Fact Check

Jill Carroll Statements

E-mail claims released captive Jill Carroll will make anti-military, pro-Iraq statements.

Published April 6, 2006


Claim:   E-mail claims released captive Jill Carroll will make anti-military, pro-Iraq statements.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2006]

I just heard from a good friend of mine who attended the University of Massachusetts when Jill Carroll was a journalism student there and a reporter on the school newspaper. Since UMASS is not Ohio State, he not only personally knew her there, but read her articles, and what he has to say is incredibly unsettling if you have seen her on TV the past few days since her release. To suggest she is about to be used by all of
liberalism and the leftist media to hurt the USA and portray further abandonment of our troops "to the troops" is suggested in his note to me, which I have paraphrased to keep his identity confidential. I know this guy well and he is a super straight shooter, and his knowledge is firsthand. Read on:

"I have some inside information that I ask you circulate so that everyone is not blindsided by what seems likely to happen once the leftists begin to use the Jill Carroll release by the terrorists in Iraq. I was amused to see America's media this morning debating whether Jill Carroll is suffering from the "Stockholm Syndrome" as a result of her captivity in Iraq. In case you and your colleagues find yourselves somehow being drawn into this debate, which I expect will only grow in the next couple of days once she starts giving major media interviews, I wanted to give you a bit of background on Jill. I actually know Jill quite well from UMass, where she was a reporter for the school newspaper. When Jill makes comments about how her suffering was nothing compared to the Iraqi people and that she is rooting for the insurgents, Jill is NOT suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. She is an extreme liberal [probably more communist/socialist];
she has never been a fan of America [which she used to spell Amerikkka in her articles], she hates the military, and she despises "republikkkans" as she likes to write. I have no doubt that she went to Iraq with a
political agenda and wouldn't be surprised to hear some outrageous things come out of her mouth in the upcoming days. She is an activist way beyond Cindy Sheehan — so watch out. We are in for a whole string of anti-us and anti-military comments. Mark my words, you are going to see her on Larry King talking about how the military is abusing the Iraqi people and how bad the war is, and about how righteous her captors are."

So — to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Please make sure we get this into the hands of as many folks on the side of the USA and the troops as possible, as she is surely going to be used by the media to try to undermine all that is going on in Iraq.

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 January 2006 and held for three months while her captors threatened to kill her if the U.S. did not submit to their demands to release female prisoners in Iraq. (Although Carroll is often now described as a Christian Science Monitor reporter, she was in fact a freelancer when she was abducted, and the Monitor's editor made her a staff reporter during her captivity so that she "would be eligible for full benefits.")

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.

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. 20 to free female prisoners in Iraq and said Carroll would be killed otherwise. On the tape, Carroll is pale and appears tired.

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 al-Dulaimi, appeals for Carroll's release. The deadline set by her captors passes.

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 Al-Jazeera. The tape does not play clear audio but the network reports that Carroll had appealed for authorities to free all women prisoners in Iraq to help in winning her release.

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 Al-Arabiya, saying Jill had good relations with the Iraqi people.

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.

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":

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 Allan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Allan 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

Senator John McCain of Arizona, himself a veteran who was held as a POW for more than five years in Vietnam, expressed support for Ms. Carroll's actions during her ordeal:

Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years, had no criticism for the way Carroll handled the matter.

"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."

A subsequent Christian Science Monitor article disclaimed the notion that Ms. Carroll in any way sympathized with her captors:

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.

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," Capt. Patrick Kerr, a Marine public affairs officer who got to know Carroll last December, when she spent a month with a Marine unit in Western Iraq, said in an e-mail. "I saw her in Husaybah, on the Syrian border, in early December shortly before I returned to the States. Aside from being very personable and down-to-earth, what really struck me was Jill's bravery. She seemed to fit right in with the marines and Iraqi security forces," he wrote in January.

Last updated:   6 April 2006

  Sources Sources:

    Murphy, Dan.   "Jill Carroll Forced to Make Propaganda Video As Price of Freedom."

    The Christian Science Monitor.   31 March 2006.

    Associated Press..   "Timeline of Events Involving Jill Carroll."

    Los Angeles Times.   3 April 2006.

    CNN.com..   "Jill Carroll Reunites with Family."

    2 April 2006.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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