Item: “Instead, the officials said Sunday, embassy officials marked [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s] file for a full investigation should he reapply for a visa. And when the information was passed on to Washington, his name was added to 550,000 others with possible terrorist connections — but not to the no-fly list. That meant no flags were raised when he used cash to buy a ticket to the United States and boarded a plane, checking no bags.”

Item: “[British Home Secretary Alan Johnson] said Mr. Abdulmutallab’s application to renew his student visa was rejected in May after officials determined that the academic course he had given as his reason for returning to Britain was bogus. He was then placed on the watch list, Mr. Johnson said, a procedure that would normally involve American authorities being informed of the action Britain had taken.”

Item: “That was before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services weighed in with some cultural commentary of its own. [Klezmer/tango fusion outfit Orquesta Kef] couldn’t travel to the U.S., the agency ruled, because it didn’t satisfy a ‘culturally unique’ requirement for a performer visa called P-3.

“‘The evidence repeatedly suggests the group performs a hybrid or fusion style of music…[which] cannot be considered culturally unique to one particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe or other group of persons,’ read the denial. It was signed by caseworker CSC4672/WS24533.”