Tag Archives: dam

Oroville Dam in Big Trouble Again!

The new spillway is failing at exactly the same location as the old one did! The story and photos that follow the video are from Paul Preston at


Paul Preston article begins……

An engineer with 20-plus years experience working on dams fears the Oroville dam could be in trouble again. He says the same problem which led to the failure of the main spillway in 2017 is still happening. Open the Video

March 15, 2019 picture of the Oroville Dam spillway. Note water seeping from the same area where the original spillway broke apart on February 7, 2017. Photo: Robert Armstrong AENN Copyright 2019

The state has spent more than a billion dollars rebuilding the main and emergency spillways at Oroville dam. Now, expert Scott Cahill told News Radio KFBK, water can be seen seeping from the foot of the dam and dozens of points along the new spillway.

An hour later from the above picture taken on March 15, 2019 a second picture of the Oroville Dam spillway shows workers about to repair the water seeping from the same area where the original spillway broke apart on February 7, 2017. The workers are about to engage in what noted dam expert Dr. Robert Bea calls “patch and pray”. meaning “Patch” the leaking seams that are venting water under high pressure from behind the spillway roller compacted concrete and 2 1/2 foot thick steel reinforced structural concrete slab then “Pray”. Next to the seated worker is a “leaf blower” that is about to be used to blow water from a leaking seam so the workers can “Patch” the leak.. These high pressure water leaks are in the exact same spot as the original leak that caused the rupture of the main spillway on February 7, 2017. Photo: Robert Armstrong AENN Copyright 2019

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“That concrete spillway slab is now moving water, which is evolving up through the slab today,” Cahill told News Radio KFBK. “Very similar to what it did before the failure (in 2017).”

Workers prepare to use a leaf blower to dry leaking seams on the Oroville Dam main spillway. March 15, 2019.

Workers using a leaf blower to dry leaking seams on the Oroville Dam main spillway. March 15, 2019.

Cahill has seen this with his own eyes. He’s even more concerned with cracks in the gates along the crest of the dam, something he says is already in what he calls failure mode.

“The possibility exists that a cutback will occur there that will allow the pool to release,” Cahill insisted. “At that point we’ll no longer have control over the velocity or the amount of water that’s moved downstream.”

Cahill said he has sent his concerns to the California Department of Water Resources, but he claims those officials have not replied.

Paul Preston interviewing dam expert Scott Cahill April 23, 2917 at the Oroville dam. Note the credentials displayed by Paul Preston and the yellow vests and helmets worn by Preston and Cahill. Per Department of Water Resources policies at the time members of press and researchers were required to sign in and register at the DWR headquarters on Glenn St. near the dam on February 12, 2017. The Oro Dam location where the above picture was taken was a restricted area by the DWR and could only have been accessed with the approval of the DWR and anyone in this area were required to wear a helmet and yellow vest. These rules were strictly enforced by the DWR. Preston and Cahill both registered, wore the appropriate safety equipment and were given access to areas of the dam not afforded to to the general public. In comments to KFBK DWR spokesmember Erin Mellon “suggested Cahill may have never set foot the dam”. Overwhelming evidence suggests Mellon to be wrong.

The DWR issued a statement to a KFBK request for comment on Cahill’s claims.

“DWR is confident in how we have repaired and reconstructed the main and emergency spillways, using the best engineering practices available and with constant oversight by state and federal regulators to ensure the safety of the downstream communities the facility protects. DWR and its construction contractor Kiewit worked on the design and construction of both the main emergency spillways under the oversight and with the approval of an independent Board of Consultants and state and federal regulators,” said spokeswoman Erin Mellon. “DWR is aware and anticipated some water to seep through the main spillway gates this winter. As the reservoir surpasses elevation 813 feet (the elevation of the spillway gates), some water does seep through the gates onto the spillway as the gates are not designed to be water tight. We issued a press release anticipating this on March 5. It has also been reported on in previous years.

Mellon also suggested Cahill may have never set foot the dam.

A panoramic aerial view of the Oroville Dam main spillway taken Sept. 29, 2017 shows the gap in the middle where roller-compacted concrete was used, and work above and below it where steel reinforced structural concrete was placed. The entire center section was resurfaced with structural concrete. The center section shown above is where the roller compacted concrete was used and was the area of the original leakage that led to the rupture of February 7, 2017 This is now the same area where the leakage has reappeared in March 2019. (Kelly M. Grow — Department of Water Resources)

“DWR and Kiewit maintain records of visits to the dam and spillways and have no record of Mr. Cahill visiting the facility. As you know, the dam and spillway have been inaccessible to the public during reconstruction. I do have an email from a member of the public saying he visited the Oroville area at the end of April 2017 but as you know, that was well before reconstruction began.”

Erin Mellon Should Not Be Critical of Scott Cahill

Reconstruction was already underway when Cahill visited the dam in mid April 2017 and had already spent several days either at the dam or in interviews with DWR/dam personnel, federal, state, county and city officials.

Prior to his visits to Oroville Dam Cahill was actively engaged in the investigation as to the reasons for the failure of the dam system with federal officials and was making attempts to reach our and work with California state officials in the legislature, DWR and various local officials. Federal officials and several state legislators and local officials were more than happy work with Cahill. Not surprising the California state Department of Water Resources refused to entertain any relationship with Cahill.

The contractor Kiewitt was given $275 million contract to repair Oroville Dam Spillway in early April of 2017 and had been meeting with DWR officials to make the necessary repairs before the signing of the contract.

“Per the agreement, Kiewit is to begin reconstruction on Oroville’s failed spillways immediately, with the goal for the system to be operational before the region’s wet winter season that traditionally begins in November”.

Kiewitt did in fact make an immediate transition into working on the dam as early as April 12, 2017.

Cahill in early April before the Kiewitt contract was let made arrangements to fly from Virginia to California witness for himself the disaster first hand. Cahill through his own investigations and interviews knew all the intimate details of what needed to be done but also knew of the serious flaws in the DWR’s planning and execution of the necessary repairs needed to make Oroville dam safe.

Cahill has long been a critic and a pain in the side of the California Department of Water Resource’s handling of the Oroville dam disaster. In an August 2017 interview on the Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity podcast Cahill gave several warnings about what he saw at the dam were major issues and the subsequent irresponsible handling of the crisis by the DWR which have not either been addressed or mitigated still to this day.

