US to evacuate American citizens from Libya by ferryboat

I think Gadhafi is channeling Michael Jackson
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The State Department said late Tuesday it has chartered a ferry boat to evacuate Americans from Libya by sea amid increasingly violent unrest in the North African state as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed further crackdowns on opponents seeking his ouster.

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. That’s right now, 8AM EST, 6AM MST.

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…

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.

The evacuation comes amid deteriorating security conditions throughout Libya, with Gadhafi vowing to defeat opponents that now control cities in the eastern part of the country.

Unsuccessful attempts were made Monday and Tuesday to evacuate by airplane 35 non-essential American diplomats and family members of U.S. Embassy personnel, prompting heightened fears for their safety.

The Brits and other nationals are going through a similar evacuation – with the same sort of lack of cooperation and threats from the Gadhafi government. Unlike the phony case for armed response in Grenada, the nutball-in-charge may be stupid enough to threaten the lives of Americans fleeing his regime.

I’ll be keeping an eye on AlJazeera TV online. CNN has one reporter still functioning inside Libya; but, he’s in the East in Benghazi.

I hope everyone makes it out OK.

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