Section 31...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by 2 of 10, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That statement is insane. If a individual runs into the street and pulls a child from in front of a oncoming truck, the fact that the individual wasn't official authorized (and over sighted) to do so make their action wrong?

    The idea that the individual 's action could (and should) only be undertaken by a government employee is again insane. People will step forward without some sort of official instructions, if they see the need.

    Describing the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as genocide, or attempted genocide, is really stretching the meaning of the term.

    Hiroshima was the location of 2nd General Army headquarters, which was responsible for the defense of southern Japan. If the atomic bombings hadn't resulted in Japan's surrender, and there had been a Allied invasion of the southern most island of Kyushu, the 2nd Army would have been the one fighting the Allies. Hiroshima was a communications core (phone lines and telegraph). The rail lines in that part of Japan passed through the city. There were a large number of military warehouses located in the city. And it was a assembly and distribution area for military personal.

    In the case of Nagasaki, the vast majority of the city's work force was employed in war production. Four companies, two shipyards and two arms/munitions factories, employed approximately 90% of Nagasaki's work force. There were other smaller war production facilities as well.

    In this day of ready information, this persistent idea that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren't military targets defies belief.

    Unless some other unusual event trigger a Japanese surrender, this time table is unlikely. Without the shock effect of the atomic bombings, following a allied invasion, conventional warfare would have (at least) extended into the summer of 1946. Resulting in heavy allied casualties.

    It was three bombs produced per month, not three months per bomb. And both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets.

    What you're actually getting is provable crap that by canon, they never have, they never did..

    In some two centuries, S31 never tried to assume direct control of the Federation. Never eliminate the governing body of the Federation and placed themselves in direct power. That would be destroying the Federation, an organization that they (unofficially) protect.

    If they were going to do all these dastardly things Hartzilla2007, they've had two centuries. Where are the excesses against the Federation as a whole, if they're only thinking of themselves?

    Where?

    S31 saw the long range problem that was the Founders some three years in advance. And Starfleet Intelligence?

    Star Trek is a presentation of events, when were we presented with Starfleet Intelligence have such foresight? And I don't mean hypothetical they could have, when did Starfleet Intelligence see the problem coming years in advance? When it came to the Founder, they seem pretty inept.

    But on the positive side, Starfleet Intelligence is authorized.

    And other than those hundred, is the average Founder offspring also born ignorant of the great link and all the other knowledge of the existing adults? Or is the average Founder offspring basically born an adult? And are therefor fully aware and culpable of the Founder's deeds and acts?

    What makes you think that there are any "children" within the link?

    Fine.

    In that case Sci, Section 31 if fully authorized by the Federation Council. There is oversight of all their action and deed. The plan to infect the Founders was actually thought up by the Federation Intelligence Agency, which S31 is a classified part of.

    The problem with you basic statement there Sci, is the only reason to think S31 isn't accountable, is because Sloan said it. If we disbelieve the statement that S31 is looking after the Federation, then how can we not also disbelieve their statement about being unaccountable?

    Package deal. If Sloan was lying on one major point, then how can we believe anything he says.

    I don't. I trust them to be dishonest, that's part of what makes them so effective in protecting the Federation. The Federation is protected by honest people like Starfleet (who don't lie), and by dishonest people like S31 (who do).

    No, I'm saying that Great Britain would have been morally justified in killing the entirety of the Nazi leadership group. Genociding them, and them only, everyone of them, once the threat to Great Britain became clear.

    The Nazi leadership certainly saw themselves as a "ethnic and racial group," so genocide them.

    Just them.

    Simply a case of S31 correctly evaluating the situation years in advance.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, of course not. It's just common sense to act to save a person's life in that manner.

    To make it more like Section 31, it would be as if you saw a truck about to hit someone, and you pulled out a gun and shot the driver in the head.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If the driver were actively chasing the child, and there were no safe place to take the child too? Then yes you would be correct to shoot the driver in order to save the child.

    :)
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ About that:

    - There is always a safe place to take someone who's in danger. Police station, fire house, hospital, wherever.

    - It'd still be murder to shoot the driver, even if he's actively chasing someone.

