September 22nd, 2009
06:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Gadhafi Tent Controversy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/09/01/libya.gadhafi.celebration/art.gadhafi.afp.jpg caption= "Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi greets guests at a military parade in Tripoli earlier this month."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The mystery appears to be solved. From the air and on the ground, New York media were in hot pursuit today of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's tent. He's in town for the United Nations General Assembly. But, where did he put up his tent? The answer may surprise you.

The tent is in Westchester County, New York just north of the city on property owned by the Trump Organization. Yes, as in Donald Trump. The organization said in statement: "We have business partners and associates all over the world. The property was leased on a short-term basis to Middle Eastern partners, who may or may not have a relationship to Mr. Gadhafi. We are looking into the matter."

A lot of people are not happy with Colonel Gadhafi's tent location. "There is no legal way to prevent this, as he is a head of state, despite the fact that he has a long history as a terrorist," County Executive Andy Spano said in a statement. "However, from my point of view, he is not welcome in Westchester."

There are reports his  request to pitch his tent in Central Park was denied.  And, last month you may recall there was speculation that Gadhafi would put up his tent in Englewood, New Jersey, on the lawn of a home owned by the Libyan government. The residents of the predominately Orthodox Jewish community didn't want a visit from a leader who has made anti-Zionist statements in the past.  It's also where dozens of victims of the Pam Am 103 bombing lived.  Two suspects charged in the attack were Libyan citizens.  One was never convicted. The other was recently released heightening the bitterness toward Gadhafi.

Tonight we'll have the latest developments on the Gadhafi controversy. And, find out why Gadhafi likes to set up tents when he travels. He's done it in France, Italy, Russia and many other places.

Would you be upset if Gadhafi pitched his tent in your town? Sound off below.

Join us for this story and much more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. vininsyr

    Mr. Trump does the Lockerbie Scotland plane bombing have any significance to you?Have you given serious thoughts about hosting a man who murdered dozens of innocent Syracuse University students and hundreds of other travelers? Mr. Trump, look a murdered students parent in the eye.
    Worship of the dollar "Trumps" all, so sad.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  2. Adelaide-Canada

    The only place gadhafi should be allowed to stay on US soil is in a prison. That is where he belongs!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  3. Ally

    Would we also prevent the Israeli leaders (Ex- General) from staying in the USA. They killed thousands of Plastenians in Gaza, west bank and old palastine, more that what Kadafi did. This is a hepocracy, and we should not have a diouble standards.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  4. Lisa Bereal

    Let's not forget that on April 15, 1986 we launched a missile attack on Libya that killed 45 Libyan government personnel and 15 civilians, including Ghadafi's little daughter, Hannah. He's not totally innocent of terrorism, neither are we!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  5. Lesophen

    Is America truly the land of the free??

    September 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Anna

    There is nothing wrong for someone putting up a tent...Maybe some other countries should say as well "Sorry, we are not renting out to Americans".

    September 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Laura

    He should've never been allowed in the country first of all. We bother fighting a so-called war if the government let the terrorists back in. Bin Laden still has been caught and now they let this guy in and on Trump's property. I guess there is not that big of a security level.

    Money talks. Greed..........

    September 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  8. Kris Gentry

    I do not agree with the visit to our country by Gadhafi, but this is America, and if I own my property, I can put a tent on it anywhere I like. It's a tent for God sakes, not a real building that I would need a permit for. Protest, don't waste tax payer money on these orders that are going to take too long, and by the time it is over, he will be back in Libya.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  9. Jim

    Another African killer that is not being talked about is Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I am Zimbabwean but this racist monster does not respect property rights, burning white farmers' house, killing and arresting opposition figures. This villain is a dictactor that should not be allowed here in New York.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  10. Richard lee

    I think Ghadafi should be left alone. He is here on a diplomatic mission and he should be allowed to do his business. If we are ready to host the UN, we should be ready to host any body they invite.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  11. Beccm Martin

    A town wanting to take down a tent, on a private property.LOL Get a grip and a life of worth. I am sure far more horrific things are occurring in that small town. Wanting to go to the Supreme court overa tent!!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Howard2

    He, or at least the Libyan government, paid property taxes on this property for years, and I am sure hired many local workers to maintain the house, lawns, etc. we did not hear any WHINING about it then.

