainly don't mean any offense to gay people when they do this, but some people interpret it as such. Perhaps young people who call things gay should be denied entry for 'hate crimes'.

        I don't accept that as its not just the US, then its OK. It's not OK for ANY GOVERNMENT to do this.

        IMHO if you apply some common sense, why did USCIS not determine after interviewing these two that the comment was not made seriously?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Make daft comments where?

        Twitter? Some random blog somewhere? Down the pub? Some random forum somewhere? In my car? In my house? Here? At work?

        Are we all supposed to watch our words everywhere just in case we happen to be travelling to the USA at some point in the future and some idiot of a 'security' official decides to deliberately misconstrue something we say and refuse entry?

        Or should we just avoid going to the USA at all on the grounds that they've decided they don't want any tourists, businessmen or indeed anybody whatsoever visiting?

        This kind of stupidity makes me feel considerably less safe. Sorry, it outright *terrifies* me.

        It won't be long before a genuine plot is missed and gets carried through *entirely* because the officials who should have followed up on it wasted their time chasing after people who made daft jokes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Just like Germany in the 1930s

          I still remember my mother telling me about her experiences in Germany, where she spent several summer holidays in the 1930s. How weird it felt when German friends would shush her for making certain jokes, or even perfectly innocent comments, in public.

          On one occasion she was walking along a street with friends, and just for fun walked with one foot on the curb and the other on the carriageway so that her gait was uneven. Her friends were utterly terrified, and told her that someone might think she was making fun of Goebbels (who limped because he had one leg shorter than the other) - in which case, even as a British citizen, she might simply disappear. (And all of them with her).

          Trips to the USA are getting altogether too much like that.

      3. PJI
        Headmaster

        Umm

        Interesting link. No idea that BMI was a UK government body, as you imply.

        Just possible, I suppose, that it is a not very good, private airline with a frightened and prissy staff. No, I must be wrong, must be a government body run by dedicated jobsworths.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          RE: Umm

          "......No idea that BMI was a UK government body, as you imply....." The BMI staff were simply following the guidelines set by the BAA, which is an UK government agency. You may note (if you bothered to read all the article) that Ryan Sherwin was eventually removed by armed Police, not BMI staff themselves. I'm betting he (nor you, for that matter) doesn't try a stunt like that again, no matter how funny he thinks it was.

          In the minds of the airlines, prevention is better than the cure, and the ban had just the right affect - lots of publicity saying BMI will not put up with idiots. Why do you think the airlines are so happy to make publicity statements about when passengers are restrained and kicked off flights for rowdy behaviour?

          A few weeks after 9/11 I was flying Continental out of Frankfurt when the flight got delayed on the tarmac. It turned out two passengers had complained to the cabin staff that they didn't want to fly as another passenger was wearing a turban and they thought he could be a terrorist. I'm sorry to say the two passengers complaining were not Yanks but British. The local police boarded and spoke to the crew, spoke to the Sikh passenger, and to the couple complaining. In the end, after an hour's delay, the Sikh passenger was allowed to fly but the couple were kicked off the flight, much to the delight of us other passengers.

          1. JoshOvki
            Thumb Down

            Achhooo!

            Oh excuse me, I'm terribly allergic to bullsh*t.

  13. Blofeld's Cat
    Black Helicopters

    Er...

    I think the most worrying part about this is the confirmation that the US routinely checks the Twitter accounts of potential visitors.

    I suppose the next step will be for the US to have them extradited as terrorist suspects.

    Just in case TPTB are listening...

    My friend DAVID and his mate CAMERON say that when they go to America David IS GOING TO BLOW UP a balloon, write "hello mum" on it, and stand in front of THE STATUE OF LIBERTY so Cameron can take his photograph.

    1. g e
      Joke

      Is that the same

      CAMEROON who has a mate called ALI who likes to SHOOT semi-nude fireman calendars with the OFFICERS dressed as CIVILIANS for charity?

      Ooops I mis-spelt Cameron's name

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Blofeld's Cat

      The unfetterd access that the DHS seems to have is indeed worrying.

      However what concerns me is that I am sure it won't be long before someone is refused entry to the USofA because they don't say anything on Twatter, FaceBlock etc.

      "Because you aren't on FB etc, we can't verify that you are a stupid SOB so we won't let you in. Goodbye".

      Coat, because I won't get a chance to take mine off if I go to the USA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > The unfetterd access that the DHS seems to have is indeed worrying.

        You mean, like the rest of us, the DHS can look at facebook and twitter?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re Anonymout Coward 15:32

          You might be correct however, do you search FB & TW using data mining techniques?

          I'll bet you don't.

          You can be pretty well sure that the DHS (And many other parts of Uncle Sam) are searching all sorts of sites for 'information' that may or may not be useful in <redacted>

          Oh well, I'm probably on a no-fly list now.

          1. Nigel 11
            Coat

            Search FB & TW

            You mean, use Google? (There can't be any bigger data miner, not even in .secret.gov)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Will you stay still for a bit!!!

            It's not easy trying to target someone from one of these pilot less drones if you keep moving!

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        @ Steve Davies 3

        > I am sure it won't be long before someone is refused entry to the USofA because they don't say anything on Twatter, FaceBlock etc.

        I'm quite sure of it, too. They recently (~ 1 year ago) added an "e-mail" field in the border paperwork; although they do not strictly enforce it, I was once sent back to the back of the line to fill the field that I had left blank. The field is something like 12 char. in lenght, too, talk about stupid. I crammed my longest email addy in there (well in excess of twice the lenght of the field, so it ended up scrawled around the margin) and they let me go. 2 weeks later I had to nuke the account as it was overrun with spam (I hadn't used it in years and it was pretty much dead anyway, including no incoming traffic; not even spam anymore).

        On a separate occasion I spent 10 minutes explaining to the too-stupid-to-be-mall-security guy why a 30-something like me had no cell phone (ten minutes can be a very long time in some circumstances).

        Although a lot of the time it's just a matter of bad luck and personal incompetence from the very guy you're talking to, not a general conspiracy. For example I was almost denied entry once because I hadn't submitted the internet entry form 72 hrs in advance (can't remember the name). I spent ages explaining that because I have a bona fide visa I don't have to; and in fact the system probably wouldn't let me fill one. I mean that's their own guidelines. The form I have to fill is not the same as for the people who have a visa waiver. In fact it's not even the same _colour_! But no, the guy wasn't able to see the difference, and wanted to refuse me entry. I only got in because I insisted "too much" and the colleagues he called to physically remove me were a bit less thick than he was.

        I must say that most of the time I go through quite easily though, even if there is a clear correlation between the way I'm dressed and shaved and the probability to go through a "random" search (well-shaven, proper shirt is good; 3-days beard, jeans, T-shirt and old denim bomber is bad). But that's security, not customs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Pierre

          "On a separate occasion I spent 10 minutes explaining to the too-stupid-to-be-mall-security guy why a 30-something like me had no cell phone (ten minutes can be a very long time in some circumstances)."

