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YOUR WORLD TODAY

U.S. Military Releases Zarqawi Autopsy Findings; Day Four Action at World Cup; Suicides at Guantanamo; Haditha Investigations Continue

Aired June 12, 2006 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: How exactly did Iraq's most wanted insurgent die? U.S. military officials lay out the details from the airstrike that killed Musab al-Zarqawi while an Islamic Web site says it has named a successor.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: World Cup fever. U.S. football fans cheer their team as it prepares to take on the Czech Republic at the games in Germany.

CLANCY: And Tropical Storm Alberto. U.S. forecasters predicting a strengthening as it sweeps towards Florida.

It is 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad, 6:00 p.m. in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

I'm Jim Clancy.

GORANI: Well done there.

I'm Hala Gorani.

Welcome to our viewers throughout the world and the United States.

This is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CLANCY: Filling the vacuum. A shadowy militant is now said to be calling the shots for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

GORANI: The news comes as the U.S. president, George W. Bush, huddles with his top advisers to decide where U.S. strategy in Iraq goes from here. We're expecting to hear from the president shortly.

But we begin in Baghdad, where the U.S. military is releasing new details about the death of Iraq's most wanted terrorist. It says Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lived for almost an hour after the first two huge bombs leveled his hideout.

John Vause has the latest on the autopsy results and joins us now live from Baghdad -- John.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello.

According to the autopsy, Zarqawi was in his safe house at the time of the airstrike. The pathologists say he died from what was called primary blast injuries. Essentially, the shock wave caused by the explosion of the two bombs. The fact there was relatively few external injuries, we are told, is indicative of massive internal injuries.

At this briefing today, Major General Caldwell gave this assessment from a U.S. medic who tried to administer first aid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. ARMY: The medic assured Zarqawi was breathing; however, he noted the breathing was shallow and labored. The medic then checked his carotid pulse, which was barely palpable and quickly deteriorated, and which he determined, therefore, that Zarqawi's death was imminent.

Lack of serious external injuries led to the belief that he had suffered massive internal injuries. The medic registered no pulse or respiration, and at 7:04 p.m. on 7, June, realized that Zarqawi was dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Now, that time of death means that Zarqawi stayed alive for exactly 52 minutes after the airstrike. The cause of death, Caldwell went on to say, was essentially massive damage, especially to the lungs. Essentially, what they are saying, the lungs filled up, and all of the blood vessels exploded.

Now, the autopsy took about three hours. Another examination was also carried out on the spiritual adviser, Zarqawi's aide, who was also in that safe house compound. And he was -- he was -- he was killed instantly by this airstrike. And the pathologist reasoned that he may have been in a separate location within that safe house compound.

Now, the purpose of these autopsies was to end the speculation that had surrounded Zarqawi's death ever since it was revealed that he wasn't killed straightaway in that airstrike. The U.S. military says Zarqawi's body has been treated with cultural sensitivities and with the utmost respect, as if he was a member of coalition forces.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALDWELL: The scientific facts provide irrefutable evidence regarding the death of these terrorists and will serve to counter speculation, misinformation and propaganda. The Iraqi people deserve the facts, to know that the personal threat of Zarqawi was eliminated and the fact that he was treated better in death than he was -- than he treated others in life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Now, discussions are under way with the Iraqi government to decide exactly what should be done now with Zarqawi's remains -- Hala.

GORANI: Now, John, tell us about these Web site claims that militants have already named a successor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

VAUSE: Well, according to this one Islamic Web site, there is a new boss of Al Qaeda in Iraq. We don't know a lot about him.

We know his name, according to this Web site, is Abu al-Hamsa al- Muhaja (ph). Now, that may be a made up name. It could be a pseudonym. It could be a pseudonym for a man known as al-Masri, the man that the Iraqi and U.S. officials actually expected to take over Al Qaeda in Iraq.

As far as al-Muhaja (ph) is concerned, not a lot is known except, according to this Web site, he is a "good brother," an "experienced jihadist," and he will continue, according to this Web site in the way of Zarqawi, which you can read in a continuation of the same brutal tactics of Zarqawi, of kidnapping, targeting Iraqi civilians, and beheadings -- Hala.

GORANI: John Vause live in Baghdad -- Jim.

