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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old June 8 2012, 12:58 PM   #1
intrinsical
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Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

We the viewers know Section 31 played quite a big role in stopping the Dominion War.

What about the people in the Trek universe? How much does Starfleet, the Federation and the general population know about S31's involvement with the war? Another related topic is Sisko and Garek's involvement in bringing the Romulans into the war, how much does Starfleet and the Federation know?
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Old June 8 2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

intrinsical wrote: View Post
We the viewers know Section 31 played quite a big role in stopping the Dominion War.

What about the people in the Trek universe? How much does Starfleet, the Federation and the general population know about S31's involvement with the war? Another related topic is Sisko and Garek's involvement in bringing the Romulans into the war, how much does Starfleet and the Federation know?
I think all the brass know there's something shadowy as an adjunct to Starfleet Intell. The capts, prolly not.

The Romulan incident? I would say most of SF's brass hats know and prolly didn't/don't care. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I'm sure do-gooders like Picard prolly find the whole thing distasteful but are enough of pragmatist to let it go.
If Sisko were still around, Janeway would have called at told Sisko good job on bringing the Rommies into the war.
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Old June 8 2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

intrinsical wrote: View Post
and the general population know about S31's involvement
Difficult to say, we lack a lot of knowledge about the press in the federation, and how independent they are. For all we know whatever they have is simply a mouthpiece for whoever is running the place.

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Old June 8 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

intrinsical wrote: View Post
We the viewers know Section 31 played quite a big role in stopping the Dominion War.

What about the people in the Trek universe? How much does Starfleet, the Federation and the general population know about S31's involvement with the war? Another related topic is Sisko and Garek's involvement in bringing the Romulans into the war, how much does Starfleet and the Federation know?
It's like with the nasty stuff that intelligence services do in the real world, of course we roughly know what they are doing but we do not really want to know it.
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Old June 8 2012, 05:58 PM   #5
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

I think it's basically Denial Plausibility.

The Admiralty absolutely know theya re out there (And I believe, even though they aren't legally supposed to support them, they are glad S31 is there for the dirty work and I wouldn't be surprised if lean things in certain directions so S31 will jump in when needed)

The Admiralty, definitely know everything Sisko knows, as he would've reported in detail on it

I believe the Admiralty have eyes and ears that find out about alot of what S31 is up to, before they do it, but, they turn a blind eye generally, because they know it needs to be done.

Because it's a shadow Agency, the General Public will know very little, only when things get to big to keep contained
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Old June 9 2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

^That'd tend to be my view on it.
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Old June 10 2012, 06:23 AM   #7
intrinsical
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

Sindatur wrote: View Post
The Admiralty absolutely know theya re out there (And I believe, even though they aren't legally supposed to support them, they are glad S31 is there for the dirty work and I wouldn't be surprised if lean things in certain directions so S31 will jump in when needed)
I can believe that a handful of Admirals do have a connection with S31, but most of them? These men are the leaders of Starfleet and if they're mostly on S31's side, you're saying the entire foundation of Starfleet is rotten. The implication of this is enormous. Either all the Admirals are in together in a huge conspiracy because that's what's needed to hide S31 it from the lower ranked officers, or all of Starfleet knows and S31 is just an open secret.
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Old June 10 2012, 07:23 AM   #8
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

I don't believe the general public is aware of S31, nor the majority of Starfleet. Of the fleeters who do know, I'd certainly like to think the majority are opposed to them while there's a small but unfortunately significant number who are willing to look the other way, and a smaller number that will actively assist them.

