A couple posts ago I thought I should look up sources on who started the oil well fires in 1991. Here’s what I found:
New Zealand’s Scoop runs a February 19, 2003 press release from the Missouri-based American Gulf War Veterans Association. The release states, in part,
One veteran has now stepped forward and given a detailed account of how he and others in special teams, moved forward of the front, (behind enemy lines ahead of US forces) and then set charges on the well heads. “We were mustered into the briefing tent at which point a gentleman whom I first had thought to be an American began to brief us on the operation. I was concerned because he was not wearing a US uniform and insignias.”
Here’s a link to the releasing organization’s site: American Gulf War Veterans Association.
Here’s a link to a transcript of another unnamed veteran making the same sort of claim. However, a quick peek of the site’s topics casts doubt on the site as a source of reliable information – the site appears to promote a kind of black-helicopters wolrd view, so take it with a grain of salt.
Finally, even highly critical material such as this 1991 report on the environmental consequences of the first Gulf War on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists web site accept the view that the fires were set by the retreating Iraqi Army in 1991.
So, in a very informal survey of available internet materials on the subject, I was able to locate no credible reports of the oil wells actually being ignited by accident, or even by secret operations – the reports above do allege secret activity, but the nature of the reports means that they are insufficiently credible.
However, I’m reasonably sure that my original curiosity on this stemmed not from reports of skullduggery by classified operators, but by deliberate shelling. I found no references to back this idea up.