“They’ve begun the repairs on the bottom half of the spillway, but the tragedy and loss from the bottom half of the spillway failing has already been realized. No one is worried about the bottom half of the spillway. On the other hand, they’ve done nothing yet with the upper half of the spillway — which is what would cause a catastrophic failure of the dam. It’s amazing how much money they’ve already spent, and yet their priorities are such that they haven’t abated the liability at all.

So yes, we’ve made the bottom of the principal spillway, the concrete slues, more sound. But it’s not the bottom of the dam that will fail, of course, it’s the crest — the top of it — where the gates are. That’s still highly suspect.

There are additional issues involving the unwanted moving of water through the dam — the so-called “green spots”. These are areas where water is migrating through the dam, probably through the indigenous soils adjacent to it. I’ve walked on these [at Oroville] and you can stick your foot down, and like your backyard after a torrential rain, water actually comes up into the footprint after you remove your foot. This is not a good situation. I believe there is a lot of movement of water through that dam, including at the structure itself that houses the gates that control the flow down the principal spillway.

There’s nothing wrong with embankment dams in general, they’re wonderful dams. But they rely on the mass of the earthen embankment itself to offset the forces that try to slide or rotate it into failure. When we see water migrating through a dam, it can potentially cause failure of the dam because it offsets the mass all that earth. Plus, there’s a lot of river rock and sand in this embankment. River rock, as we all know, is round. Anyone can understand how a pile of round rocks, if the fines have been washed out from between them by water and the rocks then vibrated, for instance, by seismic activity, weakens the system. These concerns are very, very serious. I believe that this situation is occurring in multiple places across the Oroville dam — and yet this is simply not being discussed”.

Why should Erin Mellon not be critical of Scott Cahill? Simple Erin Mellon has no credibility when it come to issues of dam safety or even dams in general. Mellon who inferred that Cahill had not been to the dam in her interview with KFBK falsely did so because she did not know the facts.

Mellon whose official title is Assistant Director of Public Affairs, California Department of Water Resources was not even employed by the DWR until August 2017 three full months after construction of the spillway was underway by Kiewitt.

Mellon had zero experience working on issues of dams when she was hired in August of 2017. Today following numerous town halls in the affected area of the dam and the inundation zone Mellon has shown herself to be a major liability. Trumpeting the false narrative associated with the safety of Oroville dam being pushed by the Department of Water Resources Mellon has become a good fit. Following a town hall in Yuba City, CA one walnut farmer stated: “She’s (Mellon) is a bald faced liar”. Unfortunately for Mellon the walnut farmer’s comment is what the public generally says about her and by extension the DWR.

The world of dam safety has the highest regard for Scott Cahill and others who have been critical of the DWR including Dr. Robert Bea from the University of California, Berkley. Dr. Bea, a co-author of a report warning of a green spot near the Oroville Dam in July 2017 is a professor emeritus of engineering at Berkeley called the complete repair of the Oroville dam spillway is nothing more than “Patch and pray operation”.

Its obvious we all need prayer as the “patches” are not holding.

An aerial photo of the Oroville Dam main spillway before the 21/2 foot steel reinforced structural concrete was placed over the top of the roller compacted concrete. Wet streaks on the roller compacted part of the chute, are evident but the Department of Water Resources said is was “expected”. April 6, 2018 Photo by Gonzalo (Peewee) Curiel. Les than a year later water is now seeping through both the roller compacted concrete and the steel reinforced structural concrete.

Below is a list of references The DWR and their spokesmember should consult:

‘Patch and Pray’ Crack Repairs on Oroville Dam Emergency …

www.nbcbayarea.com/news/Patch–and-Pray-Crack…’Patch and Pray

’ Crack Repairs on Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway: UC Berkeley Civil Engineer … and troweled it over,” Bea said. “I call it ‘patch and pray.”’ … who went to Oroville Dam in …
Cracks may offer clues to California dam’s troubles …static-ssl.businessinsider.com/…may…dams-troubles-2017-2″We don’t have details on the repairs, but they put cement into the cracks and troweled it over,” Beasaid. “I call it ‘patch and pray.’” Water gushing from the Oroville Dam‘s main spillway on Tuesday in Oroville, California. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
No More Patch and Pray—Privatize Oroville Dam: News: The …www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=9289No More Patch and Pray—Privatize Oroville Dam … (Oroville Dam main) spillway,” Bea said. … with its opaque patch-and-pray approach to maintenance and public …
California dam cracks were repaired by ‘patch and prey …www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4226368/Cracks…The Oroville Dam is to be soaked by a foot of rain by Tuesday, ramping up the pressure on engineers who are frantically trying to repair ‘patch and pray‘ quick-fixes which led to its near-collapse …
No more patch and pray — privatize Oroville Dam – SFChronicle.comwww.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/No…No more patch and pray — privatize Oroville Dam. … No more patch and pray — privatize Oroville Dam. … (Oroville Dam main) spillway,” Bea said.
Cracks may offer clues to California dam’s troubles …www.businessinsider.com/ap-cracks-may-offer…”We don’t have details on the repairs, but they put cement into the cracks and troweled it over,” Beasaid. “I call it ‘patch and pray.’” Water gushing from the Oroville Dam‘s main spillway on …
Oroville – The More We Learn, The … – The Hugh Hewitt Showwww.hughhewitt.com/oroville-learn-worse-getsIt ain’t over yet: California’s crumbling Oroville Dam will be hit by a FOOT of rain as engineers race to repair erosion after years of ‘patch and pray’ quick-fixes. There is a lot of coverage out there with such attention grabbing headlines.
Report: State, Feds ‘Negligent’ in Oversight of Oroville Dam …www.kqed.org/news/11579545/oroville–dam-spillway…Analysis accuses agencies of relying on a ‘patch and pray‘ approach that led to spillway crisis in February. … Oroville Dam‘s main spillway pictured on Feb. 13 …
Legislative Oversight Testimony Report: Oroville Damwww.orovillechamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/…E-MAIL: bea@ce.berkeley.edu BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA 94720-1710 Legislative Oversight Testimony Report: Oroville Dam Dr. Robert G. Beaa Emeritus Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering University of California Berkeley May 11, 2017 Acknowledgements
Analysis Cites Flawed Management in Oroville Dam Failureswww.materialsperformance.com/…/10/…oroville–dam-failures“A superficial ‘patch and pray’ approach is not an acceptable safety and risk management process for important public infrastructure systems,” Bea says, adding that state agencies should have upgraded the Oroville Dam facilities beforehand while also taking steps to update the design, construction, operating, and maintenance standards.
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Deja Vu: Is the Oroville Spillway About to Fail Just Two Years After Near-Disastrous Evacuation?

