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Old January 9 2011, 03:29 PM   #136
Christopher
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

^But that selection is biased by the focus of the books. There could be other people elsewhere who've learned about Section 31's existence through events that were not depicted onscreen or in prose. It's also ignoring the other people who definitely know about Section 31: its own members and the various others they have influence over. The problem with the fictional conceit of a vast secret conspiracy is that the larger a conspiracy is, the more potential opportunities there are for leaks, because there are more communication lines that can be intercepted, more individuals who could make mistakes and let information slip out, more individuals who could have a change of heart and decide to expose them, etc.

And the whole idea of a secret organization too powerful to expose is rubbish. The Federation is a free society. They have a free press. All any of these people in on the secret have to do is announce Section 31's existence to the media, post it on the UFP equivalent of the Internet, etc. Then everyone would know instantly that the organization is at least alleged to exist, and the press and the government would investigate further. No conspiracy could really be powerful enough to control the flow of information in a free society that broadly. As I said, the larger the conspiracy, the more impossible it is to keep it secret. Stories about vast, all-encompassing conspiracies that nobody knows about are self-contradictory and ludicrous in the extreme. The only way Section 31 could plausibly keep a low profile is if it's actually relatively small and limits its activities.

As I recall, the true reason that Vaughn advised Bashir not to expose them wasn't that they were too powerful, but that they were too elusive. If their existence were exposed to the media, they would scatter like cockroaches into the woodwork and Vaughn's group would lose the chance to arrest them all and bring them to justice. So at least some of them would get away and be able to make more mischief in the future. Vaughn wasn't afraid of their power, he was biding his time until he had an opportunity to make one decisive strike that would nab them all at once.
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Old January 9 2011, 04:37 PM   #137
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

The point being that for a secret organization there's way too may people that know about them. Vaughn's known about them for decades and was in Starfleet Intelligence. Just because he's
we're supposed to assume that he hasn't done anything or told anyone until now?

Every time one of the canon characters finds out about Section 31 their reaction is shock and disgust. And yet for all the talk about how they go against the principles of the Federation, we don't see them doing anything about it.

In regards to Zife, if Ross was a part of the group that removed him then S31 could have been pulling the strings in the background the whole time. And let's not forget that Ross was involved in the assassination as well. He may not have pulled the trigger but he certainly played his part. If I were Bacco and I found out that the military played a part in removing a democratically elected official from office and some of these same people were implicated in his disappearance and suspected murder then I'd be pretty damn sure to investigate further.
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Old January 9 2011, 05:41 PM   #138
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
In regards to Zife, if Ross was a part of the group that removed him then S31 could have been pulling the strings in the background the whole time.
Erm, no. We saw those characters I listed make the decision, as a group, to force Zife out of office. We saw them develop the idea, justify it to themselves, justify it to one-another, and act on it. Removing Zife from office was Starfleet's idea, including Picard, not Section 31's.

And let's not forget that Ross was involved in the assassination as well. He may not have pulled the trigger but he certainly played his part.
Certainly Ross played a part in helping Section 31 assassinate Zife. But this does not mean that Section 31 was responsible for Starfleet's decision to force Zife out of office.

If I were Bacco and I found out that the military played a part in removing a democratically elected official from office and some of these same people were implicated in his disappearance and suspected murder then I'd be pretty damn sure to investigate further.
Even if doing so, you knew, would inevitably lead to the crimes of the previous administration coming to light and angering the Klingons, leading to an inevitable war?

You really willing to get millions of innocent people killed?
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Old January 9 2011, 05:57 PM   #139
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

^I've never been convinced that exposing Tezwa would lead to "inevitable" war with the Klingons. I can't believe the Klingons are that fanatical, that they'd turn on their greatest allies because of the actions of one corrupt leader who's already paid for his crimes. Maybe at first, when Martok's position was weaker, his efforts to calm any resulting tensions could've been unsuccessful and led to a coup, but in the wake of Destiny, his position is far more solidified and much of his opposition has been wiped out. And really, the Klingons now have far more immediate crises to deal with. They need the Federation as an ally as they rebuild their civilization in the wake of the Borg invasion. However much they make noises about blood oaths and vengeance, they're not idiots. And they'd have to be idiots or lunatics to go to war with the Federation now over a bad thing that happened several years in the past and is trivial compared to the devastation wrought by the Borg.

And hey, there's that too. Even if the Klingons were insane enough as a race to declare war on the UFP now, are they really strong enough now to pose that much of a threat? Okay, maybe they'd break the Accords and sign on with the Typhon Pact or something, but that's doubtful as long as the Romulans and Kinshaya are in the Pact. They have far more reason to hate those guys (and the Breen) than they do the Federation.

