On This Week with Christiane Amanpur, she interviews New York Times reporter David Rohde, who was abducted more than seven months ago into the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In June, he managed to get away and now he's written a book with his wife Kristen Mulvihill about the experience from his point of view and hers:
AMANPOUR: I actually want to ask you why you decided to write it in the he-said/she-said narrative.
DAVID ROHDE, CO-AUTHOR, "A ROPE AND A PRAYER": We thought it was important to show both sides of the story. And, you know, we got this attention, but there are thousands of families in the military. There are diplomats, aid workers, all working overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, in so many countries. And you don't see the other side of it.
And what Kristen went through is just as important, if not more important, to what I went through.
AMANPOUR: Well, David obviously got all of the attention.
KRISTEN MULVIHILL, CO-AUTHOR, "A ROPE AND A PRAYER": Yes.
AMANPOUR: What was it that you wanted to say about the spouse being at home?
MULVIHILL: Yes. I mean, I hope the story resonates beyond kidnapping. You know, there are military families that are separated from their loved ones for months at a time. And so I hope it resonates with anyone dealing with separation or in a position to make life and death decisions for a spouse when they're unable to do so for themselves.
And we just hope it personalizes the war, puts a personal face on the issue.
AMANPOUR: As for you, you are a professional. You are a photo editor.
AMANPOUR: You are here working at Cosmopolitan magazine, while your husband was in captivity.
MULVIHILL: Exactly. And we kept the case out of the news, which was something the family felt very strongly about. We did not want it publicized. So I went about my daily activities at work as a photo producer.
AMANPOUR: Why did you decide to keep it out of the news? Did you -- why did The New York Time want to do that, David?
ROHDE: There was a general consensus among sort of security experts that when you're dealing with militants who want to defy Western opinion that sort of publicly pressuring them won't work, it will actually raise value. If it's a government, if it's Iran, North Korea, go public. If it's a young militant, it doesn't help, it just raises the hostage's value.
AMANPOUR: And yet you recount that you did tell the militants that they could get money and prisoners released from Guantanamo.
ROHDE: I did. That was after…
AMANPOUR: On whose authority did you tell them that?
ROHDE: I -- it was an effort, frankly, to save our lives. I was very worried about the lives of my two Afghan colleagues. In past kidnappings, the first thing they did was kill an Afghan to create the pressure.
And one of the problems we saw in writing this is that some governments do pay. There have been a past case, an Italian journalist, five prisoners released. There were some Korean hostages. There were rumors of millions being paid for them.
But I was told an al Jazeera film crew was on the way. Some Arab militants are coming with them, and they're going to decapitate you. I then said, you can get money and prisoners for us.
AMANPOUR: What was going through your head? You had just been married. You hadn't told Kristen…
AMANPOUR: … that you were going off to do something this dangerous. And was the right thing to do?
ROHDE: It was the wrong thing to do. You know, I regret the decision. It was completely unfair to her. I'll always regret it. I let competition get the best of me. Dozens of journalists have safely interviewed the Taliban. And I wanted us to be the best foot possible.
But I lost my way and I shouldn't have gotten so competitive.
AMANPOUR: Well, I ask you about that because your book is called "A Rope and a Prayer." Prayer, faith sustained you.
MULVIHILL: It did actually, and family. I had a practice -- I was raised Catholic, and I really sort of fell back on prayer as the way to, you know, surrender without giving up. I ultimately knew the outcome was not going to be up to me. And it really helped me maintained positivity and find that intention.
Written prayer, actually, when I couldn't find that within myself. It kept me going.
AMANPOUR: You were not religious.
ROHDE: No. And even from our time reporting in Bosnia, you know, we've seen, you know, religion taken to extremes can be a very destructive force. And I was with these young militants who had been deluded into thinking was a religious war.
They despised me because I was unclean. They said because I wasn't Muslim, they didn't want to eat food from the same plate as me. They believed that the U.S. Army was, you know, forcibly converting Afghan Muslims to Christianity.
But I, in my time in captivity did end up saying prayers myself. I don't know, I'm still skeptical about organized religion.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, because given that it was secret, the fact that he had been kidnapped, a lot of us knew, none of us published. It was a little James Bond-y the way you went after his release.