November 5, 2009, - 1:24 pm

DumbAssity of the Week: U.S. Embassy Makes Al-Jazeera its Landlord?!

By Debbie Schlussel

Normally, the U.S. embassy in any foreign country–whether ally or not–is supposed to be a high national security priority.  Not only are top secret conversations held and classified documents contained in American embassies, but they are frequently targets of terrorist attack because they symbolize American freedom and Western lifestyles.  Remember Al-Qaeda’s bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998?

usembassylondonaljazeera

So, you have to scratch your head and wonder what idiots in the U.S. government–particularly the State Department ( it figures)–were thinking when WE sold our U.S. embassy in London to the ever-more-extremist Islamic Gulf State monarchy of Qatar.  We owned it, but decided to sell it to them?!

Remember, this is the country whose royal family (the Al-Thani family) owns, funds, and runs the Terrorist News Network a/k/a Al-Jazeera.  Qatar is also one of several Gulf States that continues to abide by the Arab Boycott of Israel and won’t allow Israelis into its country.  That’s not to mention the tiny, trivial detail that Qatar is one of several Gulf States that allows its shores to become the shipping point for nuclear components sent to Iran.  Yup, that’s exactly the kind of country that should be the landlord of the American Embassy in England.

I mean, we wouldn’t trust our ports to Dubai, but now we’ll trust our foreign embassy to Al-Jazeera’s owners?!  No biggie, right?

While the completion of the building purchase is conditioned upon the U.S. fully relocating to a new embassy, Qatar is–right now!–America’s landlord and owns the building.  Just terrific.  And U.S. officials have no definite plans to do so anytime soon and admit the move is several years away.  In the meantime, Qatar Diar Real Estate Investment Co.–Qatar’s state-owned real estate arm–already has its hands on important details regarding the layout and design of the building, something it insisted on in order to purchase the property.

That’s hardly in our national interest and is a definite security risk.  But, hey, why think twice when giving away ownership of our embassy and important national security details to a foreign government who funds a news network that does the bidding of Al-Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, and sundry other terrorist groups?

It’s “just a building,” right?

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11 Responses

I would like to know specifics like who’s idea was it to sell the embassy in the first place and who brokered the deal. This reminds me of the Clinton years when Al Gore sold off the military fuel depot to China, the Panama Canal and also sold nuclear secrets to to China for campaign contributions. The Obama White House is a continuation of this treasonous behavior that will blow up in all our faces literally.

seahawker on November 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    In the interests of proper reporting, may I point out that the US NEVER owned the embassy in London. They bought a lease from the Duke of Westminster in the 1950’s and the Dukes Grovesnor Estates remain the freeholder. The Grovesnor Estates do no sell their freeholds – ever. Debbie Schlussel really should check her facts.

    London Chap on February 3, 2010 at 6:53 am

Not to mention all the opportunities to plant listening devices and cameras when ‘repairmen’ come in to do required maintenance work on the building.

Remember our Russian embassy, the one we had built by a company that we knew was directly run by the KGB? (We used it, apparently, because it was the only one capable of actually building something in Russia close to on time with some semblance of quality construction.) When it was done every square foot of it had at least four listening devices and it was essentially useless as an embassy.

luagha on November 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

The point is not that Qatar is owning the US Embassy. Its that our taxpayer dollars go to finance America’s enemies. That is what I would call beyond stupid!

NF: No, the point is that Qatar is owning the US Embassy. It’s a ridiculous risk of national security (not to mention, as you point out, the dollars). DS

NormanF on November 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Its true they do own the US Embassy. No country, friendly or hostile should own US sovereign territory. That is a common-sense rule we’re not following. And I was observing its naive to believe the Qataris won’t just bank the money we give them. If it goes to terrorist groups or even to Iran (yes, money is fungible) then Americans will face disfigurement and death. The only country that should be owning the land on which the Embassy sits is America.

As you pointed out Debbie, the ridiculous risk of our national security goes like this: we can’t expect the world to look after it for us if we’re not going to do the job ourselves. In short, there are some things that simply cannot be out-sourced or contracted out to others in any day and age.

