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Old February 19 2009, 07:19 PM   #1
Sci
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Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

So... I was bored one day, and decided to take a New York Times article about the transition and have some fun with it. And this is what I produced. I think it's an amusing way to kill a few minutes, especially if you've been a fan of Articles of the Federation and A Singular Destiny. Enjoy.

* * *

Zife Admin. Prepares Crisis Briefings to Aid Bacco
By EDMUND ATKINSON
Published: Stardate 56832

PARIS, EARTH — The Palais de la Concorde has prepared more than a dozen contingency plans to help guide President-elect Nanietta Bacco of Cestus if an interstellar crisis erupts in the opening days of her administration, part of an elaborate operation devised to smooth the first transition of power since the Dominion War.

The memorandums envision a variety of volatile possibilities, including a Tzenkethi thalaron explosion, a cyberattack on Federation computer systems, a terrorist strike on Federation facilities in deep space, or a fresh outbreak of instability in the Bajor Sector, according to people briefed on them. Each then outlines options for Ms. Bacco to consider.

The contingency planning goes beyond what other administrations have done, with Zife Cabinet members and Ms. Bacco vowing to work in tandem to ensure a more efficient transition in a time of war and terrorist threat. The commission that investigated the Leyton Affair of 2372, noting problems during the handover from President Jaresh-Inyo of Grazer to Mr. Zife of Bolarus, called for a better process, “since a catastrophic attack could occur with little or no notice,” as its report put it.

“This is very unusual,” said former Starfleet Admiral Leo Toddman of Alpha Centauri, a former Jaresh-Inyo counterterrorism official who was held over under Mr. Zife. “We certainly did not do that. When the transition happened from Jaresh-Inyo to Zife, remember it was a totally different quadrant. You had some documents given that gave them a flavor of where things were at. But now you’ve got incidents on Tezwa, the rise of the Remans, and a recent war against the Selelvians.”

In addition to the Palais contingency memorandums, the Department of Defense said it had given crisis training to nearly 100 career officials who may fill in while Ms. Bacco’s appointees await Council confirmation. Starting before the election, those career workers have conducted exercises alongside departing political appointees to test their responses.

The administration, serving in the interim after their president suddenly resigned last month, has invited members of the Bacco agency review teams to observe some of those so-called tabletop exercises between now and the inauguration, on Stardate 56840. The Zife team has also invited Bacco transition officials to attend a “Federation-level exercise” set for Stardates 56835 and 56839 that may play out what would happen if the top leadership of the Federation were wiped out in a single stroke, officials said.

At the same time, senior counterterrorism officials plan to hold personal briefings for their counterparts on the biggest threats they see. And the Palais has drafted as many as three dozen other long-term policy memorandums outlining various pressing issues that will confront the new team and how Mr. Zife’s aides see the status of each of these issues as his presidency comes to a sudden and unexpected close.

The Palais said the flurry of briefings and memorandums was meant to be helpful to the incoming administration, not an attempt to dictate to it, and members of the Bacco team said they were taking it in that light.
“It’s a good-faith effort to provide potential information on some hot spots and some ideas about what they can do,” said Kant Jorel of Bajor, the Palais press liaison. “They just want to provide them, especially in the first few weeks, the basis for which they can have some information to make their decisions.”

The contingency plans, he said, provide the new president a variety of possible responses to certain situations rather than a specific course of action. “It’s a menu of contingencies and potential options,” he said. “It’s not exhaustive, and it’s not exclusive, and it’s not prescriptive, as if to say, ‘These are the only things you can do.’ ”

President Pro Tempore Ra’ch B’hully of Damiano said Tuesday that a top priority in her remaining days as caretaker president is to help Ms. Bacco get ready to govern. “We care about her,” she said in an interview with the Federation News Service. “We want her to be successful, and we want the transition to work.”

A spokeswoman for Ms. Bacco’s office said she had no comment. But other Cestans working with the transition said they appreciated the Zife team’s efforts. “This doesn’t absolve the Zife administration of some of their judgments they’ve made over the years, but this is the right thing to do,” said a Cestan close to the transition who did not want to be named to avoid alienating the team. “This is when enlightened self-interest works.”

Admiral Toddman, who has been a critic of Mr. Zife’s national security policy, said: “I give them a lot of points for doing this. There could be zero down time for the new team coming in.”