CLANCY: U.S. President George W. Bush and his top aides hope to map out a strategy for Iraq. This is an ongoing process. Today they're meeting at Camp David. This is going to be about two days of talks.

The meeting really planned before the death of al-Zarqawi in that U.S. airstrike. Bush said the meeting would focus on how best to deploy America's resources in Iraq and achieve the goal of an Iraq that can govern, sustain and defend itself.

GORANI: Now, Israeli officials say five people have been killed and dozens hurt in a rail accident. Witnesses say a passenger train slammed into a truck at a crossing near Netanya. The truck was apparently trying to get around a safety barrier when it was hit by the train. The first four cars of the train actually derailed.

CLANCY: Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, in London this day, saying he will make every effort to negotiate with the Palestinians. But he says if that fails, Israel is prepared to act unilaterally.

Mr. Olmert is in London. This is the first -- first stop on a European tour to win support for his plan to set Israel's borders.

He met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair just a short while ago. Mr. Blair said a negotiated settlement is possible, desirable and necessary. He's urging both sides to pursue negotiations. Mr. Olmert says if necessary, Israel will unilaterally withdraw from most of the West Bank and retain, though, the Jordan valley and large settlement blocs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EHUD OLMERT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The point is that we are prepared to pull out from most of the territories. We are prepared to pull out from territories that will create a contiguous territory for the Palestinians to create an independent Palestinian state. Instead of starting this process and accepting the basic principles, the Palestinians are fighting with us, are terrorizing the entire Middle East, and are not prepared to start this process. And I think that this is a great mistake. This is a missing of a great opportunity.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The Middle East and our attempts to try and find a way of moving forward, the first is to say that the principles that are there and are necessary for a negotiated settlement are very clear. They're the recognition on the one hand that there should be an independent viable Palestinian state. On the other hand, the recognition of Israel.

They are the renunciation of violence. And, of course, also an adherence to the roadmap, which is a document drawn up in consultation with the whole of the international community and agreed by the quartet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, as all these talks are going on in London, on the ground in the Middle East, tensions are especially high after a sharp escalation of violence. Israeli aircraft fired on militant targets in Gaza over the weekend in response to rocket attacks. They say Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets into southern Israel after Hamas called off a 16-month truce.

Hamas says it has the right to defend the Palestinian people after artillery shells killed eight civilians on a Gaza beach Friday. Israel says it regrets the loss of innocent life, but it has not accepted responsibility, saying an investigation will determine who fired the shells.

All of this comes as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has won more time to try to persuade Hamas to accept a plan for statehood. Hamas lawmakers have backed off a threat to derail a referendum Mr. Abbas has called on the plan. They've delayed a key vote until next week, saying they want to give ongoing negotiations a chance.

Hamas opposes the plan because it calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, tacitly recognizing Israel's right to exist. Mr. Abbas has said the referendum will take place next month with or without Hamas support.

CLANCY: All right. Let's shift gears here to the story that has captured the fascination of literally more than a billion people around the world.

We'll go to Germany now. Day four of, yes, the World Cup.

Monday's first match treated fans to a spectacular finish. And the United States and the Czech Republic just kicked off their 2006 play, facing each other in Gelsenkirchen.

Mark McKay joins us now in Germany. He's in Berlin with all the day's action.

Hello, Mark.

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hello again, Jim.

Yes, U.S. President George W. Bush phoned his national team, wished them well, and said that he "can't wait to see their win." We're going to have to see about that.

The United States is having to play from behind as they meet the Czech Republic as I speak. We're into the opening in Gelsenkirchen. And of the U.S., they're no lightweight. But I tell you what, they're going to have to find a way to come back against a very experienced, a very seasoned Czech side that scored just five minutes in. Jan Koller doing the honors for the Czech Republic as they lead this one-nil in the opening half.

Now, the day's first match, as Jim mentioned, was a thriller. It played out in Kaiserslautern against Gus Hiddink and Australia. Hiddink, of course, worked his magic with South Korea four years ago.

Japan against Australia. And the first one of the day came off the shoe of Nekimura (ph). He finds the opposing keeper, Mark Schwartzer (ph), out of position. The goal stands 1-nil Japan.

In the 84th minute, the Socceroos of Australia find their substitute, Tim Cahill. And watch him clean up the mess in the area. It's 1-1.

Five minutes later, Cahill does it again. He finds some space, fires in his second strike -- 2-1, Australia.

