Did Sisko ever break the Prime Directive?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Vulcan Logician, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    With liberty and just for some then.

    My issue is that Sisko took Worf's act as a personal offense. When Sisko himself is a religious figure and spiritual man himself. Its wasn't a violation of starfleet protocol that caused Sisko to judge Worf. t was the act was viewed as premeditated murder in his eyes. Like I said had Sisko walked the Picard line and remained unbiased in his reprimand I could except it but he didn't.

    His decision seems to be purely because his views on life and death are different from another persons culture. While Picard empathetic to the nature and gave Worf the option to resign. Riker was equally understanding and even willing to carry out the same ritual for Worf back I'm TNG. While Riker serving onboard a Klingon ship and learning how Klingons view those who live when they should die gave Riker an enhanced perception in to the mind of a different culture.

    Sisko comes in like inflexible bishop
    Preaching his beliefs and not leaving any room for discussion for clarification. You can't use the Starfleet protocol breach as an excuse for his actions because Sisko himself didn't use it. While the star fleet violation is a correct method of interpreting it. Sisko let his personal biases judge that situation and his response to it
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  2. Admiral_Sisko

    Admiral_Sisko Lieutenant Commander

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    Your statement makes no sense. What evidence do you have that Sisko took Worf's actions personally? He was angry with Worf because what he did, but eventually allowed both Worf and his brother to assist in disabling the Klingon minefield. It seems to me that he was able to put any misgivings about Worf aside in order to what was best for his crew. If you believe that his anger in and of itself is evidence of his taking it personally, let me ask you this: if an officer under your command suddenly took an action that could have negative repercussions for both himself and for the remainder of your crew, would you not be upset about it?

    Sisko may have crossed the line by yelling at Worf, but he was hardly the only person to react that way. Odo did the same, and he was also prepared to file murder charges if Kurn didn't survive his stab wound. Why? Because Worf broke the law. His personal feelings had nothing to do with his responsibilities as chief of security, just as Sisko's feelings had nothing to do with his responsibilities as the commander of the station.

    Even if one ignores the issue of Starfleet regulations (as you believe I should do because of Sisko's statements), one cannot ignore the following reality: there are limits to how far one can go to accommodate another person's culture and beliefs- which is precisely what Sisko says to Worf- even in the twenty fourth century. What do you think would happen in today's society if someone killed another person in the name of his or her religion? Would such behavior be tolerated? I doubt it. Why does it surprise you that someone living in the twenty fourth century would adopt a similar stance?

    Even the Star Trek universe must employ standards governing behavior, or anyone could use the "it's the belief of my species" excuse to justify any action. Do you have any idea the repercussions of allowing such behavior to go unchecked? That's why Sisko was so upset with Worf, not because he took Worf's actions personally. Sisko realized- as you apparently do not- that even as one seeks to understand and embrace other cultures, there are limits to how far one can reasonably be expected to do so. Greater diversity entails greater flexibility in dealing with other races and cultures, because a degree of tolerance is necessary in order to ensure cooperation with other species. That does not mean, however, that one must tolerate every aspect of another culture.

    Allowing Worf to do as he pleased- even to resolve a family matter- risked opening a Pandora's box. If Sisko made exceptions for Worf, he would have had to make similar allowances for other crew members, allowances that would have eventually interfered with his crew's ability to do its job. It's not a matter of Starfleet regulations. It's a matter of common sense.

    Sisko addresses the subject of limits not as an excuse, but as a statement of fact. There are limits that determine how far one can go, even when dealing with a species as complex as the Klingons. To imply that the Klingons are free to do as they please simply because they are Klingons is as irresponsible and short-sighted as refusing to grant the Klingons any latitude at all.

    Sisko's status as a religious figure has nothing to do with situation. It was not Sisko's choice to become the Emissary of the Prophets. He was, however, willing to serve in that role because he believed that doing so would help to strengthen the relationship between Bajor and the Federation, something that was absolutely necessary if Bajor was to join the Federation- Sisko's primary mission as commander of Deep Space 9.

