BAGHDAD, Iraq – Wearing a green Islamic head scarf, American reporter Jill Carroll walked into an Iraqi political party office Thursday, set free nearly three months after being kidnapped in an ambush that killed her translator.
“I was treated well, but I don’t know why I was kidnapped,” Carroll said on Baghdad television, only weeks after she appeared weeping in a video put out by kidnappers who had threatened to kill her.
Her family thanked “the generous people around the world who worked officially or unofficially” to gain her freedom. Her father, Jim, said he was asleep in his North Carolina home when the phone rang at about 6 a.m.
“Hi, Dad. This is Jill. I’m released,” the voice on the other end said, he told CNN.
No details were given about the circumstances surrounding her release. The U.S. ambassador said there was no ransom paid by the American embassy, but his remarks left open the question of whether “arrangements” were made by others.
In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. military was not involved in Carroll’s release.
President Bush said, “I’m just really grateful she’s released, and I want to thank those who worked hard to release her and we’re glad she’s alive.”
Carroll, 28, was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad’s western Adil neighborhood while going to interview Sunni Arab politician Adnan al-Dulaimi for The Christian Science Monitor. Her translator was killed in the attack about 300 yards from al-Dulaimi’s office.
The previously unknown Revenge Brigades claimed responsibility. The group threatened twice in videotapes to kill Carroll.
“They never hit me. They never even threatened to hit me,” she said Thursday, wearing a gray Arabic robe.
It’s great to hear she’s alive and apparently well. But as John at Powerline cautions us, don’t read too much into the “well treated” quote from Carroll that has been frequently repeated in the media:
But the fact is that Ms. Carroll was not “well treated” by her captors. She says that they “never hit me. They never even threatened to hit me.” Terrific. But they did threaten to cut off her head, and kept her in fear of her life for nearly three months. To anyone who saw the videos in which she pleaded for her life, her mental distress was obvious. And the kidnappers murdered Carroll’s translator in the course of capturing her.
No doubt, in saying that she had been “well treated,” Ms. Carroll was mostly trying to assure her friends and family that her physical condition was OK. That’s obviously appropriate. But let’s not encourage a lot of warm feelings toward the murderous thugs who kidnapped Carroll, shot her translator, and may well have received a ransom to let her go.
Complete coverage and links can be found via Rusty at The Jawa Report.
Hat tip for Jawa Report link to Allah Pundit (who is back and guest blogging at Michelle Malkin’s – hooray! For those who started blogging after 2004 and don’t know who Allah Pundit is, find out more here).