          I didn't know it was compulsory to own one.

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            @Tom Welsh

            > I didn't know it was compulsory to own one.

            It's not. However there is a field for that on the immigration form; usually I just let it blank and have no trouble, but on this one occasion the guy found that suspect and insisted that I fill the field; which I could obviously not do. Hence an , er, interesting discussion.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Happy

          RE: @ Steve Davies 3

          Maybe you were carrying one of Diaz's old bags?

          today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19410813/ns/today-entertainment/t/cameron-diaz-apologizes-carrying-mao-bag/

          What one person thinks is acceptable, "fashionable" or fun can be very insulting to others. Me, I'd stop you for the denim bomber, search you and then hand you over to Gok!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        "Because you aren't on FB etc, we can't verify that you are a stupid SOB so we won't let you in. Goodbye".

        And theres a problem with that,????????

        I cant stand either of the two and should i ever be forced to venture to the USA and am refused entry i really wont give it a second thought. I shall turn round and go home safe in the knowledge i will die without ever stepping foot in the festering stain on the world that is America.

  14. g e

    How to DDOS the DHS

    What a splendid HowTo, cheers El Reg!

    Now, imagine if everyone tweets the a link with the article title intact...

    >>Clickety<<

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Stupid - it burns!!

    If this doesn't put people off visiting the US, nothing will.

    Vote with your feet people - stop visiting this crazy-ass, fundamentalist, draconian, lard-ass fucktard nation, and let them wallow in their own stupidity.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      Not even in transit...

      I've only been to merka once, a flying visit on the way to NZ. We were supposed to be in transit (i.e. not going via passport control) but we were made to go through. My first impression of merka in the 4.5 hours I was there is horrible and unfriendly in a way that makes the UKs service industry look like shining example of eagerness to please. The food is shit, the service is shit, the people are (mostly) shit and they serve you beer in tiny tumblers for fuck sake! The police are miserable lard arses and the border guards are humourless drones.

      I've been toying with repealing my decision to never go to merka for real (the above doesn't really count) as I have a cousin who lives in New York but I think I was right to avoid it. I'd rather go to Old York... a lovely place... with real beer in pint glasses.

      I've been trying to think of something funny to say about "smashing in the statue of liberty's back doors" but can't... maybe I'll tweet it when it comes to me so I know for certain that I won't be able to go to the states...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        The US doesn't do Transit - everyone has to go through customs+immigration.

        This is a growing market for Boeing's new 7E7 because it can fly a lot of S. America and S.E. Asia to Europe direct without having to go through the US. This is a big market for a lot of S American airlines

        1. Arrrggghh-otron

          @Yet Another Anonymous coward

          You'd think the airline would have known that. We were told our stop over was a transit stop when we bought the tickets. It was only when we were an hour from LAX that they threw the little green "are you a terrorist" form at us. I enquired if we needed to fill them in as we were supposed to be in transit and was told that in that case we didn't. Cue lots of explaining at passport control...

        2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          Black Helicopters

          The US doesn't do Transit - everyone has to go through customs+immigration.

          That's funny, all the merkin squaddies on their way to dakka-dakka land don't have to go through customs immigration when they transit in shannon.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Transit woes...

        @Arrrggghh-otron, yup, same here. Treated like third class scum, made to in and out process from a SEALED AREA, and then loaded back on the plane. (Don't you just love LAX?) They did provide drinks and toilets, but that was it. Never had to do this at Munich, Amsterdam, Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne, Auckland or Gothenburg where you get the run of the flightside airport.

      3. peyton?
        Pint

        If it makes you feel any better

        They treat everyone like that - has nothing to do with where you're from ;)

        Re beer: You're allowed to order more than one. I rather like a smaller glass (~12oz) - while I'm working on one, my next 12oz are chilling away in the keg :D

      4. peter 45
        Flame

        Me too

        "border guards are humourless drones" and arrogant little shits to boot.

        We were also herded off the plane through immigration into a holding area just so the aircraft could be re-fueled. The first person was called forward to be fingerprinted but was disabled and could not move fast enough for the aforementioned little shit's liking. He stormed off shouting that he 'didn't have to put up with this'. We didn't see him again for half an hour and the whole compliment of 747's passenger's were left just queuing. Not allowed forward, not allowed backward. No toilets, no refreshments, no chairs and no air conditioning.

        The aircraft had actually finished refueling before the first passenger has been 'immigrated' and it took 4 hours to get everyone through the whole process.

        Still, as long as it helps America's War on Terror. (sarcastic icon)

    2. bitten
      Trollface

      "If this doesn't put people off visiting the US, nothing will."

      Maybe it was just that, keeping the Sun reading masses just where they belong. "No 'officer' when I said destroy America I just meant binge drinking, and other related activities."

  16. The Original Ash
    FAIL

    So don't go there. Ever.

    I've probably been on a US No-Fly list for years for some of the tongue-in-cheek crap I've posted on the web. It doesn't matter, as the US is on *my* No-Fly list, at least until they stop putting paranoid schizophrenics in charge who would see a "Credible Threat to National Security" in the lyrics to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as an allusion to explosives.

    America: Successfully decimating their tourism industry since 12/09/2001

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some in the US do not have a sense of humour - but they were still really stupid to say things like that.

  18. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Only 2 thoughts here.

    1, these "kids" were a little misguided (i.e. completely stupid) to make these comments in a public forum. Do they not remember the guy who tweeted about blowing up the airport?

    2, the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill. The comments were obviously a bad taste joke, maybe double checking them and questioning them quickly to make sure is OK, but deporting them?

    To be fair, I think this just reflects what I have believed for a while: average intelligence of the world's human population is going down hill.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      I believe "The sum of intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing." is apt here...

      However, that the powers that be couldn't read into the intent of the tweet isn't enough to justify the removal of the alternative slang use of the word "Destroy" is it? Should we cower and second guess what the idiots will think, and force ourselves to justify everything we say?

    2. foo_bar_baz

      Incentives

      @Dr. Mouse:

      That would be the right thing to do. But do the officials have any incentive to double check and take the "risk" of letting them in? Or do they need to cover their asses so they don't get blamed in (diminishingly unlikely) case that these guys do something stupid/illegal while in the country?

      Got to fill the quotas and cover ones ass, when a bureaucrat.

    3. Blake St. Claire

      It's the nature of the job

      > the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill

      As an American, I'll state for the record that I think the real problem is that we keep hiring _only_ the sort of person that actually wants these jobs.

      I've had enough encounters in my life with cops and others of their ilk who clearly wanted the job purely because it allowed them the power trip they desired.

      I'd love to see a mandatory year (or two) of 'government' service after high school with random assignments to community police, military, peace corp, TSA, DHS, park rangers, etc., (with no get out of jail free card for anyone, including the 1%ers). If we had average joes in these positions instead of psychopaths looking to get off on power trips I bet the world would be a better place.

