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Old March 2 2011, 05:52 AM   #398
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

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

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.
As far as alcoholism is concerned, a comparison is warranted--not in other matters.

In the same way, being prone to deception was the issue in which I was comparing them.

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.
As far as you know.

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.
Again--how do you know this?

Picard and the others were not aware of this?

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.)
If it's really so stupid--frankly, that is often an indication that there was something else going on. (Observe all the attempts by Trek authors to give more "reasonable" explanations for events than that which we saw on screen--which, as you know, was the purpose behind The Good That Men Do. Such authors make that same creative assumption.)

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.

After all, the Federation is not immune to political corruption and crimes against sentience -- witness Min Zife on Tezwa.
Even Min Zife was not arrogant enough to behave in the "a--hole" maneer you describe, towards foreign powers.

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.
I was simply raising the possibility, as you did concerning the Typhon Pact leaders "getting together and deciding...", etc.

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.
Assume, no. Prepare for, yes. Getting caught with one's britches down is never a good idea--particularly in matters of politics.

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.
Noted. But what of the massacre of worlds like Deneva, Risa, etc?

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.
Well, if they were so infuriated by that, driving them to come out of the shadows and take that kind of risk with no benefit to them or (alleged) Federation security...perhaps they're not as "hopelessly corrupt" as you would believe.

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?

In all seriousness, those orginizations are hardly hidden, Sci. If they were to organize into a vast behind-the-scenes conspiracy...perhaps.
"The saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia.... 'Needs and abilities' are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to 'the State shall take, the State shall give'."
--David Mamet
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