U.S. Embassy in London Insists on Interviewing Three Month Old Terror Suspect for Visa*
By Jim W. Dean
Tiny Baby’s Terrorism Interview Makes US Embassy Laughing Stock of the Internet
“You just can’t make stuff like this up” – Jim W. Dean
[Editor’s Note: This boggles the mind in its stupidity; that no one in the U.S. Embassy system wanted to draw attention to themselves by interfering in standard procedures. So a 3-month-old baby had to be brought down to London to be “interviewed” about poor grandpa mistakenly checking ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ on the baby’s travel visa form about engaging in terrorism.
Sometimes our hunting down bad government is a long drawn out process of digging into dirty laundry to find what has been hidden there. But I chose this for publication for its wonderful simplicity.
We live in the age of computer processing and accountability of mid-level administration people being monitored by software for efficiency and the proper following of procedures. But what this case shows you is how easily the human common sense part of good admin work can totally disappear from the process.
And, if a simple situation like this got handled so badly, we have to ask ourselves, how many others that we don’t know about have been also, but over much more important issues… Jim W. Dean ]
The U.S. embassy in London has become the butt of internet jokes after staff there interviewed a three-month-old baby on suspicion of terrorism. Young Harvey Kenyon-Cairns had been due to fly to Orlando, Florida with his parents and grandparents. His grandfather Paul Kenyon filled out his ESTA visa waiver application form, but made a mistake.
When he got the question of the form which asks, “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” Kenyon ticked yes instead of no.
As a result, Harvey, his mother Kaye and his grandfather Paul traveled with him on a ten-hour round trip from their home in Poynton, Cheshire, to the embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square.
Harvey, who isn’t talking yet, passed the interview and was eventually given permission to travel to the U.S. However, he wasn’t given the all-clear in time to travel with the rest of the family and Kenyon ended up having to pay an extra £3,000 ($3,767) to re-book tickets for Harvey and his parents.
Hearing about Harvey’s story, users of social networks were astonished that the embassy required him to visit in person for the interview, despite being aware that he is just three months old and obviously incapable of terrorism.
His grandfather joked that Harvey “has sabotaged quite a few nappies in his time.”
”Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,” Kenyon told the Guardian.
Others agreed with a point made by the child’s grandfather Paul Kenyon and criticized the inclusion of a question asking whether the visitor had ever engaged in terrorism.
“If you were a terrorist, I suspect you’d not be ticking yes on the ESTA form anyway,” the baby’s grandfather added.