A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.
The video, which first appeared on a website that has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services, contained four separate clips, in which security guards open fire with automatic rifles at civilian cars. All of the shooting incidents apparently took place on "route Irish", a road that links the airport to Baghdad.
The road has acquired the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous in the world because of the number of suicide attacks and ambushes carried out by insurgents against coalition troops. In one four-month period earlier this year it was the scene of 150 attacks.
In one of the videoed attacks, a Mercedes is fired on at a distance of several hundred yards before it crashes in to a civilian taxi. In the last clip, a white civilian car is raked with machine gun fire as it approaches an unidentified security company vehicle. Bullets can be seen hitting the vehicle before it comes to a slow stop.Keep in mind that the administration fought for these protections for mercenaries. They pretty much have immunity from prosecution. Who would've guessed they'd abuse their power?
To sum up, taxpayer dollars are going to pay the wages of mercenaries who spend their free time murdering civilians. That probably makes Iraqis angry. And when they become angry, they support the insurgency. And insurgents spend their time killing our overworked and underpaid troops. So the cost of the war rises, and we keep paying for it all. Just thinking about the stupefying conduct of the war by this administration makes my head hurt.