    4. Wupspups
      Facepalm

      These kids *!@%^

      Bloody hell they are 26 and 24, its not like they are spotty prepubescent giggling little rug rats are they. They probably couldn't even be classified as oiky first year undergraduate students out on the waz. They are grown adults who should have at least a scintilla of common sense.

      Oh bad Americans for treating the poor dears so badly for making a joke about destroying their country.

      Personally I think they were luck to get a full body exam and chucked in a cell for a few nights with some Mexican friends of Buba and chucked out of the US. Actually its such a shame the septic chucked them out, cos we have to put up the amoebic brained plant life now.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Vote with your feet people - stop visiting this crazy-ass, fundamentalist, draconian, lard-ass fucktard nation, and let them wallow in their own stupidity."

    Until your kids want to go to Disneyland eh and you don't speak French / hate the French even more. You are just a xenophobe.

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Meh

      Not a problem at Disneyland Paris - just about everyone speaks English there even Jules Verne.

      If you like roller coasters then go to Parc Astérix at Plailly instead.

    2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Because, you know, you have to do EXACTLY what your Disney-brainwashed kids want, on their schedule and by their orders.

      I don't think that the USA or Mickey Mouse has anywhere near as much to answer for as parents who can't say No.

    3. Chad H.
      FAIL

      Or

      There's Tokyo Disney, with the apparently amazing DisneySea; Hong Kong Disneyland and soon to be one in Shanghai.

      I think you're a little confused to who the xenophone is AC.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disney Land

      Went there once as my wife wanted to see the place in Florida back in the mid seventies .

      My god the hall of the future looked like Noah's workshop of poor ideas. I cannot now remember if the dust was several inches thick, (I am not sure if they had recognised the future might include vacuum cleaners) but the exhibits made the Egyptian relics in another well known museum or two look really modern.

      Now I would rather sit naked in a snow storm than go to another hell hole of an airport and that is without having to encounter the US Irritation (dis)Service.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It was a typo!

      They meant, we're off to destroy Amorica, in a D-Day re-enactment!

      The difference between the yanks and brits is that the brits (and europeans too) generally have a healthy disgust of their government and legal and law enforcement systems where as yanks seem to idolise their president (or so it appears in "24") and "the Law" is important to them.

      Yes we know about the Robin Hood aeroport tweet, but that that doesn't excuse this incident (in fact they should have learnt from it) and it certainly doesn't stop us poking fun at all those involved.

      Plus, we aren't quite so pompous as to talk about "inalienable rights," "all men created equal" and "free speech" - and then qualify "all men" as only americans, and inalienable rights as "only applying in particular geographical parts of the America" and free speech as "not including jokes."

      Anon, because I may need to route a flight through the US on my way to South America.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the security services of all countries need to take a chill pill."

    You miss the point - if a real terrorist believes they ARE listening it might put them off = result (although the reality could also be that a real terrorist would take extra precautions not to get rumbled).

    The pair deserve a Darwin Award. I have zero sympathy - it might help them grow up a bit.

    1. g e

      Riiiiight

      Cos all terrorists post their plans on Twitter, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How do you know they don't? They could be doing in coded form. And maybe, just maybe, these two idiots were two stupid to bother. We can tell the security services that keep safe and protect the rest of us not so dumb folk to 'chill'. If people only knew of the number of terrorist pltos that are stopped but never publicised they'd be calling for more stricter security and willing offering up more in taxes to fund it.

        1. Mike Smith
          Stop

          Errrm

          "If people only knew of the number of terrorist pltos that are stopped but never publicised they'd be calling for more stricter security and willing offering up more in taxes to fund it."

          And that would be how many, exactly?

          .

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Black Helicopters

        Riiiiight

        It explains why 9/11 was such a devastating attack on amerika, if only osama bin-liner had tweeted that he was about to attack, the merkins could have done something about it.

    2. Paul_Murphy

      >The pair deserve a Darwin Award

      Only if they remove themselves from the gene pool, and I doubt that is the case just yet.

      Exactly what sort of real terrorist would use twitter to make threats is anyones guess - as is why, if the security forces are monitoring peoples twitter feeds , they didn't ask for clarification from the poster - that could have cleared things up right away.

      Still, could have been worse - if SOPA was enforced for their <i>Family Guy</i> quote they could have been emprisoned or worse...

      ttfn

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yeas and...

        Nacht & nebel spring to mind as well...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reality? The reality is that a real, competent terrorist wouldn't be posting their plans on a social networking site. There was no Twitter back in the day but I certainly don't recall anyone ever standing in the middle of Shaftesbury Square telling people that "in 3 weeks imma plant a car bomb outside the Europa Hotel, LOL". Why in God's name would they announce it to the whole world now that the facility to do so exists?

      Sure it was a stupid thing to post. You have to figure that the authorities are monitoring this stuff and have some obligation to investigate it, especially since we've had a handful of utterly incompetent attempts at actual terrorism, but it should have been pretty fucking obvious to DHS within 10 minutes of pulling them aside that the idiots weren't a credible threat to anything much besides the local booze supply.

      PS you *do* know what winning a Darwin Award entails, right?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'What worries me is how they linked the silly tweeter account to the flight ticket/person."

    They know more about you than you.

    1. Bugs R Us

      Well of course they do. And I for one am glad. It takes only an little smidgen of common sense to avoid these situations. It's really simple, take security seriously, don't joke about destroying another nation or culture's beliefs. How hard is that? It's a total lack of respect that gets people into these situations.

      1. perlcat
        Trollface

        Of two minds here.

        Of course I'm appalled -- they're obviously just morons with mouths, unable to conceive the thought that what you say on the internet may as well be shouted out in public -- and what they said was as guaranteed to get a reaction as making stupid jokes about how the female passenger going through security in front of you is "da bomb". It might work in the movies, but in real life, it gets you a cavity search, with no caek -- just apple juice and narco-criminal huggies.

        Banning them is overkill -- except that somebody had the thought that they'd troll the entire world, get everyone to think that DHS is watching *everywhere* by making an example out of these idiots. It's a lot more effective than hiring more pervs at the airports to feel Grandma up and swipe your iWhatever. It was fucking brilliant if you ask me. You can't even say that they *aren't* watching everywhere now, knowing full well that it was a troll.

        However, the reaction of all the people here? Didn't you realize that you'd just been trolled by DHS into exposing your thoughts/prejudices/shirtiness about the US in general in a discussion group? I thought regReaders would be savvy enough to spot a troll.

        U mad bro?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        """How hard is that?"""

        Pretty hard: Obumma (and the also-ran scum that wants his job) keep ranting and raving about destroying Iran, Syria, North Korea, Whatever, all over the entire news-spectrum. Sucks when someone applies the same standard?

        1. perlcat
          Meh

          [parsing...]

          [rebooting]

          I'm just not able to parse what you wrote. Sorry. Makes no sense. The people getting screwed here were not USians, and the payback for the US taking another step towards totalitarianism is the US's getting to take another step?

