Geoff Elliott, Washington correspondent
US President George W. Bush regrets his "tough talk" during the Iraq War and says the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal is the biggest mistake the US has made in Iraq.
"We've been paying for that for a long period of time," Mr Bush said of the torture row, which broke in 2004 with the release of pictures of US soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqis in the Baghdad prison.
It was a rare moment of introspection on the war from Mr Bush, but it follows a pattern over the past six months in which the President has been willing to concede ground to critics.
The moment was prompted by a British journalist who asked Mr Bush, in a joint press conference in the White House yesterday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, what mistakes he had made as President.
Mr Bush said he regretted saying "Bring it on", referring to what was widely regarded as a crude challenge in July 2003 to Iraqi insurgents by a commander-in-chief who had put troops in harm's way.
"Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner.
"You know, 'Wanted dead or alive', that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned - I learned from that."
First lady Laura Bush is said to have been instrumental in persuading Mr Bush to tone down his rhetoric.