Saturday, April 01, 2006

Now they want to swiftboat hostages who get released?

Jill Carroll (seen here in a frame from a video recorded in February, while she was still a hostage) was released Friday, after 82 days in captivity by an Islamic fundamentalist group in Iraq.

Carroll, an unembedded reporter with the Christian Science Monitor, on assignment in Iraq, was kidnapped on Jan 7, 2006, and her interpreter, Allan Enwiya was murdered. Since that time she had been held captive, had all parts of her life and circumstances controlled by her kidnappers.

Before her release there were some video footage made, where she made statements lambasting the US and its forces, and praising the insurgency in Iraq.

Every time I saw some new footage of Carroll I didn't really believe that she was still alive, but that earlier footage had been shot, and was just now being released for broadcast.

Now she really *has* been released, and there are some who call themselves "conservatives" (not all, some, but a large and vocal number of "some") who are crucifying her for making those statements at all.

Unlike her, they have not been subject to being kidnapped, seeing someone you work with every day murdered because of their association with you, and told that your life hinges on your total cooperation with those who have kidnapped you.

And she knew that reporters have been killed by their kidnappers in the past. One of whom, Daniel Pearl, was working for the Monitor when he was kidnapped and murdered in 2002. So the possibility of her own murder was a prospect that had a demonstrated precedent.

Yet there are "voices" on the Right who can't even wait for the videotape replay to stop winding down before they are lighting into her and treating her as a traitor, or willing collaborator or coward.

Part of the subtext on this is that those "voices" on the right don't want to admit that statements made under duress might be less than truthful, and are simply reiterations of what a captor might want them to say. For, to admit that statements made under duress were inherently unreliable, they might have to admit that statements made under "strenuous interrogation" of suspected "enemy combatants" would be suspect. And that would mean that their Crawford demighod was in favor of a course of action that was not entirely reliable. And we cannot have that.

The Moderate Voice's Joe Gandleman has a roundup of some of these "voices," including some on the conservative side who are *not* of the opinion that Carroll is a traitor, but someone who was just trying to stay alive. But the other rhetoric that being broadcast is jaw-dropping in its poison. I suspect that this is a subject where Joe may be working overtime to stay as even-handed as he can, because of his background of being a U.S. journalist on assignment abroad. Crooks and Liars is not being so generous.

The Christian Science Monitor has a story about Carroll's renunciation of the recordings, but I doubt that it will do anything to moderate those who want to vilify her.

The Monitor thinks that these events are important enough that they are allowing the general public to download the entire contents of the March 31 edition of the paper, as a PDF file. See this page for the download.

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