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February 24th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Now time for gov't to announce plan for $1 billion London embassy?

ALT TEXT

An aerial view of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye ferris wheel. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our government is broken. It's going to spend one billion dollars of taxpayers' money to build a new, high-security American embassy in London. A billion dollars.

The 12-story, 500,000 square foot fortress will be built in the shape of a light-filled cube surrounded by natural defenses of a meadow, woodland, and a 100-foot wide moat. Yes, a moat.

The Philadelphia architect who designed the embassy says they were able to use the landscape as a security device - it's meant to protect the embassy from potential bombers and remove the need for blast barriers. Just put some crocodiles in the moat.

Construction is set to start in 2013 and be finished by 2017.

The new London embassy is being billed as one of the greenest and most eco-friendly in the world - with solar panels covering the roof and energy-absorbing material lining the building's exterior. The embassy will also be able to collect and store London's rainfall so it can be self-sufficient in water.

Which is all fine and well - but the one billion dollar price tag makes it one of the costliest U.S. embassies ever built.

Can you say tone deaf? These grandiose plans are announced at a time of record deficits and 10 percent unemployment. Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet, to pay for food and health care, and our government is planning for a castle-like embassy with a moat.

Here’s my question to you: Is now the time for the government to announce plans for a $1 billion embassy in London?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sean in Cleveland writes:
Is there ever a good time to announce the government wants to spend $1 billion on an embassy? There has got to be a cheaper, foreclosed-on castle, complete with moat, that can be negotiated for.

Greg in Virginia writes:
Solar panels in London. Good luck with that.

Karl in San Francisco writes:
You don’t mention the security condition of the existing embassy. With London a hotbed of terrorist activity over the years, perhaps we don’t have a choice but to build something that will keep our diplomats safe. Security seemed to be a point in your lead-in. I take it the Queen isn’t renting out part of Buckingham Palace to us for this purpose so we are on our own. Right?

Brian writes:
Well, Jack, whenever a nation establishes diplomatic relations with another nation, it is customary to construct an embassy in the nation that they are attempting to normalize relations with. When did they discover this England that you speak of?

Joseph writes:
Lighten up, Jack. Projects like this represent long-term planning. During the construction period, the economy will go up, and it will go down. If we let the possibility of a short-term down cycle derail long-range projects, that would only lead to even more waste. Something like this should stand or fall on its merits, not on irrational passions inflamed by short-term rabble rousing.

Brian in Washington writes:
If the U.S. government plans to spend a billion dollars they should at least be more imaginative than a simple cube structure. Why not make the entire building look like a colossal bust of Margaret Thatcher with glowing eyes that can change color based on U.S.-U.K. relations?

Don writes:
Who's going to attack our embassy in London? "The British are coming! The British are coming!"


Filed under: Government
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Mr. D

    Sounds like a stimulus program for Great Britain funded by the US tax payer. Is this compensation for not paying England taxes prior to the revolution or a payback for their war support in Iraq and Afghanistan? Any more good ideas for spending money we don't have?

    February 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  2. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Duh, let's see. Maybe I should flip a coin to see what we should do. No, now nor never is the time to spend any money in another country. Give me a Billion dollars and I'll open a factory in the U.S. to manufacture a good product for sale and create good jobs with good benefits not waste it in GB. But you know Jack, we can't stop them from doing what they want.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  3. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    No, absolutely hell no! The ambassador needs nothing more than a flat on the outskirts of London, and commute into center city to a storefront to conduct the people's business. All the $1,000,000,000 'palace' will be used for is lavish parties and spending and the super-extravagant security system they will employ, will just keep anyone away who needs the help they may require. Look at what a billion dollars looks like, too big a number to do the little they do anyway.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  4. Donna in West Texas

    NO, NO, NO, NO.......I'm sure there is adequate space in London for our embassy to lease for much less money. Does anyone in Washington understand the concept of pay-a-you-go???? How does this insanity happen?

    February 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  5. RickFromDetroit

    Jack,
    It is an excellent time to build an embassy in London and an excellent time to build in many Countries. Many Americans are fed-up with the U.S. Government and are making plans to move back to our Countries of Origin. Before we leave, we may as well clean out these "dummies" and take our hard earned tax dollars elsewhere.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  6. Michael Alexandria, VA

    I'd rather England spend $1 billion in Washington on their embassy, but maybe we can get a quip pro quo out of this. Considering we live in a world economy, even spending money in London will impact aggregate demand. Every dollar we send to China which is not distributed to workers contracts the world economy. If we borrow money from China to build an embassy in Britain, we kick those dollars loose.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  7. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Of course it is not the time. However historically we squander money to make us look rich and famous. We are famous alright, for picking projects to create labor in other countries instead of our own.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  8. Eugene Northern Cal

    Not just no but hell no. We all know the reasons Jack but our feckless leaders are in spending denial. If American's have to tighten their belts because of the economy then we can suffer through, with that old embassy in London for a few more years too.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  9. David Gerstenfeld

    NOW, is the time for government to do what all the states HAVE to do, put a freeze on spending.
    David, Las Vegas

    February 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  10. Marcy - Margate, Fl.

    What's the difference Jack?
    Obama wants to continue to bankrupt our government.
    So build the embassy in London or build it in Kabul.
    At least someone will have construction jobs.
    Not Americans.
    It is still 1 billion we can not afford.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  11. Pete - Georgia

    Another in a long line of arrogant, out of touch, clueless acts by a government so completely devoid of common sense and decency that it's reached a new low.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Tina Texas

    No now is the time to quit outsourcing the damn jobs. Our people are in a world a hurt and we want to build overseas? Gee this is not fair to our out job workers, now is it?

    February 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  13. Richard Green

    Jack,

    Now is a good time only if it is prefabricated here in the U.S. first by unionized American workers; then shipped to England on as many U.S. registered ships as it takes for the U.S. companies and union crews to assemble the darned thing in London. Otherwise, forget it!

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  14. Dennis North Carolina

    no and is it a palace.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  15. John ....... marlton, NJ

    Yes, we owe them big time for playing along with all our BS activities, wars, missions, etc around the world. After todays masacure of Japan's toyota ... the Brits will be the only silly fools that remain our freinds..

    February 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  16. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    No, no and no! When will the spending stop? We don't have the money to continue in this direction and if they took every dollar we had it still wouldn't be enough to cover this out of control spending.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  17. Loren, Chicago

    It's never the right time to announce a $1B embassy anywhere. How did they manage to make it so expensive? How towers could Donald Trump build for that $1B? What are we doing in England that requires such a large investment on top of our existing embassy Just seems like a government run amuck.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  18. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Why not it will make one of the companies that Chenny is invoveld with.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  19. Richard Fairview, Texas

    It is the perfect time to announce to the American people that our government is going to put a bunch of British people to work instead of our own people building an embassy for politicians to stand around and glad hand in the heart of England. With the elections coming up in a few months here in America there will not be a dry eye in the democrats cabinet if they do. They better start getting together boxes to haul their crap out of their offices because change is coming.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  20. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    It's perfect timing. Now all of our important diplomats will have luxury accomodations just in time for the 2012 olypmics in London. Priorities Jack, it's all about priorities.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  21. Brian from Philly

    A billion dollar embasy? How foolish. It's time for Congress to announce a full audit of the Federal Reserve, the removal of territorial restrictions for healthcare purchasing, a treasury pressed currency eliminating global banking and business interests along with so much more...

