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Old January 13 2013, 11:06 PM   #59
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Re: whatever happened to these characters?

Sci wrote: View Post
RPJOB wrote: View Post
Actually, Picard and his coconspirators did give Starfleet a veto over the office of President. They've established a precedent.
One of the advantages we as readers have, again, is that we the audience know those characters' goals, beliefs, and motivations in a way we never could in real life. And one of the things we know about those characters is that none of them considered their actions against Zife to be a precedent for the future. Every last one of them considered their actions to be an extraordinary event, to be undertaken only this time and never again. They neither want nor regard themselves as having the moral or legal authority to do it ever again.

Also, it is important to pay attention to the make-up of the conspiracy -- there are some noticeable absences. The Commander-in-Chief of Starfleet was not party to the conspiracy. Neither was the Starfleet liaison to the President's office (who is often portrayed as the #2 in Starfleet). So institutionally, this seems to have been a conspiracy of a small number of flag officers, but not a decision made by the organization itself; Starfleet's commanding officer was unaware of it.

It's also important to note that the current Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Akaar, was not party to the conspiracy. Jellico had been party to the conspiracy when he became C-in-C, but he resigned after the Borg Invasion.

So institutionally, Starfleet no longer has several key members of that conspiracy -- which makes it all the harder to argue that Starfleet has a "veto" over the President, since its current leaders don't know about that conspiracy, and since key members of that conspiracy aren't in Starfleet anymore. I do not think it reasonable to say that a precedent has been established when there's no institutional knowledge of that "precedent."

Don't forget, this is the same Starfleet that had maneuvered the President into declaring martial law on Earth just a few years earlier (Paradise Lost).
Why does Starfleet as an institution get the blame for Leyton's crimes but not the credit for Sisko defeating him?

RPJOB wrote: View Post

And that's one interpretation of what happened afterwards. We don't know one way or the other at the end of the episode.
It is inconsistent to hold it against Starfleet because of events in one book, but not to acknowledge what is factually established in another book. If you're gonna make a fuss about the events of A Time to Heal, then you have a logical obligation to acknowledge the facts established in Hollow Men. They're both part of the same continuity.

Also, five years seems a bit on the lenient side. Compare to what Cyrano Jones was facing.
You're going to claim the Federation is inconsistent or hypocritical because of a penalty that existed one hundred five years before the events of DSN Season Four?

It had been over a century. I think it's safe to say that the Federation just in general adopted a more lenient judicial system in the meantime. Certainly the horror with which the Federates in VOY's "Repentance" consider capital punishment would suggest an evolution in Federation legal practices since TOS's "The Menagerie" established a death sentence for people who contact Talos IV.
It doesn't matter if all the members of the conspiracy are still in the fleet or not. Picard and the others did what they thought was right. Who are they then to tell someone else that they're wrong if other Captains, Admirals and such decide to remove Bacco for what they believe to be good and valid reasons? If it's OK for Picard to override the democratic wishes of the population of the Federation why is it not OK for someone else to do so if they believe that they are doing the right thing? Why would Leyton be sentenced to 5 years in a rehab colony if he thought he was working to save the Federation? Why would Starfleet be interested (apparently) in shutting down Section 31?

The point is that the Zife conspirators got away essentially scott free with the exception of Ross and he even got to retire, presumably with whatever passes for a cushy pension in the 24th century.

Who's to say the Federation has grown more lenient? There's numerous examples that the Federation is now willing, nay, expected, to allow entire civilizations to die because of the Prime Directive. They also attempted to force a group of Federation citizens off their plant that they had lived on for over a century. They've also known about section 31 since the time of Archer, made rousing speeches (in the novels as well) about bringing them down and yet Section 31 continues pretty much without opposition. Perhaps the Federation has decided that having their own version of the Tal Shiar or the Obsidian Order is actually a good thing a long as they don't make themselves too obvious.

Kirk wasn't above threatening to destroy Flint's planet or Eminiar VII. Imagine how that would have turn out of Kirk had been unable to issuer the countermand order. You don't make a threat you're not willing to deal with the consequences of.

The Federation is not as nice and benevolent as people tend to ret-con it to be.
We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill - today! - Kirk - A Taste of Armageddon
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