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View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
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Old March 2 2011, 02:28 AM   #391
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Rogue made it very clear that the list of Tal Shiar agents Koval was giving to Section 31 was of older agents who were scheduled to be purged. It was, in other worse, a useless list for which Section 31 traded control of an area of space with an incredibly powerful and dangerous natural phenomenon.
Frankly, I can't help but wonder, if it were as bad as all that, and that Koval was only duping 31 all along...why they would continue to support him.
For the same reason any intelligence organization would continue to support a bad source: Pride. Refusal to admit mistakes.

After all, the only person who knew that Koval had screwed Section 31 over with a bad list was Corwin. And Corwin wasn't very well about to admit that he'd been had to his superiors in Section 31.

Anyone could have made that kind of mistake, on the grounds that Phlox helping out the Klingons would have been a stepping stone for peace.
Oh, bullshit. If they were serious about helping the Klingons, they would have just had someone at United Earth Starfleet Command order the NX-01 to proceed to the Klingon border and have Phlox provide assistance.

The fact that what went like clockwork? To an outside observer who doesn't know the Tholians are involved because they haven't read Rough Beasts of Empire, there's nothing to indicate that there was any operation to go like clockwork.

Oh, c'mon. This is Romulus. Even before Tal'Aurua's death, they'd gone through three praetors in four years, lost their entire Senate, saw their entire slave caste emigrate out of Romulan territory, and had their Empire split in two. Romulus is so politically unstable that the fact that there were major political changes over the course of a year is not itself out of the norm for Romulan politics. There's no reason to think that anyone would look at them and say, "Hey, there was political instability in Ki Baratan. How strange!"
And then, suddenly, it seemed to stabilize.
Which also has plenty of precedent in Romulan history. There is, again, no reason to think, from the POV of any non-Tzenkethi, that the Tzenkethi had a covert operation going on in Ki Baratan.

It wouldn't, per se. The idea I'm exploring is that perhaps the very act of working more closely with one-another will lead to it being harder for them to manipulate one-another and they'll all realize that. It's sorta like how the U.S. and U.K. work incredibly closely together, and while I'm sure that the CIA and MI6 both spy on one-another to an extent, ultimately no one's too concerned about it one way or the other. We're just too close for it to bother us anymore.
We've been allies with the UK for a long time, Sci. There's been no reason to fear any manipulation among such long-term allies.
That's my point -- the leaders of the Typhon Pact may well get together and decide to deliberately cultivate a close relationship like what the U.S. and U.K. enjoy in order to remove from their governments the very desire to spy on one-another.

Or maybe she thinks that Tezrene accidentally tipped the Assembly's hand and doesn't want the Pact to know that she knows the Assembly has ulterior motives for joining it out of hope to use it to split the Pact in the future.
Which makes it in Bacco's best interests to reveal her words to the Pact. Why would she want to wait?
Same reason the Tholians waited until tensions between the Federation government and Andorian government were at their high point before revealing what they knew about the UFP's classified data: Because sometimes it's a better idea to wait until the opportune moment to reveal a trump card.

Maybe, but that's irrelevant to the point, which is simply that the United States has been spreading its culture to other cultures and that this can breed resentment. That's not even a criticism of the U.S. per se. It's just a fact. Similarly, it's pretty much a given that the Federation's ultimate goal is to peacefully and consensually unite the galaxy under the Federation Flag. That's not necessarily bad -- but it's definitely something that can breed fear and resentment and is not untrue.
So...would you suggest there is a solution to this problem?
Nope. I think it's a problem that can only ever be managed, not solved. It's not like the UFP can credibly claim that it's goal is not to unite the galaxy under the Federation banner; all they can reasonably do is try to not to be assholes until they can convince those critics to come around and join the party.

...Yes...however, what of the "Member States" whose capitals are near the Pact borders?
Well, that's the good news: There aren't that many of them.

The Romulan border is already heavily militarized and has been for two centuries. I don't think that new measures need to be taken there.