It may be hard to believe but only two years after a near-disastrous last-minute evacuation, the Oroville Spillway could be on the verge of failure again. A major piece of infrastructure in Northern California, the spillway has not been well-maintained despite continuously increasing taxes for that purpose.

And despite a very near miss two years ago, it looks like we’re seeing a replay of those same events.

According to a report on The Common Sense Show with Dave Hodges, some folks downhill from the dam have already evacuated due to the strong possibility of imminent failure. Hodges is issuing a warning to people in the path of the looming disaster. He wrote:

I asked Paul Preston, “How close is the dam to failing?” Preston replied “It could go by this weekend”.. His comments, in part, are based upon the dire weather forecast in which intense rainfall is forecasted between Wednesday May 15 and Sunday, May 19th. This is significant because this could greatly add to the inflow and the outflow data which shows an extreme imbalance. And when we consider that the dam is 12 feet from overtopping, the danger multiplies exponentially. When any structure takes on more water, whether it be a ship or a dam, it is going to fail/sink…

…This article is a progress report. However, it is also a warning to the residents in the Central Valley which lie below the Oroville Dam and are in the direct path of the torrent of water that will be released when the dam fails. Some are leaving and some more will undoubtedly leave before it is too late. However, we many unsuspecting potential victims that are oblivious to the present set of conditions. This article is aimed at getting the present state of the Dam in front of as many people in the Central Valley as possible. (source)

It’s like deja vu.
Is this warning only an “internet rumor?”

At the same time, local officials are assuring people that there is no danger. The Butte County Sheriff released the following statement on Twitter.

The Department of Water Resources released a statement explaining why the spillway is not a concern.

DWR is monitoring weather forecasts into the Feather River basin this week, and the impact incoming storms will have on melting snowpack. Forecasts and weather can change rapidly, and DWR will notify the public and media if the main spillway needs to be used to manage reservoir levels. Currently the reservoir is at an elevation of 889 feet and outflows to the Feather River are 9,500 cubic feet per second. DWR is targeting high lake levels through spring and summer in accordance with normal state and federal regulations, which is good news for local recreation and for statewide water supply. (source)

But not so fast – let’s revisit the Department of Water Resources actions the last time the dam was near failure.

The Oroville Spillway almost failed in 2017

Back in 2017, the people of Oroville were in a very similar situation. Nearly 200,000 residents were evacuated due to fears that the main spillway is pending imminent collapse. The emergency spillway isn’t some high tech engineer’s creation – it is just a cleared hill which showed massive erosion when they tested it with a small amount of water.

When drought-stricken California got the equivalent of five years’ worth of rain all at once, crews were left to work frantically around the clock to fix the spillway.

But the mismanagement of funds or the last-minute slipshod repair wasn’t even the worst of the matter. Not by a long shot.
The local government gave only a ONE HOUR warning to local residents.

Of course, the lack of maintenance and mishandled tax dollars are unforgivable, but the lack of warning was even worse.

…the real lesson here isn’t the faulty infrastructure or the mismanagement of funds.

It is the deception of the public and the way that officials will go to great lengths to cover their butts – even if that means giving a warning to the public that could be too late. This isn’t the first time that the government has completely failed in an emergency response to an imminent disaster, and it won’t be the last.

Officials waited until they believed that the disaster was only 60 minutes away to evacuate nearly 200,000 people. (source)

For more than a week, residents expressed their concerns but were basically patted on the head and told not to worry. (Go here for a timeline of the Department of Water Resources’ complete denial of a problem last time around.) Meanwhile, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife evacuated almost all salmon from the Feather River Fish Hatchery but the humans were repeatedly told there was no threat whatsoever.

Until five hours after the announcement of the successful evacuation of the fish.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION ORDER ISSUED: Officials are anticipating a failure of the Auxiliary Spillway at Oroville Dam within the next 60 minutes. (source)

Residents were warned as they were leaving:

Unprecedented flooding could occur in Oroville, Palermo, Gridley, Thermalito, South Oroville, Oroville Dam, Oroville East and Wyandotte.

“With Lake Oroville filled to the brim, such a collapse could have caused a “30-foot wall of water coming out of the lake,” Cal-Fire incident commander Kevin Lawson said at a Sunday night press conference.” (source)

One estimate suggested that the initial flash flood could reach up to 100 feet in depth, wiping out everything in its path.

People were stuck in long lines at gas stations and then stuck in traffic for hours – up to nine hours to be specific. Imagine if the Spillway had failed while hundreds of thousands of people were stuck in their cars. Imagine the level of death and devastation there would have been.

And all of it would have been due to the fact that someone was covering up careless management.
And here they are again, two years later, facing the same potential disaster.

If you live in an area that would be affected if the Spillway fails, I strongly urge you to evacuate if you can at all before Mother Nature dumps several more inches of rain this weekend. It might be a nice time to go visit family members outside the potential emergency zone. Evacuate keeping in mind that you might never be able to come to your home again. (Get evacuation checklists and whole home inventory checklists in this PDF book.)

Go now so that you aren’t stuck in traffic when disaster strikes. And if you can’t go now because of work or school commitments, at least ensure that your fuel tank is topped up at all times and that you are packed and ready to roll the second an evacuation order is given.

I would not wait for the official evacuation order.

Because if their past performance is anything to go by, it’s pretty clear that you won’t be able to trust local officials to warn you in time.

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Video: Collapse of Oroville Dam Has Become a Distinct Possibility

The Oroville Dam is in crisis. In the past several weeks, I have spoken to Paul Preston multiple times about the continuing crisis. This morning, April 18, 2019, Preston is in court attempting to file an injunction against the Department of Water Resources.of California. Consequently, Preston is not able to speak with me on this topic. However, I do have access to other sources and I have obtained direct evidence which strongly indicates that the Oroville Dam is in imminent danger. Here is what we know as the early morning hours on April 18, 2019.
Within the Past Six Days the Dam Has Begun Periodic Over-topping

The Oroville Dam is the biggest earthen dam in the United States, standing at a height of 901 feet. The dam is experiencing threats to its existence from a number of sources. Here was a recent story which indicated that over-topping was a looming threat. This alone, could collapse the dam.