The attention to Federation security in this postelection interim period stems in part from the recognition that terrorists have struck during moments of flux in national leadership before. The Dominion’s attack on the Antwerp Conference in 2372 came only a few months before Mr. Zife defeated Mr. Jaresh-Inyo in the general election—as did the Leyton Affair almost immediately afterwords. A series of bombings on Trill in 2376 came weeks before the 2376 Federation presidential election. And a coup on Qo’noS came days after Klingon Chancellor Martok assumed power.

Here in the Federation, the Department of Defense declared the election and transition a period of heightened alert because of the concern. Under the authority granted by intelligence legislation Mr. Zife signed in 2376, the government has processed security clearances for Bacco transition officials earlier than ever before, and Ms. Bacco has named her top nominees faster than any other modern president-elect.

Beyond terrorism, Ms. Bacco could face an early unexpected international test on any number of fronts, as her opponent, Arafel “Fel” Pagro of Ktar, predicted on the campaign trail. During the transition between the administrations of President Amitra and Mr. Jaresh-Inyo, a humanitarian crisis on Bajor following the withdrawal of the Cardassian occupation prompted Ms. Amitra to send Starfleet to intervene, establishing Starbase Deep Space 9.

While Ms. Bacco’s Federation security résumé is relatively thin, many members of her Federation security team come with deep experience. She is keeping Starfleet Admiral William Ross of Earth as Liaison to the President, and has tapped Admiral Jas Abrik of Trill, a retired Starfleet flag officer, as Federation Security Adviser.

Yet returning Jaresh-Inyo veterans have not been in government since the Dominion War. The quadrant has changed, and so have the structures to cope with it.

And there are things that cannot be put in a briefing or memorandum. Sonek Pran, a Federation diplomacy expert at the McKay University, said much of the apparatus of government would know what to do in the event of a crisis. The real test for Ms. Bacco will be projecting leadership.

“For a president thinking about crisis management,” Mr. Pran said, “the most important thing is not decision making, it’s public relations.”
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Old February 19 2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

I think I actually read the original article you based this on Sci. Very clever and fun!

Kevin
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Old February 19 2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

^ Awesome. I love it!
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Old February 20 2009, 01:28 AM   #4
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

That was very good.
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Old February 20 2009, 02:28 AM   #5
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

Okay, that was just the coolest thing ever.
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Old February 20 2009, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

Muchas gracias, all.
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Old February 21 2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

This gets the creative jucies flowing for sure. I loved it!

Keep em coming if you can... =)
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Old February 21 2009, 02:50 AM   #8
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

Definitely entertaining, and more on-topic than you might think.

The "interstitial material", as some reviewers called it, in A Singular Destiny put me in mind of similar approaches in other novels I've enjoyed in recent years. To name two: David Brin's Earth, and Robert Sawyer's Terminal Experiment. Stuff that served purposes ranging from mood-setting to background info-dumping to comedy relief to foreshadowing.

Deeply appreciated, Keith.
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Old May 21 2009, 01:51 AM   #9
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

Recent headlines have inspired me to create another little story. With apologies to KRAD and the Washington Post....

Eleana: Starfleet Intelligence misled her on Ceti eels

By OZLA GRANIV
Seeker
Stardate 56931.6

PARIS, EARTH – Federation Councillor Eleana of Delta bluntly accused Starfleet Intelligence on Stardate 56929.9 of misleading her and other lawmakers about its use of Ceti eels during the opening days of the Dominion War, escalating a controversy grown to include the Palais de la Concorde and Starfleet Command.

"It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the Federation Council," responded Starfleet Intelligence spokesperson Grash bin Gralt of Tellar, although he refused to answer directly when asked whether Eleana’s accusation was accurate.

But the controversial councillor, speaking at a news conference in the Palais, was unequivocal about an SI briefing she received in the spring of 2374.

"We were told that Ceti eels were not being used," the councillor said. "That's the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier they were." She suggested SI release the briefing material.

Eleana also vehemently disputed charges that she was complicit in the use of Ceti eels, and she suggested Zife administration allies were trying to shift the focus of public attention away from the Zife administration's use of techniques that she and President Nanietta Bacco have described as torture.

Coincidentally, Eleana spoke as SI rejected former Federation Secretary of the Exterior Ythrilasifsa sh'Zathrosia's request to release secret memos judging whether Ceti eels and other harsh techniques had succeeded in securing valuable intelligence information.