There are large regions of unclaimed space between the Tholian Assembly, Breen Confederacy, Tzenkethi Coalition, and Federation. The only Member States I can find near a border with a Pact state are Pacifica and Cestus (though that's from looking up scans from Star Trek: Star Charts, since I can't find my copy right now). The rest seem to be minor, possibly uninhabited star systems, and starbases.

Again, I would agree. However, I am curious as to how "slow" you would have the build up be.
I think that's getting into more detail than is reasonable for an Internet bulletin board discussion.

The testing of limits, while seemingly harmless in the beginning, has the increasing risk over time of causing an actual diplomatic incident. A state in question will test a limit in the way you describe, and should there be no sufficient reprisal, they would then proceed to test even further next time.
That's going to depend on their own levels of resources, actually.

Again...the Borg's express intent was to destroy humanity. The Romulans and the Tzenkethi were far less relevent to the Borg's agenda.
Well, no, their express intent was to destroy the Federation. That included Humanity, obviously, but it also included Vulcanity and Andorianity and Tellaritity and Risianity and Coridanitity and Gnalishity and Sulamidity and Antedeanity and Alonisity and Benzitity and Bolianity and Damianity and Denobulanity and Efrosianity and Grazeritity and Hermatity and Huannity and Hortanity and Ktarianity and Nasatity and Ramatianity and Rigelianity and Saurianity and Trillity and Zaldanity and Zakdornity...

(Yes, I only brought that up so I could add "-ity" to all those Federation species. Yes, I'm a smart-ass. )

More seriously, the Borg were actively trying to exterminate, at the very least, the entire Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire. That's why Lost Souls established that there was a 100-light-year dead zone around the Azure Nebula. So while it's fair to say that the Gorn, Tzenkethi, Breen, Tholians, and Kinshaya space escaped the brunt of the Borg Invasion, Romulan space did not, and NONE of their militaries escaped serious losses.

Bishop76 wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Why would Section 31 necessarily be involved with the Khitomer Conspiracy?
Yeah, that's the other problem with conspiracy-theory thinking that annoys me so much -- this assumption that just because Section 31 exists, it must be the only organization behind any and every secretive or unethical event that's ever happened in Federation history. It's part of the paranoid mentality that underlies conspiracy fantasies, the need to fit everything into some overarching pattern with a singular root cause. But like I said, any conspiracy that far-reaching and active would not be able to maintain its secrecy effectively. Not to mention that it's just plain Small-Universe Syndrome.
Out of curiosity, has there been a novel written yet where Section 31 was doing the right thing? It's always bothered me that they seem to exist only to be dastardly. As an ultra-secret organization concerned with the security of the Federation, shouldn't they have maybe done something right once or twice in their existence?
One of the things I liked about the fact that Section 31 assassinated Min Zife was that it was completely understandable why they would do it. No, it wasn't the right thing to assassinate a Federation President -- but, by the same token, he had just gotten thousands of Federates Klingons and millions of Tezwans killed to cover up his criminal activities. It's clearly wrong, but it's also clearly motivated by a sense of right and wrong, and it wasn't an operation that directly benefited either Federation security or themselves.
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Old March 2 2011, 02:59 AM   #392
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Rogue made it very clear that the list of Tal Shiar agents Koval was giving to Section 31 was of older agents who were scheduled to be purged. It was, in other worse, a useless list for which Section 31 traded control of an area of space with an incredibly powerful and dangerous natural phenomenon.
Frankly, I can't help but wonder, if it were as bad as all that, and that Koval was only duping 31 all along...why they would continue to support him.
For the same reason any intelligence organization would continue to support a bad source: Pride. Refusal to admit mistakes.
So 31's not "worse" than other intelligence agencies, as far as efficiency is concerned....

After all, the only person who knew that Koval had screwed Section 31 over with a bad list was Corwin. And Corwin wasn't very well about to admit that he'd been had to his superiors in Section 31.
Except neglect in that regart would make him a liability--and as far as 31 is concerned, a threat to the Federation. You sure Corwin was the only one aware of this?