So it just doesn't make sense to me that fear of the Klingons finding out is sufficient reason to avoid exposing Section 31.
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Old January 9 2011, 06:05 PM   #140
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Christopher wrote: View Post
^I've never been convinced that exposing Tezwa would lead to "inevitable" war with the Klingons.
Fair enough -- but Bacco does. If Bacco refrains from investigating the coup against Zife or from exposing Ross's (whom she believes to be alone guilty of Zife's assassination) assassination because of her belief that doing so would lead to a war that would get a lot of innocent people killed, is it still fair to claim that she's a fundamentally corrupt politician?

So it just doesn't make sense to me that fear of the Klingons finding out is sufficient reason to avoid exposing Section 31.
Bacco doesn't know about the role Section 31 played in Zife's assassination. She believes Ross acted alone, and Ross's internal monologue in AotF indicated that he wished to preserve that ignorance out of a belief on his part that Section 31 would kill her outright to prevent her from acting against them if she ever discovered their existence or their role in Zife's assassination.
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Old January 9 2011, 08:30 PM   #141
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
^I've never been convinced that exposing Tezwa would lead to "inevitable" war with the Klingons.
Fair enough -- but Bacco does.
Well, all we know is that she did before Destiny. As I said, circumstances afterward are substantially different.

If Bacco refrains from investigating the coup against Zife or from exposing Ross's (whom she believes to be alone guilty of Zife's assassination) assassination because of her belief that doing so would lead to a war that would get a lot of innocent people killed, is it still fair to claim that she's a fundamentally corrupt politician?
Has anyone been claiming that? If so, I must've missed it. If that were the case, I'd say it's misunderstanding the situation, not being corrupt. I can't imagine why anyone would perceive Bacco as corrupt in any way.


So it just doesn't make sense to me that fear of the Klingons finding out is sufficient reason to avoid exposing Section 31.
Bacco doesn't know about the role Section 31 played in Zife's assassination.
No, but in your previous post you asked whether, in a hypothetical situation where she did know that, she would be willing to risk "inevitable war" by uncovering the truth. I'm saying that I reject the premise that war is the inevitable result in that scenario. You're the one who posed it as a hypothetical, so I don't get why you're now objecting that it doesn't conform to the facts.
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Old January 9 2011, 08:44 PM   #142
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
^I've never been convinced that exposing Tezwa would lead to "inevitable" war with the Klingons.
Fair enough -- but Bacco does. If Bacco refrains from investigating the coup against Zife or from exposing Ross's (whom she believes to be alone guilty of Zife's assassination) assassination because of her belief that doing so would lead to a war that would get a lot of innocent people killed, is it still fair to claim that she's a fundamentally corrupt politician?

So it just doesn't make sense to me that fear of the Klingons finding out is sufficient reason to avoid exposing Section 31.
Bacco doesn't know about the role Section 31 played in Zife's assassination. She believes Ross acted alone, and Ross's internal monologue in AotF indicated that he wished to preserve that ignorance out of a belief on his part that Section 31 would kill her outright to prevent her from acting against them if she ever discovered their existence or their role in Zife's assassination.
Bacco knows about Ross and his part in removing Zife from office. That's why she forced him to resign. She also knows that shortly afterwards Zife and a number of other people disappeared. It doesn't take Perry mason to see that those two just might be connected in some way. Bacco doesn't order an investigation. She doesn't have Ross interrogated to find out all that he knew and who else was involved. She accepts his resignation and sweeps the whole thing under the rug.

This isn't some random killing we're talking about. It's about members of the military, and Starfleet is the Federation's military although they are mich more than that, forcing an elected official from office and he is later killed. Imagine that happeing a 21st century democracy and tell me that its acceptable. If she doesn`t investigate then she`s guilty of dereliction of duty at the least and of being an accomplice after the fact at worst. Either way, she should be doing something. If the Federation cannot stand the truth of it`s actions then it is a corrupt organization. As my parents told me when I was growing up, if you make a mistake, you stand up and you accept the concequences of your actions.
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Old January 10 2011, 01:24 AM   #143
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Christopher wrote: View Post
And the whole idea of a secret organization too powerful to expose is rubbish. The Federation is a free society. They have a free press. All any of these people in on the secret have to do is announce Section 31's existence to the media, post it on the UFP equivalent of the Internet, etc. Then everyone would know instantly that the organization is at least alleged to exist, and the press and the government would investigate further. No conspiracy could really be powerful enough to control the flow of information in a free society that broadly.
No, but you turn on the lights, and the roaches scatter. Just exposing Section 31 wouldn't do anything. It'd just mean that Bureau 13 would pop up a couple years later and continue the good work of sending out bio-weapons and committing false-flag attacks to hire Augments. If you wanted to really stop them, you'd need to know them well enough to cripple their ability to operate before you exposed them. That means you'd need to be able to implicate a significant number of cells, and if there's any kind of central authority, you'd need to get them, too.

