tv Iraqs Secret War Files LINKTV July 30, 2013 6:00am-7:01am PDT
lead responsibility for the security of their country. >> after 7 years of fighting, u.s. combat troops have left iraq. >> we won! it's over! america! we brought democracy to iraq! >> but tonight, we tell the story of that war and occupation that the u.s. military doesn't want you to know, the one they wrote themselves. dispatches have been sifting through nearly 400,000 secret army documents to uncover the full and unreported horror of the conflict. it's the biggest leak of official documents in history. tonight, we reveal reports that u.s. troops were killing more civilians than insurgents at checkpoints, that they killed people who were trying to surrender, that even after the scandal of abu ghraib, u.s. soldiers continue to abuse prisoners. and also, how the americans stand accused of turning
a blind eye to the torture and murder of detainees by the iraqi security services. this is the cemetery of najaf, in southern iraq. it has existed for a thousand years and is the biggest in the world. since the invasion by coalition forces to topple the dictator saddam hussein in 2003, it has expanded by 40%. it now covers over 3 square miles. >> [speaking arabic]
>> the united states and its coalition partners respect the people of iraq. we are taking unprecedented measures to spare the lives of innocent iraqi citizens. >> there's often a difference between what political leaders say in public and what they may have known in private, as we discovered when we received access to data from wikileaks, the whistleblower's website. it contained nearly 400,000 secret reports, known as sigacts, that's short for "significant activities." with the exception of a couple of months, they were all logged by the military in iraq between 2004 and 2009. >> this is almost military
anthropology. this is a blow-by-blow account of individual american soldiers and how they react. >> but it was raw data, so the bureau of investigative journalism in london built a computer program to analyze them. we used keywords to search specific subjects, look for patterns in the data, decoded hundreds of military acronyms, and read tens of thousands of reports. we have no way of knowing just how accurate or comprehensive these reports are, but they do show what the u.s. army knew and when. the one person we asked to comment on them was dr. toby dodge, who has advised both the u.k. and the u.s. governments on iraq. one concern was that the documents named ordinary american troops and iraqi civilians. we have deleted those details. >> much more problematic for the americans is the insight these leaks
give into their modus operandi, how they're functioning on the streets. the escalation of force, the killing of innocent iraqis, i think, it paints a damning picture of a-- of a culture of forced protection, to the exclusion of everything else. >> we've got a shooter on the roof! [gunshots] >> we will continue taking the greatest care to prevent harm to innocent civilians, yet we will not permit the spread of chaos and violence. >> initially, the americans stated that they weren't recording a body count or casualty figures and left it to others. >> get out, get out! >> but they were. in the files, we found just over 109,000 deaths. with our software, the location of every one can be mapped to reveal that, after 6 years of killing, barely a part of the country has escaped the bloodbath. despite george bush's assurance, the majority of these,
over 66,000, were civilians. that's nearly 2/3. also recorded among the sigacts, 176,000 wounded in total. in baghdad, iraq's capital, the secret reports expose, for the first time, what kind of place the u.s. and britain are leaving behind. because we can identify the location of each incident, we can also show that hardly a single street corner has escaped a bomb, murder, or atrocity. >> saddam hussein's palace hit by a dozen bombs. baghdad, over the fiercest bombardment yet. american and british troops have seen... >> the coalition hoped that the removal of saddam hussein would win them the hearts and minds of iraqis. instead, they found themselves under attack from insurgents. [blasts] our analysis of the secret reports shows that, on average,
over the 6 years they cover, improvised explosive devices, or ieds, were being detonated at a rate of 30 a day, many of which were carried by suicide bombers, and the reports contain some chilling examples. >> a 12- to 14-year-old boy, wearing a backpack and on a bicycle, rode into the intersection, and the boy detonated his explosives. >> intelligence assessment. al qaeda, in iraq, is using mentally handicapped persons to target coalition forces. [crash] under these circumstances, troops manning checkpoints, or riding convoy, lived in constant fear. and some simply opened fire unnecessarily. [gunshots]
one officer used civilians to lower the risk to his men. >> the platoon leader was in the habit of directing iraqi civilians to clear the road of trash and debris if he suspected that it may be an ied. >> under rules of engagement, known as escalation of force, anyone approaching the military was warned to slow down and stop to be searched. >> come on to my right! got it! >> if they didn't, warning shots would be fired. our analysis reveals more than 800 people were killed when soldiers opened fire in escalation of force incidents. of these, 80%, that's 681, were civilians. a further 2,200 were wounded. >> a cold analytical eye
