A "trophy video" from Iraq

Shooting at drivers and putting it to music.

Published November 28, 2005 2:21PM (EST)

From the "Can It Get Any Worse?" Department comes news of what appears to be a trophy video of somebody firing an automatic weapon at drivers in Iraq, all set to the tune of Elvis Presley's "Mystery Train."

The Sunday Telegraph broke the story yesterday, saying that the discovery of the video on a Web site "unofficially linked" to a major private security contractor operating in Iraq has prompted investigations by both the contractor and the British government.

Last year, the Bush administration granted the contractor, Aegis Defense Services, a $293 million contract for security work in Iraq. The contract was controversial at the time it was granted because of questions about the past of Aegis chief executive Tim Spicer, a former lieutenant colonel in the Scots Guard. Among other things, Spicer was accused of selling weapons to Sierra Leone in violation of United Nations sanctions.

While it's not clear whether Aegis employees were involved in making the video, the Telegraph says voices with Irish or Scottish accents can be heard on the tape as somebody fires rounds out of the back of a car. A spokesman for Aegis tells the Telegraph that there is "nothing to indicate" that the film clips are connected to the company. At the same time, however, the Web site on which the video was found also contains what appears to be a notice from Spicer in which he notes the "media interest in the site" and reminds "everyone of their contractual obligation not to speak to or assist the media without clearing it with the project management or Aegis London."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room