DID THE US MILITARY PARTICIPATE IN STARTING
THE OIL WELL FIRES OF
KUWAIT IN 1991?
The following is a transcript taken from
conversation with a
Gulf War veteran who
have taken part in such a mission.
JR: What was the branch of service that
you served in.
GV: For different reasons, I’d rather
not state that.
JR: Fair enough. There are a lot of
people afraid of retaliation from the
Gulf War. Do you understand why they
feel that way.
GV: Yes I do. I learned do to what I did
in the service, to live in a different
world that most people have been lead to
believe exists only in their worst
JR: Now you were involved in an
operation in Kuwait that really no one
has heard about until this point in
time. We’ve had five, four other reports
of people similar to yourself that have
brought this to our attention. You were
chosen for a mission; and why do you
think you were chosen for this mission?
GV: We’re all a product of our
environment, as a young man I watched
different movies and television shows,
and I remember thinking how incredibly
cool Rambo was and… things of that
nature. There was so many media in the
form of movies, and commercials
television that primed me to except the
idea that to win was everything.
JR: And so the military sort of
capitalizes on that feeling?
GV: Oh very much so. They, they find… a
lot of times before they even get you
into boot camp where they can use your
personality and…. your morals and… they
capitalize on these things and, and
steer you as it were into the training
avenues where you will be most
beneficial to them.
JR: Lets go to the time of this mission
in Kuwait. You were, where were you when
you learned about this mission?
GV: We had just gotten back into camp
the day before, on a different mission,
and we were actually in our quarters
resting when we were told to muster out
into the briefing tent, at which point a
gentlemen who I originally, who I had
first assumed to be American but I was
concerned because he was wearing a U.N.
uniform and insignias. He began to brief
us on the operation. He pointed out the
strategic points. And we were briefed as
a group. There were probably 30 to 40 in
the group. And then… we were asked to
leave, and our individual commanders
were given the objectives for their
group. At which point our individual
commanders briefed us on our individual
objectives, and then we went and… we
drew our gear. We were transported via
armor personal carrier close to the
front at which point we set out on foot,
I acted alone.
JR: Why were you told that you were
going to be doing this mission? What
were you told was the purpose of this?
GV: There was concern that America, the
American public, might see this conflict
as an unnecessary thing, and we were
asked to do this… or we were ordered to
do this in order to remove any… to sway
any public opinion… American public
opinion to remove any doubts whatsoever
that Saddam Hussein and his regime were
a terrible evil that had to be dealt
JR: And what branches of the service
were represented in this briefing tent?
GV: I recognized faces from the Navy
Seals, Marine Force Recon, and Delta
JR: Ok, now you’re on your way on your
mission. You’ve been taken by armored
personnel carrier, you’re dropped off to
your area and what do you do then?
GV: Well then we moved through gaps in
our lines to where we’re actually
forward of the front… As the popular
expression says “behind enemy lines”. We
traveled up, well I say we, well I, I
was acting alone. My mission objective
was assigned to me personally. I did not
have a, an operative with me. I moved
forward and I… I carried out my mission
parameters, and then I moved, and then I
withdrew and concealed myself until such
a time as the front moved past me.
JR: Ok let me back up a second. You
carried out your mission, lets talk
about that mission.
JR: What was your mission? What were you
told that you were supposed to do?
GV: To damage… I was given (number
deleted) Kuwaiti oil wells to damage and
to start a fire.
JR: And how did you do this?
GV: With the use of explosives and
JR: And how did you utilize these
explosives? What were these explosives?
GV: The explosive I used was C4. It’s
light weight, its easy to use, its very
safe to transport. You take it and… a
wellhead is nothing more than a pipe
sticking out of the ground with… with
valves, and it’s not like a water well
where it, where you have a top that you
can take off. It is completely sealed
due to the environmental concerns
involved with crude oil. The… depending
on the sight of the well… the, the valve
is any where from three to six feet off
of the ground. I placed the explosive on
the wellhead and the incendiaries near
by so that after the… after the wellhead
was damaged, that the incendiary could
light the crude oil to fire.
JR: And did you light it yourself?
GV: No I actually transmitted a signal
via a transmitter to a central location.
JR: Which basically told them the well
had been set?
GV: The well had been set and they could
detonate it at their leisure.
JR: And what did you do then?
GV: Then I removed myself from the area…
I egressed from the area and concealed
myself until our units had advanced
forward of me.
JR: And, I don’t understand. Help me
understand what you mean by that.
GV: The whole idea behind the operation
was to make it as if look as if the
Republican Guard, while they were
retreating, had set the oil wells a fire
in a panic to keep us from getting them…
and to villainize them. This mission
would not have been achieved if our
forces saw those involved were not
JR: In other words you were in fear of
your own men seeing you basically?
GV: That is correct.
JR: Did you see any body else in the oil
well field at the time that you were
GV: No I did not.
JR: So you then egressed from the area,
made sure that your own men did not see
you, and then the oil well fires were
JR: Did you see them start?
GV: I actually, due to where I was
concealed I could not see them, but due
to the nature of … the operation you
could feel the explosions and you could
hear the fire.
JR: So the story that we are told, that
the Republican Guard in their
retreating, they started them very
hastily, is not accurate?
GV: That is correct.
JR: Did you see any Republican Guard?
GV: In the entire (deleted) months that
I spent in that theater of operations I
did not see one individual that wore a
Republican Guard uniform.
JR: Did you see any Iraqi troops that
GV: I saw quite a few Iraqis troops that
JR: But you saw no Republican Guards?
GV: I saw no Republican Guard Uniforms.
JR: After this period of time when you
started the oil well fires, did you have
any concerns that you had started these
fires, or did you think it was for the
best thing for this country?
GV: At the time, like I say due to the
nature of my mind set, it did not bother
JR: That was your job and your mission
and you carried it out.
GV: That is correct.
JR: Well I appreciate very much your
being frank with us and open about this
because there are many people that are
now coming forward and saying the same
thing. That there were no Republican
Guard anywhere around, and that it was
the American troops that actually
started the oil well fires. I want to
thank you very much, is there any thing
you want to say in closing?
GV: I believe it’s a shame that our
government is getting ready to repeat
mistakes… I believe. I went over to
fight what I thought was a common enemy
of the world, and I watched my friends
bleed and die for this cause, only for
us to be stopped short of our objective,
our final objective. I have no reason to
believe that it will be any different
this time. And I understand the
necessity for the loss of life to
protect our country. But loss and waste
are two very different things.
JR: And why are you coming forward,
right now in saying this?
GV: I feel that for us to return over
there with this current administration's
mind set that it would, that history
would only repeat itself.
JR: Thank you very much, I do thank you,
I salute you for what you are doing.