Cahill leaving the Japanese keeper no chance. He curls the ball, and off the post and in. The Aussies are out in front.

Then Cahill's teammate, John Aloisi, put icing on the cake in injury (ph) time. That's the third and final for Australia. The Socceroos finding success in their first World Cup finals match in 32 years. The final, 3-1, Australia over Japan.

The first Monday of the World Cup will be put to bed in Hanover in just a few hours' time. That is when Italy and Ghana open their group, E, encounter. The Italians, they are a very experienced side, making their 16th World Cup finals appearance.

This is a team that has won the golden trophy no fewer than three times. So the Italians will certainly be a formidable foe for a Ghana side that is making their World Cup debut. bay. So to say that Ghana won't be nervous on the world's big stage would certainly be an understatement as Ghana attempts to do the impossible, and that's knock down Italy as the World Cup opens for both of those sides.

Of course, Ghana is making their World Cup debut and so is Togo. Togo was a team that would have gone into the World Cup without their coach if not for an agreement. Otto Pfister had walked out over the weekend. There is a pay dispute between the Togoan players and their government. But their coach is back, and he will coach beside the Togo side as they open World Cup play against South Korea on Tuesday.

That's the very latest from beside the Brandenburg Gate here in Berlin.

Mark McKay reporting. It's back to Jim.

CLANCY: All right. Mark McKay in Berlin.

Thank you so much for that.

We'll check in with Mark a little bit later.

CNN wants to hear from you if you're attending the World Cup. Why don't you send us an e-mail of some photos you take, video clips, or just your comments. Send them to the "Fan Zone," as we call it.

You can get it at worldcup@CNN.com. That's the e-mail address, worldcup@CNN.com.

We're going to be sharing a lot of those photos, whatever we get from you, a little bit later this hour.

GORANI: Well, as we heard there, the Czech Republic has jumped out to the lead in the early going with the United States. Let's get a closer look at that match.

We're joined by Chris Burns via broadband.

Chris, disappointment for the U.S. fans, but I presume Czech Republic fans, though, jumping up and down very early on in this match-up

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, imagine that the roar of the crowd you can hear from outside the stadium. It was just amazing.

Yes, of course, they're overjoyed. It's about a 60-40 split. More Czechs here than Americans, but quite remarkable that there are tends of thousands of Americans here in this stadium.

On the other hand, if you take into consideration there are 70,000 U.S. soldiers and their families based here in Germany, it's almost like a home game. So that's why there are so many here.

Of course a bit of a disappointment. But, you know, we talked to a couple of U.S. fans from San Diego before the game started. They said, look, we have heard that of course a lot of our buddies would like to see the Americans win, but we're trying to be more realistic. We're hoping for a draw.

Well, they, too, are disappointed, but at least the U.S. is in the games here. That's already an accomplishment. And in the ratings, they're number five, Czech is number two. So if they do not get past this game, they've got a couple more. But they've got Italy next week. That's also a tough one.

GORANI: Chris, you've already -- you've already -- you're sounding like they've lost already. There's 80 minutes left in the game and they're only down one goal.

Is that because the odds are against the U.S.? Because that's the case. The bookmakers say the odds are against the U.S. And if you lose your first match, it's very difficult statistically to end up in the quarter finals.

BURNS: Well, it's a question of a big no (ph). But, of course, facing off with the Italians next week is going to be tough.

But keep in mind there, too, that's really going to be a home game. Kaiserslautern, where they're going to play in southwestern Germany, is just chock fuel of U.S. bases. And you're going to see what could essentially be a home game there. There are going to be so many Americans there cheering their team on. So they just might give them that psychological advantage.

GORANI: Chris Burns reporting live from Germany.

Thanks very much.

CLANCY: All right. The both of you sound way too anti-U.S. in this. You know, too pessimistic here. Let's take it to the fans.

GORANI: I'm not pessimistic at all. You saw the Japan-Australia game where they scored three goals in, like, eight minutes.

CLANCY: That's right.

GORANI: So, you know, everything is possible in this game. That's why it's so entertaining. That's what some people say.

CLANCY: Exactly. Let's take it to the viewers, though. And this is the question we're asking today...

GORANI: Is the U.S. soccer team as good as its number five ranking?