From Agenda 21 Radio:

NewCali News

Many New Californians in the Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties have expressed great concern over what they have been seeing error codes from the Oroville dam data exchange center’s hourly charts from the Department of Water Resources.  The error codes (N) started showing  up on the charts April 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm PST. when the last reported elevation of the water in the reservoir was at 860.83 feet.  By 4:00 pm PST the elevation was reported at 533.22 a drop of 327 feet in the water level.  Noted alongside the measurement is letter (N) which indicates there is an error in the reporting.

Of big concern for people was after 44 hours without a proper reading from the Oroville Dam what was the real level of the reservoir since the last reading that was produced without an error code (N) was Friday April 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm PST that report showed an elv. at 860.83 ft

As of Sunday at 12:00 pm pst 44 hours after the error code showed there was only minimal data that could be used such as the inches per hour which was not reliable but the Inflows were 19,559 vs Out flows of 8,002 at 12:00 pm PST April 14, 2019 with the main spillway is NOT in use.

“We don’t know the levels.  What are the exact numbers?” stated one Butte County resident.

The dam max reservoir is 899.9. Over topping starts at 901 many people were thinking there was an over topping threat as they saw on February 11, 2017.  The February 11, 2017 incident was the led to the February 12 dam failure that forced the Sheriff to call for an emergency evacuation of 190,000 people from the inundation zone.

From Bad to Worse

Noted dam expert, Scott Cahill’s material on the Oroville Dam’s condition was forwarded to me. Here is what I have at this point in time..

On the right side of the spillway the plates are leaking.  There should be NO water leaking from the seams.

The leaks are obvious in all IMG pictures. Spillway is suppose to be smooth.  Evidence in all IMG pictures. Notable plate buckling in IMG 8027b, IMG 8026B, IMG 8025b and IMG 8034  From Dam specialist Scott Cahill Watershed Services. I am being sent these photos later today. I am not sure about the delay in doing so and they will be published  as soon as they are received. I suspect that the early is due to the fact that that photos are going to be used in court this morning in order to gain an injunctions against the Department of Water Resources who are using dynamite in the vicinity of the dam in order clear debris. The fear among local experts is that the dynamite could trigger a catastrophic collapse of the dam. This constitutes the main legal argument against DWS in court as per the filed documents. 

Eyewitnesses have told me that the spillway is collapsing. There is buckling in the middle of the dam. It is estimated that if the top of the dam fails, the dam will lose about 30-40% of its height. This would lead to massive over-topping of the 600 feet that would be left and eventually it is expected that the dam would collapse. 

ADDENDUM TO THE ARTICLE 9AM Pacific April 18, 2019

These pictures originated with Scott Cahill. These photos show clear cracks and damage to the spillway, mentioned earlier in the article. Once can see the bulges forming as well. This dam is a critical state.

What Happens If the Dam Collapses?

The experts I speak with tell me, that in the event of a dam collapse, the water will come rushing out at 75 MPH. The water will be 30 feet high. Sacramento would be under water in less than hour. DWS says it would take two hours for the water to reach Sacramento. The point is largely irrelevant. The city could not be successfully evacuated within two hours. Almost two million lives are at risk.

If the dam collapses, the CALEXIT people will realize their goal of eliminating California’s contribution to the nation’s agricultural and world’s supply of food. The affected Central Valley is one of the top suppliers of fruits, nuts and vegetables in the world. Spot famines would result. Further 30% of America’s retail crosses Interstate 15 and that would be stopped immediately and this at a time when the retail collapse of America is already underway with the closing of 6,000 stores in the first quarter of 2019. This event could collapse our economy. And I want to stress that is a preliminary report. I have prepared a summary report below in the following. I will be publishing photos as they arrive and are converted in a publishable format. Open the Video


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A “perfect storm” of events is now building toward a cascading collapse of mammoth U.S. dams that will displace millions and destroy entire towns

Dams do their job every day with little fanfare, but when one breaks, the results can be devastating. Imagine entire towns being completely washed away and millions of people losing everything they own and being displaced. It sounds like something out of a big-budget Hollywood doomsday film, but for the millions of people who live near dams, the danger is all too real.

In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast that two thirds of the 48 contiguous states will be facing a heightened flood risk until May. They predict that there could be “unprecedented” levels of flooding throughout the nation that will put 200 million people in danger.

Some of the areas identified as being at the greatest risk include communities near the Mississippi River, where rain and snow levels have been as much as 200 percent above normal, along with the Great Lakes, the Ohio river basin, and the Tennessee river basin.

NOAA National Water Center Director Ed Clark commented: “The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream.”

A combination of rapid snow melt and heavy rainfall inundating the Midwest and plains is fueling the floods, with torrents of rainfall failing to penetrate frozen ground, forcing water to swell rivers and break their banks. As the spring rains continue and snow melts, the flood threat will only be exacerbated.

Flooding has already caused almost $1.5 billion worth of damage in Nebraska, leaving four people dead and one missing. It has damaged hundreds of Midwestern homes so far, and is also being blamed for a handful of deaths in Nebraska and Idaho. Flooding has caused trains to be stopped in Missouri, preventing people and goods from reaching their destinations, and it’s also affecting agriculture significantly, threatening grain stockpiles and killing livestock as tens of thousands of acres get absolutely inundated.

Coastal areas are also being hit by flooding, with NOAA predicting that both the east and west coasts of the nation will experience a greater chance than normal of spring flooding due to high tides.
Nation’s dams not ready to handle all this flooding

Unfortunately, many of America’s dams just aren’t up to the task of handling epic rainfall. Look at what happened with the Oroville Dam in California, which nearly blew out after damage from record-setting rains, threatening to propel a 30-foot wall of water toward Sacramento and everything in its path. The state ultimately had to evacuate 188,000 people in three counties.

Meanwhile, the Fort Peck Dam in Montana is also causing concerns as the upcoming snow melt is coinciding with the Yellowstone Caldera’s seismic activity.

In their Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers said that 15,500 American dams have high-hazard potential, which means that if they fail, it could lead to a catastrophic loss of life. A further 11,882 dams have a “significant hazard potential,” which means a failure might not necessarily cause massive deaths but could cause significant financial losses.