    Consider another aspect of the situation that seems to have alluded you: at the time of "Sons of Mogh," Sisko had known Worf for only a few months. Picard had known Worf for more than three years at the time of "Reunion." As he was much more familiar with Worf's character, it's not surprising that his reaction to Worf's behavior differed from that of Sisko, who did not know him as well.

    I will repeat what I said before: get your facts straight. Worf did not ask Riker to perform the same type of ritual. Kurn's assisted suicide (the Mauk-to'Vor) was arranged as a means to allow Kurn to die with honor because his family had been disgraced. Worf's ritual (the Hegh'bat) was intended to allow him to die honorably rather than living the remainder of his life dependent on other people or on medical technology in order to properly care for himself.

    Riker was not willing to participate in an assisted suicide ritual for Worf. He was extremely troubled by the idea, and sought the advice of Picard because he was having so much difficulty with the situation. He made his feelings clear when he later confronted Worf about the issue. He said, "I hate everything about it... the casual disregard for life... it tries to cloak suicide in some glorious notion of honor. I may have to respect your beliefs... but I don't have to like them."

    Additionally, Sisko did give Worf the opportunity explain himself, albeit in a somewhat brusque manner: "I want you tell me why I shouldn't put you on the next transport out of here." It's not as though he was unwilling to hear Worf out, and as I've already pointed out to you, he did give Worf an opportunity to redeem himself later in the episode, an action that clearly illustrates a degree of empathy with Worf's plight as well as a willingness to put his own feelings aside in order to accomplish a mission, which is exactly what a competent leader is expected to do. Sisko was not a hypocrite for putting his crew first, nor was he wrong to take Worf to task for his behavior.
     
  3. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Chewing out Worf for the attempted murder/assisted suicide was hardly a unique event. The drill instructor act seemed to be Sisko's preferred method of dealing with issues of military discipline. It probably shouldn't be seen as personal offense. Picard seemed to prefer the disapproving father figure routine, and that's fine, but it's not the only valid approach.
     
  4. Blackhorse47

    Blackhorse47 Ensign Newbie

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    Doesn't he knowingly break the Prime Directive in the one where the first Kai dies? I think he used the little known get out clause of this culture isn't developing, so that's all right then.
     
  5. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Sisko is the hardass command type. I can admire and respect that. I find it ironic however that Sisko is so abrasive about the subject of religious practices of others when he himself is a religious icons to the Bajorans.

    He is "The Emissary", "The Sisko", half-prophet on his mothers side, the wormhole aliens are by extention his extended supernatural family, he has labors to complete with the gods of Bajor before his resurrection.

    I've complied a video of the events in question. From TNG Reunion, TNG Ethics, VOY Barge of the Dead and DS9 Sons of Mogh. Now we'll hear straight from the horses mouth what exactly was said since Admiral Sisko is being a stickler about precise facts. Keep in mind my original post was that i found Sisko's reaction to the situation disingenuous considering his own unique character and the response he gave to it. As you'll see there are indeed limits Starfleet puts religious practice. However those protocols were not used by Sisko when he addressed Worf. When Dax tried to explain the situation Sisko retorted "At the moment I don't give a damn about, Klingon belief, religion or customs". Does he want an explanation or not?




    I digress I'll let the video do the talking

    First clip is from TNG Season 4 ep 6 Reunion. When Worf killed Duras in revenge for Duras killing Keylar. Picard confronts Worf on his actions for violating Starfleet protocol.

    Second Clip TNG Season 5 ep 16 Ethics. When Worf is paralyzed and contemplates suicide. Riker confronts him and finds a loophole to Worf's request.

