We’d planned to take a look at a couple non-obvious reasons why this Blackwater incident has exploded so violently onto the world stage.
However, we stumbled across some interesting images. Looking through them, it struck us that, at least in the
Oh, and authors and competitors. (Isn’t that like asking Home Depot for an evaluation of Lowes? What the heck to you expect them to say?!?)
But not much in terms of images about the incident itself.
So, we shelved our second-rate analysis, and we’ll just post some pictures and video you might not have seen.
First up, we’ll go to the scene of the incident itself. This is interesting, but since it’s not as good for selling commercials as is hospital or irate politician footage, you probably haven’t seen it:
Interesting, but not compelling (Apparently the blood on the driver's seat is too graphic for U.S. networks ... how will there ever be meaningful coverage?)
It would be nice if there was some actual footage of the Blackwater motorcade. Say, for example, if they were at a walled compound operated by a company called Sallyport, and Sallyport had some surveillance cameras running, and Sallyport decided to pass those videos around
That might be helpful.
Again, interesting, but it's not like they capture the shooting. So what else is there to see about the incident?
By now, most everyone has seen the aforementioned hospital footage, and whether those people were shot by insurgents, Blackwater, Iraqi police, or Iraqi military—some or all of whom are firing in the various accounts of the incident—we hope they all recover fully.
BTW, the “no-one-else-was-shooting” thing ought to be pretty simple to resolve: Either that broken down vehicle was full of bullet holes when it got back to the Green Zone or it was not. Hopefully that will be in the joint report.
Something else not seen very often on network television is what an IED does. Sure, you read about ‘em all the time. But that doesn’t really convey too much. Let’s take a look at what an IED does to an armored vehicle. (Nevermind a crowded marketplace.)Ouch.
Until the joint report comes out—if then—we really won’t know what happened. But, regardless of the firing sequence, everyone seems to agree on two points. First, there was an IED detonated shortly before the event. Second, the car that was shot up ignored the command of an Iraqi police officer, pulled onto the wrong side of the road, and drove at the motorcade. (Albeit with controversy over whether “speeding” or not.)
Sallyport also put out another piece of video.
With the IED live on screen.
Since everyone is second-guessing the
Oh, and the Sallyport incident report says four of the civilians were killed in the blast, and five were injured.
None of this changes the tragedy of the incident, but it is interesting that we’re not reading about it too much, huh?
H/T: “Gunny” R. Keep your head down, bro.
Hey, he stole his analysis from The Rabbit!!!
Just kidding. We realize David Isenberg is a known expert on defense and security issues. But as we read through what we consider to be one of the least rank-speculative and most factual and helpful pieces yet on the issues surrounding the recent Blackwater incident, we couldn’t help note that this sounds an awful lot like the stuff we have been posting for the past few months. It is by no means the best or only view one can hold on these issues, but it is insightful. Makes us dumb bunnies seem not so alone deep in the outfield.
CNN is reporting that the Iraqi investigators have a videotape of the incident. As press-shy and extremely reticent as the MoI has been in saying anything whatsoever about the investigation so far (yeah, right), it is, let's say, curious that we've not already seen the tape. But we'll look forward to posting it.
Mike at the excellently named Monkey Tennis Center sent us this link, which made an interesting point about how we frequently hear (a) about how Blackwater men and women are untrained hacks, despite the fact that (b) Blackwater possesses the world's largest private military training base, etc.
Also, filed under ever-heard-of-research, Mr. "Investigative" Reporter, we have the latest media frenzy about firearms smuggled into Iraq for sale to terrorist groups. The full story, if you haven't seen it in one of the 2,000+ outlets that obligingly published it without question, is here. Real spy-novel stuff, and ironclad proof that Blackwater has absolutely no regard for law. Except, of course, for one little thing.
It was total-disregard-for-the-law-and-utterly-unaccountable Blackwater that called the ATF.
Two Blackwater workers fired in firearms inquiryBy Joanne Kimberlin
THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT (August 23, 2005)
Two employees of Blackwater USA have been terminated "for misappropriating firearms" from the company's training compound near Moyock, N.C., according to a company spokeswoman .
Blackwater's Anne Duke would provide no details of the firings, except to say they were linked to an investigation being conducted by North Carolina's office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"We are cooperating with the ATF," Duke said.
Earl Woodham, a spokesman at the ATF's Charlotte office, said Blackwater initiated the investigation.
"It's an internal issue that was brought to our attention by the management at Blackwater," Woodham said. "We did not raid the place, we served no search warrants, and we made no arrests. They asked us for help."
Woodham said he can't provide any more information about the on going case . He did say the terminated employees could face state and federal charges.
Not that this should get in the way of a hot story or a politician's press statement. We all "know" that PSCs have no regard for the law.
The truly ironic part is that export law is how ALL of the PSCs and most of the contractors in Iraq are going to get themselves in trouble if the government ever gets serious about supervision (a great future post), but if there's one thing none of these companies need to smuggle into Iraq it is firearms.
The Rabbit will be going back to our regular format of in-depth issue discussion shortly, because this is all bordering on the theater of the absurd.