    A fancy building to sit around and do more of the same? I don't think this is wise.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  22. honestjohn in Vermont

    I think that Billion could be put to better uses right now. What is the problem with the current embassy? Please don't tell me its rundown.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  23. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    If we can build one in Iraq that probably cost ten times that much why can't we build one that will be appreciated by the people of that country.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  24. Al - Weymouth, MA

    No now is not the time., unless you approve of the government's ongoing massive money laundering operation in which the wealth of the middle class continues to be redisrtibuted to contractors, the military/homeland security industrial complex and other special interests.

    While the lot of the middle class continues to deteriorate, the coffers of the Halliburtons, KBRs, Xe (Blackwater), Israel, Lockheed Martin, et al continue to swell.

    I wonder if the tea-partiers and other right wingers who decry "government spending" but probaly support these expenditures even realize that it's their money too not just that of "the liberals".

    February 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  25. Tony From Southport

    Maybe they should just rent one of those red telephone booths.

    February 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  26. Sheena

    Just where in the hell is all this money he is spending coming from. If there is no money for Medicare or SS, how come there is money for fast trains, embasys, nucleur plants, etc...Where is he getting it from. How about him using some of his extravagant spending on helping the homeless and hungry in this country!

    February 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  27. jerseylou

    What has London done for this country? That should answer your question.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  28. Rick McDaniel

    Exactly why would we even need a 1 billion embassy in the UK?

    This sounds like total waste to me.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  29. John DeMartini

    Building a $1 billion enbassy fits nicely into the plan to bankrupt the nation

    February 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  30. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    Sure, and why we are at it......lets go on a complete facelift of all our government landmarks and buildings, like the Pharoahs of Egypt and Emperors of Rome did when a new power came to the throne. The way we are headed, we only have a few years to when only others will be able to read about our former selves and the great nation we used to be.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  31. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    In most cases. it's never too late to tell the truth. This happens to be one of these cases.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  32. BIizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Announcing a one billion dollar plan to build a new embassy in Great Britain doesn't make any sense at all. When will our gov't start realizing that their credit cards are maxed out. They must think the taxpayers today are very stupid. They better realize that is not the case. The taxpayers are mad and fed up. What ever happened to common sense? Common sense tells me it is not the time for me to go out and buy a new car or build a new house. Maybe it is time to have a rigid drug test in place for the Congress and the White House.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  33. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, of course, we haven't reached the new $12T debt ceiling yet. Gotta spend that money some place, might as well be on a new Embassy. Wonder which one of Obama's Chicago cronies is the beneficiary of this public largess, and why his digs suddenly need a Billion dollar rebuild? Do you have any idea?

    February 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  34. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    How about putting one billion into our economy to get people back in the work force and help prevent them losing their homes. Why do we have to put our tax money for an embassy in London anyway? Isn't the one we now have not good enough or does it need bells and whistles?

    February 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  35. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Just goes to show you that the government considers itself immune to whatever else is going on in the world and at home. Maybe they could hire only American workers and use made in America products but you know that won't happen because they will be buying from the cheapest bidder who will be Taiwan & China. The thing that amazes me is our government doesn't get it, doesn't care and that we as voters don't do anything about it.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  36. perry jones

    sence they are going to spend the money wether we like it or not what are they going to stoct the moat with maby some bass or some sun fish the sun fish is what i referr to as to socalest fish mass producer and no out come just skin and bones

    perry jones
    council bluffs ia

    February 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  37. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    At a BILLION DOLLARS you're not kidding it's one of the MOST GREEN. What the heck, just borrow from some other country like the Bush Regime started so robustly 9 years ago

    February 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  38. Michael H. of Albuquerque NM

    Actually a billion dollars for a building like that is kind of a good deal. What are they going to do with the old embassy? I will buy it and they can use the money to pay down the new embassy.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  39. Bertina

    Jack next you're going to say our national security should be cut.

    February 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  40. Rob in NC

    Absolutely, this is going to be added to the "jobs created" numbers the government keeps spewing out. It doesn't matter that Americans won't be building it. Rob in NC

    February 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  41. Leslie

    We need another billion dollar embassy like we need a hole in the head. These people are idiots from top to bottom. Why don't they do what's right and spend that money on and in the country. They would rather spend a billion dollars on a new embassy resort hotel. Than spending it on things that would help the country like jobs, roads, hospitals and the infrastructure. Until all airports have scanners, all soldiers have the tools that they need to stay alive in wars they do not belong in, all schools their teachers and students have working computers and everyone has health care. This government should not be spending a dime or a billion dollars on anything especially on a embassy that we do not need. To quote our President " Not now not when we are so close"

    February 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  42. The Broker.

    "You have to get past the Queen, and her Kingdom first. Or Embark in a different direction."

    February 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  43. Joe CE

    The moat is a good idea. I am happy to see the State Dept showing some intrest in physical security. In the past they assesserted that the it wa importnat for the US embassies to be open & ascessable – in other words no pasive protection. I guess there are some who would says don't spend anything now but this is short sighted. If the present embassy is bombed, the costs maybe be more.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  44. David Sisters OR

    Oh sure and while were at it, lets install a hot tub in the Mongolian embassy.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  45. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I'm not sure there is a right time for a $1 billion London embassy. I'd rather they spent the $1 billion renovating some buildings in DC which would increase security and create jobs here. Although I do love the idea of government buildings having moats if only for the looney tunes style comedy that will result from draw bridge mishaps.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  46. Layne Alleman

    Jack, No, probably not, but then you said it's not supposed to start till 2013, so we'll have plenty of time to gather the needed refrigerator boxes to build such an amazing structure. Seriously, I worked on a High School play once, and I was pretty good at making fake trees and rocks and stuff. Jack, that's 2013!!!! IF, and I mean IF, we, as a country, have two pennies left to rub together at that time, I think we'll want to be spending them on something maybe a little more important, like FOOD, a roof over OUR heads. Ya know, silly stuff like that. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  47. csteve48

    I don't believe so. We can afford it , just like many of the home owners did when they bought homes worth several hundreds of thousansds of dollars on a $40,000 a year income. Beside China will own it anyway.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  48. Brian in Washington

    If the U.S. government plans to spend a billion dollars they should at least be more imaginative than a simple cube structure. Why not make the entire building look like a colossal bust of Margaret Thatcher with glowing eyes that can change color based on U.S.-U.K. relations?

