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.

Frontline also accepts this view, the the context of their very comprehensive review of Gulf War Syndrome.

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.

2 thoughts on “GW I Oil Well Fires

  1. Hmmmm. Note that both the American Gulf War Veterans Association (which issued the press release posted at Scoop) and ThePowerHour.com are run by the same folks — Joyce Riley and Dave “Ridell” vonKleist. Also note this group is different from the widely respected GulfLink bunch.

    Meanwhile: ThePowerHour.com — the site hosting the “transcript of another unnamed veteran” — says they “sustained a syc-flood attack…Sometime on Saturday afternoon [3/22] and for the second time this week.”

    Methinks they meant to say “sync flood”: yer basic denial of service attack. More specifically, “forging an IP address on a SYN packet which is basically a synchronization packet for TCP traffic,” then flooding the server’s ports so no traffic can get through.

    But what’s odd about this is they also report that “all of our files were destroyed” in the attack (including the aforementioned transcript alleging US forces lit off the wells in ’91). But this don’t make no sense. How can a DOS attack which merely floods the server’s ports result in total file loss? I ain’t no hacker, so maybe I’m just unaware of something?

    The ThePowerHour.com site also says that another one of their sites — VerifiedQuality.com, which sells vitamins and health supplements — was hacked this morning (Sun. 3/23) and the homepage replaced with an anti-war graphic, which they have rather surprisingly archived at http://www.thepowerhour.com/CARDERS%20AGAINST%20WAR%20,%20DON'T%20ATTACK%20IRAQ/deface.jpg

    All of this is pretty odd. Why would anti-war hackers target one site that is apparently opposing the invasion, and another (albeit same folks) that sells vitamins?

    Could it be some kinda publicity stunt? “Hackers stopped our expose!!”

  2. Please note that the transcript I linked to is still available, which is odd.

    Your linking of the AGWVA and the Power Hour is interesting – my impression of the Power Hour was that the site was largely sponsored by a nutritional supplements business. Colloidal silver anyone?

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