Thursday, March 30, 2006

In the Arms of Freedom

Jill Carroll, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor who has been held hostage in Iraq since January 7, has been found alive. This is great news, and one has to wonder how her release came about.

She says that she was treated well.
"I was treated well, but I don't know why I was kidnapped," Carroll said in a brief interview on Baghdad television.

Even though the group threatened twice in videotapes to kill her, Carroll said, "They never hit me. They never said they would hit me."

During the interview, Carroll wore a light green Islamic headscarf and a gray Arabic robe.

"I'm just happy to be free. I want to be with my family," she was heard to say under the Arabic voiceover.

Carroll said she was kept in a room with a window and a shower, but she did not know where she was. Asked about the circumstances of her release, she said, "They just came to me and said we're going. They didn't tell me what was going on."
According to the NYT report, she said:
Asked what message she wanted to send to the United States, she said firmly, "I was treated very well, it's important for people to know that.
The same can't be said of her translator who was killed when she was taken hostage in an ambush.

Her kidnappers apparently turned over to the Iraqi Islamic Party, who then turned her over to US authorities who took her into the Green Zone for debriefing.

This post will be updated as information becomes available.

Haakon B. Dahl wonders whether Carroll was complicit in her own kidnapping. It's not entirely unheard of, but we but we need to wait to see before all the facts are in before passing judgment. As we know, Carroll's translator, Allan Enwiyah, 32, was shot dead and his body abandoned nearby by the kidnappers during the abduction, was killed when she was kidnapped in the ambush.

Others blogging: Firedoglake and Think Progress go off on John Podhoretz's take on Carroll's mental state, Hyscience, The Donovan wonders whether last week's raid that rescued the trio of CPTers had anything to do with Carroll's release today, Captain Ed, Ann Althouse is more circumspect about Carroll's early statements and that she may have made those comments because of where she was when being interviewed, and Riehl World View also delves into Carroll's comments.

It goes without saying that Rusty at the Jawa Report has tremendous coverage of Carroll's release including commentary, analysis, quotes, and discussion.

The US military had nothing to do with Carroll's release:
The U.S. military was not involved in the release of American journalist Jill Carroll, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Thursday.

Whitman said it is also not yet clear whether the military will play any role in her transportation out of Iraq.

He added, however that there are still five female detainees being held in detention facilities in Iraq. Earlier in Carroll's nearly three-month kidnapping, her captors, a previously unknown group calling itself the Revenge Brigades, publicly demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq. A short time later five female detainees were released.
The CSM has ongoing coverage of Carroll's release.

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