CLANCY: That's -- we want to know what you think. Send us your ideas to -- by e-mail to YWT@CNN.com. YOUR WORLD TODAY, YWT@CNN.com.

GORANI: OK. Before we move on, we are going to -- let's see -- what are we doing?

As we noted a moment ago, with the first half barely under way, the Czech Republic is already 1-nil over the USA. We're going to take a look at that scoreboard just to remind our viewers exactly what's going on in Germany right now.

One for the Czech Republic, nil for the U.S. We'll be following that game and bringing you the latest...

CLANCY: Very early -- very early in play.

GORANI: ... throughout the hour.

CLANCY: Let's change gears.

Now, the controversy has been deepening on Guantanamo Bay as a result of three suicides at that prison camp.

GORANI: Human rights groups are demanding an independent investigation. And pressure is growing to close the facility. We'll get more on the fallout in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY.

(WEATHER REPORT)

CLANCY: Well, the U.S. military reports two of the three prisoners who died Saturday at the Guantanamo Bay detention center did have ties to al Qaeda. It says the third man was cleared already to be transferred to another country.

The U.S. military says the three committed suicide by hanging. Two of them were from Saudi Arabia, one from Yemen.

Human rights groups now are demanding independent investigations into the three men's suicides. The incident renewing, of course, criticism at that base, that detention center. Long-standing calls to shut down the facility are obviously growing louder.

GORANI: The facilities holding some 500 inmates, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan shortly after the U.S.-led war. Some critics say the suicides are more evidence that the controversial camp should be closed.

Let's get more on the issue. We go to retired U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis. He's an expert in national security and foreign affairs.

Now, we've had calls from around the world for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. Even the U.S. president hopes that it will be emptied. What happens, though, with the inmates at Guantanamo Bay? Do they go through the U.S. judicial system? Do they get released back to their country of origin?

ROBERT MAGINNIS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, Hala, we've been trying to repatriate as many people as possible. In fact, in May, 15 Saudis were returned to Saudi Arabia. But there are certain countries that are unwilling to meet the humane requirements for repatriation. And we're just concerned, to a certain degree, about these people ending up in the battlefield.

Some of the people who have been released in the past have, in fact, returned to Afghanistan. And, of course, we would be concerned about Iraq as well.

So, yes, if we were to bring them into this country, as well, then we would have to deal with the U.S. judiciary, and it tends to have some pretty activist attorneys and a very sympathetic court system. In fact, there is a case right now before the Supreme Court to be decided this month, the Hamden (ph) case, that may, in fact, throw out the military commissions that we're trying to put in place.

GORANI: Now, critics are saying, look, you've got about 460 men in there. Either charge them or release them. It's been four years now, with only 10 men charged so far. And the rest of them, according to human rights groups, in a legal black hole. And they're saying that the U.S. is concerned about sending them back to a country where they might be tortured.

Why all of a sudden this concern for their well-being when they haven't been given due process for this many years?

MAGINNIS: Well, Hala, the due process issue, of course, is being discussed. And it is a tough issue.

Now, as far as humane treatment, I've been at Guantanamo. I've seen all the facilities, the food, the medical treatment, and so forth. So I think they're being treated humanely.

But, you know, anyone in isolation or in small groups that's being incarcerated, it's not a pleasant experience. But our concern is that, you release some of these terrorists, these bomb-makers, these al Qaeda financiers, they're going to return to their own countries or elsewhere, and they're going to perpetrate more of the same thing they've been developing over the years.

So we have to make sure that if they're released, they're released to the proper authorities and they're controlled.

GORANI: Well, there are bad guys at Guantanamo Bay, no doubt, according to many. But why not -- Zacarias Moussaoui was tried in the U.S. Why not try them in the U.S.?

MAGINNIS: Well, he was a U.S. citizen, as I recall. And, you know, that's a different proposition. Plus, he was never returned.

These people were not taken directly to the U.S. It has a lot to do, unfortunately, with the U.S. judicial system and jurisdiction.

You know, arguably, Guantanamo belongs to the U.S., but it's really a Cuban facility. And whether or not we can use it the way we want to I think is really part of what is going to be tried in U.S. courts in the coming years.

GORANI: All right. Many thanks, Robert Maginnis, for joining us here on YOUR WORLD TODAY.

MAGINNIS: Thank you, Hala.

