Clark Terrell wrote:
An additional point that hasn't been addressed: it's unlikely Kirk had any authority over Reliant's assignment to the Genesis project because if he had, it seems to me he'd have contacted Reliant after getting Carol's message rather than contacting Starfleet Command. But not only did he not do that, he also didn't seem to make the connection between Genesis and Reliant's sudden appearance in the Enterprise's path hours later. It's only after Khan asks about Genesis that he realizes something's up.
It was speculated earlier in this thread that Kirk only knew about Genesis because Carol Marcus was involved with it.
For all we know, Kirk may have been the Academy commandant at the time of TWOK and didn't really get brought into the full loop after he contacted Starfleet that something was amiss at Regula I. It could have been a case that as the highest-ranking officer nearby (and also because he was James T. Kirk
), Starfleet entrusted him to deal with it.