New U.S. Embassy The Hague Officially Opens With Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Posted: 12:10 am  ET

 

On March 26, the U.S. Embassy in The Hague officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and lots of scissors.  The officials listed below helped cut the ribbon according to the embassy website.

  • Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Wouter Koolmees
  • Mayor Frank Koen of the city of Wassenaar
  • Mayor Pauline Krikke of the city of The Hague
  • Ambassador Peter Hoekstra
  • Ambassador Kenneth D. Ward, United States Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
  • Ambassador William Moser, the Principal Deputy Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
  • Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations
  • Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Co-Chair, Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands
  • Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Ranking Member, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
  • Representative John Carter (R-TX), Chairman, U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
  • Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Ranking Member, U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy
  • Executive Director of the EUR-IO/EX Director Robert S. Needham

One person missing is Nicole Nason, the Assistant Secretary for Administration (A), and as of last week, the person apparently also now in charge of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). See her one-line official bio here as “A” overseeing twelve offices and OBO (currently unlisted).

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Amb. Hoekstra Presents His Credentials to the King, Then Gets Properly Grilled By the Dutch Press

Posted: 2:44 am ET
 

 

So the new U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra presented his credentials to King Willem-Alexander on January 10. The same day, he also faced a grilling from members of the Dutch press. And if that’s not memorable enough, the Dutch Review has a screaming headline that says “It’s Lying Pete Hoeskta’s first day as the US Ambassador in the Netherlands.”

We are having a brain freeze trying to remember if anything like this ever happened before.  Oh, we can’t remember anything. Just that there was no way the embassy could have avoided this incident. Had Ambassador Hoesktra offered a fuller apology after that meltdown of an interview, he would not have been facing a fiery press on his first official day as representative of the United States to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

NLtimes reported that when asked about his previous controversial comments, he announced, “I won’t comment on the matter anymore”. Apparently, he told the press that “now that he is a representative of the American administration, his personal opinions or comments are no longer what matters.” As if somehow “the matter” would simply go away.  It won’t. And Dutch reporters will not stop asking just because Ambassador Hoekstra refuses to comment. And with every future event, we will get similar video clips.  So we doubt very much if this is the end of it. He will get a reminder about this at his every encounter with the Dutch press.

Also see New U.S. Ambassador Peter Hoekstra Makes Splash With Whoppers on Dutch TVAmb. Designate Hoekstra Issues an “Apology,” Gets Roasted on TwitterNomination: Ex-Congressman Peter Hoekstra to be U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands).

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Amb. Designate Hoekstra Issues an “Apology,” Gets Roasted on Twitter

Posted: 1:16 am ET

 

Last week, we blogged about Ambassador-Designate Peter Hoekstra’s double whoppers during an interview with a Dutch journalist (see New U.S. Ambassador Peter Hoekstra Makes Splash With Whoppers on Dutch TV). On December 23, the newest representative of the United States Government to the Netherlands issued a non apology-apology.  It is not exactly clear what it is he is apologizing for — he “regret the exchange” but did not apologize for the remarks he made in 2015, or for lying about it? He regret participating in an interview that went off the rails on video? In any case, he did issue an apology for something, but Twitter folks were not at all happy about it.

AND THE WINNER IS –TA-DA! Our eyes are leaking badly, help ….

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New U.S. Ambassador Peter Hoekstra Makes Splash With Whoppers on Dutch TV

Posted: 2:59 pm PT

 

We got an odd feeling that they’re laughing at us. Nah? You mean that’s just people’s imagination?  Did the new ambassador to the Netherlands  think so poorly of the Dutch that he could do this without a second thought? The host country nationals will remember this every time he opens his mouth during his tenure in the Netherlands. Brown paper bags for face gears are on discount for the rest of the year, folks. Go get.

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Officially Out: WH Withdraws Tim Broas’ Nomination as Next Dutch Ambassador

On April 26, 2012, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Tim Broas as the next Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  The WH released the following brief bio at that time:

Tim Broas is currently a partner at Winston and Strawn, LLP.   Mr. Broas also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, having been appointed by President Obama in December 2010.  From 1986 to 1995, he was a partner at Anderson Hibey & Blair.  Previously, Mr. Broas worked as an attorney at Whitman & Ransom from 1983 to 1985, and at Conboy Hewitt O’Brien & Boardman from 1980 to 1983.  From 1979 to 1980, he served as a law clerk for Justice Mark Sullivan of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.   Mr. Broas received a B.A. from Boston College and a J.D. from the College of William and Mary.

On April 27, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Mr. Broas is one of 117 Obama bundlers and has raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts

On June 13, he had his nomination hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

Mr. Timothy M. Broas
of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Download Testimony

On June 19, 2012, the SFRC cleared his nomination and his name was sent to the full Senate for a vote.

On June 28, the WH officially withdrew Mr. Broas’ nomination:

Timothy M. Broas, of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which was sent to the Senate on April 26, 2012.

As of June 28, the United States Senate officially posted the withdrawal:

Nomination Withdrawn: Senate received notification of withdrawal of the following nomination:
Timothy M. Broas, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which was sent to the Senate on April 26, 2012.

Surely, a replacement can be found, and the vetting process can be started once more, but do you really want to be the next political appointee to go through that process when the presidential election in right around the corner? It seems to me like the US Embassy in The Hague may have to do without a politically connected ambassador until spring next year.  Until then, career diplomat, Edwin (“Ned”) Nolan who has been Chargé d’Affaires ad interim since September 2011 and Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy The Hague since January 2010 will  have to do.

Update: The Center for Public Integrity is reporting that the White House has withdrawn the nomination of Washington attorney Timothy M. Broas following charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest in suburban Maryland earlier last week. He was reportedly pulled over on June 19, and was ticketed for driving 47 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. Read more here.

Domani Spero