On a daytime patrol in central Baghdad just over than a week ago, a U.S. military advisory team and Iraqi soldiers happened to look over a wall and found something horrific.
"They saw multiple bodies laying on the floor of the facility," Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson of the 82nd Airborne Division told CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. "They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball (to) try and get some attention, and actually one of the kids lifted up their head, tilted it over and just looked and then went back down. And they said, 'oh, they're alive' and so they went into the building."
Inside the building, a government-run orphanage for special needs children, the soldiers found more emaciated little bodies tied to the cribs. They had been kept this way for more than a month, according to the soldiers called in to rescue the 24 boys.
"I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face," Staff Sgt. Michael Beale said.
"The kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own waste — feces — and there were three people that were cooking themselves food, but nothing for the kids," Lt. Stephen Duperre said.
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And while the story goes on to describe how these children were saved by US troops who found them, it misses the larger point: the reason those children were there in the first place.
Ignoring the fact that the war is responsible for their circumstances, the final paragraph reads:
This is a tough test for the Iraqi government: How a nation cares for its most vulnerable is one of the most important benchmarks for the health of any society.
America, heal thyself before you start pointing fingers at other countries' governments. Your human and civil rights record is horrendous and you don't get to shift responsibility for your Iraq war failures on a government in a country you are illegally occupying.
Those children's fates are your nightmarish creation.
Related: Conditions in Iraqi refugee camps 'atrocious': UN official