on this, i think, clearly indicates that far too many iraqi civilians are being killed for no reason. >> one shooting was caught on camera by a photographer embedded with the u.s. army unit in tal afar, northwest iraq. a married couple, camille and hussein hassan, were driving home, hurrying to beat the curfew. the u.s. secret report gives the american version of what happened next. >> a sedan sped toward the patrol and failed to stop after visual signals were given. a shot was fired at the front tire, but the vehicle did not stop. the patrol engaged the vehicle, killing two civilians. >> camille and hussein were shot dead, but they weren't alone in the car. >> there were 6 children in the back seat. all were unharmed. >> the hassans' 14-year-old daughter, jilan,
was heard to yell out, "why did they shoot us? we were just going home." and now we know the filed report was inaccurate. not all the children were unharmed. a bullet pierced the spine of 11-year-old rakan, who was rendered a paraplegic. the u.s. army offered compensation to the family of $7,500 dollars, calculated as $2,500 for each life taken, and $2,500 for the car. >> very often soldiers find themselves looking at a vehicle that seems suspicious, and they get jumpy, and then they open fire on it. and of course, there are cases where soldiers have lost comrades, and they're angry, and they then are more inclined to look for the-- the insurgents in the next vehicle coming, or the next convoy that comes down the road. >> when iraqi civilians
looked into the faces of our service men and women, they saw strength and kindness and goodwill. >> our analysis of the files shows that only 13 coalition troops were killed during those escalation of force incidents. but firing shots near ordinary people at checkpoints was often fatal. we found 30 children killed. >> one round ricocheted off the concrete, hitting a 6-year-old. >> sometimes, little allowance was made for the fact that there may be a reason for a driver to be in a hurry. >> doctor was transporting a pregnant woman to the hospital, and was shot by coalition forces. >> soldiers killed a pedestrian, who they suspected was carrying something suspicious, when what he had in his possession turned out to be innocuous. >> the soldiers approached cautiously to look into the satchel, to discover it contained...books. >> i think the data shows
a lot of iraqi civilians were killed because they posed a minor threat. they were killed-- there was almost a cavalier use of force against iraqi civilians in the name of forced protection. >> civilians were from a different culture, and they interpret things differently. so, if there are warning shots fired, civilians might speed up rather than slow down, because they just heard a shot. and if they see people waving at them, they may think they're being waved away. the fact is, you can never second guess what civilians in a different society are going to do. >> according to a former iraqi police chief, u.s. army behavior changed over time. >> [speaking arabic]
>> we went to iraq to find some of those who appeared in the escalation of force reports, to see how the americans' account compared with theirs. hussam and kareem abbas are survivors of one such incident, which happened on this street in baghdad. kareem's father, wahid, was driving him to his restaurant, where they all worked. they'd only got 100 meters from their house when they found themselves surrounded by u.s. military humvees. >> [speaking arabic]
>> we cross-checked their account with the official report in the secret files. it acknowledges the death of a civilian, and it claims that escalation of force procedures were followed. >> signals with a laser and vehicle mounted spotlight, continues to shout and use visual signals to stop the car. fires warning shots with smallest caliber weapon. firing an m2 machine gun into the ground in front of the vehicle, and firing m4 into the engine block, disabling the vehicle. >> we told hussam and karim what the army had said in the significant activity report. >> [speaking arabic]
>> after the soldiers killed wahid, the young men alleged that they were assaulted. >> [speaking arabic] >> the classified report gives a different version of events. >> respectfully transported the vehicle and the deceased to the family's house in order to allow them to begin funeral preparations, and conducted consequence management. coalition forces will be preparing a condolence packet. >> in two other reports of escalation of force we examined, u.s. troops claimed that they followed procedures before opening fire. but in each case, when we cross-checked, the iraqis involved told a different story.
>> what you can tell is the soldiers' word appears to be always taken, there's very little questioning, and the death of innocent civilians seems to be written off time after time, because of the protection, the minimi--the minimization of risk to american soldiers beyond everything else. >> iraqi civilians were even more vulnerable to american attack from the air, something the coalition didn't like admitting. we looked at the reports of one aerial operation called "steel curtain," an attack on insurgents crossing into iraq, and found they did record collateral damage. in 2006, american television interviewed lieutenant colonel john harris of the u.s. air force, who was involved in the operation. >> do you think that civilians were killed in any of those incidents?
