It's naive to treat a conspiracy as some kind of self-sustaining perpetual-motion machine that can remain unaltered in its agenda and power even when all the people who were originally behind it have retired or died. The only reason most imagined conspiracies like the Kennedy assassination never get uncovered is because they never existed in the first place. Real conspiracies like Watergate and Iran-Contra tend to come out within a few years. Because it's really not that easy to keep a secret in a democratic government with a free press.
The ongoing controversy over the deep state
, which has seen many of its members including a goodly share of the secular political and military elites brought to trial for taking part in a general subversion of Turkish democracy (coup-planning, assassinations, etc) comes to mind. And even in Turkey, the idea of the deep state long predated the AKP's election: in the mid-1990s, for instance, there was a famous incident with a car crash
On Nov. 3, 1996, three people were crushed to death when their speeding black Mercedes hit a tractor and overturned. The crash killed Husseyin Kocadag, a top police official who commanded Turkish counter-insurgency units.
But it was Kocadag's company that stunned the nation. The two other dead were Abdullah Catli, a convicted fugitive who was wanted for drug trafficking and murder, and Catli's girlfriend, Gonca Us, a Turkish beauty queen turned mafia hit-woman. A fourth occupant, who survived the crash, was Kurdish warlord Sedat Bucak, whose militia had been armed and financed by the Turkish government to fight Kurdish separatists.
At first, Turkish officials claimed that the police were transporting two captured criminals. But evidence seized at the crash site indicated that Abdullah Catli, the fugitive gangster, had been given special diplomatic credentials by Turkish authorities. Catli was carrying a government-approved weapons permit and six ID cards, each with a different name. Catli also possessed several handguns, silencers and a cache of narcotics, not the picture of a subdued criminal.
When it became obvious that Catli was a police collaborator, not a captive, the Turkish Interior Minister resigned. Several high-ranking law enforcement officers, including Istanbul's police chief, were suspended. But the red-hot scandal soon threatened to jump that bureaucratic firebreak and endanger the careers of other senior government officials.
The news of Catli's secret police ties were all the more scandalous given his well-known role as a key leader of the Grey Wolves, a neo-fascist terrorist group that has stalked Turkey since the late 1960s. A young tough who wore black leather pants and looked like Turkey's answer to Elvis Presley, Catli graduated from street gang violence to become a brutal enforcer for the Grey Wolves. He rose quickly within their ranks, emerging as second-in-command in 1978. That year, Turkish police linked him to the murder of seven trade-union activists and Catli went underground.
Three years later, the Grey Wolves gained international notoriety when Mehmet Ali Agca, one of Catli's closest collaborators, shot and nearly killed Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981. Catli was the leader of a fugitive terrorist cell that included Agca and a handful of other Turkish neo-fascists.
Turks knew about their own Section 31 equivalent long before the deep state trials. Surely, if we're assuming that the people of the Federation are anything but stupid, they would have noticed by now that a ruthless secret conspiracy of ancient history was running around manipulating things and disappearing people! Romulans knew of the Tal Shi'ar and Cardassians of the Obsidian Order ...
The only way I can buy S31 continuing to exist is if they've been mostly inactive over Federation history. I always figured they stay pretty much dormant in peacetime and only become active in times of major crisis like the Dominion War. But the past few years have been so fraught with one crisis after another that S31 has become a lot more active, and that just makes it all the more inevitable that they'll be exposed.
The death of Min Zife is going to get S31 in the end. His disappearance is too big a story to hide indefinitely.