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Old June 28 2008, 07:32 AM   #4
Re: The prime directive

There are two general exceptions to the Prime Directive:
The first is in cases where an extreme threat to the Federation exists. [COLOR=#002bb8]General Order 24[/COLOR] authorizes a [COLOR=#002bb8]Captain[/COLOR] to order the destruction of an entire civilization under certain circumstances. ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]A Taste of Armageddon[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]Whom Gods Destroy[/COLOR]") The "[COLOR=#002bb8]Omega Directive[/COLOR]" is triggered when a Starfleet vessel encounters an [COLOR=#002bb8]Omega molecule[/COLOR]. When the Omega Directive is in force, the Prime Directive is rescinded. (Due to issues of security, only Starfleet officers ranked [COLOR=#002bb8]Captain[/COLOR] and above are privy to knowledge of this directive.) ([COLOR=#002bb8]VOY[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]The Omega Directive[/COLOR]")
The second is in the event that a protected civilization has already been exposed to the knowledge of superior technologies and off-world civilizations. ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]A Piece of the Action[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]A Private Little War[/COLOR]")
Some Starfleet Captains, including [COLOR=#002bb8]James T. Kirk[/COLOR], [COLOR=#002bb8]Jean-Luc Picard[/COLOR] and [COLOR=#002bb8]Kathryn Janeway[/COLOR] have noted that the Prime Directive only applies to living growing civilizations and have overlooked the directive where it has been more convenient to do so, particularly in cases where societies have been enslaved or in a state of total stagnation (also known as an [COLOR=#002bb8]arrested culture[/COLOR]). ([COLOR=#002bb8]TOS[/COLOR]: "[COLOR=#002bb8]Errand of Mercy[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]The Return of the Archons[/COLOR]", "[COLOR=#002bb8]The Apple[/COLOR]")
The Starfleet also had no qualms about dealing openly with civilizations that, while possessing the requisite knowledge of advanced technology, choose not to make use of it. An example of such a culture would be the [COLOR=#002bb8]Ba'ku[/COLOR]. Though the Ba'ku were initially treated as "protected" by the Prime Directive ([COLOR=#002bb8]Admiral Dougherty[/COLOR]'s and the [COLOR=#002bb8]Son'a[/COLOR]'s machinations aside) due to the appearance that they were a pre-warp culture, it later became known that they in fact were not.
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