    February 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  49. Scott Stodden

    Here's a hint Jack uhhhhhhhhh NO!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  50. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    Jack. A billion dollars is peanuts for the USA government. Chicken feed. Small change. Not even worthy of consideration, and you have made it the subject of an entire Cafferty File question. Or did I misread your question? Maybe you meant trillion. That would be okay to discuss. By 2012 we may even have to start learning a new concept, "quadrillion".

    February 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  51. Abe Iowa City, Iowa

    Baghdad Embassy: 1 billion, wo/moat
    London Embassy: 1 Billion, w/moat
    That's like getting a moat for free.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  52. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Who has the contract to build this embassy ? Was it a no bid contract like the embassy in Iraq ? Is it the same general contractor and the same sub contractors ? Did they pay off the same people or new ones?

    February 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  53. Darrell from Indiana

    Do you have something about creating new jobs for USA citizens in foreign countries?

    February 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  54. yvonne hope

    Talk about timing? This is the last thing we need to invest in now. No one should get an attitude about a no on this project-it's like we tell our kids,"I know you really want it but it's just not possible right now."

    February 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  55. Dusty H

    No, this is not the time to build a billion dollar embassy per our present economy in both of our countries. Need to now concentrate on our own infrastructure of old buildings and especially our roads across the country? Sounds very nice at the right time for both of our economies.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  56. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Hey, plans don't cost anything, and announcing that you're going to make plans doesn't cost anything.
    If you want to complain about spending money on buildings with our economy the way it is, how about the hundreds of millions spent on buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan under the last president – buildings which aren't even usable because of shoddy construction.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  57. Andrew, Amherst NY

    If you haven't figured out by now, the people in Washington only care about themselves and their own image! This is embarassing to spend this much money when 1 in 6 kids go to bed hungry every night!

    February 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  58. Darren - Detroit

    Probably not, especually after Bush had the world's most expensive embassy built in Baghdad after overthrowing their government.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  59. Minesh -Troy, MI

    The government officials have no accountability and liberals in charge beleive in spending so much money that they feel forced to raise taxes. Like California – we are headed for bankruptcy.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  60. Katja in Bradenton, Florida

    No, but as you said, the government is broken. No one cares what the people have to say. They just want to be "more Green". Even though it is our "green" that has to pay for it.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  61. Angie

    The first American embassy in London was in Great Cumberland Place. Later it was moved to Piccadilly, Portland Place. Currently it is at Grosvenor Square since 1938. Part of the Canadian High commission is hosts in part of that building.

    I recently read somewhere that the Chinese are helping us fund the building of our new embassy. Is that true?

    With our strong ties with the British government why has it taken so long for us to have our own embassy for ourselves?

    February 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  62. jimmy in greenville, north carolina

    When I started out selling mobile homes the bossman told me that you have to act successful so that people would think you were successful. His motto was "Fake it 'til you make it." We wouldn't want those English folk to think we were having a tough time. That billion dollar embassy will really impress them. It's the shoes that make the man and the embassy building that makes the country.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  63. a.e. santaniello

    why not? just call it the last thank you to Tony Blair, for so enabling and abbeting George Bush for his two (or is that three?) trillion escapade in that nevernever land of Iraq...where the moats are and shall remain always real and the Green Zone an everlasting fortress.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  64. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Of course not, what do they think, we are stupid. Everbody knows that crocodiles can't survive Londons weather.
    What they should do is put some of our looney politicians inside this fortress to keep them in then I would be all for it. I'll even stock the moat with some politician eating carnivores for free.
    Who comes up with this crap anyway. The terrorist must be laughing and wondering what a moat is going to do when it is attacked from the air. Crazy Americans.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  65. ron - american living in Copenhagen

    what a bunch of crap - politicians doing what politicians do again - there are a whole bunch of things that $1billion could do right there at home that would be a lot better for "folks" than a new plush - green - embassy building in London

    February 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  66. Tim in Texas

    I'd love to see a one billion dollar building put up by the government. I would just rather see it built here so that it uses our construction workers, materials, etc. I'd put it in Detroit, and on the ground floor put in a great library with lots of computers & educational programs and donated art. An entertainment area open to the public, a huge courtyard in the middle of the thing with treehouses for the kids. Floors two to ten - job training centers. Floors ten to twenty - a community college. Floors twenty to fifty, office space to be rented out – the rent to go to pay for the activities provided on floors one to twenty. A model building for the new millennium – one that uplifts our cities and our citizens.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  67. Ed's Kate

    Why Not!!! Announcing something does not necessarily mean it will get done. The way things are going in this country, it could be zillion years before it would be built.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  68. Greg H - Minneapolis

    The price tag seems excessive. A smaller building may make more sense, along with a smaller staff who will not need such a large building. Here's a hint for those who think "Big is better!" We are no longer at war with England, we won both times we fought them! The "need" to deal with potential issues from non-native British should be dealt with in the individual's home country, not in the new London embassy.

    February 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  69. Karen (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

    What is wrong with these people? Isn't the embassy we now have good enough? Why can't they wait until our economy is working before spending so much money on yet another government building?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  70. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    Jack. You are getting spooked by huge sounding numbers.
    A Billion Dollars is peanuts today. I have a suggestion. America should do a thousand for one currency split, sort of like a reverse stock split. Then the new embassy will only cost a Million Dollars, and no one will be shocked. People, maybe even politicians, can get their minds around the concept of a Million Dollars. That will also knock the word Trillion out of the American vocabulary.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  71. Dylan, Chicago, IL

    Ultimately the American people have to figure out that just because the economy goes bad doesn't mean that the US Government gets a go ahead to ignore foreign policy. As many republicans would say, "The world is a dangerous place." And you know what? It doesn't get any better when things back home take a turn for the worst.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  72. Gigi Oregon

    You mean the "We the people" would have a say in building or not to build. HA! How much will this cost 95% of Americans already over taxed. Is there anyone who can say no to the government. Does anyone think America has lost it's moral compass or even just plain old fashioned common sence. What a bunch of show offs. We tell the whole world the U.S. government is broken and then turn around a build a Billion dollar embassy. And we worry the enemy is going to harm us...

    February 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  73. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This project wasn't planned yesterday. Just to do the architectural planning that has obviously been done would take a year. So my guess is this has been in the planning stages for a few years.

