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Jill Carroll – The Rest Of The Story

I was so happy to read this. This makes much more sense than the earlier statement.

Former hostage Jill Carroll strongly disavowed statements she had made during captivity in Iraq and shortly after her release, saying Saturday she had been repeatedly threatened.

In a video, recorded before she was freed and posted by her captors on an Islamist Web site, Carroll spoke out against the U.S. military presence. But Carroll said the recording was made under threat. Her editor has said three men were pointing guns at her at the time.

“During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me I would be released if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. So I agreed,” she said in a statement read by her editor in Boston.

“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.”

Carroll arrived in Germany on Saturday on a U.S. military transport plane on her way back to the United States. The Islamic headscarf she wore as a hostage was gone, and she instead wore jeans and a camouflage.

The 28-year-old journalist - a freelancer for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor - was seized Jan. 7 in western Baghdad by gunmen who killed her Iraqi translator. She was dropped off Thursdayat an office of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni Arab organization, and later escorted by the U.S. military to the Green Zone, the fortified compound in Baghdad protecting the U.S. embassy and other facilities.

In the statement, Carroll also disavowed an interview she gave to the party shortly after her release. She said the party had promised her the interview would not be aired “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,” she said. “Also, at least two false statements about me have been widely aired: That I refused to travel and cooperate with the U.S. military and that I refused to discuss my captivity with U.S. officials. Again, neither is true.”

Here is Carroll’s complete statement.

Update: Allah Pundit, blogging at Michelle Malkin’s, has a roundup including links to Rick Moran and others reprimanding bloggers who were too quick to attack Carroll for the earlier statements she made. I agree that some were entirely too rough on Carroll. I would even describe a few as downrighr vicious in their attacks on Carroll.

Rick is probably right that many bloggers are now in attack mode, trying to find the next journalist to take down. I wonder though if coming on the heels of the story of the peace activists who neglected to thank the U.S. military for their rescue, the Carroll interview just looked like more of the same. I know that was in the back of my mind when I saw the interview. I was torn between wondering if she had been brainwashed or if she was one of those peace activists who couldn’t acknowledge the evil actions of terrorists or the good works done by the U.S. military. I am incredibly relieved to see that it was neither.

I watched quite a few television news reports of the Carroll release and in all those I watched, it was either stated or implied that the interview aired was made after her release, and there was absolutely no statement by any of the anchors introducing the piece to indicate there was any suspicion that it was made under duress. Now I am wondering why the initial interview was reported as it was. Were all the journalists duped by the propaganda piece? I remember wondering why none of the mainstream media outlets I saw that ran the video of the Carroll interview made any comment after airing it about how the statement that she was not threatened was quite odd considering her interpreter was murdered during her capture and that if she was not threatened then why would she remain a hostage for 12 weeks. Well, now we know why Carroll said what she did. I wonder if we will ever know why so many in the media failed to ask those very obvious questions.

Update II: MacRanger says that those criticizing bloggers who jumped too quickly to condemn Carroll should not be too quick to accept her latest statement at face value.

As Great White said, Once bitten, twice shy. Her statement is - well - good, except for one little tidbit.

According to ranking contact in Landstuhl today, the last part of her statement is simply not true. She did resist. They reason those facts were “widely reported” is that they came from the sources who knew.

So let’s hold the apologies and the floggings for now eh? There is more to come.

Just to repeat……""Voice: Do you have a message for Mr. Bush?

Carroll: (Laughs)Yeah, he needs to stop this war. He knows this war is wrong. He knows that it was illegal from the very beginning. Heknows that it was built on a mountain of lies and I think he needs to finally admit that to the American people and make the troops go home and he doesn’t care about his own people.”

Comment from a senior AI reviewing the tape “Are those the words a terrorist would write out?…., and that little laugh - doesn’t sound a bit duressed to me….sounds a bit “sincere".

Update 4/2: More from Don Surber and Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Update 4/3: Rick Moran follows up here and asks what the blogosphere will look like in ten years.

-- Lorie Byrd