Hell, maybe S31 has played some role in keeping Picard out of the Admiralty because they don't want a morally upstanding officer like him to have additional power.
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Old June 10 2012, 03:30 PM   #9
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

intrinsical wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
The Admiralty absolutely know theya re out there (And I believe, even though they aren't legally supposed to support them, they are glad S31 is there for the dirty work and I wouldn't be surprised if lean things in certain directions so S31 will jump in when needed)
I can believe that a handful of Admirals do have a connection with S31, but most of them? These men are the leaders of Starfleet and if they're mostly on S31's side, you're saying the entire foundation of Starfleet is rotten. The implication of this is enormous. Either all the Admirals are in together in a huge conspiracy because that's what's needed to hide S31 it from the lower ranked officers, or all of Starfleet knows and S31 is just an open secret.
How are they rotten for supporting a group dedicated to defending the Federation that isn't full of starry-eyed idealists, is actually competent at dealing with potential threats, and played a major part in ending the Dominion War? After the gross incompetence displayed by various members of the Admiralty and Federation government prior to the war (not court martialling Picard for not infecting Hugh with the MC Escher thing, the whole DMZ thing, etc...) and all the crap they went through in the war, Section 31's pragmatism and competence is breath of fresh air that the Federation desperately needs.
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Old June 10 2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

If Section 31's version of "pragmatism and competence" is the "breath of fresh air that the Federation desperately needs" then I think we have very different understandings of what the Federation is supposed to be about, especially considering that it seems to include permanently retiring Federation presidents who are removed from office and being willing to blow up entire planets with indigenous peoples upon them because they contain incriminating evidence.
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Old June 10 2012, 06:11 PM   #11
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

DonIago wrote: View Post
If Section 31's version of "pragmatism and competence" is the "breath of fresh air that the Federation desperately needs" then I think we have very different understandings of what the Federation is supposed to be about, especially considering that it seems to include permanently retiring Federation presidents who are removed from office and being willing to blow up entire planets with indigenous peoples upon them because they contain incriminating evidence.
Section 31 has become Trek Lit's favorite bogey men, becoming 2D bad guys that ignore DS9's more balanced approach to the whole morality thing. Outside of the noncanon literature, Section 31's actions all make sense and actually accomplish their goals with minimal loss of life, with their only main onscreen failure being the fact that they couldn't engineer their anti-Founder bioweapon to work faster and avert the Dominion War.
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Old June 10 2012, 06:35 PM   #12
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

^I've been watching the film Apocalypse Now, and the story arc of Col. Kurtz. Willard (Martin Sheen's character) begins the film agreeing with the top brass that Kurtz is insane--he murdered four people, etc.

But as Willard goes over the dossier, he notes how much he finds himself seeing Kurtz's point of view--more and more. And after they finally meet--amidst the disgusting and disturbing pagan atmosphere surrounding Kurtz, we have this brillant monologue by Marlon Brando, as Kurtz explains the method to his madness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD0rU6-7sKs

One could easily imagine an older, veteran agent of 31 give that sort of speech to, say, Dr. Bashir.

Now, note Willard's reactions to the speech--silent, deep in thought, and a little dejected, as though thinking, "So help me...despite everything, he's right."

Kurtz understands that the reason the enemy was so resilient--and therefore, triumphant--was that they were willing to do what was necessary to break the spirits of the other side. However, in paradox, "You have to have men who are moral, and at the same time, who are able to utilize their primordal instincts to kill...without feeling, without passion--without judgement.... Because it's judgement that defeats us."

Frankly, Kurtz was driven into isolation (of a sort), and then insanity, because the top brass rejected his methods as "unsound". (As Kurtz notes in a deleted scene, they basically wanted to have their cake and eat it too--win the war without having to do the hard things needed to do so, so they won't have to go through any soul-searching.)

But the implication is that, has his superiors listened to him--understood the necessity of his actions--then, as he notes, "Our troubles here would be over very quickly."
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Old June 10 2012, 09:37 PM   #13
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

bullethead wrote: View Post
How are they rotten for supporting a group dedicated to defending the Federation that isn't full of starry-eyed idealists, is actually competent at dealing with potential threats, and played a major part in ending the Dominion War? After the gross incompetence displayed by various members of the Admiralty and Federation government prior to the war (not court martialling Picard for not infecting Hugh with the MC Escher thing, the whole DMZ thing, etc...) and all the crap they went through in the war, Section 31's pragmatism and competence is breath of fresh air that the Federation desperately needs.
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Old June 10 2012, 10:50 PM   #14
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

^Yeah...except it's frankly over-applied. I've seen the term used in contexts where it has no business being used--a lot.
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Old June 10 2012, 11:35 PM   #15
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Re: Who knows about Section 31's involvement in the war?

intrinsical wrote: View Post
We the viewers know Section 31 played quite a big role in stopping the Dominion War.

