I’m disappointed and puzzled by their change of heart and last minute decision. I was personally invited to take this trip by The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain over a year ago. They came to me. … I was thrilled at the opportunity to represent my country and the spirit of inclusive and open-minded freedom that makes our nation so special and inspiring. So, for a Department of State representative to say Andrew W.K. ‘doesn’t meet their standards’ after they invited me and planned my trip for a year… well, that doesn’t meet my standards either.
— Andrew W.K. • Offering his side of the story on his halted plan to visit Bahrain as a cultural ambassador, rescinded by the U.S. State Department yesterday. W.K. claims his first email from State asking if he’d like to travel to Bahrain came on September 13th, 2011 — already several months into the bloody conflict that has plagued it to this day. The State Department cancelled the request yesterday, with a spokesman saying the invite was “a mistake and not appropriate.” That said, for a mistake, it was a pretty long and slowly evolving one, if W.K. is to be believed — he claims he went through both planning and necessary background checks in the year preceding the date, and made multiple calls to the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office in Manama, Bahrain. source