          About the only thing I can gather from what you wrote is that you don't like the US's current leadership or its future prospects. I agree completely there.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC because I'm worth it.

  23. a33a

    "According to the Daily Mail" Surely this has to be a troll article, if it was written 12 Years ago. However its sad to see the state of secur... No wait.... this is definitely a troll article.

  24. scifidale
    Facepalm

    {rolls eyes and snaps another rich tea biscuit}

  25. austerusz
    FAIL

    Hello there

    I stand by the US agents.

    We all know that terrorists use plain text tweets to syncronize their attacks. This is why tweeter is full of tweets about how destroy America. There is even #destroyAmerica created by terrorists to make the work of lazy US FBI agents easier.

    So please, if you're bent on truly destroying America, use the #destroyAmerica tag. Anal probing guaranteed in 24h.

    1. Pinkerton
      Black Helicopters

      Uh oh!

      I just searched for #destroyAmerica to see if anyone was tagging anything with it.

      If you don't hear anything from me in the next few days then I'm probably being waterboarded!

      No, seriously: I'm posting about it here so it can form part of my defence. "I only searched for that tag because I saw it on The Register".

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Coat

        #anallyDestroyAmerica

        Why the h8 against the whole hemisphere? Shouldn't the tweets be directed only against the gringos and yanks?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I had a joint on me about 6 or 7 years ago."

    Which is illegal and you know it - it's ALL your fault - stop your whinging. What about the kilo of coke stuffed somewhere dark as well <kidding> ;-)

  27. Slartybardfast

    The Sun

    This is on The Sun's website. The comments make for interesting reading, overwhelmingly they think that the US has got it right and we should follow their lead. Comments about "keeping out illegals" appear to outweigh the rest by a fairly wide margin.

    I would like to add that I was taken to their site by via a tweet and I'm not a normal reader or their brand of right wing crap.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "these "kids" were a little misguided (i.e. completely stupid) to make these comments in a public forum. Do they not remember the guy who tweeted about blowing up the airport?"

    Liberal voter?

    1. SmellyPants
      WTF?

      My favourite....

      ...part is the inference that real terrorists might go on Twitter to announce their nefarious intentions to the world, on an account that can be linked to their real identity, weeks before the event.

      If these guys had been real terrorists, I think they were being overly ambitious with the "destroy America" thing, and extremely creative with the "dig up Marilyn Monroe" thing, If only all terrorists could be so imaginative/wacky....

  29. SJRulez

    Hmm, I wonder what the US would do when one of its nationals working abroad in Dubai or Iraw tweets something similar and gets arrested. Ahh... hang on they are all CIA so they just shoot first and claim diplomatic immunity.

  30. Number6

    I think it comes down to "Don't say stupid things where people without a sense of humour might read it"

    (Note that security personnel can't really afford to have a sense of humour, and even if they do, they probably have to check it in at the start of a shift and retrieve it at the end).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, I remember when BBC did a documentary series on Heathrow one episode covered how a policewoman they were following was called to a US airline checkin desk where an American with a violin case had been asked what was in the case and replied that he was from Chicago and that's where they kept the machine guns ... result - he got a Police caution (police woman agreed that it was almost certainly said as an attempt at humour but in the context of airport security screening it was an offence) and a lifetime ban from the airline in question.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Yes - but there is a little difference between telling security at an airport you have a gun.

        And posting a comment on el'Reg that "take off and nuke the site from orbit" is the only way to improve LAX.

        ... shit I did post this as anonymous ??????

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As opposed to lets all change our way of life just because there's some bad people out there.

      The 'T' types have already won and we can feel so much safer now we can't say or do anything our governments don't want us to do or say.

      1000's of Americans are killed by prescription drugs each year

      11000 killed by guns, a 9/11 every three months

      430000 killed by smoking

      400000 from obesity

      It's all about money, politicians powers and certain large corporations profits.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Number6

      "I think it comes down to "Don't say stupid things where people without a sense of humour might read it""

      Trouble is, that means "anywhere at all" nowadays. Which means freedom of speech is reduced to "freedom to say anything that the people without a sense of humour might not understand". Which means there is no freedom of speech, and the USA is no longer a free country in any meaningful sense of the word.

      But we knew that.

  31. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    More proof (as if it were needed).

    It's not known around here as Twatter for no reason.

    Waving red rags at bulls has never been a good idea. Got to hand it to the left-pondians, as versions of "Oh do stop being so bloody childish" go, this one's a peach.

  32. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Who'd have thought it

    Too dumb to be allowed into LA.

    1. perlcat
      Coffee/keyboard

      Damn, that's funny.

      That's a pretty low bar, there.

  33. foo_bar_baz

    ... and in other news

    Aouth arrested and charged with intention to vandalize city, after tweeting they'd "paint the town red".

  34. Sporkinum

    Another reason

    As if I needed another reason to confirm why I stay off social media. Probably the best way to think about it, is to think that what you post on the internet is like using a phone in East Germany. Assume it's going to be intercepted and can probably be used to implicate you in whatever then state deems necessary.

    1. Maty

      "As if I needed another reason to confirm why I stay off social media."

      And what exactly do you think the Reg's comment board is? Or did you come on to a social media platform for the specific purpose of telling us that you stay off it?

      Just asking.

  35. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Dig up Marilyn

    I am definitely digging up Marilyn next time I go to the states and I don't care who knows it.

    Perhaps who thinks thinks the dreaded Homeland Security acted irrationally should vow to dig up Marilyns body. Perhaps I will dig up Elvis if someone digs up Marilyn first.

    After that I am going to totally destroy America.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America

    About as much of a democracy as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TSA, INS, etc: sense of humor := handicap

    As an American, it embarrasses me when this sort of thing happens. However, it is an unfortunate consequence of the job that security people (e.g. TSA, INS, and even your own immigration control people, my fair Brits) must have no sense of humor. If you say "I have a rocket in my Jockeys and it's ready to blow" they HAVE to assume you mean the worst. Yes, it means that 99.9999999% of the time they are going to be giving a pat-down to a chav with an over-inflated sense of himself, but the inverse - not giving the patdown to the 0.0000001% and something bad happening - is considered far worse: one will get you a reputation as a humorless git, one will get you fired, possibly charged with criminal negligence, and vilified.

    Yes, it sucks. Yes, they should have been able to read the intent of the message and realize these idiots were going to "destroy" in the same way I might say I will "destroy" a large pizza. Yes, they could have talked to them, asked them about the context of the post, and let them go on their merry way - indeed, not just could have, but should have. But unfortunately they simply cannot do that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. TSA, INS, etc: sense of humor := handicap

      Of course the security services should investigate, but if the result is "no threat" then why deport them? The message that this sends is that the people involved have too little to do, so they can spend time (and US tax payer dollars) harassing idiots.

      This kind of bullshit only makes sense when it comes to budget time and they can claim that they have averted a terrorist threat; saying you've discovered a couple of harmless idiots doesn't get funding I guess.