    Here in Seattle, we have homeless tent camps that the city moves around town (usually to some churches property) and so far the neighbors are not able to stop it from happenning. So instead of Gadhafi and his limo's, we have homeless people wandering the neighborhoods.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  13. David

    The whole thing is a bad call on Mr. Trumps part and the American goverment for allowing such a thing to happen. If Trump wants to see him, he could go there to do so. It's the old I did not know anything about it.

    I don't think Brian Flynn's brothers and others of that fatal Lockerbie flight feel it is o.k.. Seven Springs is not the place for the man to be......

    Joel Sachs- is doing what he can now with building inspectors.The city of Bedord needs to stand its grown and the Jugde has some say on the matter. It will most likely end up in White Plains.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  14. Beccm Martin

    America has not been the home of the free, in decades!!! There are American Terrorists who, Americans seem to accept, without question. Big corporation; the alteration of your food. Drug companies killing Americans in the name of creating more drugs, to gain bigger profits!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  15. vic nashville, tn

    Be American and let it Go this time

    In future we won’t give visa for them

    September 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  16. Frank

    He should not be in our public cities. The United Natons should have work out his place of sleep before he arrived here. It's the same as having Binlaten in your city and who the hell wants that? Not me or anybody i know. Thanks Frankie Boy

    September 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  17. stue trory

    Gaddafi admitted responsibility for the bombings and doled out or agreed to pay up to $10 million per family, and then suddenly he's no longer a sponsor of terrorism?
    Oil is the bane of our time, as it has resulted in millions of needless deaths and continues to cause suffering, all in the name of our thirst for this archaic resource.
    Trump bows only to the almighty dollar, and will not back away from this arrangement until it is clear that he will lose more money via public backlash than he will gain from this murderous regime.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  18. carol

    He shouldn't be allowed on U.S. property. He's a terrorist who continues to support terrorism. He should be shunned – let him and the world know we don;t tolerate his kind.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. Tim

    Send the terrorist home. Or better yet fly an unmanned drone into the tent when he shows up so he gets a taste of what Lockerbie was like.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  20. lourdes alonso

    Is really amazing, to see this man that is a terrorist here in United States soil, and even worst is that Donald Trump who has made his fortune in this country is allowing this terrorist in his property. This really hurt the feeling of the american people.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Melissa H.

    I can not believe that Trump is even considering allowing Gadhafi to pitch a tent on his property. THAT IS JUST NOT GOOD! I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT HE'S EVEN ALLOWED IN THE USA!

    Unbelievable. This is the change that OBAMA wants ? NO THANK YOU!

    I am already very tired of OBAMA's changes...

    September 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  22. pierre beaudin

    he shoud not be here,the man is a criminal.give him a boot on the ass and send him back.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  23. itulu

    Dont blame Gaddaffi , dont blame Trump, What of the people that released the torrorist What have the demonstrators done to the head of state of the country that released the terrorist.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  24. David

    There is a distinction between participating in the UN general Assembly, and 'hanging out' in our homeland. We should not allow
    Gadhafi (or any other dictator/terrorist) anywhere outside a block of the UN........

    September 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Bern Houston

    Why is Donald Trump allowing this tent being set up on his property?
    Gadhafi should not be allowed to pith a tent anywhere in the United States. I don't think Trump, would actually allow this either, was he not aware of this whole situation? I sure hope so.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  26. josh

    Nothing makes me more angery than this country catering to terrorist! While we are over seas fighting the war, the leaders of those whom we fight are allowed to dine in there fancy tents on our soal! Is there no common sense in the country anymore?! This country is so affraid to "offend" other nations that we put our safty and good name aside to cater to them. We are no longer a world power, we are a world push over. Thank you Mr President!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  27. bbaker

    I do not believe it is appropriate for Gadhafi to be allowed into the country any more than Osama should be allowed in. Period.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  28. Vanessa

    Anderson, I love your show. I think we should begin process of healing and that's with forgiveness and understanding. As much as we may want to shun him away from our lives, We must now set examples as Americans to terrorists in the world that we are capable of "love".

