Regarding the reasons why various parties killed for Genesis, my angle is simply that Saavik blames David for taking action (or perhaps inaction) that resulted in deaths, when this was never something David could control, and thus he cannot be argued to have killed anybody. Khan, Kirk and Kruge form a competing category in two ways: one, they all actually did physically kill people, and two, they all had a choice of some sort about the matter.
I respect your argument, Timo. But I don't agree with it. It's not accurate to say that David didn't have a choice in the matter. He chose to help his mother develop the Genesis device, and he should have foreseen the potential the project had to go awry. Hell, he himself said that Genesis "could be perverted into a dreadful weapon," lamenting the involvement of a military organization he neither understood nor trusted.
Whether his feelings were the result of anger at Kirk for being an absent father isn't clear, but he clearly disapproves of Starfleet officers and questions their motives in being involved in such a sensitive experiment. His mother, who seems to have had more experience with Starfleet (through Kirk or otherwise) disputes his assertions that they would misuse the device or try to take it from their development team without sufficient reason ("I cannot and will not subscribe to your interpretation of this event!").
But Carol seems to have her own axe to grind with the Federation. Some of her comments left me wondering if her primary goal in developing Genesis was not to solve the problems of starvation or overpopulation but merely to prove that she could
. People in her position tend to focus too closely on demonstrating their capabilities and not closely enough on the ethical and moral repercussions of their actions. Ian Malcom makes a statement along these lines in Jurassic Park
when debating the appropriateness of running a dinosaur factory and packaging it as a family-oriented theme park.
In any event, she had the choice of developing Genesis, and David had the choice of helping her do it. I don't think either intended for the experiment to fail, nor did they know that Khan would use the project to escape his exile and embark on a maniacal rampage to satisfy a personal vendetta. They're hardly the only people at fault. I can't help but wonder what the Federation Council was thinking when it authorized the project in the first place: the tape Kirk plays for Spock and Bones in his quarters clearly indicates she pitched the idea to the higher-ups before going ahead with it, as does the involvement of Reliant
, which would only have been involved under orders from Starfleet.
I suppose one could retcon the idea that the Admiral Marcus of the primary universe could have used his pull to get the project authorized (even if it wasn't a military venture) for his daughter and grandson, and as Marcus had ties to Section 31, it's possible his motives weren't wholesome in allowing the project to move forward. But that still doesn't absolve the development team of blame. And if Carol did in fact use her father's influence to get the project approved, that would only cast her in a more unfavorable light. Such a thing would suggest that she encountered resistance to her ideas, ideas that the Federation deemed dangerous and irresponsible, and used family ties to satisfy her own agenda.
The irony of such a scenario is laughable, as she (and her father) would have been using Starfleet as a pawn in their game. After all, it was David who claimed that scientists were always pawns of the military.