Does the Iraqi government have a home video showing mercenaries from the Blackwater firm firing wild into a crowd of Iraqi civilians? If so it could be very, very bad news. Words can inform but pictures, especially moving pictures, carry emotional impact in a way that written accounts almost never do. Fairly specific stories about what we did at abu Ghraib circulated from reporters like Seymour Hersh for quite some time before one CD of pictures blew the story wide open.
A video showing totally unaccountable American contractors firing wildly into a crowd of civilians, unprovoked, could crystallize opinion at home and in Iraq in the same way as that abu Ghraib CD. It could, for example, add instant weight to allegations that the same thing has happened many, many times already. For that reason I hope the video doesn’t show that, or if it does that it doesn’t get out until we have pulled our troops out of harm’s way.