GORANI: A whole lot more after the break. Stay with us. You're with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at CNN Center in Atlanta. More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes. First, though, a check of headlines here in the U.S.

And we begin with breaking news out of Pittsburgh, and one of the best athletes in the NFL. WTAE, our affiliate in Pittsburgh, reporting that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been involved in a motorcycle accident. The Steelers have confirmed the accident to the station.

A witness saying that Roethlisberger went over the handlebars, hit the windshield of another vehicle, and then hit the ground. Also, that he was not wearing a helmet.

Police have closed the bridge where it happened. Apparently, Roethlisberger has been taken to the hospital. There are no updates right now on the extent of his injuries.

Once again, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger -- they, of course, the Super Bowl champions -- involved in a motorcycle accident earlier today in Pittsburgh. More on that as it becomes available.

Right now, Florida bracing for Alberto. The tropical storm is getting stronger and could be a hurricane when it makes landfall tomorrow.

(WEATHER REPORT)

KAGAN: Well, let's go down to the ground and the latest from the Florida Gulf Coast. Susan Candiotti is in Clearwater Beach -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Daryn. Yes, the wind not that heavy right now, but the rain has become more steady over the past couple of hours. And we are seeing more and more storm preparation. For example, on the top of that building that's under construction, that crane had been moving frequently in the last few minutes, and now it's temporarily stopped, moving material from the ground level up to the roof, presumably to secure it.

And over here, they've got some high-rise apartment buildings. We have not seen anyone taking in their furniture from the balcony, but it is a tropical storm so perhaps they feel it will be secure. I don't know.

Moving over here to the shoreline, you know, the waves are not large at all this time really. Just a little bit coming in. And some people using skim boards taking a bit of a break. There's someone running into the water now, taking advantage of this. This is a good opportunity. Move over to the left. There are children in the water. I can only hope that there is an adult were with them because authorities are concerned about the possibility of rip currents at anytime. And hopefully, people will heed those warnings.

They're expecting up to ten inches of rain. And some areas north of here, some communities, are providing sandbags to their residents. Back to you.

KAGAN: Susan Candiotti in Clearwater Beach. Thank you.

And stay with CNN for the updates on the progress of Tropical Storm Alberto. We'll have those for you at the top of the hour. Meanwhile, YOUR WORLD TODAY continues after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Here with YOUR WORLD TODAY, I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. These are some of the stories making headlines around the world.

The United States military reports Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lived for nearly an hour after his hideout in Iraq was bombed. It says an autopsy shows the insurgent leader died from blast injuries. There was no evidence that he was beaten or shot.

U.S. President George W. Bush and his top aides, meantime, hoping to map out a strategy for Iraq in an ongoing process. They're going to be meeting over the next two days at Camp David.

GORANI: Also in the headlines, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he will make quote, "every effort to negotiate with the Palestinians." But he says if that fails, Israel is prepared to act on its own. Mr. Olmert met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, trying to win support for his plan to set borders. The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, has won more time to try to persuade Hamas to accept a plan for statehood. Hamas lawmakers have delayed action against a referendum on the proposal, saying they want to give ongoing negotiations a chance.

CLANCY: Japan learned that 80 minutes do not a football match make. The final ten were fatal to the Japanese hopes against Australia on day four of the World Cup, Tim Cahill putting two goals past the Japanese keeper within just five minutes. And John Aloisi rounding out a spectacular comeback finish for the Socceroos, as they're called. They ended up topping Japan 3-1.

GORANI: The U.S. marine sergeant in charge during an incident last November in the Iraqi town of Haditha claims there was no massacre. The lawyer for Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich says his client is terribly sorrowful about the deaths of 24 civilians, but that all were killed inadvertently. In his first television interview, the attorney, Neal Puckett, tells CNN he's hopeful that a full investigation will clear his client of intentional wrongdoing.

James McIntyre reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The lawyer for the senior marine at the scene of the killing says the marines followed the standard rules of engagement last November, and that the 24 civilians who died were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

NEAL PUCKETT, ATTORNEY FOR SGT. FRANK WUTERICH: It's clear that innocent civilians died that day, but they died according to what we call the fog of war.

MCINTYRE: Neal Puckett represents then-sergeant now Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, the leader of a four-man team that killed the occupants of two houses that day. He's told his attorney several Marines witnessed hostile fire coming from inside the house.

