Apparently the Department of Homeland Security has nothing better to do than to monitor what vacationing tourists post on Twitter.
A 26-year-old bar manager by the name of Leigh Van Bryan, an Irish citizen, decided to take a trip to Los Angeles. Before he left, he wrote this message on Twitter:
“Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.”
Then, to his surprise, when he arrived at LAX he was treated like a criminal, interrogated by government officials, and then forced to return back to his home.
News reports compared the Twitter message to passengers who joke about having a bomb at the airport and are then escorted off the premises. But obviously, Bryan’s message was not even a joke about violent activity.
Anyone with a normal sense of the English language would realize the context implied he was going to “tear it up” or go wild, you know, have a good time. For anyone to even think that was any sort of potential threat is ridiculous.
In another tweet, Bryan apparently wrote that while in LA he would be “diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up,” a reference to an episode of Family Guy.
Not amused by the pop culture reference, Homeland Security had this to say, as quoted by the BBC: “Mr. Bryan confirmed that he had posted on his Tweeter website account that he was coming to the United States to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe. Also on his tweeter account Mr Bryan posted he was coming to destroy America.”
The US Customs and Border Protection agency released a statement saying its job was “securing our borders while facilitating the high volume of legitimate trade and travel that crosses our borders every day. We strive to achieve that balance and show the world that the United States is a welcoming nation.”