Here's an excerpt of Anthony Shadid speaking:
Mr. SHADID: You know, Terry, I tried you know, one of the things that's really haunted me, I think, over the past, you know, seven years in Iraq is this notion of how anonymous death is in Iraq, you know, how many people have I mean, we're talking about 100,000 people, perhaps far more who have died, millions who have been forced to leave the country and like I said earlier, you know, a society that is traumatized, absolutely traumatized.
And I wanted to somehow capture, you know, kind of write against that notion of the anonymity of death. And so I went to the morgue. And, you know, we spent a couple days there at the morgue as families came in looking at these pictures that were put on screens on the wall of corpses, basically.
And, you know, it was just this, you know, remarkably disturbing collage of death. Each of these faces seemed almost like they were kind of right out of Pompeii, you know, frozen in the moment that they had died.
And one the second day, a family had come in. They had lost their son back in 2005. They didn't know what had happened to him, and they had heard from a relative, or actually a friend - I take that back - a friend, that an acquaintance of this person, of their son who had died, had been found in the pictures. And so they came hoping to find his picture.
You know, within a few moments, they had. And this started a journey, in way, to find his body. They saw the picture in the morgue, and then they had to go through this incredibly again, I keep using this word, but an incredibly brutal experience of navigating Iraqi bureaucracy, of dealing with a government that just does not really care about its people.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"