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By mmguestblogger  •  March 31, 2006 09:06 AM

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 they treated her, how they gave her food and let her go to the bathroom. And they never threatened to hit her. Of course, as we all saw in those chilling videos, they did threaten to kill her. And they shot her Iraqi translator to death.

Why make a terrorist group who put her family and friends through a terrible three-month ordeal sound like they were running a low-budget motel chain?

Now perhaps this is unfair, for there is much we do not know. We don’t know why Carroll was kidnapped and why she was abruptly released. She says she doesn’t either, but surely she must have gotten some clues about her abductors’ outlook and tactics during her 82-day captivity. Maybe she was just shell-shocked right after being let go. Maybe she won’t feel comfortable speaking out until she’s back on American soil.

We’ll find out soon enough: Carroll could be on her way home as early as today.

Kurtz also wants to know more about Carroll’s statements on this video. As I said yesterday, there’s no way to tell — yet — whether they were coerced or not. For exactly that reason, Jim Geraghty is reserving judgment.

Debbie Schlussel, however, has seen enough.

LGF has a transcript of Carroll’s jihadi interview in an update here. And here’s the Christian Science Monitor’s full report on Carroll’s release.

UPDATE: The blogosphere’s go-to guy on Jill Carroll news is also cutting her some slack.

Says Rusty in an e-mail:

After devoting considerable time to the subject I’ve become a bit more sympathetic to the plight of hostages. Whether or not she was anti-American to begin with is irrelevant since she was a civilian operating in a war-zone. Her political views do not change the fact that her captors are savages operating outside the laws of war. I think we should give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when they are victims….

Once she’s home if she starts acting like Giuliana Sgrena we’ll call her on it. Until then, my advice to the blogosphere is to have some class.

UPDATE: The gentle souls who took such good care of Carroll allegedly warned her before her release that if she cooperated with America, she might be killed.

UPDATE: Karol’s giving Carroll the benefit of the doubt.

UPDATE: Carroll’s captors claim the U.S. negotiated her release by agreeing to release Iraqi women prisoners. Zalmay Khalilzad denies it.

UPDATE: Robert Zelnick at Comment Is Free notes that Carroll’s captors were Sunni and that, since the Samarra mosque bombing, Sunnis need all the goodwill they can get. As such, says Zelnick, killing her would have been worse than a crime — it would have been a mistake.

UPDATE: Xrlq: “Blogosphere, stand down.”

Posted in: Howard Kurtz

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Categories: Howard Kurtz