Freed Journalist Carroll Headed Home
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
Freelance journalist Jill Carroll is headed home. She was kidnapped in Baghdad almost three months ago and released yesterday.
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Her friend, Dan Murphy, is Cairo bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor. He and fellow reporter Scott Peterson spent months trying to find Jill and her captors. We spoke to Dan shortly before the program began.
Dan, there is this video circulating on the Internet now with Jill Carroll making remarks very critical of the war and the U.S. government. What can you tell us about it?
Mr. DAN MURPHY (Staff Writer, Christian Science Monitor): Well, this video was made for her release by the murderers of Jill's friend and translator, Allan Enwiyah, and her captors. And she was told that she had to make this in order that she goes free. So this is coerced speech. It's a piece of propaganda, you know, put out by some pretty nasty folks. And I would urge, you know, no one to pay much attention to it if they can because, you know, it isn't her free and unbiased opinion in any way.
CHADWICK: Where is Jill now and what is she doing?
Mr. MURPHY: She is working on healing. I know that she's been debriefed by American, you know, intelligence types who very interested that maybe she might know things that can lead to other hostages. She's had a medical checkup, and I'm happy to say that she's in great physical nick. And I think is also, you know, getting some counseling and advise about her sort of, you know, re-insertion into the fair and real world. And I'm sure is looking, you know, is in fact, looking very much forward to being with her family and having some quite time and recovering from just a horrible experience for her family and her, and in some ways, for all of us.
CHADWICK: She has talked to her parents. She told them about this video. Didn't she? She said it was a condition of her release?
Mr. MURPHY: Oh, she spoke at great length to her father, Jim Carroll, about this. And she was told you make this video and you'll go free tomorrow. Now, she'd been falsely told by them that she'd be released at other times. So she didn't know what, you know, if that was real or not.
But you know, these are powers that held life and death over her. Every, you know, person who might confront this sort of situation is told that you need to, as much as possible, comply with your captors' wishes, befriend them as much as possible. You know, say what they want to hear because that's your best chance of survival.
And so, you know, any thinking person who's following this will recognize that, and understand that to try to characterize, you know, anything about who Jill is or what she believes on the basis of speech extracted from her by kidnappers and murderers isn't being very fair.
CHADWICK: To be clear, Dan, at some point, would the Christian Science Monitor say this is enough, we are now a target, we're not going to be in Baghdad anymore, it's just too dangerous?
Mr. MURPHY: That point is, you know, always theoretically out there, but we haven't reached it yet. I don't think in any special way the Christian Science Monitor is a target. You know, I think Jill was kidnapped, you know, predominantly because she was a foreigner, and then perhaps they wanted a journalist in general. But no foreigner and no foreign reporter that works in Baghdad is any more or less exposed than anyone else because of who they work for.
If you get into a bad situation you can become a target of opportunity. And that's what happened with Jill. They picked her up because she was available to them at that point in time. You know, had it been somebody else that was that unlucky, it would have been them and we'd be asking the same question about some other publication, perhaps.
CHADWICK: Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor reporting from Cairo.
Dan, thank you.
Mr. MURPHY: Thank you.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.