BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Actor Sean Penn visited a Baghdad children's hospital Friday, saying he came to Iraq for a better understanding of the crisis with the United States.
Penn said only that he was ``very glad I'm here'' when he arrived at the Al-Mansour Children's Hospital. He refused to talk further with reporters or allow them to join his tour of the hospital, saying he needed privacy with the sick children.
In a statement issued here and in Washington. D.C., Penn said that ``as a father, an actor, a filmmaker and a patriot'' his visit to Iraq ``is for me a natural extension of my obligation ... to find my own voice on matters of conscience.''
Penn said he was happy that he had a chance ``to pursue a deeper understanding of the conflict'' and hoped that ``all Americans will embrace information available to them outside conventional channel.''
Penn's three-day visit to Iraq was organized by the Institute for Public Accuracy, which has offices in Washington and San Francisco.