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Old March 2 2011, 03:39 AM   #395
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post

Frankly, I can't help but wonder, if it were as bad as all that, and that Koval was only duping 31 all along...why they would continue to support him.
For the same reason any intelligence organization would continue to support a bad source: Pride. Refusal to admit mistakes.
So 31's not "worse" than other intelligence agencies, as far as efficiency is concerned....
Of course it is. Simply noting that legitimate agencies can fall prey to some of its vices as well does not mean that Section 31 is not worse. By way of analogy, Mafia bosses can drink too much, but that does not mean that they are not worse people than honest men who happen to be alcoholics.

After all, the only person who knew that Koval had screwed Section 31 over with a bad list was Corwin. And Corwin wasn't very well about to admit that he'd been had to his superiors in Section 31.
Except neglect in that regart would make him a liability--and as far as 31 is concerned, a threat to the Federation.
So what? Section 31 is an organization that operates without accountability. It doesn't have any mechanism for detecting when its own agents lie to it, nor does it have any process to deal with it. It's an organization that relies upon the assumption that everyone who joins is going to be honest and trustworthy and would never betray them or manipulate them. It is, in other words, inherently corrupt and unreliable.

You sure Corwin was the only one aware of this?

Oh, bullshit. If they were serious about helping the Klingons, they would have just had someone at United Earth Starfleet Command order the NX-01 to proceed to the Klingon border and have Phlox provide assistance.
And their reasons were...?
Section 31 in "Divergence"/"Affliction" justified allowing the Klingons to kidnap Phlox by claiming that it was in United Earth's interest for the Klingon Empire to remain stable.

Which is silly -- if that's the case, why not just have United Earth do it in the open instead of allowing a foreign national to be kidnapped from Earth itself? (Which is to say nothing of what kinds of national security damage they could have done by allowing agents of the Klingon Empire to undermine planetary defenses.)

That's my point -- the leaders of the Typhon Pact may well get together and decide to deliberately cultivate a close relationship like what the U.S. and U.K. enjoy in order to remove from their governments the very desire to spy on one-another.
Except they haven't formed such a friendship yet.
Of course they haven't. That's why I said "may well decide" -- I'm describing one possible future option, not asserting that that option has been undertaken.

Nope. I think it's a problem that can only ever be managed, not solved. It's not like the UFP can credibly claim that it's goal is not to unite the galaxy under the Federation banner; all they can reasonably do is try to not to be assholes until they can convince those critics to come around and join the party.
Yes, try. After all, the Federation is not immune to political corruption and crimes against sentience -- witness Min Zife on Tezwa.

Well, that's the good news: There aren't that many of them.

The Romulan border is already heavily militarized and has been for two centuries. I don't think that new measures need to be taken there.

There are large regions of unclaimed space between the Tholian Assembly, Breen Confederacy, Tzenkethi Coalition, and Federation. The only Member States I can find near a border with a Pact state are Pacifica and Cestus (though that's from looking up scans from Star Trek: Star Charts, since I can't find my copy right now). The rest seem to be minor, possibly uninhabited star systems, and starbases.
The Cardassians are pretty close to the Tholians and the Breen, however. Bajor also comes to mind. to the Union, on defense and so on, could be construed as "imperialism" and "aggresive postures", could it not?
Could, maybe, possibly, hypothetically, in theory, etc. Doesn't mean it would. Cardassia and Bajor are both far enough away from Ab-Tzenketh and Breen that it's not inevitable.

Perhaps. And that actually leads me to my point: It's very relative. Which is why the Pact has a considerable ammount of leeway in determining what they can deem to be "aggresive"--thereby justifying buil-ups of their own.
Yep. Like I said, this is the sort of problem that can only be managed. But, again, it's also important not to assume that they will take the worst possible option.

More seriously, the Borg were actively trying to exterminate, at the very least, the entire Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire. That's why Lost Souls established that there was a 100-light-year dead zone around the Azure Nebula. So while it's fair to say that the Gorn, Tzenkethi, Breen, Tholians, and Kinshaya space escaped the brunt of the Borg Invasion, Romulan space did not, and NONE of their militaries escaped serious losses.
The RSE is merely one power. The fact that the vast majority of the Pact escaped the bunt of the attact nonetheless gives them something of an advantage.
Depends on what you mean by "brunt of the attack." If the majority of the smaller powers' militaries were part of the expeditionary force at the Azure Nebula, then none of them can be said to have "escaped the brunt of the attack." Their civilian populations might be okay but their militaries might have suffered 40% losses just like Starfleet.

One of the things I liked about the fact that Section 31 assassinated Min Zife was that it was completely understandable why they would do it. No, it wasn't the right thing to assassinate a Federation President -- but, by the same token, he had just gotten thousands of Federates Klingons and millions of Tezwans killed to cover up his criminal activities. It's clearly wrong, but it's also clearly motivated by a sense of right and wrong, and it wasn't an operation that directly benefited either Federation security or themselves.
(whistle) Well! I seem to recall you not being so understanding when we discussed that issue--in fact, you used it as an example of why the Bureau should be abolished....
It is a reason the bureau should be abolished! It was an absolutely horrific, unjustifiable act, completely corrupt and immoral.

But that doesn't mean that it wasn't motivated by a sense of empathy, either. Section 31 was clearly furious at Zife for getting thousands of Federates killed -- given that they were getting ready to glass Tezwa, I doubt they cared that he'd gotten millions of Tezwans killed -- and decided to get revenge upon him for it.

That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make the organization not hopelessly corrupt. But it does mean that they aren't pure mustache-twirlers, either. They're people -- people who are doing things that are profoundly evil, but still people.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But the postulate on the table is that S31 could be largely exposed and dismantled, but it would be decentralized enough that a few isolated cells would survive. It seems those cells would have to be fairly small and not have much influence. Whatever they evolved into, it would probably be something relatively petty on the interstellar scale. And Section 31 as a secret power within the Federation government and military would still have effectively ceased to exist, so what remained would no longer be relevant.
Small cells can grow, Chris. Over time, one can easily argue they'll be back to specs.
Are you saying we should fight harder to abolish any small organization that professes loyalty to the Confederate States?
Democratic socialism is the hope of human freedom.
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