PUCKETT: That door was -- was kicked in. A frag grenade was thrown -- thrown inside. And immediately following that, the lead man in the stack went in firing his weapon and killed everyone inside.

MCINTYRE: Puckett, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, insists that was the standard procedure for clearing a suspected insurgent hideout, and that the first Marine in, who was not Wuterich, had done it before in Falluja.

PUCKETT: There was very little experience on the ground that day, but the one marine who did have experience in Falluja and who had cleared houses the very same way was that first man through the door. And that was what he was trained to do.

MCINTYRE: It was Sergeant Wuterich's first real combat, says Puckett, and he believed he was in hot pursuit of enemy fighters.

PUCKETT: They finished with that room, and there's no one else in the house. And Sergeant Wuterich noticed that the back door is wide open. He presumes that the guys who were firing had escaped out the back. So they went back out the front door, stealthily went around the house. And the most likely house that they could possibly be in, their fallback position, was cleared the same way.

MCINTYRE: Puckett says Wuterich fired no shots at either house, but he did fire on five men in a car after they refused orders in Arabic to lie on the ground and instead took off running. He says the marines thought the car might have contained another bomb and didn't know the men were unarmed.

The marines say they shot others that day, too. According to Puckett, in one case, unarmed civilians were shot after they were spotted running from the scene of the attack. And in another, a third house, where one man had an AK-47, was cleared by a different group of marines who shot everyone inside.

But Puckett argues it was all done by the book.

PUCKETT: Sergeant Wuterich does not believe that he did anything wrong on that day. He followed the rules of engagement as had been instructed to him by professional instructors, by his chain of command. And everything he understood he was supposed to do, he did. They were in houses that were suspected insurgent hiding places from which the marines were taking fire.

MCINTYRE (on camera): How does Sergeant Wuterich feel about what happened?

PUCKETT: He's incredibly sorry that innocent civilians were killed, but he knows that he relied on his Marine Corps training to protect his men that day.

MCINTYRE (voice-over): Puckett says if anything was to blame for the deaths, it was the rules of engagement that didn't provide enough protection for innocent civilians. He's hopeful his client, a 26- year-old father of two, won't be charged with anything as seriously a murder once the investigation wraps up later this summer.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: A journalist based in the Middle East notes that the smoke of the Iraq war is drifting over Lebanon. "Washington Post" writer Anthony Shadid says some men who have fought in Iraq are now returning to Lebanon, and that is inspiring a climate of militancy there. Anthony Shadid joins us now. He is in Beirut.

Anthony, thanks so much for being with us. Let me just start. You know, some years ago, people, the Pentagon included, started talking about Iraq as a magnet for militants and insurgents from all over the Middle East, and indeed other parts of the world, coming there to fight U.S. troops. Now it would appear the tide is turning. They're going out. What does that really spell for the future?

SHADID: Well, I think one of the questions that still remains unanswered is the impact of the Iraq war on the rest of the region. And like the war itself, I think the war in this region is fuel of unintended consequences. And it seems that this flow of fighters to the rest of the region, to Lebanon, for example, is maybe the first sign of what we're going to see, of what we're bracing for in the future.

There is a sense Tripoli, a city in northern Lebanon that has long been a center of Islamic-Arab nationalism, political activism -- there is definitely a shift, both a shift in terms of social mores, in terms of political activism toward a more militant line. It's something that remains beneath the surface. But you definitely do see the signs of it, and it definitely correlates, I think, with the war that in its fourth year now in Iraq.

CLANCY: You tell the story of one man, Abu Haritha (ph), who wants to stay in Iraq, wants to carry on the fight. But I'm wondering, you also tell the story of people who say, hey, time to get out of here. I don't want to be involved in this. Shortly after the downfall of Saddam Hussein many thought, well, this is over for now.

I heard a lot of stories while I was there. To be honest, many of the men who fought in Iraq refuse today talk. There is surveillance and scrutiny on them. And the people I was able to speak to, there was a difference in opinion. Among them, people in Haditha, were looking for a fight that was going to go on, not only in Iraq, but the rest of the region. Other people had seen what had happened in Iraq. They didn't want to seem to want to embrace that in the future. I guess what strikes me is one story that I heard from one man who sent his sons. Once he arrived in Falluja, they told him to go back to Lebanon.

