Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: E-mail claims released captive Jill Carroll will make anti-military, pro-Iraq statements.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
Origins: This item is difficult to classify because its gist is a supposition about what someone will do in the future, and there is no way (without having a functioning crystal ball) to definitively predict what someone might do. Accordingly, we'll present an outline of what we know has happened so far.
Jill Carroll is a freelance reporter who was abducted in Baghdad, Iraq, in
The Associated Press compiled the following timeline of events between Carroll's abduction and release:
1999: Carroll receives a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.Upon her release, Ms. Carroll issued a statement proclaiming that some things she said during her captivity were not "an accurate reflection of [her] personal views," she said them only because her life was threatened, and she abhorred "all who kidnap and murder civilians":
2002: Carroll moves to Jordan six months before the Iraq war starts in March 2003. She was laid off as a reporting assistant for The Wall Street Journal before heading overseas.
Jan. 7, 2006: Carroll is kidnapped from one of Baghdad's most dangerous Sunni Arab neighborhoods. Her translator is shot dead by her captors.
Jan. 17: Al-Jazeera TV airs a silent 20-second video of Carroll. An accompanying message gave the United States until
Jan. 19: Carroll's mother appeals for her daughter's release hours before her captors' deadline to kill her.
Jan. 20: The Sunni Arab politician Carroll had traveled to interview when she was abducted, Adnan
Jan. 26: The U.S. military says it will release five Iraqi women detainees, but U.S. officials say it has nothing to do with the captors' demand. Several other Iraqi women remain jailed.
Jan. 30: Weeping and wearing an Islamic veil, Carroll again appears on a video aired by
Feb. 9: Carroll appears in a video dated Feb. 2 aired on a private Kuwaiti TV channel. Speaking in a strong voice, Carroll says: "I am here. I am fine. Please just do whatever they want, give them whatever they want as quickly as possible."
March 29: Carroll's twin sister, Katie, appeals for her release in comments broadcast on
March 30: Jill Carroll is freed. Monitor editor David Cook says she spoken to her father and is fine.
April 2: Carroll returns to the United States aboard a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Boston's Logan International Airport.
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.Senator John McCain of Arizona, himself a veteran who was held as a POW for more than five years in Vietnam, expressed support for
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 Allan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Allan of his life and devastated his family. They put me, my family and my friends
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
Now, I ask for the time to heal. This has been a taxing
Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years, had no criticism for the way Carroll handled the matter.A subsequent Christian Science Monitor article disclaimed the notion that
"This was a young woman who found herself in a terrible, terrible position, and we are glad she's home," the Arizona Republican said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"We understand, when you're held a captive in that kind of situation, that you do things under duress," McCain said.
"I would not take them seriously, I would not, any more than we took seriously other tapes and things that were done in other prison situations, including the Vietnam war."
Jill Carroll will undoubtedly speak for herself once she's had time to recover from her ordeal and spend time with her family. But her friends and colleagues say she made it clear that she's no friend to those who kidnap or harm civilians.Last updated: 6 April 2006
Those who encountered Carroll in a professional context repeatedly praised her fairness and compassion, as demonstrated by some of the thousands of letters the Monitor has received in her support.
"Her professionalism and objectivity were unparalleled within the media community,"
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