>> i don't know of any-- any friendly fire. i can't say that they were or they weren't. we do our absolute best to make sure that collateral damage is minimized in every case. >> coronel harris didn't appear to be aware of what was contained in the significant activity reports on steel curtain-- the deaths of 30 civilians, including a dozen children. >> steel curtain reported finding civilian bodies buried in 3 separate locations. [gunshots] [screaming in arabic] >> the u.s. military caused so many casualties, that they undoubtedly pushed more and more of the iraqis they had hoped to win over into insurgency. by 2007, 4 years after the invasion, the country had descended into anarchy.
[explosion] >> two bodies down! >> the situation in iraq is unacceptable to the american people, and it is unacceptable to me. our troops in iraq have fought bravely. they have done everything we have asked them to do. where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. >> the president dispatched a new commander, general david petraeus, who announced a change in tactics on the ground to protect civilians and better target the insurgents. it was called "the surge." it involved the increasing use of airpower. >> the usefulness of airpower in counter-insurgency is as a monitor. you use it to see what's going on, to listen, to collect intelligence. but using it either for bombing, or for attacking or strafing a building on the ground or somewhere where you think
insurgents are hiding is very dangerous indeed. >> come on, fire! [machine gun fire] >> i roger. [machine gun fire] >> this video, filmed from the cockpit of an apache helicopter, put on the internet by wikileaks, proves the point. [machine gun fire] [explosion] >> two reuters journalists were killed, and two children were wounded, after the helicopter opened fire. >> hey, uh, i need to get the ramps, the draw ramps. i got a wounded girl we need to take to rustamiyah. >> the helicopter video also shows a hellfire missile being fired into a building, after the pilot claimed 6 insurgents were hiding in it. >> if you'd like, uh, crazyhorse 18 to put up, it's on that building. >> but in the military record of this incident, there's no mention of the pedestrian walking past when the missile was fired.
>> target hit. it was a missile. >> we've discovered from the raw data that 80% of hellfire missiles, that's over 1,300, were fired after the start of petraeus' surge. we traveled to a remote rural location, 3 hours from baghdad, to find the survivors of one of the most shocking attacks. >> [speaking arabic] >> according to the secret record, u.s. forces, who were conducting surveillance, thought an improvised explosive device, or ied, was being planted. >> 5 ied emplacers who were trying to blend in with a sheep herd.
>> [speaking arabic] >> the significant activity report shows that two apache attack helicopters, using the call sign "carnage 27," let off 50 rounds from their machine guns, and launched a hellfire missile at the emplacers. >> they were an anti-armor helicopter designed for the cold war to confront columns of warsaw pact tanks. a hellfire missile is a battlefield missile. it's pretty powerful. and it is designed to be used against armored vehicles or concentrations of troops. >> the crew had made a horrifying mistake. they hadn't blown up insurgents. >> there were 6 children digging for roots to use as firewood.
after the 13-year-old boy was killed, the other children ran out of fear. >> [speaking arabic] >> our analysis of the reports shows that the military acknowledged only 103 civilians killed as a result of air strikes in 6 years. >> the figure 103 is-- is ludicrously too low. airpower is a very blunt weapon. by using airpower regularly, and in fact increasing the use of airpower as the occupation goes on, you're undoubtedly killing a great deal more civilians than the u.s.' own internal assessments suggests. >> and buried away in the files on air strikes we discovered was another reference to the call sign crazyhorse 18. >> the hotel 26, crazyhorse 18.
>> look at those dead bastards. >> it's one of the most grotesque incidents we found and involved their treatment of insurgents who wanted to surrender. >> crazyhorse 18 reports anti-iraqi forces got into a dump truck headed north, engaged, and then they came out wanting to surrender. >> the helicopter crew radioed base seeking advice. >> crazyhorse 18 cleared to engage dump truck. lawyer states they cannot surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets. >> moments later, the two men were killed with a hellfire missile. yet we discovered 4 reports where insurgents were allowed to surrender to a helicopter. but this video,
leaked by liveleaks, shows that others were gunned down with their hands in the air. the number of deaths caused by the americans in iraq, now revealed in the secret files, is shocking. but we have also discovered reports that u.s. forces were abusing prisoners long after the scandal of abu ghraib, and for the first time the records reveal what the americans knew about the barbaric practices of the iraqi security services. we've been given access to the largest leak of military documents in history. secret american army reports logged during the war and occupation of iraq. in all, they amount to 38 million words. we've had to build a computer program to help analyze the content.
