‘Like falling off a cliff for three months’

Jill is freeThe Washington Post talked with Jill soon after her release, quoting her as saying that her orderal felt “like falling off a cliff for three months." They also ran a picture [from Getty Images] of Jill right after she was freed. She looks healthy and certainly happy to be free. Here are some excerpts from the Washington Post feature that ran today.

BAGHDAD, March 30 — Jill Carroll wondered from day to day whether she would grow old or die a hostage. "It was like falling off a cliff for three months, waiting to hit the ground," the 28-year-old American reporter said Thursday after being released by her kidnappers. A shuffle from car to street to the branch office of a Sunni Arab political party and then to its headquarters brought Carroll to freedom on a beautiful spring day in Baghdad.

I’m really ecstatic and grateful that our prayers have been answered. I can’t wait to see Jill, hug her and never let her go. Meanwhile, I’m off to Seattle in a few hours to attend a family wedding. I guess today I have two reasons to celebrate: A blessed matrimony, and a friend’s long-awaited freedom realized. Life can’t get any better. Thank you God.

25 Comments

  1. arafat March 31, 2006 at 11:17 am

    I just read in today’s Yale Daily News over breakfast that Jill Carroll was released, and immediately thought of your blog to find out more.
    I’m grateful to God for her safe return.

    Reply
  2. jareer March 31, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    Are you coming to Seattle Natasha, welcome; looks like a nice whether right now, but no guarantees !

    Reply
  3. David March 31, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God, and God bless you, Natasha, for keeping us informed.

    Reply
  4. jareer March 31, 2006 at 8:54 pm

    OOPS! Weather, not “whether.”

    Reply
  5. Amin Matalqa March 31, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    Mabrook and Mabareek on Jill’s release. That’s wonderful and amazing.

    Reply
  6. jack April 1, 2006 at 10:23 am

    Mike,
    Let’s give Jill the benefit of the doubt until she gives her full account when she gets back. She did and said what she had to do to survive. We all would have similar under the circumstances.
    When she gets back if she speaks the same tune which I doubt she will … then call her what you please.

    Reply
  7. Heiko Gerhauser April 1, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    http://bigpharaoh.blogspot.com/
    Big Pharaoh quotes Sandmonkey:
    “I will be trying really hard to keep my mouth shut until she leaves Iraq and heads back to the US. I am willing to say that she said what she said because she had a gun to her head, and had to say whatever was necessary to get out. I will give her a break to collect her thoughts, relax and figure her stuff out, and see what she has to say. But honestly, if she turns out being another Giuliana Sgrena or Susanne Osthoff, I swear by all the gods in heaven that I will not join a single campaign to free a single person, especially a journalist, kidnapped in Iraq ever again, especially ones who are sympathethic to the Jihadis.”
    And in the comments to Big Pharaohs post somebody called Mike quotes LGF:
    “She says the terrorists treated her well.
    Her interpreter, murdered during the kidnapping, was not available for comment.”
    Big Pharaoh in a later post then writes:
    “Nevertheless, I still want to hear it from Carroll’s mouth. So I’m withholding my apology at the moment.”
    You probably have heard about these insinuations already, but in case you haven’t, I thought you’d want to know.

    Reply
  8. Sara April 1, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    Jill need to reassess her ideals and political associations. If she is so pro-Middle East, take away her American Citizenship and let her live there permanently. I am not sure she needs to be celebrated in any way if she is so anti-war. Does she think what was happening in Iraq prior to the war was Okay? Is she a damn idiot??! Jill, you are too dumb for words. Get a life!

    Reply
  9. Brian Ulrich April 1, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    Question – do we even know if she’s been told about the death of her translator?

    Reply
  10. Rob April 1, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for her. Her opinions about the Middle East are irrelevant right now, people–let’s celebrate a fellow American coming home safely.

    Reply
  11. laminar_flow April 1, 2006 at 6:03 pm

    It is believed that Jill was taken away, yet again by unknown armed men.
    Saw TV footage of her debussing from the C-117 cargo plane in Ramstein Airforce base, Germany. There was an officer waiting to escort away.
    This is the assumed dialogue at the scene.
    < ---Begin-->
    UNIDENTIFIED MAN
    “Pardon me Miss Carol,
    I’m Mike Jackson from the Firm.
    (Jill looks surprised and casually follows.)
    We’re ordered to escort you in Germany. Please follow me to those vehicles (He points, Jill looks).
    Several plaincloathed men seen around blue panel vans, in the background.
    < ---EnD--->
    Are the latest comments from Jill, a forced after-action report to/from the establishment?
    Overall the situation for Jill appears to be:
    “Out of the frying pan and into the fire?”.

