Oroville Dam, a Committee to Draft Culpable Deniability

For the moment, Oroville stands quietly on, and watches the workers, carrying out their work into the night to plug the holes in her magnificent structure. She is a bit of Mother Nature, constructed of her elements, manipulated by man, but still, elementally unchanged. Men pile rocks, and Mother Nature laughs, at the effort, as she levels mountains as a matter of course. She is a grand lady, yet a fickle one, She will bend, perhaps, but always, she shall have her way. To her, there are but two classes of man, those who respect, and those who do not.

The snowpack waits, quiet in the mountains for the spring. The reservoirs, too wait. They wait for the onslaught of water running its course, inevitably to the great sea. Many are full, unable to help, to catch for a moment, the water which must come, in time.

Men wait, too. They are not the men who respect Mother Nature. They are men of words. They craft them, and they manipulate them. They even try to stop others from using them. Words can be grand, words can incite in men, actions that change the future of our world, These are not men of those words, their words are designed only for themselves. Their agenda is short term, to make it perhaps through the snow melt, to hide the lies, to make it to the dry season, when they can cover the wounds, and let the people forget. They think of retirement, and pay, coffee and donuts. They think themselves important because their failures elevated their persona, yet, still, their words do not reflect reality. Their words, still, only serve their insignificant agenda.

Great men use words, too. words are the tools of the greatest of men. They draft words, to convey, to insight, and to warn. Great men wish to change the world, to uncover truth and to address it. They wish for a world better than it is. They wish for honor.

Now, in the shadow of disaster, the men of the dam draft a “committee” assembled by those who so failed their charge, to investigate their actions, and to find them competent. They shall be found competent. It will be found that their actions and their lack of action were valid. It shall be said that “no one could have foreseen” such a storm (as they said of Katrina, a small storm). They shall be seen as heroes, who ran into the fray, and saved the day at the last moment. There will be articles and news conferences, where these “selected” engineers will explain what happened. Many will change their minds, convinced of the valor and the heroism of these great men who so poorly managed the dam. It will be said that the evacuation was a mistake. Perhaps the Sherriff will be blamed, for the unnecessary action. The men who failed so miserably, will have failed no more. They will be rewarded, they will be promoted. They will have proved themselves, in the eyes of a failed government, as worthy.

If the dam breaks, it will have been an act of God. “No one could have forseen such an event”, they will say. Perhaps they will write books, telling of their trials in the face of calamity with their faces on the covers and the dam, breeched in the background. They will site the report that they had written, explaining how the event was inevitable. They will repeat in the pages of their books, the absolutes that they told us all. They will speak of the bedrock. They will say that the spillway is not part of the dam. They will say that everything was done perfectly. They will reference the report to prove their point.

In the sunlight after the rain, some will have to rebuild this dam and the water resources that were destroyed, the whole of a way of life destroyed by negligence. These men will step forward, medals on their chests, and they will lead the way, backed by the “selected engineers” who were on the committee, they will reconstruct. Your heroes of the horrible flood will be your leaders of tomorrow. They will decide where the funds are spent, and they will be well paid, not for acting on the committee, but for the design and expertise that they offer after the failure.

History is written by the victors. History is being written today. It shall have no similarity to reality. It shall be it’s own truth, a secondary truth. When those who caused a massive problem investigate themselves there can be but one outcome. We all know it immoral. We all know it a lie, yet, it is happening beneath our noses.

Scott Cahill