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Write a Note of Support to Jill Carroll

Reported by Marie Therese - April 3, 2006

The Christian Science Monitor has put up a site where you can write letters of encouragement to recently released reporter Jill Carroll. Why not take a minute and welcome her home? According to the Monitor, "Her remarks are now making the rounds of the Internet, attracting heavy criticism from conservative bloggers and commentators. In fact, Carroll did what many hostage experts and past captives would have urged her to do: Give the men who held the power of life and death over her what they wanted."

Many years ago, I was working at Doubleday when we got word that we'd be publishing Navy Commander Lloyd Bucher's book about his crew's experiences in North Korea. Their spy boat, the USS Pueblo, was captured in 1968 by the North Koreans. The men were subjected to months of what was called "torture" at that time, i.e., they were beaten, kicked, starved, exposed to extreme temperature changes, deprived of sleep and interrogated endlessly. (Certain right-wing pundits would now say that what was done to Bucher and his crew did not constitute "torture," but was merely "coerced interrogation" and therefore, such pundits would, naturally, agree that the North Koreans were perfectly within their rights to inflict such distress on their American prisoners.)

Cmdr. Bucher finally signed a confession, was trotted out in a propaganda video and the crew was released.

When they returned home, the men faced withering scorn both from the ranks of the military and from the right-wing press. Bucher himself was nearly court-martialed because of his "cowardice."

However, the Commander's crew thought of him as a hero. Although wounded in the initial attack, he acted as their liaison with the North Koreans and took the brunt of the abuse in an effort to keep them togather as a unit. Yet, to many Americans at the time, he was a traitor and they wanted him publicly humiliated, even executed.

It would seem that Jill Carroll is now being subjected - in certain quarters - to the same kind of vilification. In fact, I just saw a promo for tonight's O'Reilly Factor. Speaking over various clips of Jill Carrol in Islamic garb against a background of beating drums, the pumped-up FOX announcer said: "Tonight. Kidnapped. Held hostage. Her life threatened. Then she defended the ones who took her. But was she simply trying to stay alive or brainwashed by those responsible? We investigate. Tonight on an explosive O'Reilly Factor." So FOX is already using Ms. Carroll's forced propaganda as an advertising ploy!

Richard Bergenheim, editor of Christian Science Monitor, noted that "none of us - except perhaps her personal friends and family - know what Jill's views are about the war in Iraq. But we do know that they did not color her reporting for the Monitor. She covered a wide spectrum of people in Iraq and that is part of what made her reporting valuable."

Write to Ms. Carroll here:

Christian Science Monitor

And, if you'd like to drop a line to FOX News, protesting their use of Jill Carroll's plight in such a crass way, click here:

viewerservices@foxnews.com.


NOTE: Post updated at 1:14 AM 4/4/06 - FOX contact information corrected.

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