Section 31 after DS9

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Tom, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Section 31 derives its (supposed) legitimacy from Article 14, Section 31 of the Starfleet charter. But the thing is, it's the Earth Starfleet charter, not the Federation Starfleet. So in a very real sense, Section 31 lost all claims to legitimacy when the Federation was formed, since the two Starfleets are not the same organization.
     
  2. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Depends. If you go by the books--Section 31: Cloak has Kirk look up the Federation Starfleet Charter--Section 31 (presumably of Article 14). Lo and behold, said section establishes an "autonomous investigative agency" with broad discretionary powers over non-specific matters.


    Also...there's been a theory that the "unsanctioned" state of Section 31 isn't "actual": it's an issue of plausible deniability, a la the IMF of Mission: Impossible. ("As always, if any of your team is caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.") Connecting that with the Charter...you have black ops at its finest. 31, then, would actually be a branch of SI--which was precisely what Sloan described it to be. SI "officially" disavows any knowledge of its activities--and so on.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ But based on what we've actually seen Section 31 do, that is clearly not the case. It is not a true black ops agency, since even that would imply some kind of governmental oversight and accountability. Section 31 has none of that. They literally do whatever they want to do. Not even the blackest of black ops organizations would stoop that low. Like I said...Section 31 is nothing more than a criminal conspiracy.
     
  4. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So - some proposals in this thread are to destroy S31 and create a branch of starfleet intelligence that uses the same amoral methods in pursuit of the same goals.
    Same difference.

    Just bring S31 into the fold - to become answerable to the democratically elected leaders of the federation (and, for all we know, it already is - that's definitely NOT something Sloan/S31 would advertise) - and you have your highly efficient espionage/black ops agency, as opposed to a bunch of rookies that don't know what they're doing.

    Eh...to be young and naive...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  5. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    exactly why I keep saying in these threads about Sec. 31 that it's a silly concept. Why does it have to be a super-secret off-the-books group? It's basically just what a darker version of Starfleet Intelligence already is, so... have it be a division of Starfleet Intelligence.


    This "secret organization" stuff belongs with magic decoder rings in cereal boxes.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You already have Starfleet Intelligence for that. Anything that SI can't do, doesn't deserve to be done.
     
  7. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The first rule at Section 31 is...........you don't talk about Section 31.

    Seriously, I too would love to see it 'brought down", it did seem that they were leaning in that direction since each of the novels in that series ended with the respective captains becoming aware of that organization. It could be a great read and at the end of the story, those who brought them to bear could find out about some of the threats they'd "taken care of" and would wonder if they'd done the "right" thing.
     
  8. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    But that doesn't work, because doing so would defeat the entire purpose of S31's existence. The whole point is that they answer to no one so they can do whatever is "necessary" to "protect" the Federation.

    Not saying I agree with their methods, but legitimacy and S31 simply aren't compatible.
     
  9. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Really?
    Starfleet Intelligence only remarks itself by its uncompromising incompetency:
    Off the top of my head: the romulans knew about 'tin man' in real time (after tin man was found by a federation probe); idem about Pegasus' phase cloack location; etc, etc.
    SI could not discover a spy if the federation depended on it: a romulan posing as federation ambassador for many years, gathering huge amounts of classified information; another spy for the romulans, stealing enterprises' warp core; etc, etc.

    This list goes on and on: romulans, cardassians, dominion, etc - practically everyone who tried - bitch slapped SI.
    SI, by proving itself to be a joke again and again, makes the best argument for the necessity of S31.

    Section 31, article 14.
    The very name of S31 yearns for legitimacy.
     
  10. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    why does it mean that the organization itself is a crime? The US Army had soldiers peeing on enemy corpses. Was that act a crime or is the whole US Army a crime?
     