    September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  29. Peter Davi

    Do not let this killer in our soil. Do not let the oil companies prevail in this occation> lets take this opportunity to show the world that we stand united against killers.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  30. michelle

    Gadafi is a terrorist- he should never have received permission to land on our soil – l'shana tova to ur rabbi- he embodies the american spirit!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  31. Robert KC

    Its a slap in the face ,as a us soldier, for trump to allow this terrorist to come to our country and put up a tent on his property. We are trying to protect Trump from these terrorist and he is welcoming them with open arms. Its disgusting!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  32. Harold

    a HUGE NOT to Kadhafi, to his visit here, to his tent. He should be immediately apprehended and tried for terrorism.

    Donald Trump should be investigated and his motivation for dealing with terrorists.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  33. Roger

    It seems the capitalism of the US has no limits. What are we doing as a Nation when we have someone like Gadhafi residing on US soil when there are direct ties to Terrorism either past or present. Simply Unacceptable!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  34. LouisM

    Qadhafi should not be welcome here. He greeted the Lockerbie bomber who has killed innocent people. I think the people of Englewood should protest his appearance to the tent and tell him to go home!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  35. carmen

    what is america coming to to even consider this a should or should not matter?

    September 22, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  36. Debbie,Chicago

    Throw this guy out of the country.....how can we condone the terrorism he perpetrates? This is a disgrace on our country.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  37. Gbree

    Since when do we allow some terrorist leader to dictate in our country? Let him curl up on a bench in central park, he's a nothing here! Maybe Barnam and Bailey would loan him somewhere to stay?

    September 22, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  38. CC

    Gadaffi is a know Terrorist. We know that. What happens to the British that sold out everyone by releasing the terrorist. Common guys

    September 22, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  39. Victor Maffei

    Not at all. I hear he pays good money. (which is just as good as cash).

    Seriously: let's not get as "small" as he is!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  40. WJE

    We suffer from so many disparities in life, with millions of poor people dying sick and hungry, yet we worry about trivial things like this terroists tent. It ashames me that after what he has done, we allow him to set up tent. To me it is a sign from Gadhafi that he has no intewntion of remorse for his past actions. It's like saying " Hey, Ive killed your own people, but look I sit in my tent like a victorious ruler, in front of you.
    Shame on the government.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  41. upset in westchester

    Apparently (according to media reports), for all his bluster – Trump's Organization has no quams renting to terrorists...

    September 22, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  42. David, Indiana

    Is the whole show going to be on Gadhafi's tent? I enjoyed this article and it is a controversy. Not being critical.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  43. Bill from Massachusetts

    Are you kidding?! In my town they would be angry if President Obama came to "pitch tent". Racisms is alive in well in the good ole US of A! Don't let the Republicans snow you. Former President Carter was dead on right! Republicans have never been so scared in their lives! BTW- I am white and I voted for President Obama and would do it again in a heartbeat. He was, and still is, the best qualified for the job. I am disgusted by the narrow minded thinking that still permeates this country and much of the world.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  44. RALPH

    Riker Island might have a little space and it has a private bridge.


    September 22, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  45. Jennifer

    or maybe he's just the outdoorsy type

    September 22, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  46. Barbi

    Terrorists should not be allowed into the home of the free!

    September 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  47. rob

    I'd like to see him one my lawn so I could tell him to.. Gadhafi me lawn

    September 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  48. Annie Kate

    I wouldn't want him in my yard but I can think of a few places he could probably pitch his tent and meld in with the surroundings – Las Vegas comes to mind rather quickly. Is there a diplomatic residence that he could stay at and pitch his tent there on their sovereign soil? I find it somewhat amusing that he came to America in 2009 and brought his tent with him like a boy going to an overnight with his friends and they are all going to pitch their tents in the backyard.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  49. Isabel Siaba, Brazil

    Hello Maureen!

    I don't like to move past, but in this case is inevitable. I would like to distance Kadafi, both for me and my friends anywhere in the world.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  50. Jennifer

    Seems like an odd time for a camping trip. Wonder if there are smores involved.

    He seems to be trying to take responsibility and make reparations over the last decade, and if he is sincere, then I have to give him credit. It was at best insensitive to welcome Megrahi back to Libya in such a public way, and maybe he should just have stayed in a hotel with the other UN attendees, but I do not think we should be inhospitable on his first trip to the US. Perhaps the relation between his tendency to camp out in foreign countries and Libyan bedouin traditions, is an identity meaningful to him that he wants to share, particularly in light of the many bedouins killed in the colonial 1930s and the post colonial environment he grew up in.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
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