What about the people in the Trek universe? How much does Starfleet, the Federation and the general population know about S31's involvement with the war?
Well, we know that Sisko, Odo, Bashir, and O'Brien know.

Likely whoever classified Odo's test results at Starfleet Medical knows.

The Great Link probably knows.

Whomsoever Sisko made his report to about Odo's recovery probably knows -- so probably Admiral Ross. Since Ross works for Section 31, I would be surprised if he were to actually pass that information on to Command or to the President and Council.

The Council knew of the cure for the virus, and voted not to share it, but it's unclear if they knew of its artificial nature, or of Section 31 and the circumstances under which Bashir obtained the cure.

The novels have established that the Federation President during the Dominion War, Min Zife of Bolarus, did not know about the existence of Section 31 -- but that his Chief of Staff, Koll Azernal of Zakdorn, and his Secretary of Military Intelligence, Nelina Quafina of Antede, did, and were complicit in hiding its existence (either out of agreement or out of fear).

Another related topic is Sisko and Garek's involvement in bringing the Romulans into the war, how much does Starfleet and the Federation know?
Command (and, presumably, at lease the Federation President's office) knew about Sisko's plan to trick the Romulans into joining the war with false evidence, and about the steps Sisko took to support that lie. There's no reason from "In the Pale Moonlight" to suspect they knew with certainty that Garak planted the bomb that destroyed Senator Vreenak's shuttle -- but if they knew about everything else, they'd probably suspect it.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
intrinsical wrote: View Post
and the general population know about S31's involvement
Difficult to say, we lack a lot of knowledge about the press in the federation, and how independent they are. For all we know whatever they have is simply a mouthpiece for whoever is running the place.
Jake's extreme unfamiliarity with the idea of governmental censorship during the opening season six station occupation arc, coupled with his critical stories about the Federation war efforts against the Klingons ("Nor the Battle to the Strong"), make this highly improbable.

The evidence implies that the Federation has a free press -- which makes it highly improbable that the general public learned about Section 31's role in the war.


bullethead wrote: View Post
How are they rotten for supporting a group dedicated to defending the Federation
Section 31 is no such thing. It is a criminal conspiracy, authorized by no one, accountable to no government or administration, which routinely places itself above the law. It is guilty of acts of abduction and torture ("Inquisition"), interfering in the internal affairs of foreign allies ("Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges), assault upon innocent citizens of foreign allies (infecting Odo with the virus), and attempted genocide (the Founder virus).

and played a major part in ending the Dominion War?
This is wrong. The Dominion War was already over before the Founder virus began to take effect, because the Federation Alliance was already guaranteed a military victory over the Dominion/Cardassian/Breen fleet.

The question was not, "Would the Federation Alliance win?" The question was, "Would the Dominion force the Federation Alliance to suffer a Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Cardassia?"

Odo, not Section 31, prevented a Pyrrhic victory by sharing the cure -- the most Federation-like thing he could do. Had Section 31 gotten its way, the increasingly nihilistic and irrational Female Shapeshifter would have forced a Pyrrhic victory for the Federation because of her despair over her species's impending extinction. Section 31's plan almost completely backfired and would have cost many thousands, if not more, of Federation lives. It was only by thwarting Section 31's plan that the battle was prevented.

