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Old February 10 2013, 09:50 AM   #60
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Re: Section 31 after DS9

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
A lot of people seem to be saying in this thread that because Section 31 is not 'constrained by morals or accountability' that it is inherently more effective. It's far more likely that it ended up being, for those of you who've played Mass Effect, Cerberus. An organization led by a man who substitutes his own political feelings for the 'Best interest' of the Federation. Yeah, it's very effective at achieving its goals, but those goals are all about the organization's best interests, not the best interests of the constituents they supposedly exist to protect.
I don't think Cerberus is a good comparison for a few reasons. 1) Section 31 did not have a leader who was compromised by enemy technology. 2) Aside from the anti-Founder bioweapon, Section 31 in canon did not show a propensity for absurd schemes and generally went about things in a fairly competent manner, while most Cerberus cells wound up getting killed due to their incompetence. 3) The only political action they took, manipulating things so their agent was on the Continuing Committee, was accomplished without killing anyone (that we know of), which automatically puts them ahead of Cerberus, which can only accomplish similar results through assassination. 4) Section 31 doesn't seem to have the kind of mindset or organization that Cerberus does, forgoing any kind of military/scientific infrastructure and instead utilizing highly trained individual operatives and small scale operations.

Also, when it comes to interstellar politics, things that are in the best interests of the organization (peace with the Romulans, a diminished Dominion threat) tend to be in the best interests of the people as well.

That is not to say that the Federation was not really negligent in its intelligence gathering leading up to the Borg and Dominion threats. It was naive and complacent, but that doesn't justify circumventing a perfectly stable, open and merit-based command structure through a violent, surreptitious coup because you disagree with its decisions.
Section 31 never did that. The closest thing to what you described was when Admiral Leyton staged that coup in season 4 and the only Section 31 involvement in that was giving Odo the anti-Changeling virus.

Do you honestly believe that Section 31 has actually contributed to the safety of the Federation? Or is it far more likely they've simply grabbed power for themselves under the justification of the safety of the Federation?
Yes, because they haven't done anything but position a Federation sympathizer in a place of influence and gave the Federation leverage to force a Dominion surrender (and in the worst case scenario-had Bashir never cured the virus, neutralized their fascist, xenophobic, and genocidal overlords). They had clear goals and used fairly simple means of accomplishing those goals, which makes me more inclined to think that they're sincere about just doing things for the sake of the Federation.
A business man and engineer discuss how to launch a communications satellite in the 1960s:
Biz Dev Guy: Your communications satellite has to be the size, shape, and weight of a hydrogen bomb.
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