    - The only time you'd have the right to kill someone in this manner is if they were an immediate danger to you or someone else. But chasing after someone in a car does not qualify.
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree, too.

    Omitting consideration of Section 31 in Enterprise.

    Given Bashir's special status from genetic engineering? But that part of Bashir's characterization was very inconsistent, so let's just assume Bashir was indeed treated just as every recruit to Section 31 was. Do the writers think the Section 31 recruiters are merely rationalizing their desire to inflict pain? The notion that a sufficiently brilliant interrogator can remold people this way seems to me to be a premise of the episode, and most decidedly not an idea under attack.

    If he'd been a good mole he would be immune to sci-fi bomb blasts? Sorry, but the John Logan not writing Section 31 into Nemesis doesn't make the feat in Enim Inter Arma Silent Leges truly spectacular. Unblievably so.

    First, how is the genocide of Cardassia by other hands a down-side for Section 31? Second, desirable as preventing any war with the Dominion is, the point was to win. Third, why would Section 31 regard the loss of Federation lives in final victorious combat as anything other than a regrettable price to pay. An odd thing about ruthlessness is that it is so easily expended not just on the enemy but on the cannonfodder as well.

    Again, how are the machinations of the House of Duras and a Klingon Civil War undesirable? Seems like a win. As for being unable to detect the Martok-imposture, the Founders had nearly supernatural powers, which is why they had to be slaughtered en masse.

    I don't think it was inadvertent that the Founders were given incredible powers of subversion, phenomenal malice and a monolithic Dominion that posed an existential threat, none of which had any place beyond cheap melodrama. Nor do I think that Bashir's unwilling cooperation constitutes serious opposition: Unwilling or not, it was still cooperation. Nor do I think the lack of desire on the part of any other "'hero' characters" to openly publicize the secret Section 31 and its deeds really constitute opposition. This conspicuous failure contradicts their feelings as professed on screen, so I conclude this reveals the writers' real attitudes.

    Not in the sense of wholesale massacre of civilian populations as an end in itself. It's true that it doesn't quite compare even yet with the Nazi death camps, but nothing does. Many, many people try to stretch the word "genocide" to cover things much more unlike the atomic bombing of cities, something hoped to kill everyone, unlike any other type of indiscriminate bombing.

    It had not been found necessary or even particularly desirable to bomb these so-called "military targets." So, no, the actual behavior of the US shows that neither city was a significant military target. This is a particularly cynical and sleazy rhetorical ploy. Also, in this day, people are quite willing to believe that the city waterworks are legitimate military targets. The notion that our contemporary sensibilities are more refined and correct desperately needs some justification.

    What precisely was the threat to "Great Britain?" Were the Nazis going to dig up the island and leave them all swimming for their lives? The English went to war with Germany over a threat to Poland, i.e., the German threat to achieve dominance in Europe, diminishing English power. It is notorious that Hess, a major Nazi figure, believed that Germany could make peace with the English! Should the "genocide" of the Nazi leadership have omitted him?

    And, pray tell, who were the Nazi leadership? Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, Hess, Himmler, yes, easily so. But, Ribbentrop, who didn't conduct any independent policy? And when the central leadership is gone, the colorless second-level bureaucrats, like Eichmann, move up? So, the top governmental and cultural figures should have been killed off too. And, Germany fought England in WWI without benefit of any Nazi influence, so the officer corps should have been killed off too. Really, this is all to silly and nasty for words. Perhaps you've been reading too much propaganda for drone murder.
     
  6. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    She may be PO'd about being sick and dying but what rea;;y has ticked her off is betrayal by The Solids. She was never a fan of no Changelings and this is just a big poke in the eye. The Cardassians brought it on themselves. First by allying with the Dominion and the by turning on them. The Section 31 virus may have been a contributing factor but it was in no way the most significant cause of the death of Cardassia.
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Prior to the atomic bombing, Nagasaki had been bombed nine times before.

    Hiroshima would have become a real problem in the event of a allied invasion. And some Japanese cities were being kept from bombing so that any atomic bombing of them would have had more of a psychological effect on the Japanese leadership. However, if America hadn't been able to get the atomic bomb to work prior to an invasion, Hiroshima would have been conventionally bombed.

