Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
Everyone knows about Section 31 now, so whoever succeeds Admiral Marcus as head of Starfleet will be motivated to prove he (or she) is not one of them.
Do we know that? We know that Kirk
knows about them. I'm sure he reported what Marcus told him about them, that there were investigations in the wake of the Vengeance
crash, and hopefully the organization was exposed and dismantled by the final scene of the movie a year later. But there was never actually a line in the movie confirming that S31's existence had become common knowledge.
I'm sure Kirk would be listened to, after all of this went down. What with all of the damage to San Francisco and London, and the resurgence of Khan, Starfleet is going to be motivated to hunt down and punish the people responsible. I assume that the reason Marcus blabbed about Section 31 was that he wasn't expecting Kirk to survive...so I think Kirk's whistleblowing will prove fruitful. Even if existing S31 members attempt to cover their tracks, I don't think it will work. I envision all of them (however many there are) being charged with high treason.