“Think Progress” rallies to the defense of terrorists

Some conservative commentators, including John, have criticized the statement of Jill Carroll, the reporter held hostage by terrorists in Iraq, that she was well-treated by her captors. As John explained, far from treating Carroll well the terrorists threatened to cut off her head and kept her in fear of her life for nearly three months. John and others suggested that Carroll’s willingness to view her captors in an absurdly favorable light stemmed from her understandable gratitude for being set free.

Think Progress, a project of Democratic operative John Podesta and his leftist think tank takes exception: “It is totally inappropriate to assume that [Carroll's] description of how she was treated is motivated by anything other than a desire to tell the truth.” At one level, this statement reflects confusion. The claim isn’t that Carroll intended to lie about how specific facts with respect to her treatment. The claim isn’t even that Carroll misstated facts — e.g., that the terrorists didn’t hit her, that they let her go the bathroom, etc. The claim is that Carroll grossly (but understandably) mischaracterized her treatment by suggesting that it was good, instead of merely not barbarous in all respects.

By rejecting criticism of Carroll’s comments, and attacking those who place them in their proper perspective, the Think Progress author joins Carroll in casting the terrorists in a far better light than they deserve. Carroll did so after nearly three months of intense emotional distress. What is Think Progress’s excuse?

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