Moments ago, CNN’s resident crank Jack Cafferty expressed his outrage at the fact that the State Department is making American evacuees from Lebanon sign IOUs promising to pay their transportation costs — per a 2003 law. This is especially outrageous, according to Cafferty, because the U.S. has poured $300 billion into the “sewer” of Iraq:
CAFFERTY: And get this: You want out? You gotta pay. That’s right. The State Department charges the price of an airline ticket to evacuate you. This little law — passed by Congress, signed by President Bush in 2003. We can pour $300 billion into that sewer in Iraq, but we charge Americans to be taken out of a war zone in Lebanon. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
Debbie Schlussel has a few reasons why, beyond charging the people we’re evacuating from Lebanon, we shouldn’t be evacuating some of them at all. Leaving those arguments aside, however.. we are talking about Lebanon here. This crisis wasn’t exactly unpredictable. Shouldn’t people who choose to travel to dangerous places bear some responsibility for their own safety?
Wolf Blitzer reported later in the hour that some of the congressmen who are criticizing the law now voted for it at the time. I wonder how Cafferty felt about it back in 2003 — before he became a parody of a crotchety old malcontent.