When I vented my disgust at the administration renting a ferry to get Americans out of Libya, instead of sending in the Marines, I had missed part of the story, the instructions given to Americans desperate to get out:
In a notice sent to U.S. citizens in Libya, the department said Americans wishing to leave Libya should report to the As-shahab port in the capital of Tripoli with their passports starting at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The ferry will depart for the Mediterranean island of Malta no later than 3 p.m. local time.
It said boarding the vessel would be on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to those with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions. Travelers will be allowed one suitcase and one small carry-on item, the notice said, adding that pets would be allowed on the ferry but that they must meet European Union requirements.
Those who want be evacuated should be prepared to wait several hours and bring food, water and other necessities to the pier, which is on the sea road across from the Radisson Blu Mahari Hotel in Tripoli.
Those who take the ferry will be expected to reimburse the government for the cost, estimated to be equivalent to the one-way commercial ferry crossing of the distance from Tripoli to the Maltese capital of Valletta, it said. Any onward travel from Malta must be paid for by the passengers, the notice said.
Immediate family members of U.S. citizens who are not themselves citizens will be able to board provided they have travel documents valid for their final destination.
So, American citizens would have to pay to get out of country torn by civil war, and the non-American wife and in-laws would be extra? Gee, why not make them sign over their life savings, too?
Oh, but the best part of this extravaganza of incompetence is highlighted above: evacuees were told to wait on a pier, in the open, water on three sides, like sitting ducks with no protection in case Qaddafi’s goons showed up for a bit of hostage-taking… or other revenge. My God, we are lucky there wasn’t a massacre.
But the British could send in the SAS to get their people out.
Pardon me, I need to go find a wall to beat my head against.
UPDATE: Welcome Hot Air readers, and thanks, Ed!
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)