March 31, 2006


Insurgents Justify Release of Jill Carroll in Web Tape (ABC News, March 30, 2006)

ABC News has found a video on an insurgent Web site showing U.S. reporter Jill Carroll before she was released by her captors in Iraq. The circumstances surrounding the video are unclear and it is equally unclear whether Carroll was under duress during the taping.

The tape appears to have been made earlier today, before Carroll's captors released her, but the time of the taping has not yet been confirmed by ABC News. [...]

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. He knows 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.

He doesn't care about the people here in Iraq, he needs to wake up and the people of America need to wake up and tell that what he's done here is wrong and so hopefully this time he can get the message that this war was wrong and the continuing occupation is wrong adn he could change his policies. He's dangerous for Iraq. He's dangerous for America. He needs to accept that and admit that to people.

Voice: Do you think the Mujahedeen will win against the American Army?

Carroll: Oh definitely. Things are very clear to see even now they're already winning. Everyday there are soldiers killed. Everyday humvees are blown up. Helicopters are shot down from the skies. Everyday, it's very clear that the Mujahedeen have the skills and the ability and the desire and the good reasons to fight that'll make them ensure that they will win.

Voice: What do you feel now that the Mujahedeen are giving you your freedom while there are still women in Abu Ghraib living in very bad (unclear)?

Carroll: Well, I feel guilty honestly. I've been here, treated very well, like a guest. I've been given good food, never, never hurt while those women are in Abu Ghraib. Terrible things are happening to them with the American soldiers are torturing them and other things I don't want, I can't even say, so I feel guilty and I also feels it shows the difference between the Mujahedeen and Americans, the Mujahedeen are merciful and kind that's why I'm free and alive. The American army they aren't [...not clear...] I feel guilty and I also feel that it just shows that Mujahedeen are good people, fighting an honorable fight, a good fight while the Americans are here as an occupying force treating the people in a very, very bad way so I can't be happy totally for my freedom, there are people still suffering in prisons and very difficult situations.

It's easy enough to believe she was subjected to coercion in the making of the tape, but hard to square with her statements that she was surprised to be released and was treated well, no?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 31, 2006 2:53 PM

Chumming for trolls again?

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 31, 2006 4:11 PM


The funny thing is that by the end of next week everyone will be questioning her story.

Posted by: oj at March 31, 2006 4:14 PM

From the Miers screechers to the Dubai ports xenophobes to the St. Jill defenders to many other cases, it's become obvious that when there's a massive, hysterical reaction within hours of an event, it's right to suspect that a lot of followers are doing the bidding of those people who do their thinking for them. It's a 21st Century equivalent to the Arab street mobs or good ol' fashion US lynching, and about as reasonable in its reactions and participants behavior.

And, at least in this excerpt, she does manage to hit all the Left-Islamist talking points (Abu Ghrab indeed), doesn't she?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 31, 2006 5:03 PM


The funny thing is no matter what actually happens, you won't feel like you may have been wrong or you should apologize.

Posted by: Bill at March 31, 2006 5:48 PM

I'm willing to cut her some slack for her statements so far. She was still in the custody of a Sunni political party with ties to her kidnappers when she made her latest statements.

I, for one, will wait and see what she says once she's had a day or two to calm down and get her thoughts gathered.

Posted by: BrianOfAtlanta at March 31, 2006 6:30 PM

I smell a rat.

Posted by: AllenS at March 31, 2006 6:46 PM

Why is this surprising to anyone? She went to UMass Amherst for goodness sake! I expect she offered to copyedit the statement and to give suggestions to her captors.

Like the terrorists, she is a product of her environment.

Posted by: Ed Bush at March 31, 2006 7:24 PM

Orrin's just waiting for the appropriate moment, Bill.

Posted by: joe shropshire at March 31, 2006 7:29 PM

Like I implied yesterday, she's the Rachel Corrie of Iraq. Who was just a bit luckier. Or perhaps better aware of her surroundings.

Posted by: ratbert at March 31, 2006 7:50 PM

Carroll's sin seems to be giving a [hoo]t for what the right doesn't give a [hoo]t about: the wellbeing of the Iraqi people.

[Editor's note: Rick, if you're going to spend a week raving hysterically about Scalia's hand gesture, how about not using profanity yourself?]

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at March 31, 2006 8:13 PM

"the wellbeing of the Iraqi people."

Someone needs to empty out the Memory Hole more often, because it's full and overflowing with stuff like this. And coming from someone who has had no problem with Saddam being in power, and supported efforts to keep him there, this is especially hilarous.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 31, 2006 8:40 PM

You speak of Donald Rumsfeld? Ronald Reagan?

Who made efforts "to keep him there," and how did I support them? There's a picture of Rumsfeld getting chummy with the old man. Is there one of me I don't know about?