    We want transparency, here it is. However, this does not make this right if the government goes from planning to actually doing. In that case it would prove that recessions are only for the working class and small businesses, large corporations and government have different rules.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  74. Maria

    No, this is not the time. But I like the moat idea. We could throw in all convicted terrorists, and convicted politicians in with the crocs.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    February 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  75. Anna in Itasca, Ill

    Only if they employ 20 million american workers.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  76. Monica

    I'm sorry–it's time to draw the line!!!! So, to have a personal rain barrel & save 1000's of $$$$$$ for utilities it will only cost 1 BILLION to build!!!!! I'm still shaking my head!!!!!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  77. Jenny in Az

    The only thing I can think of to say is: Are they kidding me? They can't be serious about this, it's completely ridiculous.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  78. Jim in California

    What the the hell is that all about? We can't afford to go to the Moon, but we can afford property in Europe? And London, no doubt. Where is the focus on building up American morale? My confidence in my govt. leadership just got flushed down the toilet. How about a billion dollars to fix some broken stuff at home? Like the lack of any sort of Quailty services or goods made in the U.S., by Americans.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  79. John

    This is nothing short of being absolutely ridiculous. Enough said.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  80. Don Ritchie

    Who's going to attack our embassy in London?

    "The British are coming! The British are coming!"

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  81. Karl from SF, CA

    You don’t mention the security condition of the existing embassy. With London a hotbed of terrorist activity over the years, perhaps we don’t have a choice but to build something that will keep our diplomats safe. Security seemed to be a point in your lead-in. I take it the Queen isn’t renting out part of Buckingham Palace to us for this purpose so we are on our own. Right?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  82. Greg

    solar panels in London – good luck with that

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  83. Guddy

    Why not? When we can build a Embassy in Iraq for a 1 Bill, why not in London. It is 100% safer.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  84. Rich

    If the contract goes to a U.S business – sure. Why not? Can you spell stimulus ?

    Rich in Jersey

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  85. SeanMichael

    Of course we need an embassy with a moat. We won't ever have to worry about another Iran situation

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  86. Cristina

    Jack, two words: Hell no.

    Palmdale, CA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  87. John in Aberdeen, NC

    It ain't the London Bridge that's falling down.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  88. Stephanie from Davie, FL

    I thought there was a spending freeze? When I torture myself by putting myself on a spending freeze, I deal with the pain and pay only my bills. The government puts itself on a spending freeze and spends a billion bucks? I'm pretty envious!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  89. Frank

    I believe the embassy will be financed almost completely by the sale of the current historic US embassy at Grosvenor Square.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  90. Linda in Arizona

    I have the same sick feeling reading this that I had about the billion-dollar-plus embassy in Iraq. In some ways, this is worse, coming when it does. I'm so sick of this mess. Of course, it's insane, but they want a fortress in what they think will become a war zone. It's unbelievable. I'm at a loss for words. Life under Obama is worse than even bush! You asked whether he was starting his 2012 re-election campaign a bit too soon, and my answer again is, YES, way too soon; he should wait for the impeachment proceedings to end.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  91. Vicki McNeilly

    The politically correct answer is "HELL NO"!

    Vicki McNeilly
    The Woodlands, TX 77380

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  92. JoAnn Gates

    Hell, no! Our Nation is in the worst shape I've ever seen in my 67 year lifetime. I just cannot fathom why our Government can't practice some frugality!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  93. Ken Storie

    The govenment is now completly out of control. They make no sense any longer. They seem to be convincing themselves that everything is still ok as the Ship of State is singing.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  94. steve- virginia beach

    It's past time. The government should be announcing their plans as soon as they know what they are to allow maximum time for public debate and political discourse. Why hide things like this from us? We already know they can't bring themselves to stop spending like a bunch of drunken fools at a strip bar.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  95. Robert Aldag

    Jack,

    I believe a circus tent would be much more appropriate and much less costly. there would even be enough money left over for more "clowns".

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  96. Brian

    Well, Jack, whenever a nation establishes diplomatic relations with another nation, it is customary to construct an embassy in the nation that they are attempting to normalize relations with. When did they discover this England that you speak of? Did they use the Hubble telescope to make the discovery?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  97. James Dawson

    Yes, Jack,
    Grandiose! Yes, and with it's eco self-sufficiency, it will be rather gawdy american. Right?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  98. Richard

    Jack....WHEN did the planning for this new embassy begin???? Don't you think that little tidbit was important to you outrage provoking report???

    The Administration "announcing" that preparations are complete, is certainly not the Administration that started the process........

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  99. Sean

    Is there ever a good time to announce the government wants to spend 1 billion on a an embassy? There has got to be a cheaper, forclosed on castle, complete with moat, that can be negotiated for.

    Cleveland, OH

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  100. David

    No Jack, we're building the Chinese Embassy in London. After all, they're the ones paying for it.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  101. Bob D. Morristown, NJ

    Jack,

    If we still have double digit unemployment and over a trillion in deficit in 2013, a $billion for an embassy will be the least of our problems, and the project can be stopped at that point.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  102. Joseph Kavanaugh

    Jack,
    This is just another sign of our broken governments inability to excersise good judgement in these turbulent times.
    I truly feel that as a nation we are in ecomnomic turmoil and do not need to spend money on something new but maybe to spend quality time on that which is broke...

    Postal Joe

    Rock Hill, NY

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  103. Brian

    Well, Jack, whenever a nation establishes diplomatic relations with another nation, it is customary to construct an embassy in the nation that they are attempting to normalize relations with. When did they discover this England that you speak of? Did they use the Hubble telescope to make the discovery?

    Topeka, KS

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  104. Allan Shore

    The billion is the cost generated from counterterrorism tactics that cause more hatred toward the US than effective protection against the reasons for terror. The fact that we have to spend that much money for a building in a friendly, partner nation is a testament to how wrong so much of what we are doing is.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  105. Korhan

    It is very unnececary to make a massive project like this. It is time to focus on basic needs and investments in on our land not on foreign soil and not for investment that they are not gonna get us any income. Its not the time to show off .Visalia/CA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  106. Tom from Salinas, CA

    This is not the time to announce a Billion Dollar Embassy in London; there is never a time to announce this! After 9/11 our current London Embassy was 'hardened' by closing off the streets around it, in 2006-2008 I was there and saw more capital improvements to permanently close streets and build a 'parklike' thing that was going to feature flags and monuments to all 50 US States and even territories. And how much did our new Embassy in Iraq cost?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  107. Lucia Chappelle

    In these troubled times, I'd much rather spend $1 billion on an embassy - which by definition would try to solve some of our problems with diplomacy - than spend untold millions on wars that cannot solve anything.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  108. Mike

    Come on Jack...get with the program. The Obama administration is planning on transferring all the Gitmo prisioners there so they won't have to be tried in the U.S. It's the politically correct thing to do!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  109. Dennis

    It is simply not a good time to build a Embassy of that cost. To build anything overseas at the time is not a good idea. We need to be building/updating roads and bridges here in the United States. That would be better use of our tax dollars.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  110. Phil Greenaway