SHADID: You know, I heard a lot of stories when I was there. And to be honest, many of the men that have fought in Iraq were reluctant to talk. They didn't -- they refused to do interviews. There is some surveillance and scrutiny by the Lebanese government on them, and I think there's also a certain wariness of talking to journalists about what's going on.

But the people I was able to speak to, there was a difference in opinion among them. Some people like Abu Haritah were looking for a fight that was going to go on, not only in Iraq, but in the rest of the region. Other people were, you know, had had their fill in some respects. They had seen what had happened in Iraq, and they didn't seem to want to embrace anymore of that in the future.

I guess what strikes me, in some sense, is one story that I heard from one Islamic activist there who sent his two sons to fight in Falluja. Once the arrived in Falluja, Iraqi insurgents there told him to go back to Lebanon, saying that the fight wasn't in Iraq for them to fight, actually was here in Lebanon and the rest of the region.

CLANCY: All right, as you look at all of the things, one of the things you that note is the seeds of hatred being planted. And as we saw in Afghanistan, when that ended, people returned, conflicts spread in other areas, some of those fighters showed up, even in Bosnia. Is the same thing happening today? It is too early to predict that kind of a thing?

SHADID: You know what's interesting, I think, especially for journalists who have been in the Middle East for a while, is that when we see these seismic conflicts, we often see the consequences of them much later.

When you look at the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the rise of Hezbollah, it played out over a few years, but definitely a few years later. When we look at the Gulf War in 1991, the rise of bin Laden and al Qaeda, definitely a consequence of that. Again, played out later.

I think we're waiting to see what the consequences of this war are going to be in the rest of the region. And what struck me about Tripoli, the city in northern Lebanon, was that this was perhaps the first sign of what actually is coming. It's not only the fighters themselves that might be returning to their homes, but also certain currents of though, certain currents of militancy that might taking hold and that might serve for at least a certain group of people a model for the future. CLANCY: What is nourishing these seeds of hatred, or as you call it, you know, the militancy, the rising militancy. Is it -- you know, what they think, their ideology that they're spreading, or is it their state of affairs?

SHADID: You know, I think it's -- one thing that struck me as a reporter in the region is that there has been a very decisive shift in, I think, popular sentiment. I think when you talk about the way maybe popular opinions or general sentiments might have played 10 years ago, say, or even eight or nine years ago, there was an anger, a certain frustration, a resentment of what they saw as American double standards -- its alliance with Israel. It's support for Arab dictatorships.

What I think has been remarkable over the past five years is a shift in that sentiment, that there is a sense, and I don't want to generalize here, but there is a sense among a lot of people, in particular people I spoke to up in Tripoli, that it's no longer a question of double standards. It's actually that they perceive U.S. policy as a (INAUDIBLE) Islam. It's very generalized. It's often expressed in very absolutist terms. And I think this is a shift in how people perceive, one, U.S. policy, and, two, the United States itself. You know, what that leads to is still a question. But I think when you talk about what kind of atmosphere, what kind of climate are incubating these elements, it's definitely a different climate than we saw even just a handful of years ago.

CLANCY: Anthony Shadid of "The Washington Post." Anthony, thank you very much for some expert analysis here on what's going on. Very interesting point to make, one that bears watching. Anthony Shadid.

GORANI: A fascinating discussion. And we're going to shift gears again. We do a lot of that when the World Cup goes on, because oftentimes, the news is dramatic; the World Cup though not. But it's a global event. Will football, though, ever get a real foothold here in the U.S.?

CLANCY: Still ahead, while some say soccer is for everybody else.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, you know, all kinds of -- and soccer is just not; it's for other countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Other countries? Well, others say football has arrived in the U.S. as a new generation trains. What's the word about the future?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Welcome back to YOUR WORLD TODAY. Play had barely opened whether the Czech Republic jumped on top of the United States. Jan Koller (ph) headed in the opening goal in just the fifth minute. And it got worse for America. In the 36th minute, Tomas Rosico (ph) extended the lead. The Czech Republic out in front of the United States. Current score at halftime, two-nil.

CLANCY: Well, as their team goes, so goes the emotions of their fans. Down early against the Czech Republic, how are U.S. fans feeling back at home? Well, Let's check in with Richard Roth. We find him in Manhattan as usual. But this time, he's at a sports bar -- Richard.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT Yes, a little louder, Jim, than usual at the United Nations. I've got some fans with me. It's intermission.

