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CNN Iraq Correspondent: Iraq Is "An Absolute Mess"...TV, Print "Can't Fully Capture The Scope"...

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Excerpted from a transcript of CNN's "Reliable Sources":

KURTZ: If you're sitting at home watching it on TV, you see mass kidnappings, suicide bombings, mosque bombings, death squads. When you're there as a journalist, does the situation seem as chaotic to you as it does to a viewer?

ROBERTS: You know, Howie, I had a perception of Iraq going in, and it was the first time I'd been there in three-and-a-half years. I got out a couple of days after the Saddam statue fell, after the initial invasion. So it was quite a shock to go back and see the chaotic state that the country was in. And as -- I guess you could say as realistic as my perceptions were about going in there, the reality on the ground far exceeded that.

The place is a mess. It's an absolute mess. There is nowhere you can go in the Baghdad area as a Western journalist without an escort, where you could feel safe from being kidnapped, shot at, whatever. The amount of death that's on the streets of Baghdad for U.S. forces and for the Iraqi people is at an astronomical level...

ROBERTS: Because television can't -- and even print -- can't fully capture the scope of what's going on in Iraq. And to some degree, too, over the last three-and-a-half years, Howie, it's become the daily traffic report, the daily drumbeat.

Read the full transcript here.