US Government to Charge for Evacuation from Lebanon

I posted this over at MetaFilter, and figured I should probably share on my blog.

The US State Department is reminding its citizens that it does not provide free transportation. It looks like it might be about $300 for the evacuation. If you can’t pay at the time, you can sign a promissory note and pay interest. It looks like other countries are not charging (or, if they are, they’re not saying so quite like the US is).

Why is the government charging to evacuate its citizens from a sudden hostile zone?

At the State Department, McCormack said the cost of a massive evacuation was beyond U.S. resources. He said evacuated Americans would be asked to pay commercial rates, and if they did not have the money to promise to pay in the future.

“Everybody who wishes to leave will be able to leave,” he promised.

The U.S. Embassy advised Americans to carry a valid passport, a birth certificate and marriage or other civil documents. Each traveler is limited to one suitcase weighing up to 30 pounds. Pets will not be allowed to travel.

Saving its citizens comes second to the almost $300 billion we’ve spent in Iraq or the overall US Debt. Cue “God Bless America…”