      1. Marty
        Facepalm

        "then why deport them?"

        that's simple....

        the same reason why after a massacre they leave one or two people alive, so they can go back and tell others about the horrors of whats going to happen unless you fall into line.

        I think we all have got the message now... no stupid tweets if your going to go to the USA on your holidays, or its going to be a long plane ride right back home.....

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Sir

          no stupid tweets if your going to go to the USA on your holidays, or its going to be a long plane ride right back home.....

          That isn't the message I heard. The message I heard was -

          "Don't come to the Totalitarian States of America if you are a free-thinking, free-speaking human being - coz we will fuck you up...totally."

  38. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    Real world

    Some people just don't live in the real world. The real world is full of risks and threats that need to be taken seriously. These two morons will think twice about their use of the English language in future. FFS, if you mean "to party" then write "to part' not 'destroy America'. The world is full of idiots that just don't realize automated systems run their lives and make it possible for them to exist.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. Real world

      Actually, the "real world" isn't "full of risks and threats that need to be taken seriously" or terrorist incidents would happen every day in the USA and Europe; and security idiots wouldn't have time to harass civilian idiots.

      You've been watching too much "24" and started thinking that Jack Bauer is real.

      The "real world" is full of people just getting on with their lives whilst politicians, the military, and the arms industry does its best to inflate the threat level for their own purposes (i.e. power & money).

      Welcome to 1984.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please explain...

      Your use of FFS in an English language context. I understand the use of FFS to be an abbreviation of 'For Fucks Sake'.

      I take it, by your 'real world' request that people literally print what they intend, that you were having sex whilst writing your comment. Or did merely the thought of these two morons cause you to have sex - and if so with who? I assume with yourself?

      Oh, I see, you were employing a 'hyperbole'!

      You know, that common literary device which no-one can avoid and can be found peppered all over the internet, like some kind of hyperbole bomb just exploded itself into the English language.

  39. arrbee

    Interesting that people seem to be assuming that it was the DHS that is scanning everything and detected the offending tweets - my first thought was that Twitter found & reported them itself, followed by the alternative "I wonder which of their Internet 'friends' dropped then in it". I must admit that ascribing the implied level of competency to the DHS itself never occurred to me.

  40. Danny 14 Silver badge
    Stop

    hah!

    So they used their real names and travel intentions? Deserved everything they got! Wait till google propagates the info they wont be able to travel anywhere again.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Devil

      RE: hah!

      "So they used their real names and travel intentions?...." Even better, this could start a craze for hacking Twitter accounts of people you don't like and posting something just before they go on holiday..... Oh, but do first be aware that such actions could constitute more than one crime (unauthorised computer access, plus wasting Police time, etc).

      1. Matt Siddall
        Thumb Up

        no need to hack

        You can do it completely legally (well - it might be in violation of Twitter's T&Cs) by just creating a new account with a name that's an awfully like that of the person you want to get into trouble.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stupidity.....

    the thing is, I and most people are well aware of the lack of sense of humor homeland security / immigration / customs have while entering (or leaving) the USA. the golden rule is if your planing on going in holiday to the USA or any other country for that matter, make sure you are well aware of what is likely to piss the government or the populous off and avoid it... unless your intention is to piss them off.

    its been in the news so much in the last few years of how "stupid, posted in jest" things on facebook / twitter has got people in trouble. to carry on with it now is just stupid. they say you should learn from your own mistakes, but the truly wise person also learns from other peoples mistakes !

    people have the right to freedom of speech, but they have to be aware of the consequences of using that freedom. Stupidity is (and rightly) no defense.

    personally, I love my annual holiday in the USA. it has gotta be one of the friendliest and clean places to visit. I may not agree with some of Americas foreign or domestic policies, but I and not stupid criticize it in public and expect a welcome when I arrive. the same as if someone was to make derogatory comments about my wife, joking or not, or joke about digging up one of my favorite dead family members and then expect a warm welcome into my home !!!

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      "I and most people are well aware of the lack of sense of humor homeland security / immigration / customs have while entering (or leaving) the USA. the golden rule is if your planing on going in holiday to the USA or any other country for that matter, make sure you are well aware of what is likely to piss the government or the populous off and avoid it... unless your intention is to piss them off."

      Not just the USA. A mate at Uni went to Aus with a group in his year out. One of the lads in the group, when asked if he had a criminal record, reponded with "I didn't know you still needed one to get in".

      Always going to be a mistake, and rather an uncomfortable one (latex gloves went on pretty quickly).

  42. Archie The Albatross
    FAIL

    Twitter

    Twat tweets twite.

  43. Old Buzzard
    Paris Hilton

    TSA

    As silly as this story may seem, there are numerous accounts of TSA interactions with airline passengers that really go over the top. Like the story of a 94 year old woman having to remove her adult diaper so she could be "properly screened". This sort of thing would not happen if they allowed a screening system called "profiling", but of course the civil libertarians in this Country would scream about "racism". I put myself on my own no-fly list because I do not wish to put up with all of this nonsense. It is bad enough to have to go through security screening every time I enter a Government building. Does it make me feel safer? Not really. There are plenty of mentally unstable individuals out there (especially since my State closed most of their mental hospitals to save money and turned the patients loose into the general population) that if somebody wants to do harm, it still is not difficult to do, HS,TSA etc. not withstanding.

  44. FordPrefect
    FAIL

    Silly tweets in the first place

    Yes it is a bit of an overreaction possibly but if you tweet such things then you should expect to picked up when you go there. imagine if they had posted than and then had gone on to do something neferious?

  45. perlcat
    Trollface

    Speaking of banning people for what they say/do

    What country banned Michael Savage from entering?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103819122

    Fair disclaimer. I think he's a douchebag -- but isn't this discussion about how freedom of speech should be respected? Isn't that concept supposed to protect "objectionable" speech, under the logic that government can at any time define "objectionable" as anything Big Brother doesn't want you to know?

    In the interests of kicking the chicken coop a little harder, how about taking pictures of police -- how's that one working out for you guys?

    Pot, meet kettle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two wrongs don't make a right.

      And an infinite number of wrongs all around the world still wouldn't make a right. This article just reports another dumb arse stupid wrong, and it was in the USA.

      1. perlcat
        Trollface

        That would be...

        My point.

        I've got a picture of Fry that would work as an icon here.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumbass tourists and immigration folks

    I'm sorry but the two Brits were stupid twunts... as adults they should already know that one does not joke with ANY immigration officers (whether US, UK, etc. etc.), and sadly I am not surprised that their tweets were noticed post-911,. Imagine it:

    1. Echelon system is monitoring for talks of terrorism

    2. in its normal scrape/scan of twitter, Echelon finds the tweet

    3. this info (content and name of user(s) tweeting) is sent to their list of potentially dangerous folks.

    4. this list is shared with immigration, who flag any such questionable finds/put on their watch list

    5. eventually the tweeting twunts appear on the list of people who are entering the USA, and they match the "watch" list so they set off the "potential problem" flag due to the tweet.