one of the most disturbing stories we've uncovered involves the americans' treatment of prisoners after they had been exposed in the abu ghraib scandal. >> good evening. the creeping nightmare of america's involvement in iraq took a new and darker turn today, with claims of torture by u.s. forces. an american television network... >> following international outrage, changes were promised by the u.s. defense secretary donald rumsfeld. >> it's my obligation to evaluate what happened, to make sure that those who have committed wrongdoing are brought to justice, and to make changes as needed to see that it doesn't happen again. >> but we've unearthed 300 allegations of abuse meted out by american forces on iraqi prisoners after abu ghraib. >> detainee reports that he was abused during his capture. detainee is missing his right eye and has scars on his right forearm.
>> detainee alleged that american forces, one, punched him and hit him with weapons; two, threw urine on him; and 3, applied electric shocks to his body. >> two marines allegedly videotaped themselves holding a knife to a detainee's throat and a m9 to the detainee's head. >> over a 6-year period, the data records the imprisonment of 180,000 iraqis. that's one in 50 of the adult male population. >> a lot of innocent people, large numbers of innocent people, were being hoovered up in these military operations, and then sent into a prison system that clearly couldn't cope with them. that is exacerbating, the problems the americans had on the ground in iraq-- alienating the population,
making them seem, at best, like an indiscriminate deployer of force and incarceration of innocent people. >> one of the main reasons given by political leaders to justify the invasion of iraq was to put an end to the oppression and appalling human rights abuses of saddam hussein's regime. they would offer the iraqi people protection. >> we will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new iraq that is prosperous and free. in a free iraq, there will be no more torture chambers. the tyrant will soon be gone. the day of your liberation is near. >> but this was another hollow promise. we've also detected more than 1,300 individual cases of the torture and abuse of iraqi prisoners by iraqis,
in their police stations and army bases, witnessed or reported on by coalition troops. >> subjected to torture by members of the iraqi army. he was suspended from the ceiling. the use of electric drills to bore holes in his legs. >> tortured him by pouring chemicals on his hands, cut his fingers off, and hid him when coalition forces visited. >> i think, if anything, this is the most chilling, horrific, and damning evidence in the material. i think it's fair to say that this material indicates that the iraqi security services, the iraqi police especially, are using torture indiscriminately. this is incredibly damning. >> detainee jabbed with a screwdriver. struck with cables and hoses in the arms, back and legs. electrocuted.
sodomized with a hose. >> but the best guarantee of our security is that people everywhere in the world are allowed to live their lives in decency and freedom, that the knock on the door is not the knock on the door of the secret police, and that, in the end, that freedom is what they want in iraq, what people want everywhere, and what we should be giving to them. [people cheering] >> during the saddam time, the knock on the door was from the security services, but after the occupation, the torture is done by the police and security services, which is the state torture, and militias, by different groups, by gangs, and nobody knows who is doing it outside the state, but the torture is widespread. >> with torture now being endemic in iraq, this completely undermines any justification for the invasion
and any morality for the occupation and the aftermath of the invasion. >> we've also identified two similar military orders issued in 2005, which instructed u.s. soldiers on how to respond to iraqi-on-iraqi abusive prisoners. fragmentary order 039 stated that... >> reports of iraqi-on-iraqi abuse be reported through operational channels. provided the initial report confirms u.s. forces were not involved in the detainee abuse, no further investigation will be conducted unless directed by higher headquarters. >> and the logs also revealed that the americans handed over suspects to the iraqi security services knowing that torture was endemic. almost on a daily basis, u.s. soldiers filed reports of abuse and torture by iraqis on iraqis. >> one detainee was diagnosed
with a possible closed head injury, another with a possible jaw fracture, and the third with a possible spinal injury. >> iraqi police and iraqi army shot and killed a local national. 3 marines discovered the local national after they heard the two shots fired. >> iraqi police beat them-- died as a result of the abuse. >> all these reports were marked... >> as coalition forces were not involved in the alleged abuse, no further investigation is necessary. >> in total, we found 21 ending with that phrase. in some cases, there were investigations into torture, but we don't know what action, if any, was taken against the iraqi perpetrators. >> the u.s. forces infamously dismantled the iraqi army, rebuilt it, and retrained it. they constantly, from 2003
through to 2009/10, retrained, had advisors amongst the iraqi police. and yet they didn't, systematically, regularly, intervene to stop what they knew was happening. >> good afternoon, folks. last week... >> during a press conference, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general peter pace and the then u.s. defense secretary donald rumsfeld seemed at odds over what orders existed if u.s. troops were aware of torture. >> it is absolutely the responsibility of every u.s. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted to intervene to stop it. >> i don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it. it's to report it. >> if they're physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, they have an obligation to try to stop it.