Oh, bullshit. If they were serious about helping the Klingons, they would have just had someone at United Earth Starfleet Command order the NX-01 to proceed to the Klingon border and have Phlox provide assistance.
And their reasons were...?

Which also has plenty of precedent in Romulan history. There is, again, no reason to think, from the POV of any non-Tzenkethi, that the Tzenkethi had a covert operation going on in Ki Baratan.
Well, time will tell if the UFP intel forces were up on this, then--i.e., if any agents were on Romulus, or Tzenkethi.

That's my point -- the leaders of the Typhon Pact may well get together and decide to deliberately cultivate a close relationship like what the U.S. and U.K. enjoy in order to remove from their governments the very desire to spy on one-another.
Except they haven't formed such a friendship yet.

Same reason the Tholians waited until tensions between the Federation government and Andorian government were at their high point before revealing what they knew about the UFP's classified data: Because sometimes it's a better idea to wait until the opportune moment to reveal a trump card.
I see. Good point on that...but it's often difficult to determine when the opportune moment is.

Nope. I think it's a problem that can only ever be managed, not solved. It's not like the UFP can credibly claim that it's goal is not to unite the galaxy under the Federation banner; all they can reasonably do is try to not to be assholes until they can convince those critics to come around and join the party.
"Try"?

Well, that's the good news: There aren't that many of them.

The Romulan border is already heavily militarized and has been for two centuries. I don't think that new measures need to be taken there.

There are large regions of unclaimed space between the Tholian Assembly, Breen Confederacy, Tzenkethi Coalition, and Federation. The only Member States I can find near a border with a Pact state are Pacifica and Cestus (though that's from looking up scans from Star Trek: Star Charts, since I can't find my copy right now). The rest seem to be minor, possibly uninhabited star systems, and starbases.
The Cardassians are pretty close to the Tholians and the Breen, however. Bajor also comes to mind. So...supplies to the Union, on defense and so on, could be construed as "imperialism" and "aggresive postures", could it not?

I think that's getting into more detail than is reasonable for an Internet bulletin board discussion.
Perhaps. And that actually leads me to my point: It's very relative. Which is why the Pact has a considerable ammount of leeway in determining what they can deem to be "aggresive"--thereby justifying buil-ups of their own.

Well, no, their express intent was to destroy the Federation. That included Humanity, obviously, but it also included Vulcanity and Andorianity and Tellaritity and Risianity and Coridanitity and Gnalishity and Sulamidity and Antedeanity and Alonisity and Benzitity and Bolianity and Damianity and Denobulanity and Efrosianity and Grazeritity and Hermatity and Huannity and Hortanity and Ktarianity and Nasatity and Ramatianity and Rigelianity and Saurianity and Trillity and Zaldanity and Zakdornity...
Which actually helps my point, as well: The Borg were selective in their quest, as far as the Alpha/Beta quadrant powers are concerned.

(Yes, I only brought that up so I could add "-ity" to all those Federation species. Yes, I'm a smart-ass. )
You? Impossible.

More seriously, the Borg were actively trying to exterminate, at the very least, the entire Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire. That's why Lost Souls established that there was a 100-light-year dead zone around the Azure Nebula. So while it's fair to say that the Gorn, Tzenkethi, Breen, Tholians, and Kinshaya space escaped the brunt of the Borg Invasion, Romulan space did not, and NONE of their militaries escaped serious losses.
The RSE is merely one power. The fact that the vast majority of the Pact escaped the bunt of the attact nonetheless gives them something of an advantage.

