August 16, 2006
The Jill Carroll Story Part IV
Jill Carroll via The Christian Science Monitor: Exhausted, Jim Carroll walked the streets of Washington, headed back to his hotel. He’d hardly eaten all day, so he ducked into a bar for dinner. He hadn’t been there long when his cell phone rang. It was the FBI. They wanted to know the family’s decision – a 72-hour deadline issued by the kidnappers was nearing.Part III.
This wasn’t going to be pleasant. “We’re not going your way,” Jim told his FBI contact. “We’re going to go with the sympathy statement.”
Insurgents had seized Jill Carroll in Baghdad 10 days ago; it was time her parents publicly plea for her life.
The FBI wanted the father – him – to shake his fist, in essence; to go on TV and address the men who held Jill as murderers and thugs. Jill’s colleagues at The Christian Science Monitor’s Baghdad office thought that would misfire in the Middle East. They said the words should reflect how much Jill’s family loved and missed her.
Jim and Mary Beth and Katie, Jill’s twin sister, had been over this and over this and over it again.
On the other end of the phone, Jim’s FBI contact sounded very unhappy.
Jim rang off. He felt he was living in a new world, where you got one percent of the data you needed to make a decision, but it didn’t matter, you had to decide anyway, you couldn’t walk away, and you had to do it now, right now, and the price of a misstep might be his daughter’s life.
Despair billowed over him.