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(Bump from 2006-04-01 13:04:09)
The release of reporter Jill Carroll is good news from Iraq.
Taped comments she made while still held hostage are causing something of a stir among the chattering crowds. Two camps in particular I'd like to address here. 1) Those who agree with her comments (or applaud her for making them), and 2) Those who are willing to condemn or vilify her (or any hostage) for making them. For the record, I'm not sure which group I hold in more contempt - it may be equal.
She's homebound, and her parents say her comments were made under duress. The truth in that should be obvious even to those not genetically linked to the victim. I hope this family is left in peace for a while.
There are plenty of Americans (reporters among them) who make those same comments without guns pointed at their heads. Save your outrage for them.
Update 2 April:
Carroll voices anger at captorsFrom her statement, delivered here at Ramstein Air Base Germany:
Contends anti-US statements were given under threat
Reporter Jill Carroll yesterday renounced many of the statements she had made while in captivity in Iraq and called the people who kidnapped her ''criminals at best."
During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me they would let me go if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. I agreed.Previous post - examining this in it's broader context - here.
Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not. The people who kidnapped me and murdered Allan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Allan of his life and devastated his family. They put me, my family and my friends--and all those around the world, who have prayed so fervently for my release--through a horrific experience. I was, and remain, deeply angry with the people who did this.
I also gave a TV interview to the Iraqi Islamic Party shortly after my release. The party had promised me the interview would never be aired on television, and broke their word. At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely. Out of fear I said I wasn't threatened. In fact, I was threatened many times.
Also, at least two false statements about me have been widely aired: That I refused to travel and cooperate with the US military and that I refused to discuss my captivity with US officials. Again, neither is true.
I want to be judged as a journalist, not as a hostage. I remain as committed as ever to fairness and accuracy--to discovering the truth--and so I will not engage in polemics. But let me be clear: I abhor all who kidnap and murder civilians, and my captors are clearly guilty of both crimes.
Now, I ask for the time to heal. This has been a taxing 12 weeks for me and my family. Please allow us some quiet time alone, together.
my last three years in the military were spent as a drill sgt. In one of my platoons I had the opportunity to train a Vietnam vet who had been a POW for a short time. The thing I remember most about him is that he slept sitting up in bed. because of how he was forced to sleep while a captive. It is something you never get over.
To all of you that wish to rush to judgement on this woman I would say this. Let her have a little time and then see what she really thinks. Chances are she hasn't really realized that she is free yet. If a month from now she is still says the thinks she is saying now then you can go after her with my support. I don't like a lot of the things she has said but then again I wasn't under that amount of stress either.
DougPosted by Doug at April 1, 2006 03:56 PM
Mr. and Mrs. Greyhawk,
I apologize for Trackbacking to the wrong post. I didn't mean to call Ms. Carrol a knucklehead! LOL.
BillPosted by Bill at April 1, 2006 05:56 PM
Civilians don't receive the same training that us soldiers receive in dealing with captivity. Even the strongest of soldiers can only take so much before doing whatever it takes to end the pain.
Jill is an untrained civilian journalist, who possessed no military training in dealing with duress. Nothing she said in that video should be taken as gospel. Reading the transcript, it's obvious that her remarks were rehearsed and coerced. Don't judge her.Posted by CJ at April 2, 2006 06:15 PM
Not you, Greyhawk or Mrs., everyone reading her video.Posted by Cj at April 2, 2006 06:15 PM
David Paulin at the Big http://bigcarnival.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_bigcarnival_archive.html
makes an important point to make in his post on Carroll:" Jill Carroll's kidnapping: A black eye for the mainstream media's use of freelancers
Jill Carroll, the freelance journalist kidnapped in Baghdad nearly three months ago, was freed today. In the coming days, the mainstream media will thoroughly examine her capture and ordeal. But one thing will be left out: its own collective role in her kidnapping and the murder of her translator, thanks to policies revolving around its use -- and misuse -- of freelancers. "Posted by dave at April 2, 2006 09:57 PM
I'm glad she's home safe. We need all the fair and accurate reporters we can get. They're as scarce as hen's teeth! (Oops, did I just "date" myself? So be it.)Posted by DagneyT at April 2, 2006 10:51 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(6) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)