    Reply
  12. jack April 1, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    Good enough for me … please accept my apology for ever doubting you.

    “At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely. Out of fear, I said I wasn’t threatened. In fact, I was threatened many times,” she said. “Also, at least two false statements about me have been widely aired: One — that I refused to travel and cooperate with the U.S. military, and two — that I refused to discuss my captivity with U.S. officials. Again, neither statement is true.”

    Reply
  13. Jareer April 1, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    Lets give her the time to relax, and think of the ordeal she went through; yes, we dont like what she said so far, and the piece of shi… she was wearing doesnt seam to mean any respect for her and her freedom. Being treated well doesnt make any sense while holding her against her free will. The only thing that matters now is her safety, thank God; all other politics and stuff to follow.

    Reply
  14. Winston April 2, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Salam!
    Glad to find u through sandmonkey!

    Reply
  15. edward Robby April 2, 2006 at 8:56 am

    get over it everyone, and nastasha too . there is NO GOD. do you think your Christian God rules the world? No way. there is No god. that is why we are in Iraq…

    Reply
  16. jareer April 2, 2006 at 9:39 am

    Whether you like it, or not, there is a mighty, awesome God my friend. Get over your ignorance and denial and see how this universe is miraculously designed and made. Look inside yourself and body and see how sophesticated the body is; it couldnt be just a coincidence or a chance that you came to exist.
    Our God is an awesome God,
    He reigns from heaven above
    With wisdome, power and love,
    Our God is an awesome God.

    Reply
  17. edward robby April 2, 2006 at 10:11 am

    dear jareer
    YOU get over it, my friend. there is no allah, no jehovah, no yawyeh, no God at all. WHY capitalize that word god? YES, THE UNIVERSE IS ALL RANDOM CHANCE, EVOLUTION, get over it already, if there was a god, jill would never have been kidnaped, osama would never have unleashed 911, the holocaust would never have happened…….when you silly geese say praise god, thank god, don’t you realize how backward and silly you are? there is never never was any kind of god. that is why we are in trouble in mid east and everywhere. all yu believe in ALLAH JEHOAVAh yawahe fighting all the time. in fact, there is just matter and time and space, and us, random chance earthlings…..did you ever go to school? stp being brainwashed. or is that impossible.
    i am so glad jill is free and safe, yes, but if all this is to show that prayers were answere by some make believe god, omigod. silly.,
    grow up. face reality

    Reply
  18. jareer April 2, 2006 at 11:07 am

    Dear Edward,
    It is sad that all what you have mentioned happen, but there is also evil ( I hope I havent added insult to your injury.) I just simply do not put my trust and eternity in the hands of a 6th-grade biology teacher who tries to convince you of evolution; that simply doesnt fly.
    When people deny God and kick Him out of their lives and schools and courts and curse His name left and right, and violate his will like drinking water; you do not come here and say why He allowed certain things to happen; I am not saying that He allowed such things, but at least, when human have respect to God, then they come and accuse Him of such tragedies happening to them. When good things happen, they praise mother nature, but when bad things happen, they curse God!