After the gross incompetence displayed by various members of the Admiralty and Federation government prior to the war (not court martialling Picard for not infecting Hugh with the MC Escher thing, the whole DMZ thing, etc...) and all the crap they went through in the war, Section 31's pragmatism and competence is breath of fresh air that the Federation desperately needs.
Sorry, but this is the same Section 31 that tries to recruit officers through abduction and torture, puts high-ranking Romulan intelligence agents into higher ranks with no guarantee that they're actually Federation-loyal double agents, infects entire species with virii that just leave them more dedicated to bringing everyone else down with them, send single, easily-captured-and-interrogated agents to try to delete evidence of said virii cures, and whose earlier work in the 22nd Century included compromising planetary security to allow for the abduction of friendly foreign nationals by Klingons on the basis of unreliable guarantees that the Klingons wouldn't turn around and attack Earth ships, and giving said Earth ships the info needed to thwart an attack on Earth without actually bothering to lift a finger themselves.

Section 31 is many things, but it has not yet demonstrated actual competence.


bullethead wrote: View Post
DonIago wrote: View Post
If Section 31's version of "pragmatism and competence" is the "breath of fresh air that the Federation desperately needs" then I think we have very different understandings of what the Federation is supposed to be about, especially considering that it seems to include permanently retiring Federation presidents who are removed from office and being willing to blow up entire planets with indigenous peoples upon them because they contain incriminating evidence.
Section 31 has become Trek Lit's favorite bogey men, becoming 2D bad guys that ignore DS9's more balanced approach to the whole morality thing.
Bullshit. DSN never portrayed Section 31 as being right or justified; they were always the villains. And Section 31 has only appeared in a handful of novels.

ETA:

Further, you are overlooking the moral complications involved
End Edit.

Outside of the noncanon literature, Section 31's actions all make sense and actually accomplish their goals with minimal loss of life,
Only if you think "massive clusterfucks that keep getting people on their side attacked or killed" constitutes "accomplishing their goals with minimal loss of life."

(I mean, seriously, letting the Klingons kidnap Phlox on the assurance they wouldn't attack Enterprise and Columbia? Attempting genocide against a species that already hates solids? Trying to recruit Bashir by abducting and torturing him? Fucking incompetent, the lot of them.)

(And that's not counting their actions in the novels.


Section 31 is fundamentally incompetent. They're the living embodiment of the term "blowback."

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
^I've been watching the film Apocalypse Now, and the story arc of Col. Kurtz. Willard (Martin Sheen's character) begins the film agreeing with the top brass that Kurtz is insane--he murdered four people, etc.

But as Willard goes over the dossier, he notes how much he finds himself seeing Kurtz's point of view--more and more. And after they finally meet--amidst the disgusting and disturbing pagan atmosphere surrounding Kurtz, we have this brillant monologue by Marlon Brando, as Kurtz explains the method to his madness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD0rU6-7sKs

One could easily imagine an older, veteran agent of 31 give that sort of speech to, say, Dr. Bashir.
See, the problem with this idea is that you're not really getting the rhetorical point of Apocalypse Now. Kurtz does not represent the lone man who is right. He represents the living embodiment of imperialism, sans the meaningless rhetoric used to justify it: The white man who has rejected the Enlightenment, has embraced imperial domination of local communities, and no longer even pretends to care about waging a just war, and who justifies himself by saying, "Well, this is what we've got to do to win."

When the entire point was the Vietnam War shouldn't be won. It should never have been fought in the first place; the entire American effort was nothing more than a large number of Kurtzes, less his honest rejection of the idea that he was trying to "help" anyone. The United States wasn't trying to "help" South Vietnam, it was trying to dominate Vietnam and prevent it from choosing its own political system. It was just another example of white people wanting to dominate brown people. Kurtz's only virtue is that he's no longer pretending to treat them as equals.

None of this applies to the Federation or the Dominion War. The Federation was fighting to defend itself from Dominion imperialism, not the other way around. For a functional Dominion War analogy to the Vietnam War, you'd have to set it on a Dominion-occupied world, and have Sheen's character be a Jem'Hadar sent to capture a Vorta who's gone rogue and set himself up as the warlord over the locals.
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