  11. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    We don't know that the Earth Starfleet charter wasn't then used as a guide to Federation Starfleet's charter. We know that a ton of facets of Earth Starfleet (rank structure, starship design, etc) were integrated into Federation Starfleet. Who is to say that Section 31 didn't also make the cut?
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The difference is, while it is possible for individual soldiers to commit crimes, the actual US Army is a completely legitimate organization with a chain of command and responsibility to the government. The Army, along with all other armed services, has to answer to the President. Section 31 answers to no one. Doesn't that sound dangerous?

    As for the two Starfleets: While there are some obvious things, such as rank structure, that the Federation Starfleet inherited from Earth Starfleet, that still doesn't change the fact that they are completely separate organizations. The Federation Starfleet, for example, also fulfills military/defense functions, which the Earth Starfleet did not. In any case, to assume that the Earth Starfleet charter was simply copied, unaltered, for use in the Federation Starfleet, is not terribly likely.
     
  13. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    I never said that it was copied unaltered. Merely that some aspects were kept, and those aspects could include Section 31.

    Additionally, we don't really know that 31 answers to no one. Sisko's discussions with Starfleet Command didn't suggest that this was a rogue organization operating without consent. He got vague answers that neither confirmed nor denied its existence. Whether they answer to a political or military leader in secret or to no one is unknown.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, yes, we do.
     
  15. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Citation needed.
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ The very first episode it ever appeared in - DS9's "Inquisition".
     
  17. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Apologies, it's been a while since I've seen the ep. Remember the basic idea, but what's the dialogue that makes it clear that it's definitively not a federation agency?
     
  18. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    How do you take down an organization that has no headquarters and all of their operations and personnel are only known in the minds of select people? You would never be able to know who they all are, let alone take them all down and they have operatives even in the governments of the major powers of the AQ. We don't even know if they have a basic hierarchy or leader. Section 31 is whatever and whoever it needs to be to carry out it's objectives.

    Bashir: "Doesn't Section 31 have its own doctors?"

    Yes -- Julian, they do.
     
  19. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh? You assume that not even the blackest of the black would stoop that low.

    As Yoda would say, "Do not assume anything, Obi-Wan. Clear...your mind must be."

    After all--see "In The Pale Moonlight". Effectively, bringing Romulans into the War meant putting countless Romulan lives--military and civilian--all in danger of being slaughtered by the Dominion.

    And all of that...based on a lie.

    Not really. Sloan said "we're autonomous". The Federation Starfleet Charter said they were autonomous.

    Julian noted 31 was "with no specific orders". So did the charter.

    "Accountable to no one but yourselves?" Sloan simply replies, "You make it sound so ominous"--implying, perhaps, "I wouldn't put it that way...."

    Two words--plausible deniability.

    Exactly. Look--regardless of what was written in The Good That Men Do...it was a pipe dream of the writers, at best.

    (Shameless plug--in a fanfic of mine, "Suspicious Minds", I have a certain agent note to someone we know that the Bureau can't be "rounded up"--but that, rather, 31 may need to, every once in a while "clean house"--and lead the "moralists" to think that the organization is dead.)

    Mm-hmm! Although, we do have Sloan imply a cell-like structure in "Extreme Measures". And the VOY novel in the Section 31 miniseries indicates that these cells have "Directors"--Sloan being one of them.
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps in the 'real world', that might be true. But this is the Federation. They're better than that.

    To be fair, everything that happened in that episode was a result of Sisko's own personal choices. It was his idea to bring the Romulans into the war in that way. The Federation at large would not have done that. I'm not sure that even Section 31 would have.

    but as I said, the only authorization for Section 31 that we know of comes from the Earth Starfleet Charter, not the Federation Starfleet Charter.

    Sloan never actually denies it, though.

    Here's a thought: We know from "Extreme Measures" that Section 31 had an operative inside Jaresh-Inyo's cabinet. Logically speaking, an organization that is accountable to a President will not have an undercover operative inside that President's cabinet. You don't spy on a President you're loyal to.