Dan from New Jersey, what did you think of the U.S. team performance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, they played very well. They just got surprised earlier in the first half on a counterattack. And then we had a great chance in the 20th minute. Claudio Arenas (ph) stepped up just outside the 18 (ph) area. He ripped a brilliant shot. Sadly went off the post and out. That would be have been a brilliant equalizer.

But Tomas Rosico, who plays his club football in Germany for (INAUDIBLE)...

ROTH: He did a great shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a great shot in the top right-hand corner. You just cannot stop a shot like that.

ROTH: James, you're also from New Jersey and you're going to the World Cup in a couple weeks. Your assessment of the U.S. team's performance. Can they come back to at least earn a tie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they can. But they're really going to have to defend extremely well, while at the same time providing a solid attack. I mean, all the elements are in place. I mean, they're moving forward. They're moving the ball beautifully. They seem to have the spirit. They need a little bit of luck. And they need a little bit of extra drive. They need a little extra momentum upfront, a little more pace. But I think they can do it, I really do.

ROTH: What would a good performance do for popularity of soccer/ football in the U.S., or it is always going to be a niche sport?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think the game is always going to be a niche sport. But I think a good performance in the World Cup this year will send a message that the U.S. truly is a world contender. They've been fifth or sixth ranked in the FIFA World Cup rankings for a while now. A good World Cup performance will confirm that this is a team you don't want to come up against.

ROTH: Well, those rankings are always a little suspicious.

Listen, Dan, aren't you supposed to be working, or are you normally in a bar on a Monday morning in New York City?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's actually my day off.

ROTH: How about you, James?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do hope my bosses do not see this presentation.

(AUDIO GAP)

ROTH: It's intermission. They're down 2-0, it's the first game. Italy and Ghana are next up for the U.S. team. Jim.

CLANCY: All right. And Richard Roth who did clear it with his boss there.

GORANI: The first rule of pulling a ficke (ph), don't appear on national television that day. Let's see what's going on in The Fan Zone.

CLANCY: Paul from Portugal tells us, this is a picture of his younger brother getting what he says, crazy after Portugal's win over Angola.

GORANI: Khavil (ph) sends us this picture of Tariq. He says his seven year old son wants to play like Ronaldinho.

CLANCY: Ismael (ph) from Trinidad and Tobago telling us the entire country was at a stand still during that match they had against Sweden. He says when the final whistle of the draw blew it was like Carnival all over again.

GORANI: And finally, this video was sent in by one of our German fans at the World Cup. Maybe that's the day Germany won in their opening match.

CLANCY: Gee, you think so? Well, in any event, nobody too excited in that picture.

GORANI: That brings us to the question of the day.

CLANCY: Is the U.S. soccer team as good as it's number five ranking? That's right. It's ranked number five in the world by FIFA. What do you think?

GORANI: Ywt@CNN.com. We'll share your thoughts and comments right after the break. Your with YOUR WORLD TODAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: Welcome back, everyone, to YOUR WORLD TODAY. And in your world today, we're asking you a question about World Cup.

GORANI: Now, we were asking you, is the U.S. soccer team as good as its number five world ranking?

CLANCY: And we want to share with you what some of you were saying. will in Greece wrote this. "I don't think that the U.S. deserves that number five ranking. However, I would put them in the top 20."

GORANI: George in Moscow writes, "I think it's inconceivable to put Team USA in the number five position. I wonder who comes out with such analysis."

CLANCY: FIFA, in fact. Nick writes, "What do people think, FIFA is letting the U.S.A off easy and pushing countries like Germany or Italy up in the rankings? I don't think so. The team had to work hard to get there.

GORANI: And Jesper (ph) in Denmark writes, "I believe its overrated that the U.S. team is ranked as number five. The U.S. could strengthen their team with more European and South American players."

CLANCY: Now, you get to see some of the U.S. fans that are there at the match right now. They're trailing at halftime two-nil behind the Czech Republic.

GORANI: Email your comments to ywt@CNN.com.

(WEATHER REPORT)

GORANI: That's it for this hour of YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CLANCY: "LIVE FROM" with Kyra Phillips is straight ahead for our viewers in The United States.

GORANI: For our viewers elsewhere, another half hour of YOUR WORLD TODAY is next. I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. And this is CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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