damnum absque injuria

March 31, 2006

Jill Carroll and her Former Hosts Captors

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:50 pm

Oh my God, can you believe the crazy stuff Jill Carroll said on video while still in the custody of the guys who had murdered her translator and publicly threatened to murder her (but not to hit her, which apparently is all that matters)? The nerve of that woman! The world must know immediately what an America-hating traitor she is. After all, we never said all that crazy stuff the last time we got kidnapped by terrorists for three months, so how can she?

Seriously, though, some people need to give this a rest. Jim Geraghty puts it nicely:

My instinct is to lay off for a bit. If she comes out in a few weeks making the same comments and appears to be defending her abductors, then she’ll be fair game for criticism. But for now, I’m willing to chalk up the pre-release tape to duress and the strange comments in the immediate hours and days after her release to stress and trauma.

Allah expresses a similar sentiment. Personally, I think one of the best things about the blogosphere is that information gets out there very quickly, but under some circumstances this can also be one of the worst things about it. For cryin’ out loud, the woman was a hostage for three months. Is it really too much to ask that we reserve judgment for at least as many weeks before deciding whether she is America’s answer to Giuliana Sgrena or a decent woman who said strange things under exigent circumstances?

Blogosphere, stand down.

UPDATE: Carroll has disavowed her remarks, pointing out the obvious-to-everyone-whose-last-name-isn’t-Schlussel fact that hostages sometimes say what their captors want them to say rather than what they really think. Captain Ed, Dafydd ab Hugh and Michael Williams have more.

UPDATE x2: Idiot extraordinaire cum would-be character assassin Debbie Schlussel continues to dig her heels, arguing that she doesn’t owe Jill Carroll an apology since she didn’t really smear her over the propaganda video, she smeared her for other, equally specious crap instead. Nice of her to clear that up.

24 Responses to “Jill Carroll and her Former Hosts Captors”

  1. Allah Says:


    Howard Kurtz says something seems amiss. This is a courageous young woman. I must say, though, that I found her first interview yesterday rather odd. Carroll seemed bent on giving her captors a positive review, going on about how well……

  2. Brad S Says:

    Sorry, XRLQ, but until I see evidence otherwise, Jill Carroll to me is the current incarnation of one Yvonne Ridley. Who managed to not only convert to Islam, but managed to get fired by Al-Jazeera (of all outfits) for being TOO much of a pro-Islamist shill.

  3. Bithead Says:

    This appears to me a fairly clear-cut cast of Stockholm syndrome.

    But it should be noted that to get to that stage, one needs be pliable to such manipulation in the first place.

    Her writing record suggest Jill Caroll was just such an individual.

  4. D-Hoggs Says:

    So are we to ignore all the previous Anti-American statments and writings of Caroll’s for “as many weeks”? I believe that many in the blogosphere are forming there opinions about Carroll not just from what she is saying now but more importantly from what she has said and done in the past. And that is entirely reasonable and fair.

  5. Xrlq Says:

    Brad: She hasn’t been out of captivity long enough for there to be any real evidence of that, one way or the other.

    Bithead: The worst stuff she said was in captivity, and the rest came shortly thereafter while she was still afraid she may be killed. Those statements are not evidence of Stockholm Syndrome, just of “I’d prefer not not to have my throat slit today, thankyouverymuch” syndrome. As to pliability, no one who hasn’t been in a situation like that knows how pliable he/she is/isn’t.

    D-Hoggs: Obviously, anything she wrote before the incident is fair game, if your point is to harp on how stupid/naive/whatever you think she was before she was captured. Me, I’m more interested in what she says after the incident, once she’s had a few weeks to mull things over and get her bearings. If she then starts writing naively pro-Islamicist stuff as though the last three months had never happened, attack her then. But until then, have some class.

