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EmperorTiberius October 3 2012 08:10 PM

Layton's bid for power
It always struck me how easy it was supposed to be for Layton to achieve it. If you think that he was an incompetant delusional idiot, then this thread ends here. But if you assume that someone in his position would be intelligent and experienced, then you have to wonder how did he plan to achieve it?

What we know is: He has a bunch of kids on his side, one Captain in charge of Starfleet Security, and one Captain on a starship that's more loyal than others (this assumes there are other officers loyal to him).

Since Benteen is the only one there to help, we can assume that others either weren't highly placed or were at other strategic locations throughout the Federation. However, if this was the case, why didn't he have more ships in Sol just in case of rebellion? One can only assume that he didn't have enough "others" that were loyal and couldn't afford to have more than one ship around Sol.

Layton also doesn't seem to have enough pull to arrange for Benteen to have a more powerful ship assigned to her. She instead gets an old rust bucket that has to be upgraded in order to be some kind of threat.

With this situation in mind, how did he plan to confront the rest of Starfleet? With the power that Starfleet has, I can see the president being no challenge, but how was he going to convince at least a 1000 other Captains that include officers like Picard to come to his side? Are people like Picard and Sisko simply outlying cases, and are other officers more hawkish like the captain of Phoenix and Jellico were?

Did he really believe that chain of command was enough? And if he did, what was he going to do with his superiors? Fleet Admiral Nechayev woud be demoted/imprisoned?

I was always thoroughly confused by the episode. Perhaps it should have been a 3 parter.

R. Star October 3 2012 08:17 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
Really Leyton's little operation reminded me a lot of the July 20 plot that was to take over Germany after they assassinated Hitler. The premise that the office of the Head of State is usurped by a military movement and that by controlling the Central Headquarters, the rest of the military will fall in line.

Granted both Operations had different goals and reasons, they both were in essence a plan to overthrow the head of state with a military junta to achieve their own goals. If both Sisko and Benteen remained completely loyal to Leyton I imagine others in the Federation would move against him and as soon as the truth gets out the people following Leyton would turn on him much as the Wehrmacht troops turned on the July 20 plotters when they discovered Hitler wasn't dead.

BillJ October 3 2012 10:25 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
I think the whole key to the plan was the Federation being in the precipice of war. Leyton was banking that the majority of officers would be inclined to follow a military leader vs. fighting to uphold civilian rule.

And he was probably right. If he hadn't brought Sisko home, his plan likely would've succeeded.

SchwEnt October 3 2012 11:29 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
I thought it was more like that Burt Lancaster movie, "Seven Days in May". Or maybe "Twilight's Last Gleaming", I confuse those titles.

Anwar October 3 2012 11:35 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
I always wondered if his plan was to just take Earth, or if he had others positioned all over the Federation to assist him. Because even if he took the Capital world, did he think the rest of the Federation would just fall in line behind him like that?

R. Star October 4 2012 01:34 AM

Re: Layton's bid for power
^ Which is another reason I compared them to the July 20 plotters who mistakenly thought that if they took Berlin they'd control the rest of the Reich.

As for Leyton's grand plan? Sisko by himself thwarted it which means that he wasn't on solid ground to begin with. If he takes Earth, so what? You'd have the majority of Starfleet being told to accept a military junta. While your typical Federation officer seems docile and submissive to authority, I don't think they'd just shrug when they find out the president has been overthrown. To say nothing of the governments of the member worlds.

Distorted Humor October 4 2012 05:22 AM

Re: Layton's bid for power
Layton's bid kinda reminded me of the French Foreign Legion and OAS and the french government. The episode could of been helped if it was mentioned that Ship X and Y where in the Sol system, but unable to intercept the defiant.

TheRoyalFamily October 4 2012 08:19 AM

Re: Layton's bid for power
Seems to me he wasn't trying to take over the Federation at all; he was just trying to take over Earth itself, or rather, have Starfleet take management of the complete security (of course, under his direction). For some reason the Fed president seems to have direct charge of Earth, and Layton was just getting his stalling butt out of the way, and had his cadets convince people that it was OK, because the Dominion could have done it just as easy. At least, that's how he saw it.

Timo October 4 2012 12:04 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
Let's not forget to go back to the source for what Leyton's aims actually were. That is, let's assume he was being at least halfway honest with Sisko and trying to convince him to come to the side of the plot whenever the hero officer questioned him or held him at gunpoint.

After Sisko's arrest on false grounds:


Leyton: "The President won't be making a speech. I will."
Sisko: "I assume you'll be explaining to the public why it's necessary for Starfleet to seize control of Earth."
Leyton: "Temporarily, of course. Until the changeling threat has been neutralized."
Sisko: "And how long will that be? Months? Years? Decades?"
Leyton: "However long it takes. The people deserve strong leadership. Someone who can protect them."
Sisko: "In other words, you."
Leyton's aim to take factual charge of Earth's security is explicit there, even if he doesn't say "yes" to Sisko's last challenge. But he doesn't say what sort of leadership he is aiming at. Is he going to depose the President and explicitly alter the form of government? Or just convince the President to take orders from Starfleet?