One of the things I liked about the fact that Section 31 assassinated Min Zife was that it was completely understandable why they would do it. No, it wasn't the right thing to assassinate a Federation President -- but, by the same token, he had just gotten thousands of Federates Klingons and millions of Tezwans killed to cover up his criminal activities. It's clearly wrong, but it's also clearly motivated by a sense of right and wrong, and it wasn't an operation that directly benefited either Federation security or themselves.
(whistle) Well! I seem to recall you not being so understanding when we discussed that issue--in fact, you used it as an example of why the Bureau should be abolished....
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Old March 2 2011, 03:02 AM   #393
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
But the postulate on the table is that S31 could be largely exposed and dismantled, but it would be decentralized enough that a few isolated cells would survive. It seems those cells would have to be fairly small and not have much influence. Whatever they evolved into, it would probably be something relatively petty on the interstellar scale. And Section 31 as a secret power within the Federation government and military would still have effectively ceased to exist, so what remained would no longer be relevant.
Small cells can grow, Chris. Over time, one can easily argue they'll be back to specs.
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Old March 2 2011, 03:29 AM   #394
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post

Frankly, I can't help but wonder, if it were as bad as all that, and that Koval was only duping 31 all along...why they would continue to support him.
For the same reason any intelligence organization would continue to support a bad source: Pride. Refusal to admit mistakes.
So 31's not "worse" than other intelligence agencies, as far as efficiency is concerned....
Who said that it was? All we're saying is that it's not as preternaturally capable and resilient as you suggest.

The RSE is merely one power. The fact that the vast majority of the Pact escaped the bunt of the attact nonetheless gives them something of an advantage.
But first among equals, as Rough Beasts of Empire pointed out, with a larger economy and population and more advanced technological base that could have transformed the pact into a Romulan-led coalition. Hence the Tzenkethi

[QUOTE]One of the things I liked about the fact that Section 31 assassinated Min Zife was that it was completely understandable why they would do it. No, it wasn't the right thing to assassinate a Federation President -- but, by the same token, he had just gotten thousands of Federates Klingons and millions of Tezwans killed to cover up his criminal activities. It's clearly wrong, but it's also clearly motivated by a sense of right and wrong, and it wasn't an operation that directly benefited either Federation security or themselves.
[on the assassination of Min Zife] Well! I seem to recall you not being so understanding when we discussed that issue--in fact, you used it as an example of why the Bureau should be abolished....
Noting a certain moral grey zone doesn't necessarily denote approval. I can only imagine how Picard would feel if he learned that, no, Zife didn't go on an extended quiet vacation ...

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But the postulate on the table is that S31 could be largely exposed and dismantled, but it would be decentralized enough that a few isolated cells would survive. It seems those cells would have to be fairly small and not have much influence. Whatever they evolved into, it would probably be something relatively petty on the interstellar scale. And Section 31 as a secret power within the Federation government and military would still have effectively ceased to exist, so what remained would no longer be relevant.
Small cells can grow, Chris. Over time, one can easily argue they'll be back to specs.
You could say that, but why would scattered cells grow back into the same organization. Leaving aside the new popular paranoia about the possibility of centuries-old secret conspiratorial agencies in the Federation, different cells are likely to have different positions on what to do, on what went wrong, et cetera. They'd be as likely to fight each other as to band together, never mind take on a warned Federation.
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Old March 2 2011, 03:39 AM   #395
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post

Frankly, I can't help but wonder, if it were as bad as all that, and that Koval was only duping 31 all along...why they would continue to support him.
For the same reason any intelligence organization would continue to support a bad source: Pride. Refusal to admit mistakes.
So 31's not "worse" than other intelligence agencies, as far as efficiency is concerned....
Of course it is. Simply noting that legitimate agencies can fall prey to some of its vices as well does not mean that Section 31 is not worse. By way of analogy, Mafia bosses can drink too much, but that does not mean that they are not worse people than honest men who happen to be alcoholics.

After all, the only person who knew that Koval had screwed Section 31 over with a bad list was Corwin. And Corwin wasn't very well about to admit that he'd been had to his superiors in Section 31.
Except neglect in that regart would make him a liability--and as far as 31 is concerned, a threat to the Federation.
So what? Section 31 is an organization that operates without accountability. It doesn't have any mechanism for detecting when its own agents lie to it, nor does it have any process to deal with it. It's an organization that relies upon the assumption that everyone who joins is going to be honest and trustworthy and would never betray them or manipulate them. It is, in other words, inherently corrupt and unreliable.

You sure Corwin was the only one aware of this?
Yep.