    I'd like to know what was wrong with the old embassy, and why exactly we need a new one, especially one that costs one billion dollars. Britain is a pretty important ally and trading partner, so I can understand that we need a significant administrative center there, but one billion at this time does sound like quite a bit of money. I'd like to see the government's case as to why this is necessary before acting on my reflex to condemn this.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  111. A. in DFW Texas

    With cost overruns it will actually be 2 or 3 billion.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  112. Gail, Illinois

    Give us the whole story Jack. When was this plan formulated? The government is broken because it was pushed over the edge by the former administration. The followers of that administration want to take it over again so they can finish the job. Remember the new Iraq Embassy? Let's hear it all Jack.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  113. Ian, Canadian

    Jack, you are reporting all week on a broken Government. There is no surprise about the announcement of a billion dollar embacy...the american government is like an 18 year old with a new credit card. Your Government has no idea of the value of a dollar and never. Remove corporate money from your politics and you will finally have representation of the people, for the people.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  114. Mary Cunningham

    $1 billion embassy is ludicrous and a patent Manifestation of Arrogance of Government and clearly stupid–no matter the need for security that can be bought for the price of a good bunker.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  115. larry Frieden

    Billon Dollar Embassy:

    Insanity: Who said, "keep doing the same thing and expect different results."

    Keep on spending, the hell with the deficit. Just print more money. Insane

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  116. Andre

    Dear Jack,
    This is becomming a joke.
    Now the government is going to build a super duper embassy in london, when we are strugling to make ends meet.
    How come nothing is said about the supposedly state of the art embassy (fortress) that was built in Baghdad.
    Recession? What recession?
    Andre
    Ridge NY

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  117. tony miraglia

    Jack, I don't mind the billion dollars to be spent for the Embassy in London. At least the taxpayers will be getting something for its money.
    What we got for the billions of taxpayer dollars given to the Wall Street Investment Banks was for them to hand out 20 billion in bonuses to people that did not deserve them. Why are we not outraged over this and why is our government not doing something about it.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  118. mike

    What difference does it make where the US Government spend money at Jack.They will get it back from Toyota?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  119. Philly/PA

    Dear Jack,

    With the economy struggling, high unemployment, and our country in deep, deep in debt, I am curious. Will we get the money from China?

    This has to be the straw that will finally break many, many voter's back.

    Phyllis
    Media, PA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  120. Ley

    I hope only they don't get this famous amount from the poor and the middle class through taxes. Cause they don't have a luxurious life for themselves.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  121. Neilufar - Toronto, ON

    Is there even a need for a US Embassy in London?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  122. Ron

    Ron from Hilliard, Ohio

    Now, Jack? How about never announcing it? This embassy is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money in good financial times AND bad.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  123. Peter, IL

    Hell Yeah,

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  124. Mary Nitkowski

    Jack, we love ya but on this one forgot that we built a CASTLE in the green zone of Iraq that was well over a billion dollars....for that they couldn't even get the electricity right!

    Obama's Administration is 13 months old – question: was this concept design dreamed up in the past 13 months or is this a carryover from the Bush days?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  125. Jeff - Chicago

    Wait a minute!
    We now have a "Stimulus Package" for the United Kingdom???!!!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  126. Godfried Asante

    i wonder why such money is not being used to enforce homeland security, i am sure much of that money will be recouped by increasing American visa fees around the world which is already high

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  127. Tim

    I thought it was obvious that a $1 billion spent on anything other than back into OUR economy is ludicrous. Besides, a 100-foot moat isn't going to stop any terrorist. The US has the ultimate moat of two oceans and still we were/are not safe from terrorist attacks.

    Tim
    Atlanta

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  128. Jaacqueline McCracken

    Now is not a good time!!!!!!!! I cannot think of a good time in these economic times. Poor choice and flies in the face of common sense.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  129. Deborah Kassir

    I just want to know how can a woman minority contractor win a no bid contract to build the drawbridge? Sounds like a fairy tale!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  130. James Graves

    I really just don't know what to say. The only thing I can think is that they simply don't get it. How do they miss it? Americans are having a devil of a time just meeting our everyday needs. Our needs folks, seriously. I don't think I can adequately express my dismay at what our elected officials are doing. It's one over spending issue after another. That certainly is a by-product of being able to run the press at will.

    One of these days in the not too distant future people will look over their shoulders and think, we could have done something about all of this spending, but just left it for the next guy. This is a sad sad situation. I'm sure I'm not alone in my feeling of being totally ignored by my government. How can they continue to do this? I think the entire world is laughing at our stuipidy.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  131. lila hink

    no, now is not the time but is anyone giving consideration to what the folks in London think of such a plan. Sounds like an eyesore to me. Plus a thumb in the eye to a country who friendship we should value

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  132. Li Bendet

    This certainly takes the cake!

    After watching 60 minutes the other night I was struck by how we can't rebuild the original plan at the World Trade Center. Alas its the usual suspects: in-fighting and budget issues.

    Viewing what was originally planned compared with what will be built is emblematic of what's happening to this country.

    All the more tragic that we are wasting money on this embassy when we can't get anything done here!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  133. Dean

    Sure, why not? It's better than giving it to Wall Street for bonuses. Golly, at least we'll have something to show for it.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  134. Eric from Kankakee, Illinois

    Of course the government shouldn't be spending a billion dollars for a crystal castle overseas! But if someone in congress proposed spending that billion on relief for the poor, hungry, and uninsured it'd be shot down as socialism.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  135. yvonne homans

    spending a billion dollars on an embassy in London in these times is obscene. How can we make our feelings known to Washington?
    Does the president really know about this?

    Yvonne

    Canton, MA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  136. Richard Graham-Yooll

    High security in London is an insult to British.
    On the hand we Brits welcome the $billion to our economy. Glad the Yanks don't need the money!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  137. Rick Fleming

    can you tell me just what excatly was wrong with our old embassy? They use buildings in England that are from the 1500's so I know it wasnt too old. The money would be better used if it was put back in our country.This is definetly not the time to be building billion dollar embasys.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  138. Ken in NC

    Can't they rent a place for a couple of thousand a month? We need the extra money here at home to pay our Politicians, Bankers, Health Care, Wall Street and Oil Company CEO's.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  139. Bill Kauffman

    My old Pappy used to say "if you can't say something good about something, then keep your mouth shut", and that is all I have to say about this.
    I do have a question though. What about protection from dolphins or boats? Has that been factored in?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  140. William of Lafayette, IN

    Is this even up for debate? What a horrible time to pay for this embassy. When the automotive CEOs flew to Washington in private jets, the representatives who questioned them jumped all over them, but here the government is throwing money around while the American people suffer under mounting debt. I'm a big Obama supporter, but this just seems like a horrible idea. And Britain is the only country that we don't need to worry about improving relations with in any case.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  141. Ron in Saint Louis

    I thought we already had an embassy in London? Why do we another one? If the old one needs fixing up It would sure be a heck of a lot cheaper to renovate than building that monstrosity. No wonder nothing ever gets solved in this country.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  142. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    What Congress Person(s) sponsored this? I want his/her name so I can write some letters. (And they won't be luvy-dovey in tone)

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  143. Jason J.

