March 30, 2006

"I was never hurt, ever hit... I was kept in a safe place and treated very well."

Says Jill Carroll, complimenting her kidnappers, after her release.

ADDED: Let me be clear that I'm not slamming Carroll. She was giving an interview at the headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Baghdad, shortly after her release. She's right to be ultra careful, and she lived through the ordeal, unlike others, so I'd assume she has good sense about how to act.

33 comments:

Leland said...

I want to believe "Stockholm Syndrome", but witnessing it such as this is very hard to stomach.

Ann Althouse said...

She survived. Take a lesson from that, in case you ever find yourself in that situation. It may take a little time to wind down from a mental state that protected her.

Dave said...

Ann, is she really complimenting her captors, or rather expressing relief that they treated her well?

There seems to be a difference between "my kidnappers were really nice and they fed me and kept me sheltered" and "they treated me well."

One seems to empathize with the captors and the other seems to be a statement of fact.

me said...

Is she out of Iraq yet? She's probably afraid to tell the real story until she's on a plane back to the States. Maybe she promised her kidnappers she'd say or do certain things if they let her go. Who knows, I am just very happy she's alive!

chezDiva said...

According to Wikipedia: "Kuwaiti television reported February 10 that the kidnappers had communicated to them a deadline set for February 26 for their demands to be met, or Carroll would be killed."

I am sure she lived each day in terror and she probably did develop a survival coping mechanism due to that constant threat.

Time will tell if she empathizes with her captors or if she is speaking through her coping mechanism or out of fear.

Tibore said...

"I was kept in a safe place and treated very well."

Well... my first response was to write, "yeah, except where they THREATENED TO KILL HER!!!". But then, what happened to one of my relatives -- a distant cousin of my mother -- in the Philippines came to mind. This relative was kidnapped by what we believe were the Muslim (as opposed to the communist) rebels around a decade or so ago, and he said the same thing: That he was treated rather well, all things considered. He joked that it was sort of a vacation where all he did was watch TV and play cards with his captors. But I knew the context of his story was that 1. He was amazed that such heartless folks could appear so banal and actually be non-abusive, and 2. If anyone even hinted that maybe those folks weren't so bad, he'd thoroughly explain that he knew they'd kill him in an instant without regret if he tried to escape, or if the family didn't even bother to try to negotiate the ransom and would just flat-out refuse to pay. His point in saying that was that yes, he wasn't treated badly at all, but that we shouldn't read too much into the kindness -- which, in reality was just a lack of abuse -- because it was really just a waiting period for them, and that he was really just a pawn, an object on which they didn't have to expend energy being abusive.

My point is this: Let's see what context Ms. Carroll provides later. Right now, it's too early to see whether she's truly sympathetic to her kidnappers, or simply expressing the same surprise that my mom's cousin did. It's possible that she's -- to coin a phrase -- completely been Stockholmed. Or, it's possible that she'll go in the completely opposite direction and say, 'wait a minute, I only said I was treated well. I'm not apologizing for them'.

Ann Althouse said...

I think Carroll was still in Baghdad when she made the statement. I'm sure I'd have said the same thing too. Wait 'til you're firmly back home before saying what you really think.

cboygan said...

Jill Carroll was working for the Christian Science Monitor at the time of her abduction. I would encourage people to go to the Christian Science Monitor website to read the Statement from the Christian Science Board of Directors on how to assess her release.

Troy said...

She needs time to decompress. Anything she says about her captors can probably be taken with a grain of salt for awhile -- until she sorts it out herself. Any debriefing will help and I'm sure the gov't or the CSM has gotten (or will get)her some critical incident counseling.

Goatwhacker said...

(from the article)In a video aired Jan. 17 on the Al-Jazeera satellite network, Carroll's captors threatened to kill her in 72 hours unless all female prisoners in American detention facilities in Iraq were released. She was shown crying and clad in a black headscarf in a second video aired without sound on Jan. 30 by a group calling itself the Vengeance Brigade.

I would say kipnapping someone, threatening to kill them, and making them cry on a video is by definition not treating them well. Everyone seems inclined to give her a break right now which I'd guess is reasonable. What I am afraid of is that people (not necessarily on this blog)are also giving the kidnappers a break based on her comments, something that is clearly not reasonable.

Goesh said...

Well, she has clean looking teeth so we can assume she wasn't made to grovel too much in the dirt at the feet of her captors. Dumbness aside, we can't relate to the ordeal, we simply can't. Perhaps having to live with a vicious mother-in-law comes close, I don't know, or boot camp. I was in boot camp and very intimidated by the DIs, but it's still small potatos compared to her ordeal.

Aspasia M. said...

She's a young woman with family back home.

She's most likely trying to tell people that she wasn't physically abused. I'm sure she knows that her family must be frantic over her saftey and what could have happened while she was kidnapped.

PatCA said...

It's true this is probably more fear than belief. She was also dressed more conservatively that when she appeared on her tapes begging for rescue.

What's interesting is that the news presents a rescued kidnapee without context, again implying that these kidnappers are good folks. The one Aussie who spoke out against them and thanked the US was villified in the press.