Starfleet Intelligence spokesperson Tarmantak of Rigel said the request was turned down because the documents are the subject of pending litigation, which makes them not subject to declassification.

Eleana has been the target of a campaign orchestrated in recent days by the pro-Zife Council leadership, which is eager to undercut her statements as well as stick pro-T’Latrek councillors with partial responsibility for the use of Ceti eels—a parasitic life-form capable of entering the brain and forcibly altering humanoid behavior—in the Zife administration.

Pro-Zife officials secured the release of an unclassified chart by SI that describes a total of 40 briefings for councillors over a period of several years. Eleana's name appears once, as having attended a session on Stardate 51135, when she was a member of the Federation Intelligence Council. Former Councillor Charivretha zh’Thane (Modern Progressive-Andor), who at the time was the chair of the sub-council, also was present.

The notation says the briefing was on "enhanced interrogation techniques on Gul Arton Madred... and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed."

Gralt, responding to Eleana for Starfleet Intelligence, said the chart "is true to the language in our records." But he did not say whether the information was accurate.

Instead, he pointed to a recent letter from Starfleet Intelligence Chief Admiral Nyota Uhura to councillors saying it would be up to the Federation Council to determine whether notes made by SI personnel at the time they briefed lawmakers were accurate.

Starfleet Intelligence has said it could allow Council staff to review the notes made by briefers who spoke with lawmakers.

The chart specifically notes a discussion of Ceti eels in 13 briefings between Stardates 50510 and 53145. Two Councillors, Tomorok of Rigel and former Councillr Melnis of Benzar, have challenged the accuracy of some of SI's chart.

Eleana's decision to respond to her critics was something of a surprise, since most polls show that President Bacco and her policies are popular, and Zife allies have exhibited virtually nonstop political disarray in the four months his surprise resignation in the wake of the Tezwa affair. Former President Zife has not publically commented on the controversy.

Eleana renewed her call for a so-called truth commission to investigate the events in the Zife administration that led to the use of Ceti eels and other harsh interrogation techniques. While President Bacco has banned the eels, calling them torture, she has been notably cool toward an independent inquiry that might distract attention from the ongoing Romulan crises.

Tellarite Councillor Bera chim Gleer has also expressed opposition, while External Affair Council Chair T’Latrek of Vulcan, a longtime enemy of the Zife administration, has expressed support for Councillor Eleana’s call.

Eleana was unusually harsh in describing Starfleet Intelligence.

"They mislead us all the time," she said. Asked whether SI had lied, Eleana said yes.

Eleana contended that anti-Zife councillors did what they could to stop the use of Ceti eels against Vorta, Jem’Hadar, and Cardassians during the Dominion War. The Chair of the Intelligence Council, who received the 2374 briefing on the practice, sent Starfleet Intelligence a formal letter of protest, she said. That was a reference to then-Councillor zh’Thane.

But Eleana said her focus at the time was on helping President Zife and Starfleet Command to win the war—and then seeking to help former Betazed Governor Rel Obertag win the presidency in the 2376 election.

"No letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change the leadership on Fifteen and change policy in Council. That was my job—the Council part," Eleana said.

Councillor Gleer said during the day that some councillors "want to have it both ways" on Ceti eels by claiming they did not oppose their even though they criticize them.

Gleer also asked Bacco in a recent Palais meeting to release the SI memos that describe the information gained through the use of Ceti eels.

Former Secretary sh'Zathrosia says the documents show that the tactics prevented Dominion attacks and saved lives.

In an embarrassment for the administration, the former Chief of Starfleet Intelligence, Admiral Marta Batanides of United Earth, advised Admiral Uhura in a recent memo that interrogations that included the use of Ceti eels had secured useful intelligence. She later issued a public statement that said it was not known whether the same information could have been obtained without harsh techniques—the same position Bacco has taken.
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Last edited by Sci; May 21 2009 at 04:14 AM.
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Old May 21 2009, 03:45 AM   #10
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

^ Maybe you should have replaced "waterboarding" with "use of Ceti Eels". Just thinking out loud.
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Old May 21 2009, 04:02 AM   #11
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Re: Slightly OT: An election story to amuse us all

David Mack wrote: View Post
^ Maybe you should have replaced "waterboarding" with "use of Ceti Eels". Just thinking out loud.
LOL

It's a thought. Hmmm...

ETA: Done.
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