  6. D-Hoggs Says:

    First of all there is no need to attack me about having class, I am bringing up a totally legitimate point. The woman has maintained a set of anit-american beliefs for quite a while now and I don’t think that it is off base to assume she is applying her belief system to the incident at hand. It seems you expect there is a chance she will all of a sudden begin to denounce the terrorists once the gravity of the situation sets in, do you also believe she will rescind all her previous writings as well?

  7. Xrlq Says:

    D-Hoggs, I didn’t attack you or any other person in particular for lacking class. The jury’s still out as to what Carroll’s views on Iraq, post-kidnapping, will be once they’ve had time to gel. Maybe she’ll be the next Robert Fisk, or maybe she’ll be the proverbial liberal-who-has-been-mugged cum conservative. Or maybe something more nuanced in between. We simply don’t know at this stage, and it is pointless (not to mention classless) for anyone to act as though we do.

  8. D-Hoggs Says:

    Well, you pointedly said to me “But until then, have some class.” So spin your own words however you like, they speak for themselves. Furthermore, the fact that we don’t know what her views are “post-kidnapping” is not a reason why persons in the blogosphere, or elsewhere for that matter, shouldn’t speculate on her current views in light of her past. She is a public figure, with very public writings about her beliefs. The media, bloggers, human beings, speculate on person’s views every day, as do you, all of these people can change their views at any given time. We do not suspend any conversation due to that fact. Do you? I Believe not.

  9. Xrlq Says:

    Well, you pointedly said to me “But until then, have some class.”

    In response to your suggestion that people should do something that totally lacks class, yes. If you want to construe that as a personal attack on you, that’s your problem, not mine.

    Furthermore, the fact that we don’t know what her views are “post-kidnapping” is not a reason why persons in the blogosphere, or elsewhere for that matter, shouldn’t speculate on her current views in light of her past.

    Speculating is, as a general rule, a dumb idea. Speculating on someone’s current views based on the views they appear to have held before the one incident in their lives most likely to significantly impact their current views is nonsense on stilts.

  10. Dan Kauffman Says:

    Lest We Forget:
    Allan Enwiya

    I heard on the TV the other night Jill Carroll insisting that her captors treated her well, really well.

    “she says her Islamic terrorist captors treated her “very well,” and she talked about the nice shower and bathroom they gave her.”

    Let us not forget that others who were with her that day she was captured

    were not treated so well

  11. Meryl Yourish Says:

    Forget it, Xrlq. They have made up their minds that she’s a terrorist, a terrorist tool, a pro-terrorist, or a jihadi shill.

    Please don’t let any facts get in the way of their need to hate someone for, well, I’m not realy sure why.

  12. Dayna Says:

    All I can say is TAKE THE DAMN BABUSHKA OFF!

    …when she takes the stupid scarf off I might feel better. She’s not a Arab and she’s not Camille Parker Bowles. sheesh

  13. RightWingBob.com - A different kind of Bob Dylan fan site Says:

    […] Addendum 4/1/2006: Expanding on the concept of Jill Carroll deserving a break is this post at Xrlq, where excellent points are made. She may well have still felt in quite immediate danger at the time she gave the interview to the Baghdad News, and she does deserve some decompression time. Here’s to hoping the best for her. […]

  14. paul Says:

    I’ll go on the record saying that someone who attacks a fellow citizenship just released from being held hostage in a war zone for three months, no matter what the reason, is a person who lacks class.

  15. itsme Says:

    D-Hoggs :

    Maybe you could show us exactly which “previous Anti-American statments and writings of Caroll’s” you mean.

    Be specific.

  16. Michael Williams Says:

    X: Thanks for the link :)

    I seriously don’t understand why she doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. People are weird.

  17. irving Says:

    Most of the comments about Jill Carroll are as ignorant and incompetent as the right-wing administration that provided the reason for her to be in Iraq.

  18. Xrlq Says:

    Either that, or they are just as desperate to score cheap political points as you.