>> they really did not try hard enough to stop these infringements of human rights, because they didn't care, and they wanted to let the iraqis kill each other, you know. the thing, you know-- more iraqis were killed by iraqis than they were killed by americans or anybody else, you know. >> individual cases are reported, the evidence is collected, but it stills seems to be a culture of iraq impunity to use torture, because, as far as we can tell, those people repeatedly using torture are not repeatedly prosecuted. >> the americans made public claims that they investigated allegations of torture in some of iraq's prisons, on 7 separate occasions, between late november 2005 and march 2006. >> but the people being held in those facilities were being properly taken care of. they were being fed, they had water,
they were taken care of. so no abuse, no evidence of torture in those facilities. >> but the data shows that, during the same time period, the army recorded 76 separate allegations of abuse of iraqis by the iraqi security services in other places, and reported them up their chain of command. >> i don't think they turned completely a blind eye, but i don't think they made really strenuous efforts to stop it. either because they did not want to interfere, and... and also because they didn't want to get involved. >> one of the ways that the u.s. wanted to hand control back to the iraqi people, was to establish and train new iraqi security forces. but these were easily infiltrated by sectarian militias with their own motives. >> [speaking arabic]
>> in or out of police uniform, the sectarian militia death squads of the new iraq were responsible for bloodshed on an unprecedented scale. [gunshots] >> [screaming] >> the data shows that the americans were aware of the horrific level of the violence. over 32,500 civilians were murdered. the vast majority, found by coalition patrols, were unidentified corpses, dumped, often in the river tigris.
more than 10,000 were found shot in the head. nearly 450 were decapitated. over 160 were children. a senior iraqi army officer, who wanted to remain anonymous, witnessed the horror. >> [speaking arabic] >> [singing] >> in 2006, 2007, you had bodies dropped at up to 100, 150 a day with drills, bodies floating in the river with terrible signs of torture, and killings. and they were done by militias or policemen that affiliated with militias. >> floating in the tigris.
burned with chemicals. body did not have head or hands. 12-year-old male, cinder block smashed into his face and tied to his head. >> the child was about 6 years old. several small holes, originally thought to be gunshot wounds, were holes caused by a drill. >> while the numbers of bodies can be counted, there are no reliable figures for the numbers of iraqis who have simply disappeared. in the baghdad morgue, there's a missing room. families whose relatives are missing, presumed dead, come here to try and recognize a body. >> [speaking arabic] >> the photographs of 20,000 corpses are kept on file to help people like athraa mohammed. she's trying to find the body
of her husband, who disappeared two years ago. >> [speaking arabic] >> athraa mohammed is one of iraq's one million widows. >> [speaking arabic] >> there is no official agency to help people in their desperate search. but given that the u.s. military knew the date, time, and location of thousands of deaths, maybe the database could provide some answers and help families discover what happened to their missing relatives. one thing the database does reveal is the greatest irony in america's war on terror. the alleged link between al qaeda and iraq, which
was used to justify the war. we've obtained the u.s. military secret logs of the war and occupation in iraq. they give a totally new insight into the conflict and its aftermath. >> deadly chaos in the heart of baghdad. [explosion] a man with a mobile phone filmed the second blast. >> ...concerns about a new wave of terrorism. local police say they arrested two members of al qaeda after another car bomb was intercepted. >> scores were dead and dying after two massive suicide bombers... >> the secret files revealed the greatest irony in america's war on terror: the reported link between al qaeda, the terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center, and iraq. and, yet again, the files
expose the difference between what leaders say in public and what was happening on the ground. >> iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by abu musab al-zarqawi, an associate collaborator of osama bin laden and his al qaeda lieutenants. iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al qaeda. these denials are simply not credible. >> but the files show that, when the american army invaded, they quickly discovered a different story. we looked for references to al qaeda in iraq from the earliest days of the occupation. in 2004, there are only 7 brief mentions of the terrorist organization, and no suggestion that they had killed anyone. by 2008, however, there were more than 8,000 entries. that's 1 in 7 of all the significant activity reports
being filed. and al qaeda in iraq was linked to the deaths of 45 coalition soldiers, almost 500 members of the iraqi security services, and nearly 1,300 civilians. >> al qaeda in iraq has been created as a consequence of the american invasion of iraq. the americans tried to break it in 2007/8, and, as american troops are now drawing down, al qaeda is reconstituting as a major cause of death and suffering in iraq. >> al qaeda in iraq grew stronger by exploiting the iraqis' discontent with the americans caused by civilian casualties, the abu ghraib scandal, and the divisive political system. >> the united states and allies came believing that iraqi society, by its nature, is divided along sectarian lines.