Oh, bullshit. If they were serious about helping the Klingons, they would have just had someone at United Earth Starfleet Command order the NX-01 to proceed to the Klingon border and have Phlox provide assistance.
And their reasons were...?
Section 31 in "Divergence"/"Affliction" justified allowing the Klingons to kidnap Phlox by claiming that it was in United Earth's interest for the Klingon Empire to remain stable.

Which is silly -- if that's the case, why not just have United Earth do it in the open instead of allowing a foreign national to be kidnapped from Earth itself? (Which is to say nothing of what kinds of national security damage they could have done by allowing agents of the Klingon Empire to undermine planetary defenses.)

That's my point -- the leaders of the Typhon Pact may well get together and decide to deliberately cultivate a close relationship like what the U.S. and U.K. enjoy in order to remove from their governments the very desire to spy on one-another.
Except they haven't formed such a friendship yet.
Of course they haven't. That's why I said "may well decide" -- I'm describing one possible future option, not asserting that that option has been undertaken.

Nope. I think it's a problem that can only ever be managed, not solved. It's not like the UFP can credibly claim that it's goal is not to unite the galaxy under the Federation banner; all they can reasonably do is try to not to be assholes until they can convince those critics to come around and join the party.
"Try"?
Yes, try. After all, the Federation is not immune to political corruption and crimes against sentience -- witness Min Zife on Tezwa.

Well, that's the good news: There aren't that many of them.

The Romulan border is already heavily militarized and has been for two centuries. I don't think that new measures need to be taken there.

There are large regions of unclaimed space between the Tholian Assembly, Breen Confederacy, Tzenkethi Coalition, and Federation. The only Member States I can find near a border with a Pact state are Pacifica and Cestus (though that's from looking up scans from Star Trek: Star Charts, since I can't find my copy right now). The rest seem to be minor, possibly uninhabited star systems, and starbases.
The Cardassians are pretty close to the Tholians and the Breen, however. Bajor also comes to mind. So...supplies to the Union, on defense and so on, could be construed as "imperialism" and "aggresive postures", could it not?
Could, maybe, possibly, hypothetically, in theory, etc. Doesn't mean it would. Cardassia and Bajor are both far enough away from Ab-Tzenketh and Breen that it's not inevitable.

Perhaps. And that actually leads me to my point: It's very relative. Which is why the Pact has a considerable ammount of leeway in determining what they can deem to be "aggresive"--thereby justifying buil-ups of their own.
Yep. Like I said, this is the sort of problem that can only be managed. But, again, it's also important not to assume that they will take the worst possible option.

More seriously, the Borg were actively trying to exterminate, at the very least, the entire Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire. That's why Lost Souls established that there was a 100-light-year dead zone around the Azure Nebula. So while it's fair to say that the Gorn, Tzenkethi, Breen, Tholians, and Kinshaya space escaped the brunt of the Borg Invasion, Romulan space did not, and NONE of their militaries escaped serious losses.
The RSE is merely one power. The fact that the vast majority of the Pact escaped the bunt of the attact nonetheless gives them something of an advantage.
Depends on what you mean by "brunt of the attack." If the majority of the smaller powers' militaries were part of the expeditionary force at the Azure Nebula, then none of them can be said to have "escaped the brunt of the attack." Their civilian populations might be okay but their militaries might have suffered 40% losses just like Starfleet.

One of the things I liked about the fact that Section 31 assassinated Min Zife was that it was completely understandable why they would do it. No, it wasn't the right thing to assassinate a Federation President -- but, by the same token, he had just gotten thousands of Federates Klingons and millions of Tezwans killed to cover up his criminal activities. It's clearly wrong, but it's also clearly motivated by a sense of right and wrong, and it wasn't an operation that directly benefited either Federation security or themselves.
(whistle) Well! I seem to recall you not being so understanding when we discussed that issue--in fact, you used it as an example of why the Bureau should be abolished....
It is a reason the bureau should be abolished! It was an absolutely horrific, unjustifiable act, completely corrupt and immoral.