    Third clip from VOY season 6 ep 3 Barge of the Dead. B'Elanna wants to chase a fever dream by simulating death but Janeway won't allow her to pursue her plan.. Partially because Janeway doubts the validity of what B'Elanna experienced, it's also a violation of Starfleet protocol like Picard pointed out in Reunion. But mostly because B'Elanna is the chief engineer on VOY and she isn't about to allow B'Elanna to potentially kill herself for what could be a vivid dream.

    Fourth clip is from DS9 season 4 episode 15. Kurn asks Worf to end his life by performing a Klingon ritual. Dax and Odo intervene and rescue Kurn before he dies. Sisko dresses down Worf. Using what I feel is his own personal biases to condemn Worf rather than the spelled out regulations that Picard, Riker and Janeway mentioned.

    See for yourself
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JQgGZm62OI&feature=youtu.be[/yt]
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  6. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Sisko is a Starfleet officer. His status as a Bajoran religious icon does not preclude his addressing potentially troublesome situations that arise under his command, be they situations of a religious nature or otherwise. Worf’s actions may have been consistent with Klingon beliefs, but they represented an extreme application of said beliefs. That he failed to anticipate the consequences of his behavior is his fault, and it’s not Sisko’s job to let him off the hook merely because he was undertaking a Klingon ritual.

    This comment is both childish and petty. You have incorrectly cited examples taken from various episodes to strengthen your argument. Admiral_Sisko is absolutely correct in pointing out your mistakes.

    You’ve misinterpreted Sisko’s point. The following is the conversation in his office:

    Sisko is not disregarding Starfleet protocol in making this statement. His point is that Worf’s actions were so extreme that they violated any number of Starfleet regulations. He doesn’t cite the regulations by name, but one need not quote the rulebook in order to properly observe it. Anyone with a shred of common sense should have been able to recognize the problems presented by undertaking such a controversial ritual. That Worf appears lack common sense is his weakness, not Sisko’s.

    Once again, Sisko does not cite specific regulations, but the meaning of his statement is obvious. Whatever Worf’s religious beliefs, he chose to serve Starfleet. Starfleet’s premise is exploration, but the organization is military in nature. It’s not a democracy. Sisko is under no obligation to bend over backwards for his officers. They work for him, not the other way around. It is Worf’s responsibility to follow the orders of his commanding officer.

    Although it’s unlikely Sisko issued specific orders regarding the practice of Klingon customs, it’s not difficult to understand which types of behavior he found acceptable, and which types he did not. By the time he started serving aboard Deep Space 9, Worf had been in Starfleet long enough to anticipate how his human colleagues would perceive an assisted suicide ritual. That he was unable to do so is no one’s fault but his own.

    Worf is a Starfleet officer. He shouldn't need regulations spelled out for him. If he does, then he has no business serving aboard a Starfleet vessel or space station.

    --Sran
     
  7. G2309

    G2309 Captain Captain

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    Sisko has a punching bag with the prime directive written on it.
     
  8. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting metaphor, given what we've seen he does to punching bags.

    --Sran
     
  9. cheesepuff316

    cheesepuff316 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Actually Riker deliberately wouldn't help Worf commit suicide - look at what he says in "Ethics"
     
  10. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    You're correct. AllStarEntprise is apparently content to ignore the facts of any situation he cites as part of his argument. That's probably why Admiral_Sisko called him out.

    --Sran
     
  11. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    I'll say this; I think Sisko (and Picard) were the most law-abiding when it came to adhering to the Prime Directive, at least compared to Kirk.
     
  12. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    The alpha quadrant of Kirk's time was akin to the Old West. It's not surprising that he played fast and loose with the Prime Directive. Sisko and Picard were subject to greater interference from Federation bureaucrats, so they had to exercise greater caution with Starfleet's most important general order.

    --Sran
     
  13. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    ^Love your character in your sig; how did he come to be?
     
  14. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you! Captain Sran is a Romulan Starfleet officer during the late twenty fourth century. How he came to serve in Starfleet is something I've not completely worked out. I'm still writing his backstory. If I end up sticking with the original premise for his character, the backstory will intertwine with several familiar elements of Star Trek history, including how he came to command a ship called Naptown. I haven't decided if he's ever broken the Prime Directive.