Merv said...

Let's see, they dressed her in funny clothes, threatened to kill her, and made her cry on video. Wouldn't that be described as torture if it took place at Abu Ghraid.

Goesh said...

-good point, Merv

Leland said...

I understand she survived. I also fully respect that she's probably afraid to say anything negative. After all, they got to her once, and so the mindset is they could do it again.

However, it is still a very tough thing to read. I almost wrote a bunch of very harsh comments and then tempered them to my comment above because I realized... she did survive, and now (when I would prefer to be left alone or with my family) she is having to answer to the press (I don't have as much pity as she is a journalist herself).

Maxine Weiss said...

P-A-T-T-Y H-E-A-R-S-T

Peace, Maxine

Blue said...

Let's not forget about Allan Enwiyah, Jill's translator, who was murdered when Jill was kidnapped.

me said...

Let's give the woman a break until she gets back home. Its premature to be talking about Stockholm Syndrome and Patty Hearst. Did people expect her to come out all arms firing against her kidnappers, on Islamic TV, while she's still in Baghdad, after she's spent 3 months trying to stay alive, probably telling them anything they want to hear so they didn't rape and murder her? Maybe they told her unless she said nice things about them on the air after they dropped her at an Islamic TV station they would come back and kill her.

The Exalted said...

for heaven's sake

its crystal clear to me she wants to make it known to everyone who is worried about her that, apart from captivity, she was not maltreated, e.g., physically abused.

this statement is meant for her loved ones.

all this stockholm syndrom nitpicking of her statement is absurd.

Leland said...

Ann,

I'm sorry. I take Stockholm Syndrome seriously. That length captivity causes some to work out means of survival. I also take seriously that her instincts for survival may still be at their peak. She certainly hasn't had much time to lower her guard.

I wrote what I did, because it is indeed hard to accept such a comment. My initial thought was exactly what "blue" wrote. Then I stopped and considered that to her, that event was long ago. She's had much personal suffering since then.

I feel bad that others are upset with the person. I don't like her statement but I think her ordeal deserves consideration.

akashawn said...

To me , " treated well" is shorthand for " I wasn't beaten, starved, or raped".
This is obvious to me and I'm amazed & saddened that people would reach for the snarky " Stock Syndrome" talk at this stage...

You lot should be ashamed of yourself :-(

Would you PREFER that they had raped her....

I kinda wish that maybe YOU lot were kidnaped!!

Elizabeth said...

As usual, the filth that populate Little Green Footballs wish her well and are glad she's alive. This is typical of the comments section, and no different than the bloggers' attitude:

"She's probably coming home with a suitcase full of cash (her kickback) and a dose of the clap."

There's really nothing so awful that could happen to any of those people at that blog that I wouldn't celebrate with champagne. What despicable, hateful, slimy creeps.

Grandma_Jo said...

You know until Miss Manners writes a book about excruciatingly correct behavior for hostages that are lucky enough to be returned alive and with all their parts, I guess we'll just have to settle with being happy she's home and glad she wasn't mistreated any more than the obvious mistreatment of being kidnapped and held hostage.

But I think it would be better for Miss Manners to write a book about excruciatingly correct behavior for all those who can't possibly imagine what she went through and yet feel the need to parse every word and movement as if she had any control over her situation. I'm glad she's back. I'm glad she wasn't physically harmed. I can only dimly imagine the relief her family must have at having her back and physically whole, and the fear that has to behind it of what she endured and what it has done to her mentally and emotionally. The rest is likely to take a long time, maybe the rest of her life, and she deserves our support, whatever that means from strangers, not our idle musings about what we think she really meant.

Palladian said...

"There's really nothing so awful that could happen to any of those people at that blog that I wouldn't celebrate with champagne. What despicable, hateful, slimy creeps."

Those horrible, terrible people! How could they be so horrible as to harshly criticize this woman! Why, they're so horrible for speaking ill of someone that I would celebrate their deaths with champagne!

Mickey said...

praise be to allah?

Elizabeth said...

That's right, Palladian. And no apologies for it either. The LGF crowd are bottom-feeding scum suckers. F*ck 'em, all of 'em. Sometimes there's just no other proper reaction than utter, complete disgust.

Aspasia M. said...

Elizabeth,

What's WRONG with those people?

Perhaps I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised.

Elizabeth said...

Dunno, duck. They're like something out of bad leftwing satire. How can people live in such a state of nastiness, day in and day out? They must wake up to Ann Coulter affirmations over a nice, big bowl of venom every morning.

tjl said...

Elizabeth:

Let's not lose all sense of proportion here. Which is worse --making crude, tasteless comments on "Little Green Footballs," or joining the Islamic Vengeance Brigade so you can kidnap people and threaten to behead them?

tcd said...

Wow, I guess in Elizabeth's worldview, it's better to be a member of a murderous kidnapping ring than a poster on a right-wing blog?

Elizabeth said...

tjl and tcd: you're both arguing a false dilemma. Go play in the sewer with your Little Green Snotball friends.

Elderchang said...

Just to set the record straight...

http://www.csmonitor.com/earlyed/earlyWO0331a.html