    6. So once they arrive at the USA gate, immigration steps in and dons the rubber glove.

    Of course I'm tempted to say the immigration people were hypersensitive twunts too, except that for them it's a no-win situation: if they ignore the tweets, they'll be accused of being soft on terrorism... but if they do follow up the tweet, they are accused of being twunts... AND from what we have seen in the past, sometimes ignoring such tweets/postings DOES bite people in the ass/end up with people dead. I'm glad I don't have their jobs, it's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation.

    I think the basic rule is: don't initiate jokes that immigration could see that you would not say in front of a dour armed government agent. (But how creepy is it that immigration could correlate their twitter and passport IDs??)

    The only thing i would request is that the moaning Brits on here to stop comparing most of us USA folks to immigration officials: the immigration folks are a WHOLE different breed to themselves, whether they're immigration people from the USA, UK, Mexico etc...

    (From my personal experience traveling between the USA-UK-Mexico, it's best to not initiate any jokes that are visible online that could be potentially misconstrued by the aforementioned dour agents...)

    1. perlcat
      Black Helicopters

      This was just a way of getting the word out

      that they can match twitter accounts to passport id's, and that twitter is being filtered for certain stop words/phrases. Given that their accounts heavily resembled their names, kind of a no-brainer there.

      I'd lay some very sure money that those weren't actually narco-criminals in the cell with them. Just some Big Scary Guys, making the experience a little more memorable. Surprised they didn't serve them only ham and make them sleep with a bunch of mean dogs, just to enhance the self-identification system, but I suppose that's too far over the top.

  47. john 112
    Happy

    awesome

    Here we go and give our cousins a warm welcome and what do the no-sense-of-humor louts do? complain complain complain. did they want a tour of Guantanamao too?

  48. Peladon

    Back in the day...

    ... the IRA (Irish Republican Army) were hell-bent on doing nasty things to the British. Nasty things with bullets, with bombs - nasty things. They did these nasty things in Ireland, they did them in Northern Ireland - and they did them in the UK.

    No. This post is not intended to either support or to attack their goals, actions or intent. And yes, I do have an opinion on those. And no, it's not relevant to this post.

    Back in those days, a lot of the IRA's money came from America. From Americans who proudly and publicly expressed their support for the IRA, its activities and its intentions.

    And no. This post is not intended to either support or attack the actions and/ or stance those Americans took.

    But those same Americans also took vacations. Vacations round the world - and vacations to the UK. Without, as far as I am aware and in general terms, any issue.

    Flash forward. To today. And this.

    Reasoned response. Logic. Common sense. It appears we've forgotten how to spell such things. Sigh.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    90% of Americans don't believe in Evolution....

    ...because they can demonstrate evidence to the contrary.

    1. perlcat
      Black Helicopters

      actually...

      The whole thing is a très élégant exercise in getting terrorists to self-select. By that measure, it works quite well in an evolutionary sense -- or have you ever heard the descriptions of terrorists getting onto planes? They act strangely, like they're "up to something", sweating profusely, acting nervously -- even with the knowledge that this is one way they get identified.

      Why would a person who has the fanatical belief that their life is over and that they're headed to their reward be nervous about anything?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So I was going to the states this year, guess I will give it a miss. AC for obvious invasive reasons.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb & Dumber

    Well, US Officialdom has a reputation for stupidity. It's not until you see it up close that you can comprehend just how stupid it can be.

  52. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Two Chavs shown the door by bored DHS personnel out for a bit of fun.

    No real story here.

    Funny thing: I have a friend who some years ago was questioned for hours because he was talking into a portable recorder hidden in his inside jacket pocket in front of machine-gun armed police - at Heathrow Airport.

    He had much the same reaction as some of the commentards here, but I told him he was a tw*t for behaving stupidly and to suck it up.

    Don't taunt DHS. They have no sense of humour and just like the officers of Traffic Division the real answer to "Don't you have better things to do with your time?" is "No, now shut up and bend over".

    1. perlcat
      Black Helicopters

      Dealing with the paranoid

      I had a cell battery in my pocket that had fallen through, and wasn't able to get it out. I had to cut the lining in my coat in Min-Vody in Russia to get it out when they spotted it on X-Ray. Was a pretty memorable experience.

      As the line from "Men in Black" goes: "No, ma'am . We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of."

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

  54. Dick Pountain

    Not an Irony Deficit

    We Brits persist in this fiction that Americans don't get irony. They get it OK, they just don't care for it much if they work for Homeland Security.

    1. Keith T
      Big Brother

      They don't get irony ...

      They don't get irony ... and they're scared bully children.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The wife does my irony

        I can never get the sleeves right.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stevie They weren't taunting DHS they were posting the usual diatribe the same as 99.999999% of everyone else on twatter.

    As for the fact it was picked up, where do you think that the more than $2 trillion missing money that Rumsfeld announced in 2001 went?

  56. peyton?
    Paris Hilton

    I'm left wondering

    What would have happened if the couple had simply denied being behind the tweet. I'm not suggesting they should have lied - just that I'm curious if DHS could have "proved it". Scary stuff.

  57. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
    Childcatcher

    The fundamentalists are winning.

    This story simply represents another protein shake for the increasingly muscular body of evidence that any freedom you care to think of is being eroded and the world will soon be controlled by the McTaliban.

  58. SirDigalot

    faults all round

    In this day and age saying anything that might be somehow interpreted at an attack on the USA will earn you a visit by some very very uptight people with very little imagination ( i think it is actually a job requirement or, like men-in-black they remove it when you are hired) these morons should of course not have said what they said tweeting or otherwise, however they are so overly sensative over here that it is not funny. Lack of imagination, and a healthy dose of panophobia, and a nosey disposition, are faults of this place. unfortunatly we are our own worst enemy, and easily distracted *ooo squirrel*

    idiocrasy the move seems to be scarily close to what we will end up with eventually... though with a lot more fear involved. I think is we cannot be made to be scared of god anymore, (many still are but only on sundays) so we will be scared of the boogeyman, and over here they have not met the gel with the reassuringly big poker!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You want hassle free entry to america...

    it's simple.

    1) Fly to Cuba

    2) rent a pedalo

    3) ???

    4) Profit

    Opps Drat wrong meme for this forum... ;)

    but you get the idea...

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Ils sont fous ces Romains!"

    le title...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The utter stupidity baffles me..

    Let's not do any real police work, but let's listen to the waffle of any idiot out there. After all, we don't want that haystack to get any smaller, do we?

    What gets me is that anyone with half a functional braincell considers this in any way contributing to threat reduction. I mean, did that tick box on the immigration form "I am not, nor have been, a member of a terrorist cell" work? IS there actually a threat left or is this just a vast money spinner clinging on to its tax funded cash-flow for all its worth by inventing things?

    The REAL bad guys will walk past the spot where they are busy arresting this sort of idiots. If you make being an idiot a crime you might as well throw half of most governments in jail. I find the underlying assumption that criminals are this stupid rather worrying..

