US Citizens Charged for Evactuations?

Has this ever happened before to American citizens being evacuated?

Dozens of Americans were evacuated from Beirut by U.S. Marine helicopters Tuesday, but hundreds of other U.S. citizens were stranded. Some expressed frustration that the evacuation was taking so long. The Americans being evacuated were told by U.S. officials that they would have to reimburse the government for the trip to safety.

The U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey D. Feltman, said 320 Americans will have left by the end of Tuesday and that 1,000 more were scheduled to leave Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.


  1. I can’t answer your question, but it implies that you think that we should pay for them to be evacuated. If that is true, then is there any situation where you think citizens should not have thier evacuation costs paid for by the taxpayer? If so, then what makes this situation different?

  2. I can’t think of a situation where I would charge people for their evacuations. If you can think of one, please let me know.

  3. A U.S. citizen on vacation in Lebanon gets sick and requires long-term hospitalization. They want to come home and it’s very expensive due to their medical condition. They want the taxpayers to pay. I don’t think the taxpayers should pay for that.

  4. If a group of Americans travelled to Lebanon today, and later the situation got even worse than it is now and wanted to be evacuated, should they have to reimburse the government?

    Also, what if their reasons for going to Lebanon were for financial gain?

  5. The State Department issues alerts adn warnings about travel to certain countries. They also have this hadny dandy site that is apparently linked to itself (at least in FF):

    If the government says, “Travel to XYZ republic at your own risk” then taxpayers could be reasonably expected to pay evacuation costs. If the nation is not flagged as risky or dangerous, then nothing should be charged.

  6. The State Department put out a notice asking citizens NOT to arrange their own departures.

    This implies that the State Department wants to take the responsibility for the exit of American citizens.

    And with that responsibility comes some implicit assumptions about financial responsibility.

    Of course, the first thing I thought was, DAMN, if I were there, and the State Department told me to WAIT until they got their act together to get me out, I would say FUCK that. Depend on GWB and the State Department for my own safety in the middle east? FUCK THAT.

    I would be arranging my own exit as fast as possible, trusting my OWN abilities over the federal government, which has shown itself to be less than resourceful when dealing with such crises on demand.

    And, I suppose the poor, unhealthy, impoverished citizens of New Orleans should be paying restitution to FEMA for the wonderful job they did in evacuating them from the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina?

  7. Um,

    New Orleans shouldn’t necessarily be paying restitution to FEMA, but they SHOULD be making payments to the Treasury Department for the billions of dollars they accepted for a decade under the false pretext of using it to fortify their levees and wetlands. (And don’t worry about the “poor, impoverished” citizens of New Orleans .. they are not the ones who have ever contributed to paying for any of New Orleans financial obligations, a missing sense of community responsibility which is part of N.O.’s problem. A sense of pride and ownership indirectly gives a people the sense of independence needed to become less poor. )

    Bob in Arlington, VA

  8. This was all over CNN healine news today.

    Good comments here. A pet peeve of mine: I don’t like hearing “government should pay”. The government does not make money, it takes it. Ergo, taxpayers pay for this stuff, not goverment. Let’s not forget where this money comes from OK?

    If you choose to travel to a dangerous place, why should you expect a taxpaying farmer in Wyoming to pay to get your ass out of there?

    You could have chosen to go to a nice safe place like Kauai (where I am right now).

  9. … Any idiot who chooses to vacation in war zone is, well… deserving of something REALLY bad. But not death.

    … The US should rescue it’s own citizens, even if they are imbeciles, without any conditions. Tickets all the way home, now that’s a bit much, but get them the hell out of there.

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