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NBC Reporter Uses Al Qaeda Jailbreak in Iraq to Bash U.S. Over 'Notorious' Abu Ghraib

On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a report on a attack against Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison that freed hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel couldn't resist slamming the U.S. for past abuses at the facility: "Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for American abuses and humiliations that [turned] an untold number against the United States, remains an open wound." [Listen to the audio]

Engel began the segment by dismissing the Iraq war as a futile effort: "Iraq is now back in a civil war U.S. officials tell NBC News. The hard-fought U.S. surge there, the benefits of an American war to stop Iraq's civil war, are being wiped out. In car bombs, ambushes and gun fights, more than 250 killed in ten days."

Here is a full transcript of the July 23 report:

7:14AM ET

TAMRON HALL: The hunt is on for escaped inmates and militants in Iraq after a deadly attack by insurgents. NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel has the latest. Richard, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Iraq Violence; Officials Tell NBC News Country Back in Civil War]

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Tamron. Iraqi security forces have set up extra checkpoints in and around Abu Ghraib to try and recapture some of these escaped militants, including some of the top leaders from Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Iraq is now back in a civil war U.S. officials tell NBC News. The hard-fought U.S. surge there, the benefits of an American war to stop Iraq's civil war, are being wiped out. In car bombs, ambushes and gun fights, more than 250 killed in ten days.

Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for American abuses and humiliations that [turned] an untold number against the United States, remains an open wound. On Sunday, attackers free hundreds, some say, up to 500 militants in a jailbreak, including dozens of high-level Al Qaeda fighters. Suicide bombers drove cars to the prison's front gate, as gunmen attacked guards with rocket propelled grenades and mortars. Militants, some in suicide vests, stormed inside, while others fought off reinforcements.

Almost simultaneously, another attack on a prison in Taji near Baghdad, but officials say government troops fought that one off using helicopters. In all, more than twenty five Iraqi security forces were killed.

Tamron, the escaped militants main target is likely the Shiite-led Iraqi government, but the militants could also try to go to northern Syria, just outside of Iraq, or even leave the region. Tamron.

HALL: Alright, Richard, thank you.