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grave of Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe isn't buried in the ground but into a wall.

    A spade or shovel would be entirely wrong tool. A crowbar and hammer would be the right tools. Ad how dum would you have to be to bring tools from UK, or are they controlled in the US. "You have the right to bear arms, arm bears, but not to own a shovel!"?

    A bigger question is if the customs systematically check everybody tweets?

  63. davefb
    WTF?

    missing the point

    If people would read the article, the tweets were from 3rd january and 16th..

    This wasn't like the ill advised Doncaster bloke who tweeted whilst in the airport... This was a week before they'd left... Or so it seems..

    Now either you fill a form in saying what social media you have, *or* they automatically trawl for stuff... Though you have to say, this is lunacy in the extreme are they just bored in the DHS?

    Mind you, scares the crap out of me, I'm hoping to go this year :(

    1. Your Retarded
      FAIL

      Doncaster bloke

      He was NOT in the airport at the time. It was some time before his scheduled flight - he was threatening to blow them up if they did not get themselves sorted out in time for when he would be there. So in that respect actually quite similar to this story.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's simply amazing...

    ...that they allow people this mentally challenged to be out in public.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Very true.

      They even give them uniforms and everything!

  65. This post has been deleted by its author

  66. David 45

    It's a joke, folks.

    The USA sense of humour chips obviously need re-programming to the UK way.

  67. Alan Brown Silver badge

    It was an _american_ joke.

    The fact it was sourced from Family Guy should give that one away.

  68. Chris 3

    Oh dear El Reg

    It appears that you've been had:

    http://www.thespoof.co.uk/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s1i104014

    1. perlcat
      Coffee/keyboard

      That's hilarious.

      I especialy liked this quote from the article:

      "Marilyn Monroe herself once experienced a full body cavity search by cops looking for bombs and things "

      I believe that the President of the United States actually performed the search...

    2. kwhitefoot

      But as Armando Ianucci once said

      in a different context: it's getting hard to write satire now because it's hard to tell the difference between satire and reality (something vaguely like that anyway).

      1. perlcat

        With a critical difference.

        Satire has to make some sort of sense.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meet The Parents

    Bomb bomb bomb-a-bomb bomb bomb bomb!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do

    You don't go to Dubai take pills and get naked and drunk on the beach.

    You don't go into a pub in Northern Ireland and start a debate on who's better the Catholics or the Protestants.

    You don't go to the USA and engage in satire or actual freedom of expression or try to not give them digital copies of your iris and fingerprint patterns.

  71. SirDigalot

    doncaster airport?

    some of remember it as RAF Finningley used to enjoy many a summer visiting my gran watching the planes fly by.... ahhh the old days

  72. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    FAIL

    You know what?

    I'm embarrassed that we hire people that plain stupid, humorless, and sadistic to 'protect' us. I have little doubt that while hassling a couple for an admittedly idiotic remark, that people that constitute a real threat were probably walking right by. Just plain pathetic. Brits would do well to remember that authority figures everywhere as a rule... well, just seem to plain suck as human beings, and that a country is made up of its citizens, not the bottom-feeders that often work in our security forces or somehow get elected to public office.

    I wonder how anyone could take seriously the remark about digging up Marilyn Monroe? And even if it was truly planned, while in rather poor taste, and an exceedingly messy job, how it would be a threat to national security?

  73. SirDigalot

    i would have

    given them a right hard time, then released them, obviously the couple could no more be a threat to america then the people already here, they might have addedto whatever local economy they were in with excessive alcohol consumption, and chances are they would probably have ended up getting shot by a local anyway.

    i have seen people living here do much worse and not an eyelid been batted.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tweeting that you intend to dig up the Kabah's cornerstone,

    Nicking the Black Stone has always been one of my favourite 'when I become a super-villain' goals. I want to use it as a paperweight on my rule-the-world supervillain-desk.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      RE: Tweeting that you intend to dig up the Kabah's cornerstone,

      Really? It's waaaaaaaaaay down on my list, mainly because there are far too many starlets I'd be testing out my superinvisibilty on first......

  75. Keith T
    Big Brother

    Pretty much gotta be a Yank to seriously mean it

    These days pretty much gotta be a Yank to seriously mean it when you say you're off to another country to destroy it.

  76. Keith T

    Story verified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ABC News

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/pair-held-twitter-homeland-threat-mix-reports/story?id=15472918#.TydM7Pl0aAg

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement in which the department confirmed that 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." ""

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    modern fora (twitter et al.) and private vs public

    For the comparison between saying things in your house, saying things on Twitter, and expectations with regards to the First Amendment, there are Google summaries of relevant case law. And yes, you need to have some idea of relevant laws of the country you plan to visit, since ignorance of the law is not an excuse for many countries. One example of this is the proto-typical American used to certain First Amendment rights saying things that are NOT protected in some other country while on holiday (notice, I did NOT say "less-free", "non-Western" or "less-democratic"; Holocaust-denial comes to mind) then begging the embassy to make it clear they didn't really mean that, it's all a misunderstanding, and 'I just wanna go home! Wahhhhh!!!!" Notice, Americans are NOT the only ones guilty of that and if you were in that situation, whatever your citizenship, I expect that would be your reaction too (might not be First Amendment-related then, so simply insert discrepancy-of-choice between your laws, and those of the country you're visiting, and ignorance of said differences.)

    Whether it's your opinion if something said in jest ought to be taken seriously or not is irrelevant when your passport is NOT issued by the country to which you seek entry. ALL countries reserve the right to refuse entry for any reason. If you don't like the reasons you got refused, protest through your government. However, don't expect to be taken seriously if it can be shown that a reasonable person would have some idea that a given action (a "stupid" Twitter post) would warrant certain DEMONSTRABLY (to your government) reasonable reactions (and not reasonable based on your personal standard, but decided by a court/society in THAT country, not yours).

    Whether I agree or disagree with the actions of the US government in this case is irrelevant; making demonstrably "stupid" terrorist-related comments in a public forum given some knowledge of a propensity to over-react on the part of the US government (combined with the right to refuse entry to those deemed unacceptable for whatever reason insofar as international law is not violated--asylum-seeking, for example, being such a complication) should surprise no one, especially NOT the parties involved when they are refused entry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. modern fora (twitter et al.) and private vs public

      Making 'demonstrably "stupid" terrorist-related comments' is exactly what this pair of idiots DID NOT DO!

      They made use of (British) slang to say they were going to enjoy themselves and also quoted a humorous (in some people's opinion) line from an American comedy cartoon series; No terrorist related comments at all.

      I take your point that countries do not *have* to admit anyone, but this is North America not North Korea; the expectation is "innocent unless proven guilty" and "freedom of expression".

      It's obvious from the comments of many US based Reg readers that this incident is an embarrassment to them and that this doesn't make them feel in any way more secure.