And anyone who went sniffing around would probably be discovered by a 31 patsy and become the victim of some sort of accident unless they were very, very careful. Hence, too powerful to get to.
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Old January 10 2011, 01:47 AM   #144
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Starfleet has known of their existance since at least the time of Archer. If they can`t at least put a dent into Section 31 in 225 years then how seriously are they taking it?



If the roaches are so bad that they`re in your walls then you can strip the walls down the the bare wood and exterminate them from there. Section 31 needs resources to do what they do. They`re not operating in a vacuum.

"Interesting, isn't it? The Federation claims to abhor Section 31's tactics, but when they need the dirty work done, they look the other way. It's a tidy little arrangement, wouldn't you say?"- Odo (DS9: "The Dogs of War")
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Old January 10 2011, 02:19 AM   #145
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
If the roaches are so bad that they`re in your walls then you can strip the walls down the the bare wood and exterminate them from there. Section 31 needs resources to do what they do. They`re not operating in a vacuum.
Well, how do you suggest brute-forcing 31 outside the metaphor? Putting everyone under surveillance so it's impossible to have a clandestine meeting?
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Old January 10 2011, 02:48 AM   #146
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Taking the viewpoint that since Section 31 will simply scatter so it`s best not to do anything at all doesn`t really solve the problem, does it? "They`re too secreative, we`ll never catch them. Oh well, at least we didn`t try."

You don`t need to put everone under survellance. They are getting support somewhere. They manage to travel off planet, make subspace communcations. Starfleet has had over 200 years to try and figure out at least a few ways of cutting them off. Whatever happened to Kirk`s group dedicated to stamping them out? Thought that they couldn`t risk tipping off S31 so they just hung out in the Rec Dec and ate nachos and planned operations that they`d never carry out?
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Old January 10 2011, 05:47 AM   #147
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

David cgc wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
And the whole idea of a secret organization too powerful to expose is rubbish. The Federation is a free society. They have a free press. All any of these people in on the secret have to do is announce Section 31's existence to the media, post it on the UFP equivalent of the Internet, etc. Then everyone would know instantly that the organization is at least alleged to exist, and the press and the government would investigate further. No conspiracy could really be powerful enough to control the flow of information in a free society that broadly.
No, but you turn on the lights, and the roaches scatter. Just exposing Section 31 wouldn't do anything. It'd just mean that Bureau 13 would pop up a couple years later and continue the good work of sending out bio-weapons and committing false-flag attacks to hire Augments.
Yes, and I said as much in the paragraph immediately after the one you quoted. I'm refuting the assertion that Vaughn didn't reveal what he knew because he was afraid of S31's overarching power. I'm saying that the real reason is because he knew they would scatter if he made the announcement prematurely, because he was biding his time until he was in a position to take them down.
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Old January 10 2011, 09:28 AM   #148
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

The former President of the United Federation of Planets disappears and there isn't a massive society-rocking investigation and years of malaise and conspiracy-theorizing afterward? Could you imagine what would happen if Obama resigned tomorrow and disappeared shortly thereafter?
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Old January 10 2011, 11:48 AM   #149
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

Christopher wrote: View Post
Has anyone been claiming that? If so, I must've missed it.
I apologize, I was being unclear. This is essentially a continuation of a debate that's been touched upon in other threads by kkozoriz1 and I.

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Bacco knows about Ross and his part in removing Zife from office. That's why she forced him to resign.
No, it's not. You are mis-remembering A Time for War, A Time for Peace and Articles of the Federation.

Bacco knew about the role Ross played in forcing Zife to resign before she even came into office. It was why she allowed him to serve as Starfleet Liaison to the Office of the President -- that whole "keep your enemies closer" thing. If he's nearby, she can keep an eye on him and all that. That exposing his coup would risk triggering a war with the Klingons was also why she didn't act against him for it.

She forced Ross to retire -- not resign, as she noted that a resignation could be revoked or lead to continued employment in a position of authority, but retirement means he'll be in no position to wield any power or authority -- because journalist Ozla Graniv uncovered the fact that Ross forced Zife out at gunpoint and believed, erroneously, that Ross killed him. So far as we know, this is what Bacco believes as well. Graniv and Bacco both remain unaware of the role Section 31 played in Zife's assassination.

Again, because in her judgment the costs of a potential war with the Klingons outweighed the benefits of a full investigation and trial, Bacco and Graniv both forced Ross's retirement, with the provisio that he never ever put himself in any position of power or influence again.

She accepts his resignation and sweeps the whole thing under the rug.
That's a decidedly un-charitable interpretation of events. You might as well complain of Captain Picard allowing an admitted murderer to serve as his chief of security aboard the Enterprise-D -- you're only presenting half the stor and doing so in a deeply unfair manner.

