am i the only one confused and unsure about the facts?
american gulf war veterans association
joyce riley vonkleist, rn, bsn spokesperson
p.o.box 85, versailles, missouri 65084
(573) 378-6049 voice, (573) 378-5998 fax
for immediate release
february 19, 2003
contact person: gary treece
gulf war veterans association questions who started the oil well fires in kuwait.
for the past six years, the american gulf war veterans association have received numerous reports from veterans stating that us forces were responsible for the setting of the oil well fires at the end of the gulf war. these testimonies are now being taken very seriously in light of recent revelations of the events that occurred during the first gulf war.
joyce riley, spokesperson for the american gulf war veterans association is quoted as saying: "there was intentional misinformation given to the american people to generate support for desert storm often created by advertising agencies such as hill and knowlton."
* revelations regarding the "incubator story," in which republican guard were reported to have thrown babies out of their incubators onto the cold floor turned out to be false and a "fraud on the american people." (s.r. 103-900).
* the st. petersburg times disproved the report of satellite photos showing a thousand iraqi tanks amassing on the saudi border.
* april glaspie, us ambassador, gave tacit approval to saddam hussein to invade iraq by saying, "we have no opinion on...your border dispute with kuwait."
* john shalikashvilli, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and william perry, secretary of defense wrote in a memo (obtained by the agwva) on may 25, 1994, "there is no information, classified or unclassified that indicates that chemical or biological weapons were used in the persian gulf." general norman schwartzkopf's nbc (nuclear, biological and chemical) logs (also obtained by the agwva) dated feb. 27, 1991, and march 3, 1991, clearly disprove the above statement.
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."
the information provided over a series of meetings with this veteran corroborates reports from other veterans who are totally unconnected with this individual. this testimony brings into serious question the integrity of the us government, as it provided information to the american public and military during the last gulf war.
the american gulf war veterans association is presently dissenting on the war and has been joined by the british gulf war veterans and families association. riley states that: "not only is it our opinion that the department of defense has not been forthcoming about the severity of our military's illnesses, significant concern is now being raised over the causation as well."
Feb 20, '03
Of course we all know "the first casualty of war is the truth," but this fire business sounds like so much crap to me.
What motive would we have to light oil wells on fire? Give me a break. If we set any charges, it would have been to snuff out any prospective fires--a common technique used to put out oil well fires.
A good book on the subject of masses being swayed by less-than-rational input: Menschel, Robert, "Markets, Mobs & Mayhem: A Modern Look at the Madness of Crowds," John Wiley, Hoboken, 2002.
Last edit by sjoe on Feb 20, '03
Feb 20, '03
I think they were in denial rather than dishonest, but not sure.
USA TODAY--MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15,1997
Gulf Illness Treated 'Cavalierly'
Schwarzkopf Says He, Pentagon Made Errors
By: Norm Brewer
And John Hanchette
Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON--Gulf War Illnesses in the years following the 1991 conflict with Iraq were "handled rather cavalierly" by the Pentagon, says retired general Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the troops who now say they are sick.
Schwarzkopf also told Gannett News service that he regretted not telling senators earlier this year about a chemical weapons case involving an Ohio Soldier.
Unpublished battlefront reports showing that Schwarzkopf knew about the soldier in 1991 raised questions about why he told Congress this year that he had no knowledge of anyone being exposed to chemical weapons.
The commanding general of Desert Storm has been a defender of the war and an advocate of helping sick veterans. But he previously has shied from criticizing the Pentagon's investigation of why more than 1000,000 Gulf War veterans report being sick.
"When the initial reports (of illness) were coming in it was taken somewhat lightly by some people in the Department of Defense", said Schwarzkopf, who later said he wanted to amend "cavalierly" to say: "It wasn't taken as seriously as it could have been."
But, he said, that changed with the 1996 appointment of Bernard Rostker to head the Pentagon's probe.
Department of Veterans Affairs doctors also have failed to believe veterans are sick, Schwarzkopf said.
The chemical weapons incident involved Pfc.David Fisher of the 3rd Armored Division, who was crawling through a destroyed Iraqi bunker when he came into contact with munitions that blistered his upper arm. Schwarzkopf was told of Fisher's case on March 3, 1991, in a field report from Army VII Corps officers.
"CINC (commander in chief Schwarzkopf) did not want us to make a big deal out of the soldier suffering chemical agent burns," the report says. "Don't deny the report to the press."