It’s pretty scary to think of how easily a dam can break and how quickly that could wreak massive amounts of havoc and destruction. And what happens when this kind of flooding hits a nuclear reactor? Aging infrastructure and unprecedented rain mean we could be hit by a disaster of epic proportions.

Sources for this article include:




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Extreme Danger From Within and From Without

America is facing unprecedented dangers from within and without. Our dangers are both foreign and domestic. This article will highly only one of each to illustrate the devastating challenges that America faces.

The Oroville Dam Is Once Again Nearing Collapse

In 2017, the Oroville Dam was near a complete collapse and over a million persons would have been risk. Further, the agricultural risk Central Valley of California would have been destroyed and this would have led to extreme food shortages in the United States and would have led to spot famines in other parts of the world.

From American Thinker:

Over $1.1 billion spent to repair Oroville Dam and now it appears that the repairs were in vain. Once again, and as I have reported before, the Oroville Dame is once again failing and in danger of collapse as water is seeping through the newly rebuilt spillway which now all but promises to bring new mass evacuations.

According to national dam expert Scott Cahill of Watershed Services of Ohio, Oroville Dam is on the same failure track as in 2017, with visible water seepage trickling from the foot of the dam and dozens of points along the dam’s principal spillway.  Cahill warns that warming temperatures magnified by precipitation is a growing threat to the dam.

American Thinker reported on March 1 that the Sierra snow pack was at a record 113 inches, but another 44 inches fell in the next 10 days.  With temperatures spiking this week to 75 degrees in the valleys and 41 degrees in the high mountains, dam inflows are running twice the outflows, and the water levels rose from 800 to 839 feet.

In conversations I have had with Paul Preston, it is clear that the dam is in very big trouble and our dire warning of two years ago are once again, in order.

In the opening I detailed the consequences of the dam collapsing. This event would accomplish what CALEXIT tried to accomplish which is the neutralization of California as an asset for United States.

A Dam break of this magnitude could very well collapse the American economy when combined with the long-term effects of Midwest flooding.
The Russians Are At Our Backdoor

It is clear that Putin has judged America to be a nation that supports globalism. He apparently has abandoned the idea of combing forces with America in order to attack the New World Order controlled bankers and their main supporting nations. Putin obviously believes that the “swamp” is too deep in order for Trump to turn America around.

I recently received an email detailing Russian training going in the Sierra Madre.


Normally I don’t do this. I have a family member that’s prominent in military intelligence I won’t give you the branch for obvious reasons. This is not Q stuff that’s disinfo. However he told my immediate family that a deal was brokered with Mexico to bring Russian troops for military drills and staging in Northern Mexico. You don’t have to believe me and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t I have nothing to hide or lose by telling you this but look for reports of something of that nature in the months to come. Whether the media covers it or not is a different story. Anyway take care Dave I’m sure you understand the implications of what that will cause if that’s what happens. I assume the Russians have finally had it with our form of foreign policy. Also there’s info that a N-warhead was smuggled across during the last migrant caravan. I can’t confirm that maybe you have the resources too. This border wall isn’t about immigration its about war. 

I have been able to confirm all of the claims made in the email above except for the claim that terrorists smuggle a nuclear weapon across the border.

Russians are in the state of Sinoloa and training with the Chinese (confirmed by ARSOF officer)
I previously reported on the changing condition of the border wall. It has changed in design from preventing migrants from entering the country, to one of repelling a light infantry invasion. This information came to me from a trusted DHS source.


This article has only covered two challenges facing this country. You must feel the sense of urgency and spread. People have a right to know so the can better prepare. How are your preparations? Do you have an adequate supply of guns, gold, ammo, medicine, tools and allies?

By Dave Hodges

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The Globalist’s Doomsday Weapon Designed to Bring Down America

There is an insidious plot to bring down America. Over the next several days, a series of articles and interviews are going to be released which will leave no doubt that there is a plot to bring down America and the main thrust of that plot is being financed in places like Humboldt County and it will be manifested through the CALEXIT movement in which major parts of California will become its own country and function as a protectorate under the United Nations.

The globalists motivation lies in the fact that if they can exit California from the United States, the USA will collapse. California has about 40% of American retail running through the state. If California experienced widespread crop failure, it would bring famine to the USA and to various parts of the world who depend on California. If California were to become independent, the USA would collapse.

The CSS and researchers like Paul Preston have discovered that there is a hierarchy for a planned collapse of California and subsequently the USA. The hierarchy can be simply expressed in the following:

If CALEXIT is voted into existence and the inevitable happens. Despite the fact that CALEXIT is reaping huge windfall from drug trafficking, child-sex trafficking, water theft (Pelosi) and gun running, the voters will not likely ever approve CALEXIT.
The Plan B for the CALEXIT crowd lies in what one would call “white genocide” committed by the cartels. Paul Preston had an embedded source at some of the CALEXIT meetings where it was discussed to commit white genocide against those of European descent. There are many that believe that the Vegas massacre was a beta test to that end. Keep in mind that the guns came from CALEXIT partners. This will be expanded upon in a future article. Certainly, all of the California Legislative action has been designed to expel from California middle-class white small business owners through extreme environmental regulations and high taxes.  The drug cartels are rewarded because they believe they are going to control much of a present eight state region that they call Reconquista de Aztlan as compensation for the land lost during the Mexican War in the 19th century.
Many of us who have been researching this are convinced that Plan C has to do with using the Oroville Dam as a doomsday weapon. We are witnessing depraved indifference in managing the faults of the dam. The dam could kill up to 2 million people if it should break through neglect or through a false flag. The Chinese, who hope to occupy California for its agricultural prowess, as it could solve much of China’s food shortages, would be very unhappy because the agricultural rich farmland in the Central Valley would be destroyed if the dam fails. Regardless, the failure of the Oroville dam would accomplish what CALEXIT failed to do. Retail and agricultural exports would be reduced to next to nothing and the USA’s economy would collapse.
With a collapsed economy, the USA would be vulnerable to invasion or an economic absorption by the central bankers. Either way, this would be the end of Aerica.

Many of us have published facts related to this hierarchy. However, how these moving pieces fit together, have not been clear until now.