    Reply
  19. Edward Robby April 2, 2006 at 11:15 am

    Along with you the millions of compassionate individuals representing so many faiths and nationalities, and especially the readers of The Jareer, what is sad is this: now the Christian Science Monitor says on its website, invking the name of its founder Mary Baker Eddy the fraud and faker and charlatan and this is how Jill is going to be remembered? For being a Christian Scienctist? OUCH!
    quote: “the CSM and its website who’ve stood with Jill during her captivity — our hearts are full of gratitude to god ????? for this breakthrough. We cannot help but think of the opening line HA HA HA of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by the Monitor’s FAKE founder, Mary Baker Eddy: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.”
    SO now the CSM is bringing its fake faith into its editrial columns. weird. loom, jareer, i am so pleased jill is free, but this god stuff is for the birds. think. hard.
    THe CSM editorial goes ON in religious fashion that should make all Americans blush with shame: “And yet, the immense efforts to secure one reporter’s release ultimately must be for some larger cause, ? for something beyond the one news bulletin we’ve longed to hear every day since Jan. 7, when Jill was captured and her translator was killed. Anyone who is being held captive, out of any willful passion or purpose, should be freed. Those who have been kidnapped before and after Jill must have their freedom, too. In fact, even kidnappers themselves deserve freedom from the kind of imprisonment their lives represent. OH SO CHRIST IS BEHIND ALL THIS? or MARY MARKER EDDY?
    We hope and trust in the power of divine grace: ? That continued prayer – and political and diplomatic efforts somehow moved by this profound mental and spiritual force — will help eradicate the whole plague of kidnapping and terrorism, of violent action and reaction. The people of a region known as “the cradle of civilization” have rights beyond the human and political to enjoy the blessings of a civil and calm society.
    We’re deeply thankful for the monumental labors that went on in agencies and offices of the United States government, within the government of Iraq, and among individuals in Iraq and worldwide. To everyone who offered private and published messages of support along the way, you have our heartfelt thanks.
    The entire staff of this newspaper, in particular its international editors, writers, and management, worked virtually around the clock on Jill’s behalf. Their extraordinary work during this difficult period made it possible to continue publishing a news product worthy of the Monitor’s name and reputation.
    What can be said of Jill’s mother, father, and sister that could speak any louder than their public example of steadfast love and resolute advocacy? And their sincere concern for others being held captive concurrently with Jill? We rejoice in their long-awaited happy reunion with their daughter and sister.
    It is a sad fact, however, that many kidnappings in Iraq have not turned out as favorably as this one. We’re also mindful of concerns that have been raised about Jill’s mental and emotional state after weeks of duress. Whatever may be needed to help her re-adjust will be provided.
    Prayer ? and brotherly-sisterly love have proved their potency. PRAYER IS BS. What greater good can be accomplished if we stay with them? One sure effect is the softening of hardened hearts, mostly, of course, in the ones doing the praying. In the spirit of doing unto others what we would want done unto us — that is, in the Golden Rule that is found in every major religion — we reach out to Jill’s captors and those who still hold others hostage. May they find a purpose closer to that for which Jill Carroll is now known — constructive, street-level compassion for all the people of Iraq, and an unbiased love for all mankind.
    A loved Bible proverb says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Jill Carroll’s freedom is truly good news to rejoice in, as is the fact to so many of us today: Iraq is no longer a “far country.”
    nice words. hollow.

    Reply
  20. William Maerle April 2, 2006 at 11:54 am

    “She’s Safe in the Green Zone”
    She’s safe in the green zone, but will home paint her red?
    Will the news repeat words she bleed, again and again?
    My patriotism can die for her who’s not dead
    “With machine guns pointed at my head, ” she said,
    “I unfortunately damned my country’s military men.”
    She’s safe in the green zone, but will home paint her red?
    The picture stills show she’d been well fed
    With food of fear, but our prayers sent—Amen!
    My patriotism can die for her who’s not dead
    We now wait for forced words like pestilant spread
    To fly April skies like a broken winged Wren
    She’s safe in the green zone, but will home paint her red?
    Will we forget the tears we easily shed?
    Cheer the strike and the slash from the powerful pen?
    My patriotism can die for her who’s not dead
    So I ask for your scruples to now be proofread
    She’s trapped again like a toddler in a baracaded playpen
    She’s safe in the green zone, but will home paint her red?
    My patriotism can die for her who’s not dead

    Reply
  21. Prup (aka Jim Benton) April 9, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    As an atheist, I want to apologize for the ugliness coming from Edward Robby. (Yet another example of Prup’s Law. “Whatever position you take on a political, social, or religious issue, you’ll have a few idiots agreeing with you.”)

    Reply
  22. kinzi April 10, 2006 at 6:37 am

    Jim, thanks for taking notice! I have to do this quite a bit myself as a Christian…and as a pro-Palestinian Evangelical Christian, have found the only people who shared my view on Palestine were potty-mouthed, Jew-hating pro-Nazis who got banned from the blog I was commenting on!
    My brother is an atheist and we get on really well, so I don’t have any animosity toward atheists.

    Reply

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