But in Senate testimony in January and February, Schwarzkopf passed up several opportunities to tell of it.
"We never ever had a single report, number one, of verified chemicals and, number two, of anyone ever showing any symptoms consistent with nerve agent poisoning," he told the Armed Services Committee.
He told the Veterans Affairs Committee, "We never had a single symptom shown by any of our troops of known symptoms of any chemical contamination and I never received a single report of the Iraqi use of chemicals."
Fisher was considered a confirmed mustard agent casualty by VII Corps and chemical detection units found traces of blister compound on his clothes. But Schwarzkopf said the reports were conflicting.
"Yes, it was a chemical burn, no it wasn't a confirmed chemical burn," is how he now describes information coming in from the field. "The final report we got back was that we can't confirm it was a chemical burn.
Why didn't Schwarzkopf mention the case to senators?
"I wish I had now," he said, "It wasn't a question of it slipping my mind. I should have said it."
Schwarzkopf said he has referred to the case "over and over again" in private conversations" and in a 1993 letter to Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ind.
Schwarzkopf also disputed that he ever told officers in 1991 not to treat the Fisher incident as a "big deal." He said there were "some misinterpretations of my remarks the first night."
Schwarzkopf has been the target of veterans activists like Jim Brown; president of the Desert Storm Justice Foundation, who says the commanding general didn't react to warning signs.
Brown said the Fisher incident and other warnings should have made the brass more cautious about Khamisiya, an Iraqi ammo dump that, when blown up by US troops on March 4, might have exposed 100,000 to chemical agents.
Schwarzkopf said additional protective measures were not ordered because there was no "smoking gun."
Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Sunday that "although neither we nor the presidential advisory committee can explain what causes the illnesses that some veterans are suffering, we are working hard to provide the best medical care we can and to conduct research that will help us answer remaining questions."
And a letter:
January 26, 1998
This is in response to your letter of 8 December. I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, but I was living in Colorado and only returned to Tampa this week.
Regarding the comments made by Joyce Riley, I don't know who she is and I don't know why she is saying the things you mentioned in your letter. The truth is that there is absolutely no government cover-up concerning a so-called Gulf War Illness. I have always had a reputation of caring for my troops and their well-being. There is certainly no reason why this late in the game I would suddenly change that policy and be a part of any cover-up. I did not lie when I testified before Congress. I told them the absolute truth as I know it to be, and that is that during the time I was the Commander of Desert Storm and since, I never received a single report of Iraqi use of chemical agents against our forces. I did receive one report of one soldier possibly being burned by mustard gas when he entered a bunker. However, all of the follow-up to this report indicated that it could not be substantiated. Since this was not an Iraqi use of chemical weapons, I made sure the soldier received the appropriate medical treatment and he returned immediately to his duties.
The first time I ever heard of Khamisiyah was probably at the same time you did and that was when the information was made public by the Department of Defense. I am sure you can understand when I say that in the position I held during Desert Storm, I didn't receive detailed reports on every unit's activities down to the battalion level. Most of the reports I received were aggregated at least at the division level or higher.
Regrettably, there is nothing I can do about someone like Joyce Riley who wants to attack my reputation over the Internet. The only thing I can do is to allow the Department of Defense task force to continue their work. I am quite confident that in the end they will find, as they have to date, that we took every possible measure to protect you and all of the troops involved in Operation Desert Storm and we are not involved in any sort of cover-up at all.
Because it does involve my troops, I have done a great deal of research into the Gulf War Illness and have discussed the matter with several people in the medical field who are trying to determine the cause. To date, the best information I have received points towards the illness being caused by a combination of chemicals attacking the nervous system. Such things as insect repellent, dog and cat flea collars, PB tablets, combined with all of the other immunizations that we all received may cause illnesses in certain people with a susceptibility to this type of reaction to chemicals. I wish I could tell you that these are conclusive results. I cannot. But I assure you that several notable medical specialists are continuing to investigate to find the cause and, more importantly, the cure for any illness that might have occurred as a result of our serving in Desert Storm.
My advice to you is if you are experiencing health problems that you and your buddies immediately contact the Veterans Administration or a military medical facility to seek physical examinations to determine exactly what your problems might be.
I hope that this letter answers the various questions that you have. Thanks for your letter and, most of all, thanks for serving our country in Operation Desert Storm. Semper Fl!
H. Norman Schwarzkopf
General, U.S. Army, Retired
Gulf War Vets Home Page.
Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Feb 20, '03