Monday, April 03, 2006

I hope I am wrong, but something seems fishy here

Reporter Freed in Iraq, 3 Months After Abduction - New York Times

UPDATE; Ms. Carroll has returned to the US and has disavowed the statements that were troubling me. She has said that her captors were threatening here at gunpoint

Jill Carroll was released from captivity in Iraq the other day, and that is a good thing, but am I the only one who thinks the entire episode doesn't feel quite right. My doubts started after the first deadline passed and she wasn't killed. They intensified as I learned a little about her background in Iraq, from what I saw she was not an objective reporter, but an anti-war advocate, and they finally gelled with her release. Specifically it is descriptions of her release like this that make me wonder:

"good health and good spirits."

"I was treated very well; it's important people know that," Ms. Carroll said in an interview with an Iraqi, conducted in the Sunni party's offices and shown on television later in the day. "They never threatened me in any way."
(Other than threatening to cut her head off I guess she means)

The shadowy and little-known group that released Ms. Carroll said it had freed her because the American government had agreed to some of its conditions.

In a news conference here, Mr. Khalilzad said no American officials in Iraq "entered into any arrangements with anyone" to secure Ms. Carroll's release. Four other Iraqi women were still being held in American detention centers, American officials said. Editors at The Christian Science Monitor, the newspaper that was employing Ms. Carroll at the time of her abduction, also said they had conducted no negotiations with her kidnappers.

Ms. Carroll, apparently knowing she would be released, denounced what she described as the "lies" told by the American government and predicted that the insurgents would defeat the Americans in Iraq. "I feel guilty. I also feel that it just shows that the mujahedeen are good people fighting an honorable fight, a good fight. While the Americans are here, the occupying forces, you know, treating the people in a very, very bad way. So I can't be happy totally for my freedom because there are people still suffering in prisons, in very difficult situations."

The Christian Science Monitor reported today that Ms. Carroll had been told that the video would be used by the Islamic Party for internal purposes only. (so that makes it OK I guess)

He went on: "She said, 'I promised the kidnappers not to speak.' She was a little bit frightened. She was very careful. She didn't give much information."

To be fair there is evidence on the other side too, such as the fact that her bodyguard / driver was killed, and the possibility of the development of Stockholm syndrome, but the items above cause me concern. I hope I am wrong.

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