    Another day another horrific example of how off mission the US Government is.. A step in the right direction may be to redefine the word treason to include acts which are in direct contravention to the greater good of the most American citizens.

    Jason J.
    Long Island, NY

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  144. daniel

    hi,
    explain the
    projected embassy cost(s)
    ( london )
    to the homeless, unemployed.

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  145. Joseph Feng

    Lighten up, Jack. Projects like this represent long-term planning. During the construction period, the economny will go up, and it will go down. If we let the possibility of a short-term down cycle derail long range projects, that would only lead to even more waste. Something like this should stand or fall on its merits, not on irrational passions inflamed by short term rabble rousing.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  146. Frank

    Jack, seriously what are they thinking! Does Obama know about this? Wait, this must be a Bush idea b/c Obama promised change right? It's not like taxes might be raised, people are going hungry, top exec's are feeding off our tax dollar bonuses or banks aren't lending to Americans. Just what we need more US tax dollars spent overseas! Wait did our bank "China" approve this purchase? I didn't know we had any positive equity in our US property.

    Frank from CA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  147. michael LV,NV

    It's never the time to to announce plans for a $1 billion embassy.
    I would be fine with it though if Congress gave all of us $1 billion
    each. Soon it will be time for us to vote for a new Congress !

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  148. Abraham Nida from Germany

    well..that is the cost of Eco friendly...if there was a need to sacrifice for environment Copenhagen would have been a better alternative

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  149. Emily Taylor

    Why would we want to build a new embassy in England when there are so many homeless people in America? I have completely lost all confidence in our government.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  150. Elizabeth Wilson

    This plan is unbelievable. Why not take the $1b and spend it "greening" existing US government buildings on US soil. The jobs created alone would have a significant impact. This kind of decision indicates that Washington "decision makers" are completely out of touch with current economic realities.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  151. Karen

    What's wrong with the old embassy? I would like to know whose administration (Bush or Obama) conceived this frivilous spending of hard earned American tax payer money.
    Let's remember to put man eating fish in the moat so we can something for our money.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  152. Wesley Smith

    Who cares? Not our government. $1 billion for a new embassy. $2 million to send out fortune cookies for the current census. Fortune cookies? What is next?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  153. John

    No Jack, I can't believe we even need a new Embassy in London of all places. I think that money would be better spent sharing it with each and every American Family. That would do a great deal to help our economy especially when you add in the hidden costs and expected over runs we can count on. Thanks, John

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  154. Bryant Norman

    Look, I'm sick and tired of hearing how our country is broke! How are we able to spend $1Billion on an embassy in London and unemployment is at an all time high. Not to mention all the other government projects that are billions of dollars over budget that directly effects teh tax payers! where's our relief!!!!!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  155. Kelly Myers, Huntsville, AL

    Jack,
    Looks like we are exporting earmarks. I have nothing against the United Kingdom but why are we injecting $1b into their economy? I am sure the United States needs a presence in London but let them use an existing building. The USA is using buildings dating back almost as far as when our ancestors LEFT Europe. Congress and the State Department need to make due with their current accommodation like US citizens do (at least those who have not lost their home job).

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  156. Lance

    Well Jack, I should think by 2014 that, with the continued devaluation of the US dollar that a billion bucks will buy you a loaf of bread so it's not really a bad deal at a billion bucks, of course if the US dollar is in that dire of straits by then, a new embassy will be the least of the worries of the US.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  157. Charlotte

    How embarrassing. Leaders of the free world with our new Apple-Store–Medieval Moat embassy glass house. The Arrogancy Embassy, not the U.S. Embassy. I wonder if it will bear the new ensignia that is put on all of our so called U.S. Passports: a flag with 3 stripes, instead of 50 stars and 13 stripes. I'm sure this is all part of the North American Union Embassy to be that the press incessantly under reports on. Seriously: did anybody take a look at the new passports being issues out of these U.S. tax dollar paid for bloated embassies? THE U.S. ENSIGNIA is no longer on your passport if it is fairly new. Yes, I said: the Seal of the United States of America is no longer printed on the Front of your U.S. Passport. So whose embassy is it at U.S. citizens' expense. Wake up folks: time to seriously take our country back. Don't just keep on keeping on - do something different...

    February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  158. Chuck

    This is just another "Pork" Project" that Obama was supposed to stop. The exterior assault defenses seem terribly inadequate in todays hand held missles and cyber attacks.

    Moats have been out of style for several centuries. Maybe its a koi pond.

    How many US Jobs are to generated by this taxpayer expenditure?

    Thank you,

    February 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  159. Paul VA

    Jack,

    What is so surpring to you? Few minutes earlier we heard on CNN about the government spending over 12 billions for an elicopter, so what is the big deal for a one billion dollar building in center of London.
    Think how many people could get health insurance assistance with the money wasted for these nonsense projects.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  160. frank braun

    jack it sounds really re"moat" to me, did they say anything about a swimming pool?, i guess the people there can swim in the moat! i suppose the moors are coming again.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  161. mj Dee

    How dare they!
    I have listened night after night to waste and fraud and undue influence with our govermental officials.This is just an outrage. Please, CNN, take this question to the President, whom I voted for.
    Mr. Obama, how can you? Are you not embarassed by this? People are starving, people are losing their houses, people are having trouble keeping their families together, people can't afford medical care and you are allowing this mega structure to be build with our tax money? Where are you as a leader? Stop this in the name of Americans who voted for you. Stop this in the name of Americans who need to get their lives back together, somehow. Stop this in the name of Americans who need jobs...Use this money to build something here in the US and hire american workers. Stop this in the name of Americans who need to recover their self worth and self esteem.m If you are a leader, lead now and get this stopped. Or, perhaps, we as Americans need to not pay our taxes so this insanity stops.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  162. Bob Wilkins

    Yes, Jack, this is the perfect time for this announcement. We have to build for the future even in the hardest of times. This project reminds us of our greatness as a country and our origins in the 'old' world. It will inspire our children in better days ahead and help prepare them for their own tough times. We must assume our efforts will build a future that supports such noble structures as this. Bob, Center, Texas

    February 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  163. Rich

    I understand the importance of maintaining a strong image throughout the world, and that the plans for this project have probably been in the works for years. It may be more costly to revise this project than proceed. I would be more supportive if I knew a majority American materials, contractors, and engineers and other resources were used for the project. This could fall under the stimulus program if done correctly, but I doubt that will happen.
    Our problem is not what we spend money on, but how we spend it and how we fail to incentivize getting more for less. The "spend it or lose it" mentality has to stop.
    Rich, Sacramento CA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  164. brian wisc.

    hey jack i just thought of a way our government can save a billion dollars.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  165. Mark W.

