Thursday, March 30, 2006

Criminalizing the victim...

Posted by: Mike

I turned on my computer this evening to find that a woman reporter for the Christian Science Monitor who had been kidnapped months ago and released today was the subject of smear campaign the likes of which I have never witnessed. As you know, her name is Jill Carroll.

Her crime it seems, was truthfully answering questions posed to her by interviewers on an Iraqi television station regarding her treatment during captivity and the circumstances of her release.

She was not asked about the death of the man who was her translator. As far as anyone knows she was not even aware of it.

Suddenly she has been called a traitor, an Islamist, a terrorist sympathizer and worse. Her credibility has been called into question because of the traditional Arabic hajib she was wearing (with no one commenting that she was still in the care and custody of Arabic men at the time of the interview)

Some have gone so far as to suggest that she faked the whole thing and spent time in Syria only now to come out and disrupt America's foreign policy by saying she was well treated.

Those who believe in America's foreign policy are more nervous than I suspected.

During Joseph McCarthy's Senate hearings into allegations (mostly his) that there were Communist sympathizers in the television Industry, Hollywood and indeed in the Pentagon itself much unfounded hearsay was used to smear and terrify people in this nation. He did a lot of damage to people. He cost people their jobs, ruined their reputations and some of them even committed suicide.

But he did do one thing that today's chorus of charlatans who have impugned the reputation of this young woman without a shred of evidence or any regard have not done.

He stood in front of the camera and he said, "I am Joseph McCarthy and I stand by what I have said."

Today, the cowards who have shredded any sense of decency I thought they may have had, did it anonymously.

Shame on all of them. Shame on all of us.

Michael Meehan

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