AS the readers will discover the key players in this plot are Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, George Soros, HSBC Bank, The Bank of China, the Mexican consulate, numerous drug cartels, et al. And yes, we will be naming American politicians who are clearly part of this such as Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum, an Sen Rubio from Florida. What did he do? He voted against the National Emergency Declaration and he belongs to a church which is receiving illegal aliens and reportedly many of them are being trafficked. In fact, most of the Senators who voted against Trump have similar allegiances. Stay tuned, it is going to be a wild ride.

In the meantime, Plan C may come sooner than expected. The Oroville Dam is in trouble, again!
Despite Spending $1 Billion, the Oroville Dam Is In Danger of Breaking AGAIN!

If one spends a billion dollars fixing a problem, one would expect results. However, that is not the case at the Oroville Dam.
The Oroville dam, the nation’s tallest, remains intact, but barely. The emergency spillway, which protects against the overflow of the dam when water levels are high, and seriously eroding as discovered on Sunday. The pipes supporting the spillway are failing. Paul Preston and myself related this exact same scenario as it was happening two years and a local sheriff evacuated 200,000 people.
Paul Preston has been to the site and has seen the pipes that are failing. As he said, the dam could break in the face of spring runoff or through the spreading of the leaking causing the dam to buckle.
I just hung up the phone from speaking with Agenda 21 talk show host, Paul Preston. Paul shared details about the situation that are not being shared by the corporate controlled media. Here is what I have learned. Paul Preston and Epoch Times visited the Oroville Dam this past weekend. The dam is once again leaking. The water levels are high and the risk of catastrophic failure, is once again a real possibility.
Worst Case Scenario
In the worst case scenario, one official said, an uncontrolled release from the dam could send a 30-foot wall of water downstream. Here are some details that Paul Preston has been able to learn would likely happen if the dam does fail.

1. In addition to the 30 foot wall of water, a 10 foot wall of water would engulf the entire valley below the dam in only a few minutes.
2.  Where Paul lives, in Yuba City, the expected wall of water would be rampaging at a high rate of speed and maintain a depth of 10 feet.
3. Further downstream, lies Sacramento. Sacramento has a population of about 2 million people in the region. Further upstream in the Oroville area, authorities are having great trouble evacuating 200,000 people. How long would it take to evacuate 2 million? The rampaging wall of water that would hit Sacramento would be at least 5 feet high.
4. A warm, wet storm is expected on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. This could melt the snow and increase the pressure on the dam from snow melt and absolutely lead to a breach in the dam.  Paul Preston and myself are very concerned that these coming strones, which are predicted to slam the Oroville are could break the dam. It is not a prediction, but it is a legitimate concern. And where are the California authorities, who are beholding to CALEXIT entities? They behave as if there is nothing to worry about. They don’t because they are being taken care of. Even if the dam holds through the predicted severe storms, there is still the Spring run-off to worry about.
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Woo woo regarding the crazy man and the armored truck on the Hoover Dam bypass bridge named after the former NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who was fragged on orders of military brass in the Pentagon who didn’t want him coming home and speaking out against the ‘war on terror’.

Image result for Matthew Wright hoover

The “nut in the armored vehicle’ on the Pat Tillman bridge on Friday, Matthew Wright, held up a sign reading “Release the OIG report” while yelling “No more lies, no more bullshit, we the people demand full disclosure.” If this isn’t a predictive programming deep state psyop, I don’t know what is.

Photo: Matt York/AP

The NFL, the Military, and the Hijacking of Pat Tillman’s Story

As part of his ongoing crusade targeting black athletes, President Donald Trump shared a tweet Monday morning from one of his supporters. It included an image of Pat Tillman, the former NFL safety-turned-U.S. Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan in the spring of 2004. “NFLplayer PatTillman joined U.S. Army in 2002. He was killed in action 2004. He fought 4our country/freedom. #StandForOurAnthem #BoycottNFL,” wrote @jayMAGA45.

The intent of the president’s retweet was clear: Trump was co-signing a suggestion that Tillman was a true patriot, unlike those who have chosen to kneel during the national anthem, and that those protests dishonor his legacy.

** FILE ** Cpl. Pat Tillman is seen in a this 2003 file photo provided by Photography Plus. Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.  (AP Photo/Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions, FILE)

Cpl. Pat Tillman in a 2003 photo.

Photo: Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions/AP

It’s easy to understand why Tillman would make an attractive figure to Trump and his base. His Army photo reflects an image of a certain type of all-American hero: chiseled jaw, broad shoulders, white skin. But simply looking at Tillman’s photo and the superficial facts of his tale is to miss everything important about his life, his death, and what came after. Tillman’s is indeed an all-American story, it’s just not the kind that Trump and his supporters want it to be.Few episodes of the post-9/11 era have called down more disgrace upon the military than its handling of Tillman’s death and its treatment of his family in their search for answers. The most comprehensive documentation of those events can be found in three accounts: two books, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman,” written by Tillman’s mother, Mary, and “Where Men Win Glory,” by Jon Krakauer; as well as a 2006 story by Gary Smith for Sports Illustrated. Together, they offer an invaluable corrective to the simplistic depictions of Tillman, revealing a complex person and charting the ways in which officials at the highest levels of U.S. government sought to capitalize off his life and death.

Tillman was 25 years old when he joined the Army, placing him on the older side of military enlistees but on the decidedly younger side of life. His decision was born out of the conclusion that his comfortable existence in the U.S. made little sense in the months after 9/11; he wanted meaning, he wanted to do something that mattered, and he wanted to continue a lifelong project of placing himself in challenging situations. Along with his brother Kevin, Tillman chose to enlist. It was the same decision thousands of other young people of his generation made in the aftermath of 9/11. Both of the Tillman boys were, by all accounts, independent-minded free thinkers who enjoyed good books and good debates — chest-pounding jocks they were not. And, like many others who chose to come to the nation’s defense following 9/11, their worldview would evolve as they saw George W. Bush’s Global War on Terrorism up close.


Pat Tillman of the Arizona Cardinals during an NFL football game in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 9, 2001.

Photo: Donald Miralle/Allsport/Getty Images

What set Tillman apart was what he left behind: a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The ties between the U.S. military and the NFL run deep, with the Department of Defense giving millions of taxpayer dollars to the NFL in recent years for various campaigns for recruitment and to support the troops. Tillman vowed that he would do no interviews once his enlistment became public, and he stuck to it. That did not stop the public — and the Bush administration — from seizing on his story. No matter how much he intended to stay under the radar, Tillman became a living, breathing symbol of honor, sacrifice, and the symbiotic relationship between the military and the NFL.