Imagine that happeing a 21st century democracy and tell me that its acceptable. If she doesn`t investigate then she`s guilty of dereliction of duty at the least and of being an accomplice after the fact at worst. Either way, she should be doing something. If the Federation cannot stand the truth of it`s actions then it is a corrupt organization. As my parents told me when I was growing up, if you make a mistake, you stand up and you accept the concequences of your actions.
Meanwhile, in the real world, leaders understand something: Millions of innocent lives depend on situations of political stability and peace. And political stability is often a much more precarious thing than it is ever given credit for; spending any amount of time studying societies undergoing or which have recently undergone major civil wars, genocides, government repression, or other instances of major conflict will make it abundantly clear that society is often never more than a few irresponsible decisions by political elites away from utter instability and anarchy.

And leaders -- good ones, anyway -- understand that lives depend on avoiding that sort of instability and anarchy. That lives depend on maintaining the peace. That it is fundamentally immoral to risk upsetting stability sometimes when millions of lives are at stake.

Just look over the WikiLeaks trove of U.S. State Department cables, and you'll see why rational political actors tend to favor stability over war.

It's all well and good to talk about what they "ought" to do, but when you're talking about getting millions killed, that's a fundamentally irresponsible thing to do.

kkozoriz1 wrote: View Post
Starfleet has known of their existance since at least the time of Archer.
In the time of Archer, Section 31 is a hell of a lot more benign. And bear in mind that we don't know how events will play out in the ENT Relaunch -- it's entirely possible that Archer, Trip, T'Pol, and Reed will come to believe that Section 31 has been disbanded by the time the Federation is founded. We probably shouldn't presume continuous knowledge of the existence of Section 31 outside its ranks from the 22nd Century onwards.

If they can`t at least put a dent into Section 31 in 225 years then how seriously are they taking it?
It's the United Federation of Planets. It's a society that's been so honest and so successful, the overwhelming majority of its citizenry probably literally wouldn't know how to react to real corruption of the sort Section 31 represents and likely wouldn't believe it exists anymore. (Seriously, Federates are awfully quick to rant about how much more evolved they are than those awful corrupt societies that neighbor them.)

If the roaches are so bad that they`re in your walls then you can strip the walls down the the bare wood and exterminate them from there.
That is, indeed, what the foreshadowing in the Section 31 miniseries seems to be implying will eventually happen. And I would suggest you would enjoy the framing sequence of ENT: The Good That Men Do.

Arpy wrote: View Post
The former President of the United Federation of Planets disappears and there isn't a massive society-rocking investigation and years of malaise and conspiracy-theorizing afterward?
Well, up until the Borg Invasion, at least, only one journalist is known to have gone looking for him. That doesn't mean that any others didn't though -- it would be relatively simple for someone to fake Zife's continued existence for the purposes of P.R. Have a hologram of him appear at the opening of the Min Zife Federation Presidential Library or what-have-you. (David Mack posted once on the Psi Phi BBS saying that if he were to re-write anything of his already published, he would re-write A Time to Heal to make it clear that Section 31 or one of their allies has been making fake Min Zife public appearances. Because I agree that the idea of no one noticing that the former President hasn't been seen since he resigned, I tend to accept that as "canonical" for the purposes of the Destinyverse novels.)

Could you imagine what would happen if Obama resigned tomorrow and disappeared shortly thereafter?
To be fair, Min Zife seems to have become almost universally despised within the Federation by the end of his time in office, so it would actually be more akin to George W. Bush resigning and then never appearing in public again. And given how rarely he's appeared in the media since, I do wonder if anyone would even notice.

Post Destiny, though, I think we can probably assume that Min Zife's continued disappearance would go unnoticed in the wake of the Borg Invasion and would probably be attributed to that.
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Old January 10 2011, 04:17 PM   #150
kkozoriz1
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Re: New Catalog covers and info- cover/info not final

OK, Ross was forced to retire rather than resign. He gets his pension then.

How is it uncharitable to point out that she's allowing Ross, whom you just referred to as her enemy, to simply walk away with no consequences? You keep claiming that to expose Zife's actions will inevitably lead to war with the Klingons. It can be pointed out that the perpetrators have all been arrested and will face justice for their crimes. Imagine what will happen when the Klingons not only find out about the source of the weapons but that the Federation lied about it and covered it up?

Well, at least the Federation government doesn't want to upset the delicate sensibilities of it's citizens. I guess it's a fungus-ocracy. Keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit.

How convenient for everyone involved in Zife's murder that the Borg invaded when the did then. I'll bet they're breathing a sigh of relief. I wonder what other crimes will be covered up by the Borg invasion?
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