If you had Norway in the office pool of countries the Trump administration would offend this week, be sure to stop by and collect your winnings! The former Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, who served two terms, 1997-2000 and 2001-2005, was held at Dulles after the customs agents saw on his passport that he had been to Iran in 2014. His passport also showed he is a former prime minister, is a diplomatic passport, and that he’s the former prime minister of Norway.
Then it became even more absurd when he was told this extra scrutiny had nothing to do with Trump’s new executive order. This was Obama’s fault! Of course it was. Right? President Obama signed a law in 2015 right after the terrorist attacks in Paris and California, placing extra restrictions on travelers from 38 countries. Generally those citizens do not need visas for 90 days, but because of the law, they do if they have been to the seven countries on the list (the same seven Trump has banned). Needing a visa is exactly the same as a travel ban, in case you are having trouble keeping up!
Oh, that makes total sense now. He needed a visa to travel since he had been to Iran in 2014. Apparently his diplomatic passport just was not enough. Sure. Common sense has died. We apologize. Bondevik also stated he has never had a problem with this before the Trump administration’s ban, so that must just be a big coincidence. It’s still somehow Obama’s fault. He was detained for an hour, forty minutes of which he waited with others being held for questioning, and twenty minutes he was actually interrogated about why he had been to Iran, why he was traveling to the States.
“I understand the fear of terror, but one should not treat entire ethnic groups in such a way. I must admit that I fear the future. There has been a lot of progress over the last ten years, but this gives great cause for concern, in line with the authoritarian leaders we see controlling other major countries,” Bondevik said. (The Local)
The U.S. Embassy had been contacted prior to his travel, and he was assured his passport and ESTA would be plenty for him to enter the United States. So he was, of course, quite surprised and angered at the detention and questioning.
“What will the reputation of the U.S. be if this happens not only to me, but also to other international leaders?”
A spokesperson with U.S. Customs and Border Protection says “CBP is prohibited by privacy laws from discussing specifics of any individual’s admissibility review.”
Bondevik says he contacted the Norwegian Embassy in D.C. after what happened. A spokesperson said the embassy was “happy that things were sorted out.” (WJLA)
Well, in two weeks, it looks like the reputation of the United States is already in the shitter thanks to Trump, and every time we think it cannot get any worse, it somehow does.
Bondevik traveled to the United States to go to Thursday morning’s National Prayer Breakfast at the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. I really hope he spent a lot of time asking God to help us all. I’m no longer above praying to any and all gods that may or may not exist. We need all the help we can get. Bless all of our hearts.