With dozens of Americans stuck in Israel following an attack that left more than 900 Israelis dead, the Biden administration is now telling U.S. citizens they will have to fund their own rescue.
The State Department has issued a bulletin stating that it would offer transit assistance in the coming days, which could be by air or sea, and would take Americans to a “nearby safe location and not to the United States.”
The memo then clarifies:
Travelers should be prepared to arrange their own lodging at the safe location and pay for their own onward travel from the third country to their chosen destination. Departure assistance is provided via a loan from the U.S. government which requires travelers to sign a promissory note (an agreement to repay) prior to departure.
US STATE DEPARTMENT TELLS CITIZENS STUCK IN ISRAEL IT MAY HELP THEM EVACUATE – BUT ONLY IF THEY SIGN A PROMISSARY NOTE. pic.twitter.com/PfFI0i5mk1
— The Meturgeman (@HaMeturgeman) October 11, 2023
This is not the first time the administration has forced the citizens it represents to foot the bill for the cost of their own rescue after an international crisis.
In 2021, following the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan — which left as many as 9,000 Americans stranded with the Taliban running the country — the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan sent multiple security advisories for anyone who sought to evacuate.
“This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options,” the embassy stated.
The online form U.S. citizens were required to complete noted, “Repatriation flights are not free.”
It also explained, “All passengers will need to reimburse the U.S. Government for the flight. A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.”
As news broke that President Joe Biden is charging Americans for their own rescue, Biden told reporters the administration is “working on every aspect of the hostage crisis in Israel, including deploying experts to advise and assist with recovery efforts.”
He added, “I have not given up hope of bringing these folks home. But the idea that I’m going to stand here before you and tell you what I’m doing is bizarre. So, I hope you understand how bizarre I think it would be to try to answer that question.”
Yet, while Biden struggled to detail what actions his administration was taking to bring home U.S. citizens, Rep. Cory Mills, a Florida Republican lawmaker, had already facilitated the rescue of 32 Americans.
During an interview, Mills said, “If I have to do Joe Biden’s job, then so be it.”
Mills, an Iraq war veteran, said he did the same thing following what CNN called the Biden administration’s “botched Afghanistan exit.”