Veteran journalist and author Tim Pat Coogan being refused a US visa is one of the strangest incidents I've ever read.
For many years he was editor of the daily Irish Press in Dublin and travelled widely without ever being persona-non-grata in any jurisdiction.
He was a key figure in the Irish peace process, a frequent visitor to the US and Britain and I doubt he has ever been offensive to anyone. Not even the most paranoid commentator could describe him as subversive.
When advancing the peace process and taoiseach Albert Reynolds sought a US visa for Gerry Adams in 1984, British journalist Simon Jenkins sought to frustrate that process.
He falsely briefed White House officials, claiming that the IRA had killed 3,000 Britons since 1969 with the implication that there were no Irish victims nor British and Unionist killers involved in the conflict.
Jenkins, an ex-editor of The Times, boasted of this false briefing in the same paper some years later.
Back in 1982 the old Press Council condemned The Times for a variation of that falsehood, which had claimed that Republicans had killed "more than 2,200 Protestants since 1969."
Again, the implication was that no Catholics had been killed and that no non-Catholics had inflicted fatalities.
The then editor of The Times Harold Evans now lives in some style in New York. Both Evans and Jenkins were knighted together.
I'm not suggesting that either of them are behind Tim Pat Coogan being denied a US visa but I would be very surprised if the refusal doesn't arise from similarly motivated British operators dedicated to sabotaging progress towards establishing a permanent peace in and between these islands.