The Clock is Ticking for one American Journalist

As the execution deadline for kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll comes closer, the Bush Administration has reiterated one statement: they will not negotiate with terrorists.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the White House announced that Carroll’s safety and return to the United States was a “top priority.” However, White House spokesman Scott McClellan would not elaborate, due to the confidential nature of the issue.

Even top democrats support the White House statement. According to CNN, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) spoke in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, saying, “You can’t negotiate with terrorists, because once there’s a beginning, there’s no end at all, so we have to take the hardest line possible.”

What is being done to get Carroll released seems to be the unanswered question of the moment.

Heartfelt pleas by her mother and her father were made in the press, with both parents insisting that Carroll is an innocent person who has worked “to show the suffering of Iraqis to the world."

Carroll, who was abducted in Iraq on Jan. 7, was on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor. On Tuesday, her kidnappers said they would kill her in 72 hours if all Iraqi women prisoners were not released by the U.S military. Carroll has been in Iraq since October of 2003, speaks Arabic, and, according to her mother in an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, “has always shown the highest respect for the Iraqi people and their customs.”

Monitor senior editor, David Cook, made a statement on Wednesday, “The Monitor is undertaking strenuous efforts on Jill’s behalf, taking advantage of every opportunity we have at our disposal.” Cook did not go into further detail.

The Council for American-Islamic relation (CAIR) issued a list of “American Muslim leaders, scholars and organizations calling for the release.” According to their website (www.cair-net.com), CAIR is also sending a delegation to Iraq in order to make a public appeal in the state.

Other groups, including the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), have condemned the kidnapping, calling it antithetical to the aims of anti-occupationists. Carroll wrote several stories extolling the problems with the occupation of Iraq, and the head of the AMS, Muthana Harith al-Dhari, told Al-Jazeera that the hostage-takers should release her and “allow her to go back to work and participate in uncovering the real reasons for the American occupation in Iraq and the violations against its people.”

The kidnappers’ deadline for Jill Carroll’s execution is sometime today. There has been no indication yet as to whether it has been carried out.