But that doesn't mean that it wasn't motivated by a sense of empathy, either. Section 31 was clearly furious at Zife for getting thousands of Federates killed -- given that they were getting ready to glass Tezwa, I doubt they cared that he'd gotten millions of Tezwans killed -- and decided to get revenge upon him for it.

That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make the organization not hopelessly corrupt. But it does mean that they aren't pure mustache-twirlers, either. They're people -- people who are doing things that are profoundly evil, but still people.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But the postulate on the table is that S31 could be largely exposed and dismantled, but it would be decentralized enough that a few isolated cells would survive. It seems those cells would have to be fairly small and not have much influence. Whatever they evolved into, it would probably be something relatively petty on the interstellar scale. And Section 31 as a secret power within the Federation government and military would still have effectively ceased to exist, so what remained would no longer be relevant.
Small cells can grow, Chris. Over time, one can easily argue they'll be back to specs.
Are you saying we should fight harder to abolish any small organization that professes loyalty to the Confederate States?
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Old March 2 2011, 03:40 AM   #396
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Well, time will tell if the UFP intel forces were up on this, then--i.e., if any agents were on Romulus, or Tzenkethi.
Having agents on Romulus or Tzenkethi alone is one thing. Having them properly positioned to capture usable intelligence is another. And having them successfully transmit it back, yet another.

Except they haven't formed such a friendship yet.
But they're forming it: that's what the Typhon Pact is about. The various powers aren't resting their faith in blind belief in the good will of their partners, but rather on testable and verifiable results. Will this technology get shared? Will those trade goods be delivered? Will these maneuvers be coordinated? So far, it seems to be working out.

The Borg were selective in their quest, as far as the Alpha/Beta quadrant powers are concerned.
The Borg seem to have prioritized--in the region of the Azure Nebula came the Federation first, then their Klingon allies, then the Romulans--but they weren't selective. Their end goal seems to have been to destroy all the independent civilizations, the ones to be included in the Typhon Pact, too, within reach of the Azure Nebula.
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Old March 2 2011, 05:37 AM   #397
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
The Borg seem to have prioritized--in the region of the Azure Nebula came the Federation first, then their Klingon allies, then the Romulans--but they weren't selective. Their end goal seems to have been to destroy all the independent civilizations, the ones to be included in the Typhon Pact, too, within reach of the Azure Nebula.
That actually prompts an interesting question: When would the Borg have stopped? They apparently weren't bother to assimilate much of anything, be it people, ships, or planets, even when they were winning. They were just destroying everything in their path as they come across it, so they weren't discriminating and just attacking the Federation, but they had to stop at some point. Would they have targeted anyone that had that the Federation knew about and then just stopped and resumed their more leisurely pace of galactic assimilation once the last person who'd ever heard of Earth had been killed?
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Old March 2 2011, 05:52 AM   #398
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post

For the same reason any intelligence organization would continue to support a bad source: Pride. Refusal to admit mistakes.
So 31's not "worse" than other intelligence agencies, as far as efficiency is concerned....
Of course it is. Simply noting that legitimate agencies can fall prey to some of its vices as well does not mean that Section 31 is not worse. By way of analogy, Mafia bosses can drink too much, but that does not mean that they are not worse people than honest men who happen to be alcoholics.
As far as alcoholism is concerned, a comparison is warranted--not in other matters.

In the same way, being prone to deception was the issue in which I was comparing them.

Section 31 is an organization that operates without accountability. It doesn't have any mechanism for detecting when its own agents lie to it, nor does it have any process to deal with it.
As far as you know.

It's an organization that relies upon the assumption that everyone who joins is going to be honest and trustworthy and would never betray them or manipulate them.
Again--how do you know this?

Yep.
Picard and the others were not aware of this?

Section 31 in "Divergence"/"Affliction" justified allowing the Klingons to kidnap Phlox by claiming that it was in United Earth's interest for the Klingon Empire to remain stable.