    --Sran
     
  15. Vulcan Logician

    Vulcan Logician Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Neat! So Sran is taking his Romulan sense of duty and applying it to service in Starfleet? I've always liked the "good" Romulan characters that we meet in all the Next Gen series. They show both nobility and backbone. The rest of them, however, are a bunch of two-faced, treacherous power grabbers.
     
  16. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Correct. Sran represents a combination of Romulan dedication and Federation altruism. His heritage means he offers a style of command that differs from most Starfleet captains we've met, but he's no less effective than his colleagues.

    Romulans are fascinating for exactly the reason you mentioned. They are a noble people, but corruption within their government has affected their civilization for the worse. It's interesting to ponder what may have happened had the Federation made an overture of peace to them at the turn of the twenty third century rather than the Klingons.

    --Sran
     
  17. Vulcan Logician

    Vulcan Logician Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As soon as I get PM privileges, I'd like to discuss your literary pursuits, Sran. Do you post fiction on this board?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  18. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    I was making a jokey comment cool your jets man. How are my examples incorrect? They all feature command characters Picard, Riker, Sisko and Janeway responding to different degrees of Klingon culture, religion and or customs. The means of said disagreements are different but the ends are roughly the same. Klingon practices of such extreme cannot be carried out because they conflict with Starfleet principles.

    Keep in mind the mistakes Admiral Sisko detailed out and corrected for me were 1. the Klingon's are an independent nation and not apart of the Federation. 2 The name of the rituals Kurn and Worf asked others to perform on them. At the time of my original posts I did not go search up the exact name because I thought they were the same thing. Trek's version of the Japanese Samurai Seppuku.


    Rewatch the clip or rewatch the episode Ethics. Riker said he "probably" would help Worf. However Riker used an escape clause which deferred the act to Worf's oldest son or family member. It wasn't Riker's place and he points that out to Worf.




    There are 726 episodes, and 12 movies all titled Star Trek spread across 47 years and 7 unique series'. I have seen every single one of them. With such a high volume of material remembering every single detail is impossible. Harder if a person (like myself) watches other high volume shows like Doctor Who with it's 800+ episodes, Farscape, Stargate series', BSG. It can be overwhelming. So thank you Admiral_Sisko for correcting me. I'm never angry when someone corrects my mistakes. My opinion of the situation differs from others and I've tried to detail it out and explain it.
     
  19. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As to the original question, An admiral straight out tells Sisko that interfering with the Bajoreans request to Leave DS9 was a violation of the Prime Directive. Also taking sides on the coup is a violation of the prime directive. Sisko argues that it's not internal, because the Cardassians are behind the scenes, but the admiral is quite clear, that just because teh Cardassians are willing to interfer doesn't give him the right to.

    Now of course Sisko tries to side step this, by saying he is leaving slowing. Utter bullocks. And he has Kira present the evidence again Jaro. But its only due to Federation assistance. Federation transport to the Bajorean moon, Federation technical support to get the small fighter operational. And of course every single moment, let alone actively fighting against the forces, sabotaging the systems, ect are all violations of the Prime Directive.

    Th episode the siege as per episode probably some of the largest number of acts that are violations.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's what I think about Tosk: Sisko isn't violating the Prime Directive by allowing O'Brien to help Tosk. He's upholding the PD. The hunt would have gone uninterrupted had none of the DS9 crew befriended Tosk. So by setting the hunt back on, Sisko and O'Brien are putting things back the way they were before Tosk ever came aboard DS9. That's not interference.

    Who's to say he didn't? Sisko may have looked at "himself" and said, wow, that guy looks like me, but otherwise not thought anything of it. The point is, we have absolutely no idea if the 'original' Bell that gets killed in the episode really is the original. For all we know, Sisko was always Bell.

    And since the characters returned to the same future they left, I find this likely.