Tillman enlisted expecting to join the fight against Al Qaeda and the effort to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. Instead, he was sent to Iraq. All available evidence indicates that Tillman loathed the Iraq War. A voracious reader who consumed many of the world’s great religious texts even though he considered himself an atheist, Tillman was a student of history and formed his own opinions. Shortly after arriving in the country, he confided in his brother and their friend Russell Baer that he thought the invasion and occupation were “fucking illegal.” He had loose plans to meet with Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist and antiwar intellectual Noam Chomsky once he got out of the military. Still, as much as Tillman resented the Bush administration’s war of aggression, he refused to walk away from the military until his commitments were met, even after conversations between the NFL and the Defense Department presented an opportunity to do so.


This photo released by the U.S. Army shows former Iraqi POW Jessica Lynch receiving the Purple Heart Medal on July 21, 2003, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.

Photo: Sean M. Brennan/AFP/Getty Images

Early on in their deployment, Tillman and his brother were called upon to join a quick reaction force providing back-up for the rescue of Jessica Lynch. The 19-year-old private’s capture and rescue was one of the most famous and widely reported stories of the early stages of the Iraq War. It was also an egregious exercise in official lies and government propaganda. In an account fed to the Washington Post and regurgitated far and wide, the American public was told that Lynch engaged in a “fight to the death” with Iraqi forces before being overrun and thrown into the darkest depths of Iraqi captivity. While it was true that Iraqi forces ambushed the convoy Lynch was part of, and that 11 American troops lost their lives, many of the events described in the sensational account did not actually transpire. Iraqis on the ground had in fact worked, at great personal risk, to return the young private back to the Americans once she was taken captive. And while she had indeed suffered substantial physical and emotional trauma as a result of the ordeal, Lynch herself blasted the fabrications about her experience in testimony before Congress in 2007. “I’m still confused as to why they chose to lie and try to make me a legend, when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were legendary,” she said.

Tillman was right about the larger dynamics surrounding Lynch’s rescue. The pattern would repeat itself the following year — this time with him at the center.

In his journal, Tillman observed that the build-up of forces around the Lynch rescue suggested “a big Public Relations stunt.” He was right about the larger dynamics surrounding Lynch’s rescue, that the truth of what happened on the ground during the ordeal would be distorted to present the American public with a more inspiring story. He had no way of knowing, however, that the pattern would repeat itself the following year — this time with him at the center.

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 3:  Richard Tillman, the brother of  Cpl. Pat Tillman, raises a toast with a glass of Guiness, as he speaks at a memorial service for his Tillman, who was killed in action in Afghanistan April 22, 2004, at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden May 3, 2004 in San Jose, California.  Tillman turned down a lucrative NFL contract to serve with as a US Army Ranger.  (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Richard Tillman, the brother of Pat Tillman, raises a toast as he speaks at a memorial service for his brother on May 3, 2004, in San Jose, Calif.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Tillman and his brother landed in Afghanistan on April 8, 2004. They were halfway through their commitment to the Army; the end was in sight. Then, on April 22, Tillman was killed in the province of Khost, along Afghanistan’s eastern border. The NFL player-turned-national hero was awarded the Silver Star two weeks later, and his memorial service was broadcast on national television. The military provided a Navy SEAL whom the Tillman brothers had befriended with a narrative to read to mourners. It described how Tillman charged up a ridgeline, braving enemy fire, and died defending his fellow soldiers — a fittingly heroic end for the man who had become a symbol of honor and sacrifice for a country at war. But it wasn’t quite true.

Tillman had, in fact, charged up a hill in an effort to defend the men he served with, including his brother. He was not, however, killed by the enemy. Within hours, the military knew Tillman was killed by his fellow soldiers, brought down by three bullets to the head let loose during spasms of wildly irresponsible but deliberate shooting. “I’m Pat fucking Tillman!” he had screamed, in a failed effort to stop the incoming fire. Gary Smith, in his account for Sports Illustrated, noted that, for the men on the ground, the gravity of what had happened sunk in quickly: “America’s most renowned soldier was dead, and they had killed him.”

Manhunting in the Hindu Kush: U.S. Special Operations Missions in Afghanistan And The Hidden Toll On Afghan LivesRelated CoverageManhunting in the Hindu Kush: U.S. Special Operations Missions in Afghanistan And The Hidden Toll On Afghan Lives

The episode unfolded at a particularly bad moment for the Bush administration. The week before Tillman was killed, the Pentagon’s top officials learned of an upcoming “60 Minutes” story detailing torture at an American-run detention facility in Iraq called Abu Ghraib. Meanwhile, in Fallujah, the military’s campaign to take the Iraqi city from jihadis was falling apart. And, as U.S. casualties in the Iraq War hit a record high, the president’s approval rating tanked. In Tillman’s death, powerful officials saw an opportunity to spin a yarn of heroic sacrifice, rather than an obligation to tell the truth. Brig. Gen. Howard Yellen would later tell investigators that the view among the chain of command was that Tillman’s death was like a “steak dinner,” albeit delivered on a “garbage can cover.”

The military’s initial investigation, filed days after the incident, which described acts of “gross negligence” and called for the Army Criminal Investigation Command to determine whether shots were fired with “criminal intent,” was buried. In an echo of the Lynch episode, the Bush administration and the U.S. military shamelessly ran with the fabricated account of Tillman’s death. In the hours after Tillman was killed, his uniform and personal effects were destroyed, meaning key forensic evidence — of what many men in his platoon knew was a case of fratricide — was lost. Tillman’s fellow soldiers were told to keep quiet, including in their conversations with his brother Kevin, who was on the mission but at a different location when the fatal shots were fired. Right away, the military lied to Tillman’s parents, initially telling the family that an enemy combatant killed their son as he stepped out of a vehicle. The military kept the truth from them through Tillman’s memorial service, allowing the SEAL who cared for Tillman and his brother to unknowingly describe to the entire country a sequence of events with even more embellishment.

Kevin Tillman, left, brother of former NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly-fire in Afghanistan, his mother Mary Tillman, center, and former Iraq POW Jessica Lynch, right, are sworn in prior to testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

From left, Kevin Tillman, brother of Pat Tillman; Mary Tillman, his mother; and former Iraq POW Jessica Lynch are sworn in prior to testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Capitol Hill on April 24, 2007.

Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Tillman had made it clear that he did not want a military funeral. He was cremated instead. “Pat’s a fucking champion and always will be,” his baby brother Richard said at the service. “Just make no mistake, he’d want me to say this: He’s not with God. He’s fucking dead. He’s not religious. So thanks for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.” Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, an Army officer tapped to lead one of the early investigations into the incident, was apparently so profoundly unsettled by the Tillmans’ lack of religion that he, at one point, suggested their absence of faith was the reason they couldn’t come to terms with Pat’s death. “I’m not really sure what they believe or how they can get their head around death,” Kauzlarich told investigators in a follow-up inquiry in 2004. “So, in my personal opinion, sir, that is why I don’t think they’ll ever be satisfied.”

Four weeks after the memorial service, Kevin Tillman’s sergeant pulled him aside at their stateside base and told him his brother had been killed by friendly fire. Their mother, Mary, got the news from a reporter calling her for comment. The military withheld key facts from the Tillman family even as it admitted the broad stokes of his death. It would take four years of digging, led chiefly by Mary; seven official investigations; and two congressional hearings before some semblance of the truth surrounding Tillman’s death was pried from the government. More than 2,000 pages of testimony released to the Associated Press in 2007 revealed that “Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory emails for keeping criminal investigators at bay,” and that the close proximity of the bullet holes in Tillman’s forehead had raised serious questions from medical examiners as to the Army’s version of events. “An alternative narrative had to be constructed,” Kevin Tillman told lawmakers in a hearing that year — the same hearing where Jessica Lynch described how the government twisted her experience for its own benefit. “After the truth of Pat’s death was partially revealed,” Tillman’s brother said before the House committee, “Pat was no longer of use as a sales asset and became strictly the Army’s problem.”

Working tirelessly for years in the evenings, Mary Tillman pieced together what happened to her son.

“They were now left with the task of briefing our family and answering our questions,” Kevin went on to say. “With any luck, our family would sink quietly into our grief, and the whole unsavory episode would be swept under the rug. However, they miscalculated our family’s reaction. Through the amazing strength and perseverance of my mother, the most amazing woman on earth, our family has managed to have multiple investigations conducted. However, while each investigation gathered more information, the mountain of evidence was never used to arrive at an honest or even sensible conclusion.” Working tirelessly for years in the evenings, after coming home from her job as a special education teacher, Mary Tillman pieced together what happened to her son, pouring the shocking findings into her book. “They attached themselves to his virtue and then threw him under the bus,” she told Sports Illustrated. “They had no regard for him as a person. He’d hate to be used for a lie. I don’t care if they put a bullet through my head in the middle of the night. I’m not stopping.”

Tillman’s mother laid much of the blame for the cover-up at the feet of Donald Rumsfeld, Bush’s secretary of defense at the time. Rumsfeld had taken an early interest in the compelling story of the young football star who became an Army Ranger. In a 2008 interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Mary explained that Rumsfeld “had written Pat a letter when he enlisted, thanking him for enlisting, so Pat was in his radar.” Tillman said it was “ludicrous to think” that Rumsfeld, a well-known micromanager with a keen interest in special operations units, wouldn’t have been immediately notified of her son’s fratricide. “Heads would have rolled if they didn’t tell Rumsfeld,” she said.

“I don’t recall when I was told and I don’t recall who told me,” Rumsfeld had said of the episode before Congress in 2007. “I know that I would not engage in a cover-up.”

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 01:  Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the combat fratricide of NFL star and US Army Ranger Pat Tillman on Capitol Hill August 1, 2007 in Washington, DC. The hearing was titled "The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew." Tillman's family was originally told that he was killed by the enemy during combat in Afghanistan. It was later revealed that he was killed in a "friendly-fire" accident by his fellow Rangers.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the combat fratricide of Pat Tillman, on Aug. 1, 2007, in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rumsfeld wasn’t the only senior Pentagon figure involved in the events following Tillman’s death. At the time, the now-retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal headed the famed Joint Special Operations Command, running the most secretive Pentagon’s efforts in Afghanistan — including Tillman’s Army Rangers platoon. Seven days after Tillman was killed, amid the mounting evidence of fratricide, McChrystal sent a memo up the chain of command as a heads-up to the president and other senior officials who might make speeches about the incident.

“I felt it was essential you receive this information as soon as we detected it,” McChrystal wrote, “in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country’s leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman’s death become public.”

The “if” at the end of the general’s statement was particularly concerning to the Tillman family, in part because subsequent investigations revealed that McChrystal was well-aware of the fact that Tillman’s death was a case of fratricide when he sent the memo. Krakauer, in his book, described McChrystal going to “extraordinary lengths to prevent the Tillman family from learning the truth about how Pat died.” Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2009, McChrystal told lawmakers, “We failed the family.” He added, “It was not intentional.”

In the wake of his death, Tillman’s wife and high school sweetheart, Marie, set up a foundation in his name — the Pat Tillman Foundation — to support veterans and their spouses with academic scholarships. On Monday, she issued a statement about the president’s invocation of her late husband’s name. “Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us,” she wrote. “The very action of self-expression and the freedom to speak from one’s heart — no matter those views — is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for. Even if they didn’t always agree with those views.” Marie’s statement went on: “It is my sincere hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat’s life and death, and also those of so many other brave Americans.”

There is an irony in suggesting Tillman’s legacy is somehow desecrated by protests that take place during the national anthem because those protests are said to insult the military, when it was that same military, the NFL’s longtime ally, that did so much actual damage to Tillman’s legacy after his death. There has been no shortage of commentary on what Tillman would or would not do in the current moment. During his time as a football player, he both stood outside his teammates’ traditional pre-game prayer circles — a reflection of his deeply held atheism — and also described, in no uncertain terms, his reverence for the symbolism of the flag. Whatever action he would take, there’s every reason to believe that Tillman would follow his heart and his convictions if faced with the protests rippling through the sports world right now. Unfortunately, the public will never know for sure, because Tillman died on a hill in Afghanistan 13 years ago, in war that continues to this day.

He was 27 years old.

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Arizona State Sun Devils players run past the Pat Tillman statue before the college football game against the Oregon Ducks at Sun Devil Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona State Sun Devils players run past the Pat Tillman statue before a college football game on Sept. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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