Which is silly -- if that's the case, why not just have United Earth do it in the open instead of allowing a foreign national to be kidnapped from Earth itself? (Which is to say nothing of what kinds of national security damage they could have done by allowing agents of the Klingon Empire to undermine planetary defenses.)
If it's really so stupid--frankly, that is often an indication that there was something else going on. (Observe all the attempts by Trek authors to give more "reasonable" explanations for events than that which we saw on screen--which, as you know, was the purpose behind The Good That Men Do. Such authors make that same creative assumption.)

Of course they haven't. That's why I said "may well decide" -- I'm describing one possible future option, not asserting that that option has been undertaken.
Okay.

After all, the Federation is not immune to political corruption and crimes against sentience -- witness Min Zife on Tezwa.
Even Min Zife was not arrogant enough to behave in the "a--hole" maneer you describe, towards foreign powers.

Could, maybe, possibly, hypothetically, in theory, etc. Doesn't mean it would. Cardassia and Bajor are both far enough away from Ab-Tzenketh and Breen that it's not inevitable.
I was simply raising the possibility, as you did concerning the Typhon Pact leaders "getting together and deciding...", etc.

Yep. Like I said, this is the sort of problem that can only be managed. But, again, it's also important not to assume that they will take the worst possible option.
Assume, no. Prepare for, yes. Getting caught with one's britches down is never a good idea--particularly in matters of politics.

Depends on what you mean by "brunt of the attack." If the majority of the smaller powers' militaries were part of the expeditionary force at the Azure Nebula, then none of them can be said to have "escaped the brunt of the attack." Their civilian populations might be okay but their militaries might have suffered 40% losses just like Starfleet.
Noted. But what of the massacre of worlds like Deneva, Risa, etc?

It is a reason the bureau should be abolished! It was an absolutely horrific, unjustifiable act, completely corrupt and immoral.

But that doesn't mean that it wasn't motivated by a sense of empathy, either. Section 31 was clearly furious at Zife for getting thousands of Federates killed -- given that they were getting ready to glass Tezwa, I doubt they cared that he'd gotten millions of Tezwans killed -- and decided to get revenge upon him for it.

That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make the organization not hopelessly corrupt. But it does mean that they aren't pure mustache-twirlers, either. They're people -- people who are doing things that are profoundly evil, but still people.
Well, if they were so infuriated by that, driving them to come out of the shadows and take that kind of risk with no benefit to them or (alleged) Federation security...perhaps they're not as "hopelessly corrupt" as you would believe.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But the postulate on the table is that S31 could be largely exposed and dismantled, but it would be decentralized enough that a few isolated cells would survive. It seems those cells would have to be fairly small and not have much influence. Whatever they evolved into, it would probably be something relatively petty on the interstellar scale. And Section 31 as a secret power within the Federation government and military would still have effectively ceased to exist, so what remained would no longer be relevant.
Small cells can grow, Chris. Over time, one can easily argue they'll be back to specs.
Are you saying we should fight harder to abolish any small organization that professes loyalty to the Confederate States?
Cute.

In all seriousness, those orginizations are hardly hidden, Sci. If they were to organize into a vast behind-the-scenes conspiracy...perhaps.
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Old March 2 2011, 10:22 AM   #399
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Picard and the others were not aware of this?
Admiral Ross was, but not Picard and Janeway so far as I know.

If it's really so stupid--frankly, that is often an indication that there was something else going on. (Observe all the attempts by Trek authors to give more "reasonable" explanations for events than that which we saw on screen--which, as you know, was the purpose behind The Good That Men Do. Such authors make that same creative assumption.)
Suggestions?

Noted. But what of the massacre of worlds like Deneva, Risa, etc?
The Borg never made it beyond Federation, Klingon, and Romulan space (and independent worlds in the area). The Romulan worlds outside of the dead zone--the large majority of pre-2381 settled Romulan worlds--and the entirety of the Typhon Pact was intact.

Well, if they were so infuriated by that, driving them to come out of the shadows and take that kind of risk with no benefit to them or (alleged) Federation security...perhaps they're not as "hopelessly corrupt" as you would believe.
Dealing with Min Zife's sins by killing everyone on Tezwa doesn't speak well of Section 31's methods, or its subtlety.

