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Old February 19 2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

So... I was bored one day, and decided to take a New York Times article about the transition and have some fun with it. And this is what I produced. I think it's an amusing way to kill a few minutes, especially if you've been a fan of Articles of the Federation and A Singular Destiny. Enjoy.

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Zife Admin. Prepares Crisis Briefings to Aid Bacco
Published: Stardate 56832

PARIS, EARTH — The Palais de la Concorde has prepared more than a dozen contingency plans to help guide President-elect Nanietta Bacco of Cestus if an interstellar crisis erupts in the opening days of her administration, part of an elaborate operation devised to smooth the first transition of power since the Dominion War.

The memorandums envision a variety of volatile possibilities, including a Tzenkethi thalaron explosion, a cyberattack on Federation computer systems, a terrorist strike on Federation facilities in deep space, or a fresh outbreak of instability in the Bajor Sector, according to people briefed on them. Each then outlines options for Ms. Bacco to consider.

The contingency planning goes beyond what other administrations have done, with Zife Cabinet members and Ms. Bacco vowing to work in tandem to ensure a more efficient transition in a time of war and terrorist threat. The commission that investigated the Leyton Affair of 2372, noting problems during the handover from President Jaresh-Inyo of Grazer to Mr. Zife of Bolarus, called for a better process, “since a catastrophic attack could occur with little or no notice,” as its report put it.

“This is very unusual,” said former Starfleet Admiral Leo Toddman of Alpha Centauri, a former Jaresh-Inyo counterterrorism official who was held over under Mr. Zife. “We certainly did not do that. When the transition happened from Jaresh-Inyo to Zife, remember it was a totally different quadrant. You had some documents given that gave them a flavor of where things were at. But now you’ve got incidents on Tezwa, the rise of the Remans, and a recent war against the Selelvians.”

In addition to the Palais contingency memorandums, the Department of Defense said it had given crisis training to nearly 100 career officials who may fill in while Ms. Bacco’s appointees await Council confirmation. Starting before the election, those career workers have conducted exercises alongside departing political appointees to test their responses.

The administration, serving in the interim after their president suddenly resigned last month, has invited members of the Bacco agency review teams to observe some of those so-called tabletop exercises between now and the inauguration, on Stardate 56840. The Zife team has also invited Bacco transition officials to attend a “Federation-level exercise” set for Stardates 56835 and 56839 that may play out what would happen if the top leadership of the Federation were wiped out in a single stroke, officials said.

At the same time, senior counterterrorism officials plan to hold personal briefings for their counterparts on the biggest threats they see. And the Palais has drafted as many as three dozen other long-term policy memorandums outlining various pressing issues that will confront the new team and how Mr. Zife’s aides see the status of each of these issues as his presidency comes to a sudden and unexpected close.

The Palais said the flurry of briefings and memorandums was meant to be helpful to the incoming administration, not an attempt to dictate to it, and members of the Bacco team said they were taking it in that light.
“It’s a good-faith effort to provide potential information on some hot spots and some ideas about what they can do,” said Kant Jorel of Bajor, the Palais press liaison. “They just want to provide them, especially in the first few weeks, the basis for which they can have some information to make their decisions.”

The contingency plans, he said, provide the new president a variety of possible responses to certain situations rather than a specific course of action. “It’s a menu of contingencies and potential options,” he said. “It’s not exhaustive, and it’s not exclusive, and it’s not prescriptive, as if to say, ‘These are the only things you can do.’ ”

President Pro Tempore Ra’ch B’hully of Damiano said Tuesday that a top priority in her remaining days as caretaker president is to help Ms. Bacco get ready to govern. “We care about her,” she said in an interview with the Federation News Service. “We want her to be successful, and we want the transition to work.”

A spokeswoman for Ms. Bacco’s office said she had no comment. But other Cestans working with the transition said they appreciated the Zife team’s efforts. “This doesn’t absolve the Zife administration of some of their judgments they’ve made over the years, but this is the right thing to do,” said a Cestan close to the transition who did not want to be named to avoid alienating the team. “This is when enlightened self-interest works.”

Admiral Toddman, who has been a critic of Mr. Zife’s national security policy, said: “I give them a lot of points for doing this. There could be zero down time for the new team coming in.”

The attention to Federation security in this postelection interim period stems in part from the recognition that terrorists have struck during moments of flux in national leadership before. The Dominion’s attack on the Antwerp Conference in 2372 came only a few months before Mr. Zife defeated Mr. Jaresh-Inyo in the general election—as did the Leyton Affair almost immediately afterwords. A series of bombings on Trill in 2376 came weeks before the 2376 Federation presidential election. And a coup on Qo’noS came days after Klingon Chancellor Martok assumed power.

Here in the Federation, the Department of Defense declared the election and transition a period of heightened alert because of the concern. Under the authority granted by intelligence legislation Mr. Zife signed in 2376, the government has processed security clearances for Bacco transition officials earlier than ever before, and Ms. Bacco has named her top nominees faster than any other modern president-elect.

Beyond terrorism, Ms. Bacco could face an early unexpected international test on any number of fronts, as her opponent, Arafel “Fel” Pagro of Ktar, predicted on the campaign trail. During the transition between the administrations of President Amitra and Mr. Jaresh-Inyo, a humanitarian crisis on Bajor following the withdrawal of the Cardassian occupation prompted Ms. Amitra to send Starfleet to intervene, establishing Starbase Deep Space 9.

While Ms. Bacco’s Federation security résumé is relatively thin, many members of her Federation security team come with deep experience. She is keeping Starfleet Admiral William Ross of Earth as Liaison to the President, and has tapped Admiral Jas Abrik of Trill, a retired Starfleet flag officer, as Federation Security Adviser.

Yet returning Jaresh-Inyo veterans have not been in government since the Dominion War. The quadrant has changed, and so have the structures to cope with it.

And there are things that cannot be put in a briefing or memorandum. Sonek Pran, a Federation diplomacy expert at the McKay University, said much of the apparatus of government would know what to do in the event of a crisis. The real test for Ms. Bacco will be projecting leadership.

“For a president thinking about crisis management,” Mr. Pran said, “the most important thing is not decision making, it’s public relations.”
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