    Wolf, I think the castle description for this project is very appropriate. The American people are fast becoming indentured serfs to a government whose actions seem to parallel a Middle Ages kingdom.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  166. Liz, Los Angeles, CA

    What's wrong with the existing one?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  167. Cardinal N Walkin

    Hi Jack,
    Yes this is the right time. Because the site may not be available for very long after 2013. The embassy will be moving from the very expensive and congested area of central London to South London which less costly. It offers the opportunity to improve maximum security and create a unique design suitable for the 21st century. South London is a quiet, green and pleasant place that will welcome such an international centre of focus. Parking, which is often a problem in central London, can be solved. We in South London will welcome you!
    Croydon, South London, England

    February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  168. Sheila

    Hi Jack
    Most definitely not the time for such expensive and unnecessary buildings! Whom are they competing with? This is absolutely unnecessary and unacceptable!!!
    If they have so much money lying around then they should go spend it to fix New Orleans, Health Insurance, Education and a thousand other things they really need to spend money on. And pls stop spending the people's money – rather give it back to the people – they really really need it right now!!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  169. Matt

    In short, bad timing! What are they thinking and where is this money coming from? Taxpayers? It feels like you know the president of your company is using petty cash to buy himself a brand new, shiney BMW while you're driving a beat up pick-up truck.

    Matt
    Pittsburgh

    February 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  170. Mark

    Jack, this is clearly the dumbest question you have ever asked. ABSOLUTELY NOT NOW...... Let the general public vote on this and you would have the largest majority ever. Tell me it's a trick question, please!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  171. Dan

    Blatant disreguard of American taxpayers.In tough economic times The govt. OK'ers should be fired & charged with embesllment of our money. More proof of royalty and serfdem in America – Dan in rural western Ill.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  172. marilyn

    no jack now is the time to build it, complete it in 6 months. Have a grand opening with every politicion in Washington present. Tear off the draw bridge so they can't get out, and they will know how we feel trapped with their incompetent and self serving decisions they make in Washington.

    Marilyn from Kingston

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  173. Hanna, Faribault, MN

    My answer is no. We could use the $1 billion dollars towards making jobs for unemployed people. Instead of throwing money elsewhere, put it where it really counts: towards making our economy better.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  174. Katherine

    1 billion dollars?! Are they serious? If the government has 1 billion dollars to waste, then why are we in a depression? This is not the time to waste lots of money on a new embassy. If anything, the government should be using that money to try to get us out of this depression. GA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  175. Bibik

    now you know that american people are not working to survive but surviving to work so they can pay for stupid ideas like this.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  176. scott

    Hey Jack, let them pick throught the scaps yard,for recycled material,afte all we're suppose to think green, right Jack?

    Scott,Fla

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  177. Cindy from Ohio

    Sure it is! It's business as usual. The U.S. Government has become the most materialistic entity on the planet. Outrageous spending has become the norm, and even though it's spiralling out of control, it goes on and on because they don't know how to stop it.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  178. marie horenburger

    This is absolutely not the time to build a new embassy no matter how green it is going to be. What is wrong with the old embassy? Can it be retrofitted? These are questions that need to be answered before another penny is spent. Sounds like a good chunk of money has already been spent on the planning and design. It would be interesting to know which Presidential administration cooked up this idea in the first place. While we are at it lets look at what the reconstruction budget for the middle east is and what companies are profiting from the reconstruction for U.S.. I seem to remember that we built an embassy compound in Iraq under the last administration for a similar sum. At the time it was said that the US needed to prove to the Iraquis that we would rebuild their country after destroying it in the first place. Let's rebuild our own country and give our own citizens the jobs that will result. Marie Horenburger

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  179. Sonu A

    The LON Embassy is a money maker – it costs $4 /min to call and a few hundred dollars just to show up and file for basic visa forms. This building will be paid for in no time – maybe they should be building more of these around the world!!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  180. Pat Parris

    Are we interested in an embassy or an embarrassment in London?

    If diplomacy is what we are interested in, then perhaps we can invest that one billion dollars into something more operational than a building, Facilities are important, but the history of diplomacy is filled with instances of peace talks occurring in rather modest buildings. Appomattox court house can be contrasted with the treaty of Versailles.
    The first more modest location had the better outcome, the treaty of Versailles in a beautiful palace led to another world war.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  181. Jeff

    No, Jack,
    Now is the time for all elected officails in Washington, to move aside before the people assert the Second Amendment and enforcible remove them.
    With Love,
    Jeff in Valparaiso, Indiana

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  182. Allan Cameron

    As an American Citizen who lived in London and regularly visited the present Embassy in Grosvenor Square, and met various employees, I never heard any complaints that would justify building a NEW Embassy especially now when we can't even afford to build any new buildings in the USA. It must be another incident of some crooked Congressman's "PORK" (POsitively RediKulous!)

    February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  183. Mark W.

    Mark W. Hollis, NH

    Wolf, the castle description for this project is very appropriate.
    The American people are fast becoming indentured serfts to a
    government whose actions seem to parallel a Middle Ages
    kingdom.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  184. mark godsey

    hey jack
    enough is enough its time obama figured out we can't spend money like this an act like its no big deal to tax payers we have people out of work,can't pay for things like food an a home to be in out of the weather,plus with factory's still moving out of this country we can't spend all this money on military,stimulus an crap like this building .
    when americans are doing without but it seems we have enough money to rebuild iraq and billions on military toys and this war on terror but the american tax payer has to pay for it all so government can play .
    mark
    bloomfield , in

    February 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  185. L. Jordan

    List this as another gigantic marker in the fall of the great American Empire. I guess since our fearless government figures they already spent billions of our tax dollars to construct the largest American Embassy in the world in Iraq without taxpayer input, they can just go ahead and build what they want in London. No matter that our Twin Towers haven't gotten close to being rebuilt after nearly 10 yrs! I just wonder who's getting paid to construct this London behemoth...

    February 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  186. Lynda

    Sounds like a great idea, but way too expensive. We don't have the money for this now and likely won't by 2017. Don't we already have an American embassy in England? Why do we even need another one?!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  187. Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    Jack,

    Only if London wants to pay for it... otherwise it sounds like environmental greenwashing to me... I'm all for environmentally friendly building but why not REUSE the old building and renovate it to be more environmentally friendly? All those materials that go into the new building have to come from somewhere ... they don't just magically appear onsite ready to go.

    What about cost overruns... didn't you guys just do a story about projects starting out at one level and then the costs getting jacked up... so this goes from 1 billion to what... 2, 3, 4 billion or more? During a Depression??? That's right I said it... Depression... those that keep using the word recession are just playing a semantics game!