  19. Vbos Says:

    I just feel there is something wrong with the whole kidnapping. First, she is a christian and it seems odd to me that she was treated so well. Second, I’m in the military and I have never seen anyone who has been rescued or has escaped acting the way she has. She seems so normal considering what she has experienced, is almost as if it never happened and the people that were kidnapped with her were never mistreated or killed. Time will tell I guess. I don’t really want to criticize too much without enough evidence.

  20. Xrlq Says:

    Vbos, either you have very strange concepts of “normal” and “good” treatment, or you don’t have your basic facts straight. In the brief period since she has been freed, Carroll has made it clear that:

    1. She was coerced at gunpoint (three of ’em, but who’s counting?) to make the propaganda video that idiots like Debbie Schlussel are screaming about (OK, so maybe she didn’t single out that idiot Debbie Schlussel by name, but you get the drift). [UPDATE: Oops, see the second update to this post. Apparently, for a brief moment I mixed up the idiot Debbie Schlussel, who spews her own special brand of unfounded claims about Carroll, with other idiot bloggers, who spew a slightly different brand of unfounded claims about Carroll. Apparently, in Schlussel-Land this means I should be the one apologizing, not her. Whatever.]
    2. She still feared retribution from her (former) captors at the time of her interview with the Islamic Party – the other semi-public statements idiots like Debbie Schlussel are so exercised about.
    3. In fact, she was threatened many times while in captivity – but you already knew that, right?
    4. While in captivity, she was confined to a small, soundproof room with opaque windows.
    5. She abhors her captors, but for kidnapping her and for murdering translator.
    6. She has cooperated fully with the U.S. military since her release.
    7. Her entire period of captivity was “like falling off a cliff for three months, waiting to hit the ground.”

    WTF else is she supposed to say?! That her last name really isn’t Hearst, or that she’s never been to Stockholm?

  21. JimB Says:

    She is said to have graduated from University of Mass and was a writer for the school paper. I’ve read that she was ultra liberal (Akerikka, etc.) This will be interesting to watch. BTW, people that knowlingly place themselves in extreme danger, and by doing so place our soldiers in the same position, lack a certain measure of common sense.

  22. Vbos Says:

    Her behavior after the fact just doesn’t reflect the trauma that she went through, but you are right, she feared retribution and I understand that she had to say what she had to say to stay alive and survive the ordeal,under the same circumnstances many of us might do the same thing.

  23. Billy Says:

    This whole ordeal is wrong from the start. I feel sorry for this woman and all she went through, however it outrages me that other Americans died who were held captive. This woman was set free because she gave them what she wanted. I also believe the Christian Science Monitor paid for her release. That should not have been allowed to happen. They didn’t pay it because they wanted to keep her alive. They wanted it so they could get their name out there and promote their own propaganda. I think someone should look into this and find out if there was a ransom paid. In this investigation if the United States Government knew it was going to be paid then that’s just another example of poor leadership that we have. Americas policy is we do not give in to terrorist.

    I have been reading how everyone says that if they were in the same place they may have done the same thing. I feel sorry for anyone who would say the things Jill Carroll said in order to gain her freedom or keep her life. What should have been in the back of her mind was they are only using me as a pawn. I would rather stand up against them kicking and screaming about how they have no honor and that they are nothing more than the scum of the earth.

    Many of you will say this was a peaceful resolution. Think again. This was meerly a ploy to gain trust so that they continue their operation and plans to hit us again.

    Jill Carroll will have to live with what she has done for as long as she lives now. I’m sure she will have many to tell her she done the right thing. In my eyes and I sure others she is seen as a trader. She felt that her life was more important than her own ideals and beliefs as well as the ideals and beliefs of all the others who have given their life to promote freedom and democracy.

  24. Xrlq Says:

    I feel sorry for anyone who would say the things Jill Carroll said in order to gain her freedom or keep her life.

    And I feel contempt for anyone who, without themselves having been in any such situation, self-righteously claims he would do otherwise. Jill Carroll has nothing to apologize for. You do.

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