In all seriousness, those [pro-Confederate] orginizations are hardly hidden, Sci. If they were to organize into a vast behind-the-scenes conspiracy...perhaps.
... eventually encountering failure given how much the South has changed in the century and a half since the end of the US Civil War.

Basically, suggesting that Section 31 that persists for extended periods of time as a very active security agency that operates outside of regulation implies things about the Federation and Federation citizens, and the durability of conspiracies, et cetera, which don't fit with what we do know. The Federation is a democracy, with an active civil society with well-established freedoms of the press and so on, and reluctance to engage in the sorts of dirty intelligence operations. There are limits.

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Old March 2 2011, 04:28 PM   #400
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I write ST fan fiction with a group of others and we have differed from the books in several major ways, with a major plot in several stories being the war between Section 31 and its numerous pawns and counter-31 cabals, and TBH it quite often just devolves into screw ups on all sides. We have devised a plan to cut the head off the S31's snake which will come to fruition if we get that far ahead in our stories, but I for one am fed up of them in the stories we're writing. Like David Mack is writing the denouement of the MU saga, I would like to see someone write the denouement of Section 31.

I agree that no secret organization can exist forever, and ordinary fiction is replete with examples of said organizations being ousted. An upcoming one is from Robert Ludlum's estate with his Covert One series. While the characters are trying to stop the latest biological atrocity from taking place, they're distracted by a Washington beltway group trying to discover the truth behind Covert One and destroy it, presumably in an effort to bring down the President, who is the only person that Covert One answer to.

In this instance, Covert One is an agency comprised of individuals who do not know each other but each answer to the head of the agency who then answers to the President, though several operatives may work on the same mission from different angles. They're not out to protect themselves, but to protect the American people from biological warfare.

I have no doubt that there are such groups out there, in addition to the alphabet soup of law enforcement agencies, because sometimes you need to fight dirty and if you have complete oversight you can't do that. But I'm not a conspiracy nut like Ludlum was in his later years, or like Clive Cussler seems to be in his books, with Dirk Pitt uncovering a single person at the head of a conspiracy in every novel.
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Old March 2 2011, 08:26 PM   #401
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Hmm.

On that note--let me run an idea by everyone:

What would you say to the possibility that the Section 31 of the 24th century is not the 31 of the 23rd century--and the latter is not the 31 of the 22nd century?

By that I mean that Section 31, having "overreached" and made a significant amount of screwups, is regularly "taken down" (say, by the Kirk Cabal or SI)--and "re-built" by new faces, or lower-ranking agents who escaped the purge. After a short period of being underground, in which it re-grows...it effectively restarts.
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Old March 2 2011, 11:47 PM   #402
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Hmm.

On that note--let me run an idea by everyone:

What would you say to the possibility that the Section 31 of the 24th century is not the 31 of the 23rd century--and the latter is not the 31 of the 22nd century?

By that I mean that Section 31, having "overreached" and made a significant amount of screwups, is regularly "taken down" (say, by the Kirk Cabal or SI)--and "re-built" by new faces, or lower-ranking agents who escaped the purge. After a short period of being underground, in which it re-grows...it effectively restarts.
Eminently logical.
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Old March 2 2011, 11:48 PM   #403
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Like a self-replicating minefield.
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Old March 3 2011, 12:27 AM   #404
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I like the idea, but I also tend to like shadowy conspiracy groups, secret organizations, and the like. I think Section 31 is one of the coolest ideas Star Trek has tossed out there in a long time, but it was never really dealt with in a truly fascinating way. Even the DS9 episodes involving them were pretty ridiculous. Though I haven't read any of the S31 novels so I can't speak to those yet.
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Old March 3 2011, 12:43 AM   #405
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I think both "Inquisition" and "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" are among DS9's best episodes. "Extreme Measures" is definitely not as good; sort of like a less complicated Inception.

The Section 31 novels Abyss (DS9) and Rogue (TNG) are also excellent.
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