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at March 31, 2006 8:46 PM

Wellbeing. Interesting word. Rick, do you think Carroll's wellbeing was harmed or enhanced by her captivity? Why or why not?

Posted by: joe shropshire at March 31, 2006 8:54 PM

What a question. My guess is that even the noble Orrin Judd might speak differerntly by having machine guns pointed at his head every day. I'd love to see one of you punks with the courage to wander Baghdad trying to figure out what is going on in Iraq.

I quote my friend Digby: "Jill Carroll has more testosterone in her little finger than all these bedwetters put together."

She's talking about you guys.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at March 31, 2006 9:06 PM


So you think she's lying about how well she was treated?

Posted by: oj at March 31, 2006 11:18 PM


Like Peter Arnett, no?

Posted by: ratbert at March 31, 2006 11:18 PM

If someone murdered your guide, kidnapped you, held you for months, and forced you to denounce your own country and servicemen and praise terrorists, would you say that you had been well-treated--while wearing the garb of your captors?

I smell Team Spirit.

Posted by: Henry Cabot Lodge at March 31, 2006 11:46 PM

The fact that her interpeter was killed in the process of the kidnapping means we will see some decent questions asked of Ms. Carroll, since as Kurtz's article today shows, you can't just brush off the apparent contradictions between what she's said in the past two days and what happened when she was abducted (much the same as the murder of the Hibernia Bank customer made the Patty Hearst-SLA kidnapping more than just a cute little rich girl goes slumming with terrorist wanna-bes story in 1975).

Posted by: John at March 31, 2006 11:52 PM

What a question

Pretty straightforward question: do you think her captivity was good for her, or not? After all, there wasn't a mark on her, she wasn't harmed physically. If that's all that constitutes well being then say so. That's the most we can obtain by abandoning Iraq now: the hope that at some point the violence will recede to a Saddam-level steady trickle and that most people will get through life without a mark on them. And if not, why not? Maybe it's not so good to leave anyone, even Orrin, or even you, in the hands of people who are pointing machine guns at your head for the purpose of gaining dominion over your soul.(By the way, I hope they didn't succeed with her, but the first transcript at least looks like a rousing success for whoever her handler was. I'm not sure what else you could do except release her at that point.) And if we believe it's not good for one person to be left in the hands of such people for three months, is it maybe not good for a whole country to be left in their hands forever? Might we not hope for some souls to escape the interrogator's art, and might that hope not qualify as concern for the well being of those involved? Then again I'm just a bed-wetter so feel free to ignore me.

Posted by: joe shropshire at April 1, 2006 2:17 AM

We have seen this before. Susanne Osthoff:

Florence Aubenas:

No one said the terrorists were stupid. They know a tool when they see one.

Posted by: wf at April 1, 2006 5:15 AM

So lovely that Rick brings out the Reagan years without any context. There's truly nothing he has to say that isn't a knee-jerk response - America supports Saddam - Bad! America removes Saddam - Bad! Bad America, bad!

Truly, Rick, you need to grow up.

Posted by: Mikey at April 1, 2006 8:42 AM

Mr. Perlstein -

Could she have gone to Baghdad to fulfill the ambition of hurting the US? Just maybe?

After all, that is why many of the pre-war peacekeepers were there, no?

Remember Walter Duranty, Lincoln Steffens, Lillian Hellman, Philip Agee, and even Dan Rather, whose infamous report on Vietnam vets interviewed and highlighted dozens of men who never set foot there?

Would you say these 'journalists' were slack, foolish, just plain stupid, or driven by some measure of anti? Why should Jill Carroll be any different?

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 1, 2006 9:02 AM


I'm not sure it's necessary to apologize for saying her story is dubious and there was any chance she was going to be killed. But if she can explain what she was doing I'll gladly acknowledge I was wrong to be suspicious. And I join in being glad she's safe.

Posted by: oj at April 1, 2006 9:03 AM

there are some new statements coming out, now that she is out of iraq, where she recants her earlier statements. i read where she is not anti-bush, is not anti-war, hates her kidnappers, etc. cbs, nbc, abc won't let this new version come out but maybe fox will.

Posted by: toe at April 1, 2006 6:32 PM

I'm still astonished that in George W. Bush's Amerikkka a brave renegade like Mr. Perlstein has managed to avoid capture.

I mean, with the NSA listening to all and sundry WITHOUT WARRANTS!!! I figured they would've thrown you into the gulag by now.

You go Rick. Speak. Truth. To. Power.

And bravo sir for the Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam quip. You know, I've never heard that one before. You're so . . . original.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 2, 2006 1:36 AM


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» Kidnapped American Reporter Jill Carroll Freed from Political News and Blog Aggregator
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