Oprah Talks to Mariane Pearl
Oprah: How did the word come to you that he'd been kidnapped?
Mariane: By an e-mail. Asra and I managed to tell [the police], "If we're going to look for Danny, this house needs to be the headquarters." I had Danny's computer and all his stuff. I wouldn't hand it over to anyone. It had to be in the house. We were working really, really hard.
Oprah: So an e-mail came to your house.
Mariane: The first person to get the e-mail was the L.A. bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. It said, "We have kidnapped CIA agent Daniel Pearl." And then there was this very bizarre text with a number of claims—about weapons that America was supposed to sell to Pakistan, and Pakistan had given the money, and America hadn't given the weapons. And they were talking about the treatment of the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. And they said Danny pretended to be a Wall Street Journal reporter, but in fact he was a CIA agent. But they didn't say, "Give us money and we'll give you Danny," or anything like that. It was just a political statement. And there were photos of Danny in captivity, so I knew they had him.
Oprah: Did it disturb you that they weren't asking for something in exchange for his release?
Mariane: Oh, yes. I know those people, and they have this kind of speech where they're just all over the place and they don't even know what they're talking about. It's not a focused thing. You're not talking with rational people.
Oprah: What did you think then?
Mariane: We knew Danny was in a life-or-death situation. So we were in a fighting mood. They were trying to scare us, so I couldn't be scared. That was the first thing.
Oprah: So your reaction is "I'm not afraid of you."
Mariane: Yes. "I am going to fight back." And I knew Danny was doing the same thing. When I received the pictures, I saw a photo where he was smiling because he wanted to say, "I'm okay." He had shackles on, but his hand goes like this [makes peace sign with two fingers] in the photo. But [in another picture] the hand—and I'm sorry for that gesture—goes like this [raises middle finger]. He's trying to convey something. He can't speak, but he speaks.
Oprah: In the photo where he has his head down, you think he's smiling?
Mariane: Yes, you can see that. Everybody was like, "Why is he smiling?" But I knew why. He was saying, "I'm all right. They're trying to silence me, they're trying to scare me, and I'm resisting that." So he and I were doing exactly the same thing. I also saw a photo of my husband with a gun to his head, and I knew they could kill him.