NormanF on November 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Now this is what you definitely called PWNED.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwn

“Pwn (below: Various pronunciations) is a leetspeak slang term derived from the verb “own”, as meaning to appropriate or to conquer to gain ownership. The term implies domination or humiliation of a rival (e.g., “You just got pwned!”).”

Doda McCheesle on November 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I hardly think that there is a threat to national security by selling the building. There are many US Government agencies here in the United States that are located in leased premises.

Additionally, the land on which the Grosvenor Square Embassy is located has never been owned by the United States, it is leased from the Duchy of Westminster.

Nigel Brooks on November 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm

/Quote
I hardly think that there is a threat to national security by selling the building. There are many US Government agencies here in the United States that are located in leased premises.

Additionally, the land on which the Grosvenor Square Embassy is located has never been owned by the United States, it is leased from the Duchy of Westminster.

Nigel Brooks on November 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm
/Endquote

Well lets look at who the Duke is then if that is your argument.

Major-General Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, KG, CB, OBE, TD, DL (born 22 December 1951 in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland), is the son of Robert George Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster, and his wife Hon. Viola Maud Lyttelton. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2009, The Duke of Westminster is worth £6.5 billion placing him 3rd in the list behind Lakshmi Mittal and Roman Abramovich. He was educated at Harrow School and Sandhurst. In 2005, he became Chancellor of the University of Chester.

Grosvenor is the richest property developer in Britain and one of Britain’s largest landowners, owning vast estates in Lancashire, Cheshire and Scotland as well as great swathes of Mayfair and Belgravia in central London. Internationally the Duke also owns vast estates in Canada and Spain.

Well it appears to me that he is not of the extremist persuasion so I would assume that it would be safe to lease the land from him. Of course we owned the building so that also would mean something as far as security would be concerned. Thus, he would not have had any control over the building as he only gave us the land via a lease.

As far as leased properties inside the U.S. you are correct. I don’t agree with it but somehow our Government has decided that saving a dollar is more important than national security. But we are talking about U.S. Embassies on foreign soil where even our so called friends spy on us on a daily basis.

Tim on November 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

With all due respect but this is absurd in all counts.

That the US State Department is considering moving embassies means that it will off-load the old building. That is only logic. That a potential buyer will want to see the plans to consider the value of the building, is also basic logic. The assumptions that the US Government would consider giving detailed examples of the existing floor-plans, internal structures, placements of sensitive and critical information is simply – ludicrous and absurd to even mention.

The other issues that are completely wrong, is that authorities in Qatar is anything but a friend to the US Government and its allies. It not only supports the basing of military but it is also a country, for example, that invites Israeli nationals for tourism and sporting events.

The last comment is the condemnation of Al Jazeera which you are considering a terrorist supporting news outlet. The ironly is that the vast majority of Arabs in the MENA region consider Al Jazeera to be a secret US media-outlet! The Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera Internationa (in English) channels are quite free to show all events, all perspectives and not one side, which for example the US network FOX unashamably does. Perhaps the problem is that pundits and bloggers like to assume about things they do not watch, and it would be a very good thing to allow Al Jazeera unfetted access to US cable so that people could watch it and know the reality. Al Jazeer in Arabic has its own editorial group which, as it is in one language and aimed at one particular market reflects the rhetorical style that those watching are used to, Al Jazzer in English targets the English speaking world and so the items, editorial crew and others are different. Not all programs are the same or shown.

The point being that the references to Al Jazeera is rather mimicking the ludicrous situation when Rummsfeld and the then VP tried to sensor freedom of the press for all but western journalists because Al Jazeera wanted to show the “other side”. So much for freedom of speech/press.

In summary, this item above is just political make-believe, trying to make an issue out of a non-issue for cheap political scoring and fermenting xenophobia for some silly agenda. I give it 1 out of 20.

Solkhar on November 29, 2009 at 9:47 am

what an idiotic blog. is this glenn beck mates with palin?

k on October 27, 2010 at 2:12 am

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