  78. bogwart
    Mushroom

    Pathetic. Still, people of the United Stoats have never been known for any pretence at comedy, beyond pratfalls and other slapstick.

    The country is at #16 out of 20 on the most recent OECD list and has a lot more to worry about from internal disorder than a couple of dopy Twits.

    And they're so far up themselves they neither know nor care what the rest of the world thinks.

  79. ShadowDragon8685
    FAIL

    I'm sorry about this.

    On behalf of all of my countrymen who are not mentally impaired and know how to take something in good humor - or humour, as the case may be - I'd like to apologize for this. It honestly makes me feel embarrassed to be an American, that uptight humorless fools would go and eject someone for making a joke.

    I don't even think it was in bad taste. The guy was obviously taking the piss.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: I'm sorry about this.

      More than 300 million Americans, ShadowDragon. You don't have to apologise.

      I lived in the States for a couple of years and most people I met were eminently sensible. Mind you, it was San Francisco ...

  80. druck Silver badge
    Go

    Canada appreciates tourists

    I've never had a problem with Canadian board staff. While in Canada back in 2004 we decided to cross the bridge at Niagara and to see them from the American side - what a mistake! It took over an hour for each of us to convince the US guards we just wanted to cross over for a hour or so to look around, they just couldn't understand the concept that we weren't booked in to a hotel or had any other US residence.

    When finally through we only spent 20 minutes there before walking back across the bridge, and wondered if we'd get the same hassle getting back in to Canada. Just before the reaching the hut we got our passports out ready, at which point the big Canadian guard rushed out, and opened the gate for us. After all the hassle we'd just had on the US side, we asked him if he wanted to see our passports, and he said "No, I can see you are Brits, we like you over here".

    I've not been back to the US since, but it's Canada every time for me now.

  81. toadwarrior
    Thumb Down

    What's the difference between the US and Iran

    Iran uses nuclear energy for good.

    To be fair to them a lot of airport security jobs across the world get filled by simple minded and angry people.

  82. Matthew 25
    Stop

    Ok. Deportation may be a bit heavy handed, but if these two had set off a bomb and it became known that they had Tweeted 'We're off to destroy America' everyone would be up in arms saying 'Why didn't Homeland Security do something.'. I guess the idea is to stop the bombers before they do the bombing. You get fewer dead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I guess the idea is to stop the bombers before they do the bombing. You get fewer dead."

      Your guess might be wrong: You do need real bombings and actual dead people to keep voters convinced that it is necessary to give away all constitutional rights and concentrate all power with the president and his security forces - for your own protection, of course.

      Failure is not an option, it is a designed feature!

  83. Purlieu

    Emily Bunting

    Why was she deported ?

    She didn't tweet anything.

    1. perlcat
      Joke

      Because of the silly name.

      Can't pronounce any words beginning with the letter 'C', has to use a 'B'' instead.

      She never thought that she could substitute the letter 'K'.

  84. austerusz
    Go

    ROFL

    I didn't really expect that yesterday's joke about #destroyAmerica on tweeter to get that popular. I'm definitely going to apply for a Visa now and see if #destroyAmerica will be mentioned as the reason for denying entry :P

  85. Danny 5
    WTF?

    riiiiiiiiiiiight

    Guess America want's to get rid of tourists, which are obviously hurting their already dwindling economy. How they managed to shift the focus away from them is still a mystery to me, problems in the US are far greater then in Europe, but somehow nobody seems to notice.

    Let those paranoid assholes do what they want, in the end it'll just cost them more.

  86. Nev Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Brits Abroad...

    They just don't get that they aren't at home in "Hobbiton" any more and have to comply with local laws and customs.

    Just like the ones who are surprised when arrested and thrown in jail for ****ing on a beach in Dubai.

    Funny how the UK can't even manage to deport people even if they mean it when making threats against the country.

  87. David Evans

    ESTA?

    Didn't have time to plough through 200 odd posts, so I don't know if this has been covered, but if the tweets took place weeks before their flight, why weren't their ESTAs rejected? How were "potential terrorists" allowed on a plane to the US? Makes no sense.

    NB, The story says the pair are British. One is from Cork and "destroy" in the context he used is a fairly obvious drinking reference.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Must be a yoof thang

      I'll be honest, I have NEVER heard of "destroyed" used in such a way in conjunction with drinking... is it a yoof expression/recent slang? (Asks the 38-y.o. dino :D

  88. sugerbear

    Gary Mckinnon

    Take note Gary Mckinnon, if you want to be sent back without having to bother with a lengthy court process.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they are trying to alienate everyone to the point where the only people trying to get in are the terrorists.. that would make the process a whole lot easier.

  90. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Trollface

    America, fuck no!

    Let's face it, USofA, the last time you were actually the "Land of the Free" is when we owned you.

    Yours, The United Kingdom.

  91. AndGregor
    Thumb Up

    How strange, a bit of cross referencing would have flagged up the 'quote from Family Guy' and a bit of consulting from a UK resident would have made clear the destroying phrase, can offer my services for a fat wage packet and my own taser..

    Border patrol must be doing a good job as no bad guys are tweeting their intentions to commit terrorists atrocities before boarding a plane into welcoming arms.. Job Done !

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    INS

    I was once asked by an INS lady, as it was then, why I had not yet married my American fiancee, I am British and was a bit taken aback by her attitude. When I finally did emigrate, the INS did indeed treat me like shit, I kid you not.

    1. perlcat
      Black Helicopters

      They treat everyone like that.

      It's their job.

  93. Jamie Kitson

    A picture worth 1000 words

    There is a picture of the two of them in the Sun.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4095372/Twitter-news-US-bars-friends-over-Twitter-joke.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ha ha

      I would take one look at them and not let them in my country either!

  94. Hexer
    Trollface

    What a rage! :)

    Calm down dear brits. You used to do the same in the past. When EU took down the borders in Europe your island did not get a memo and was turning back people for no reason at all. Just because uk border officers did not like you was enough to send you back.

    But suddenly when two arrogant twats got kicked back the rage goes on just because news mentioned "Twitter"?

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll cancel my vacation plans..

    I was thinking about going to Florida for a couple of weeks vacation. Considering all the comments I've made about the US, especially when they screw over the internet (e.g. megaupload), I think I'll be better off just steering clear and saving myself from being turned away at the gates.

  96. Stephen Gray

    Go somewhere else

    The USA executes criminals with mental health issues, won't sign up to the ICC and basically thumbs its nose at basic human rights. Why would you want to spend a holiday there? Perhaps for the culture? The only things that the USA has brought to the global party are gun crime, chronic obesity and litigation.

    1. austerusz
      Linux

      Don't forget war. How many long-term wars of aggression since WWII were started by someone else except US and its allies?

  97. austerusz
    Facepalm

    Hmpf

    Americans don't understand humour, only humor.

  98. spiny norman
    WTF?

    What happened to the British passport ????

    The one with the page that said: "The bearer of this passport is British. Let them in or else. Yours sincerely Victoria, Regina, Empress of India and everywhere else."

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