and therefore they felt that the political system that they were going to encourage, to establish, would have to reflect these sectarian differences. >> al qaeda in iraq was able to take advantage of the situation to deadly effect. >> [speaking arabic] >> our analysis of the data shows that petraeus' 2007 surge did have an effect on members of al qaeda in iraq. but the reports noted that while significant numbers of al qaeda in iraq were being killed, there were plenty more to replace them. >> intelligence assessment. we have seen multiple sensitive reports indicating that a surge of suicide bombers
and car bombs... foreign fighters, especially saudi, have recently been placed into positions of power with al qaeda direct action cells. there's little to keep the hardcore foreign fighters from continuing to conduct these types of attacks. >> in 2008, this video was seized by u.s. soldiers in a raid. it purports to show that al qaeda in iraq was training iraqi children in terrorism. that's a claim supported by some of the reports in the secret files. we've uncovered 10 suicide bombings involving children as young as 11. according to the reports, al qaeda in iraq's child squads were called the "hummingbird cell," "birds of heaven," and "youth of paradise." the americans identified
why youngsters were attracted to al qaeda in iraq. >> children are coerced into the organization by the lure of money or presents, and a sense of belonging. >> one report describes an al qaeda grenade attack on a u.s. military police unit. >> 300th military police company reported seeing two males, approximately 13 years old, conduct the attack on their patrol. mps did not engage the two males. >> but al qaeda in iraq weren't just recruiting the very young, the reports suggest they found an even more vulnerable group. in february 2008, in a pet market in baghdad, two female suicide bombers killed 72 and wounded a further 147. >> it is believed that the suicide bomber was unwitting, and appears to have been handicapped.
>> one secret report reveals a raid on this mental hospital, days after that bombing, to arrest a doctor. >> intelligence assessment. detainee allegedly received unspecified payment to provide a list of female patients to them. these females were likely used in the 1st of february dual suicide attack on local markets. >> but the most devastating attacks by al qaeda in iraq were large-scale. >> two blast sites, one at baghdad provincial council, one at the ministry of justice. 61 killed and 252 wounded. >> that report is one of the last contained in the american army files. from october 2009, they started to draw down,
and ship troops home, leaving iraqis in control of their own security. the united states department of defense told dispatchers that it deplored wikileaks for their actions in sharing secret information with the world, which they said endangered troops. they stated... >> we strongly condemn the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, and will not comment on these leaked documents, other than to note that "significant activities" reports are initial raw observations by tactical units. they are essentially snapshots of events, both tragic and mundane, and do not tell the whole story. >> today in baghdad, the sunnis and shias are separated by huge walls, and the violence continues. >> [speaking arabic]
>> these graves at the najaf cemetery have only one word on them, it's "majhoul," the arabic for "unknown," and their numbers are growing. >> today, in 2010, iraq is still a very violent, very unstable place. averagely about 500 people a month, innocent civilians, are being murdered. violence, extrajudicial violence by the state, torture, is commonplace. the political elite are resented and seems profoundly corrupt. this is a dreadful place to live. >> military historians will take years to properly analyze all the information in the secret files, which chronicle the detail of war as never before. others have already delivered their verdict. >> the united states has paid a huge price to put the future of iraq in the hands of its people. we persevered because
of a belief we share with the iraqi people-- a belief that, out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. >> [speaking arabic] >> how can you not feel sorry about people who have died? i mean, you would be inhuman if you didn't think that. but when i'm asked whether i regret the decision, you know, i have to say i take responsibility for it, but i can't regret the decision.