    How about putting that 1 billion into a real jobs bill?

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  188. Kristine

    No it's not the time to waste money Jack,

    Maybe a few of us ,people, are just insane when we believe that our economy is going through harder times than the Great Depression. Our money may be paper, but that does not excuse our elected officials to spend it like they are using toilet paper. It's time that our economy is given back to the people because our government has shown us repeatedly they do not know how to handle money.
    Sincerily
    Kristine from Valparaiso, Indaina

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  189. lynne j.

    Again with the trick questions. No. This isn't the time for this.

    There people need their salaries cut to regular people's salaries (if any) and not be so insulated from regular folk to get the fact that this isn't a necessity at this time.

    They could easily refurbish the embassy that they are using now into a green building, using unemployed workers from here and merry England, helping out both.

    What I want to know is why is everyone so upset about this one instead of the 'biggest in the world' in Iraq? That was stupid, too.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  190. Tom

    Stop the insanity. The people spending our money are about to learn a lesson in economics. You can not sustain a credit economy filled with buy outs and stimuli that don't work and line the pockets of those who need it the least. Imagine that stimulus check for about $300,000 each American could have gotten had the government not done the bail outs of AIG and the auto industry and distributed that money to the people. A bail out is not how Capitalism works. If your business is failing because you live to high off the hog then your need to bear the burden of the failure your brought about. Not make the people under you suffer. As the house crumbles and is in ruins the vultures will wait for the pickings. They think this is a party? The American people are already reacting.

    A billion Dollars would go a long way to feeding the hungry and taking care of those in need of health care. These people do not have their priorities straight.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  191. John in East Syracuse, New York

    Jack, it is, of course, a lousy time to announce such a project. But I'd rather know about it than not know about it. The problem is that whatever anger is created by the announcement will be almost entirely incoherent and unfocused. I would like to see outrage directed into an initiative to either postpone the new Embassy project until the U.S. unemployment rate drops below six per cent or–even better– if consturction must go forward, to have it paid for out of funds reallocated out of contracts summarily withdrawn from Blackwater or whatever name that murderous and incomptentent company is using these days.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  192. scott

    Jack,I'd like to add another comment here. round and round we where does it end? What's next an embassy in space?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  193. Mark W.

    Hollis, NH

    Jack, the castle description for this project is very appropriate.
    The American people are fast becoming indentured serfs to a
    government whose actions seem to parallel a Middle Ages kingdom.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  194. cora

    Jack,There are a lot of empty cubicles in the USA. Maybe they can be put together to form an embassy. You know like legos!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  195. booboolinx

    jack,i am appalled and disgusted. there are many ways that that money can be used here at home.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  196. James

    What is this countrys priority? a BILLION dollars for a embassy? what about Americas Seniors & Veterans? I am disappointed that our country can find all this money for a "fortress of uselessness" and not to help the country, at home – find a better way to spend the money!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  197. john bartalini

    I think that its time to "change" the system re: the U.S. Senate, and it's co-power over legislation passed by the "House" considered for passage and, therefore, create new law. The "House" members have a 2 year term limit that was intended to ensure the "will" of the voting public and to also to ensure that the representatives in place are truly "representing" that will/vote. However the U.S. Senate(a.k.a. House of Lords", with 6 year terms, has become a perpetuating entity that represents only the "monied interests" that help them to continue to "serve" and maintain their respective positions in that body of Gov't. This arrangement has to change if we, as Americans, expect things to truly change for the better. This system, as it currently exists, lends itself to the "undue" influence of monied interests and, if not checked and/or changed, has no effective vehicle available to make advances and remedies of the law. We need, IMO, major changes to the system if we can expect any "fixes" that really can start to really "fix" things.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  198. Diane Julian, Ca

    Jack:

    To put U.S. workers back to work with benefits and diminish the 12% national unemployment rate we need to finish and repair infrastructure which is badly needed here in the U.S.

    Without putting more people back to work where they can spend more money into the American economy so there might be a swiing of the pendulum from recession to inflation.

    That's where our focus is needed not on Prime Minister Brown's town.

    Diane
    Julian, Ca 92036

    February 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  199. Ken in NC

    Jack, Can't they rent a place for a couple of thousand a month? We need the extra money here at home to pay our Politicians, Bankers, Health Care, Wall Street and Oil Company CEO's.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  200. Claudine (West Washington DC)

    Hi Jack,

    $1B sounds like a lot of money to me... Keeping things in perspective, maybe by 2013, it will be worth $250K...

    This administration is green with the envy of positioning the US as the leader in ecology. Here's one way to show it off. It's a $1B PR effort... "Is now the time to announce it?" Why not, when it rains it pours.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  201. Mark

    No, 1 Billion is not too much to assure a secure embassy in the Capital of arguably our most important Ally.

    Moreover the way you ask the question seems to imply that the current econmic downturn will last indefinitely. Also, think about the American jobs which will be created from Architect on down.

    This issue sounds like made up hysteria

    February 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  202. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Something tells me our government plans on moving it's headquarters to London.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  203. mark godsey

    hey jack
    heres a good one from what i'm reading on the blog even if a u.s company does the work the tax payers are paying the bill what does stimulus have to do with it .
    lets worry about those tax payers out there who lost jobs and live in tents,parks,cars and there kids are going to bed hungery for a change instead of worrying about a government building we have enough now to get by with .
    and besides here in our area most people i know are still out of work living in old vans or dumps the government calls homes and kids who do without still and more keep being laid-off by the week or have to take a job paying $7.50 per hour to raise a family on i made $10.50 a hour out of high school in 1978 and my house cost $25,600 not $140,000 today wake up america .

    mark
    bloomfield ,in

    February 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  204. scott

    Hey Jack,that can my old Lincoln Log set from when i was a child,if they want it.

    Scott, Fla

    February 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  205. Joseph Daignault

    Jack,

    First time writer, long time watcher.

    I'm another 24 year old honor graduate from Michigan State University that is now unemployed, living with family and is crying for a shred of hope just to be able to pay back my 83k and growing student loans. Every week another family member / friend is either loosing their job or having salary deductions.

    It is disheartening to see an Administration that just a few years ago I was volunteering my time for free, just to do anything in my power to spread belief in honest "Change", to now continuously support the same frivolous spending I voted to stop.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  206. David Derenthall

    What is wrong with the Emabassy they have now? Is it all the sudden not working for the staff in London?
    Of course it is not the right time for this. But that will make no difference to our Govt.
    It will be interesting to see how far over budget this gets. My bet it is at least the usuall 100% overbudget policy.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  207. Mohammed Konneh, North Carolina, Charlotte

    The Government plan to announce $1billion to for new USA Embassy in London is a significant step if US contractor win the bid which will help to reduce the unemployment so good luck to the winner!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm |