Jill Carroll Repudiates Statements Made Under Duress

There has been a media frenzy, and blogswarm on the statements of former hostage Jill Carroll. Today she has repudiated much that was attributed to her. As always, read the whole thing, which includes the editor’s statement. Following is Ms. Carroll’s statement,

I’m so happy to be free and am looking forward to spending a lot of time with my family. I want to express my deep appreciation to all the people who worked so long and hard for my release. I am humbled by the sympathy and support expressed by so many people during my kidnapping.

In the past few days, the US military and officials have been extremely generous, and I am grateful for their help. Throughout this ordeal, many US agencies have committed themselves to bringing me safely home.

My colleagues at The Christian Science Monitor have worked ceaselessly to secure my release, and worked with security consultants to do so. Many other news organizations, both inside and outside of Iraq, as well as many officials from Iraq and other countries, worked hard to bring about my freedom.

So many people around the world spoke out on my behalf.

Thank you, all of you.

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.

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 Alan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Alan 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.

Above is her complete statement. Judge for yourself what this means.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Media, , , , ,
Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Comments

  1. Hal says:

    Well, at least she didn’t plagerize.

  2. Moe Lane says:

    And that last comment sums up the blogosphere in a nutshell. Impressive, in its way.

  3. Bithead says:

    All very nice, I’m sure, but that still leaves open the question of why you told everybody that you were treated well. given the rather blatant contradiction between this statement and that, the public can hardly be blamed for wandering just what the real story is.

    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.

    It seems a reasonable request. But as I recall, you’re a member of the press. A press who has, alas all too often been guilty of not providing families in such a situation with privacy. One would hope with your new understanding of the need for privacy under such conditions, that you will encourage your fellows at the paragraph factory to lay off of like people during such situations the future.

    There was nothing in what we saw before this statement was released that gave us any indication that this was not simply another apologist for the terrorists, or at best someone who was under the Stockholm like influence of her captors. (I drew , personally, the latter conclusion, which was perhaps, the more kind of the two to draw. )

    It’s possible that my judgments of Caroll have been a little harsh. She is certainly in a business that has been quite deserving of harsh judgments. Yet, the conclusions drawn, were completely logical and given the history of the press completely justifiable, and credible. Her statements here certainly douse a lot of the flames that were set by her initial statements upon release. However there will have to be some time and some further action before they are completely credible, I fear.

    This is not due to any action on Jill Carroll’s part. Rather, it is due to actions on the part of those in the business she inhabits. I’m sorry to say, that it’s a sad fact that she has a bit of a reputation to overcome. A reputation, possibly, she’s not directly responsible for.

  4. Jim Henley says:

    It�s possible that my judgments of Bithead have been a little harsh. He is certainly in a hobby, warblog fandom, that has been quite deserving of harsh judgments. Yet, the conclusions drawn, were completely logical and given the history of warblogs completely justifiable, and credible. His statement here certainly douses a lot of the flames that were set by his initial statements upon Carroll’s release. However there will have to be some time and some further action before they are completely credible, I fear.

    This is not due to any action on Bithead�s part. Rather, it is due to actions on the part of those in the hobby he inhabits. I�m sorry to say, that it�s a sad fact that he has a bit of a reputation to overcome. A reputation, possibly, he�s not directly responsible for.

  5. joy says:

    I think the terrorists succeeded in a reaching one important goal: making the Bitheads of the USA doubt *all* of Jill Carroll’s post-release statements.

    Propaganda only works if the propagandist believe what he/she is saying. Any statement Jill Carroll uttered before she was in US Military custody should be treated as suspect because she was in an unsafe situation.

  6. Herb says:

    I still don’t think this was a true kidnapping. This gal has changed her story just to many times. I wonder why she did not go through a military de briefing before she made any TV appearances.

    One thing for sure is that she is or will be worth a lot of money from her latest story.

    I now wonder if the money is the reason for her story change.

    I have thought it was a put up kidnapping from the get go.

  7. Brian says:

    Admittedly, certain things about the kidnapping are a bit odd. If it turns out to be a hoax, then go ahead and rip her to shreds. But until there is proof of this, don’t we owe her the benefit of the doubt?

  8. Herb says:

    Brian:

    I don’t think so. I will give the same “benefit of doubt” that a reporter would give anyone, and that is zero. I think she now has to prove her story to everyone, now that she has changed her story.

  9. Timmer says:

    I’m willing to take her at her word.

    As for the folks bashing this gal, I have no time for folks who are brave in the face of no adversity.

  10. Patrick McGuire says:

    I don’t know what to make of all this, I just can’t seem to sort out all the facets of the story. I guess I will just wait for the movie to come out, it might make more sense then.