After Sisko breaks out and confronts Leyton in his office:


Sisko: "Admiral, do you realise what's going on here? Even if you win, even if you do manage to oust Jaresh-Inyo, you still lose. We all lose."
Leyton: "I can't say I agree with you."
So perhaps he isn't going to "oust" the President after all?


Sisko: "Do you think other Federation worlds are going to sit back and let their President be replaced by a military dictatorship?"
Leyton: "Hardly a dictatorship, Ben."
So perhaps Sisko is jumping to conclusions?


Sisko: "Overthrowing a legitimately elected President and giving Starfleet direct control over the government? It sounds like a dictatorship to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks so."
Leyton: "There will be some dissenters at first, but they'll fall in line once they realize that strengthening Earth is the first step toward strengthening the Federation.
Well, if Leyton isn't going to throw the President in a dungeon, this would be a good time to tell Sisko he's dead wrong about what's going on. But he never really confesses to what he is planning. Might be the propaganda campaign is all he's ever gonna do - culminating in peacefully convincing the President to let Leyton give a rousing speech and then start acting as Jaresh-Inyo's top advisor and de facto master.

Then, after the space battle, comes the scene where Leyton considers making a fight of it despite being exposed. But that may be his Plan B now that the more peaceful Plan A failed. Indeed, he appears to describe fighting as an alternative to what he has been doing so far.


Leyton: "It's not over! I have enough loyal officers to make a fight of it."
Basically, then, we have dialogue where Sisko believes Leyton will replace the President as the top leader of Earth, the Federation, Starfleet, or all of them. And where writers probably write with the intent that Sisko is right. But there's plenty of wiggle room for a Plan A that makes good longterm sense for Leyton and stands a chance of success.

That is, everything done so far might have been merely in order to get the President to lend his ear (does he have those?) to Leyton, and Leyton alone. Nothing would change except the policy that Jaresh-Inyo will pursue from that point on. Remember, up till this point, Leyton has done things specifically to persuade and convince the President, in addition to doing things to persuade and convince the general public. This would be wasted effort if the idea were to discredit Jaresh-Inyo and throw him down from the throne while the crowds cheered. Letting the President reign would be a sustainable approach, and also consistent with all the earlier actions.

Timo Saloniemi

Distorted Humor October 5 2012 05:32 AM

Re: Layton's bid for power
I saw these two episodes the other day, and was curious imagine the actor who played Layton as the DS9 commander.

EmperorTiberius October 5 2012 08:19 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
Some good points. I didn't think of the Valkyrie, but now that I think about it, it's very similar.

Ln X October 7 2012 04:09 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
The way I see it Layton wanted to become President, or have a position equivalent to President and higher, and more forcibly direct the Federation High Council. If Sisko had not thwarted Layton's plans then I guess Starfleet and the High Council would have believed that a Dominion invasion is imminent. Layton would enforce martial law and probably conduct false flag terror operations to scare the races of the Federation into believing the Dominion was an immediate threat ready to wipe out the Federation if it was not prepared.

Layton would probably create a police state under the fašade of a democratic decision and then he would not stop because he would need more and more control to keep his plans alive. Layton would become a dictator, the Federation would become more militarized, just like the Romulans and Cardassians. Ironically the Federation -- under this new system -- would probably offer to help the Klingons conquer the Cardassian Union. All of it under the guise of protecting the Alpha Quadrant from the Dominion. The Khitomer Accords would be refreshed as the Federation and Klingon goals became the same.

Ironically though the Federation would never close the Bajoran wormhole, because then Layton would have to abolish these emergency security measures. But he wouldn't because you once acquire power through corrupt means you tend to cling onto it lest ones true intentions are publicly revealed.

Let's not forget Section 31, I'm pretty certain they would not let Layton get away with a take over of the Federation. Because Section 31 are a smart bunch and they would know that this would lead to civil war.

If anything Layton should have made his move in conjunction with Section 31 after the Dominion war, because I'm certain Section 31 would desire stronger measures in their desire to protect the Federation from its enemies. Plus at a time when Federation races are reeling over the terrible death and destruction the Dominion wrought, that's when Layton should have carried out his coup; all under the guise of protecting the people of course.

Anwar October 7 2012 07:33 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
But all of Layton's conspirators seemed focused on Earth and Earth alone. Earth isn't the Core of the Federation, it's just one of the Founding worlds they happened to choose as their Capital. If he wanted the entire Federation under his control he'd have needed people on other worlds as well.

R. Star October 7 2012 08:30 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power

5 franchises of Trek argue rather heavily against the Federation not being centered on Earth.

Anwar October 7 2012 08:52 PM

Re: Layton's bid for power
But the Federation won't collapse on itself just because it loses the Sol System. And Insurrectionists taking Earth won't give them control over the Federation either.

In most cases throughout Trek, when Earth is endangered it's usually just part of a grander invasion (the Borg attacks, for example). None of the other times (V'ger, the Whale Probe, etc) indicate the destruction of the Federation, just saving one major world from crisis.

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