    Oh, things like the Blitz, preparing to invade it, cutting off of it's food supply, invading it's allies. You know, little things like that.

    The Leader, the Chancellery of the F├╝hrer, the Reichsleiters, and the upper level political leadership corps of the Nazi Party (certainly the Gauleiters).

    Military officers in general? I wouldn't think so. But pretty much the entire SS would have had to go.

    Pluck out the brain.

    :borg:
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It is not fanwank to bear in mind that there are child Founders. The fact that there are infant Founders is in the fact very first thing we ever learned about them -- they had to explain their connection to Odo, after all.

    "Fanwank" is, however, a good way to describe the idea that all Founders are the same individual and that there are no innocent civilian Founders.

    I am consistently astonished that you can describe what is literally the worst crime anyone could possibly commit in such dismissive terms as "OMGGENOCIDE."

    No. This is fanwank. They are a race.

    This goes to the question of how well-written DS9 is, not to the question of the justification of genocide against the Founder species.

    You cannot compare an individual to an institutions. Individuals have the inherent right to exist; institutions only have the right to exist if they submit to the authority of the legitmate democratic government, and, through them, to the authority of the people at large.

    No one has said this.

    Where? How do we know Section 31 has never tried to blackmail or otherwise control or influence the Federation government? No such factoid has ever been established canonically.

    The question is not, "Are they going to?" The question is, "What insurance do I have that they won't?"

    All of Starfleet was dealing with the problem represented by the Founders; all you have to do is watch a typical episode of DS9 Season Four to see that.

    And Odo was infected in 2372, not 2371. The war itself started at the end of 2373.

    Are you seriously going to argue that Founder infants are magically born knowing everything and bearing the same responsibility as moral agents as any adult? Talk about fanwank.

    The fact that the first thing we learn about the Founders is that they have children.

    Okay. That eliminates my objection to the idea that Section 31 has a right to exist; if it is answerable to the Federation Council, its institutional existence is legitimate. We can therefore trust that its first loyalty is to the Federation and not to itself.

    The question about the moral legitimacy of any particular operation is entirely separate from the legitimacy of the institution's existence itself.

    Sloan's goal was to recruit Bashir. Recruiting Bashir would have been more probable had Bashir believed Section 31 to be answerable to the Federation government. Sloan had no incentive to falsely claim it to be unaccountable, and had a strong incentive to claim it to be accountable. Given this, the fact that he claimed Section 31 to be unaccountable strongly supports the idea that he was speaking honestly about that facet of the institution.

    Because he has an incentive to lie about his goals; one can justify all sorts of horrible things if they don't in the name of patriotism.

    Nonsense. No one has claimed that if they lie about one thing, they must therefore lie about all things.

    Let me put it this way:

    If Section 31's goal had been to assassinate the Female Shapeshifter, Weyoun, Dukat, and Damar? I wouldn't have had a problem with that.

    They were the Dominion War leadership group. Not the entire Founder species.

    Genocide is not justifiable.

    And, no, the Nazis were not the entirety of the German people, so you can't compare the Nazi leadership exclusively to the entire Founder species.

    No, they saw Germans as an ethnic and racial group. (Or, rather, as they called them, "Aryans.") They did not identify the exclusive political leadership group as a distinct racial or ethnic group from the rest of German society.

    And she would never have become so enraged as retaliate so disproportionately had she not been facing her own species' extinction. It made her enraged and irrational, far from the cool and detached monarch she had once been.
     
  9. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    "The ocean becomes a drop. The drop becomes the ocean."

    Isn't that pretty much the way the Female Founder described her/its/their relationship with the Great Link? Do you really suppose the Founders have the exact same concept of individuality as Solids do?

    And the infant Changelings that were sent out wouldn't be part of the Link, wouldn't be on the Founder's planet, and wouldn't be in any danger from the disease Section 31 infected them with, or bombardment by an armada such as by the Cardassio-Romulan task force.

    If there are "child" Founders, they're apparently created on an as-needed basis; there's no evidence that child Founders were in any danger during the war because there's no evidence that they existed.

    Sure, infected in 2372, but what was the lead time on developing the virus? Surely it didn't spring into being the minute it was wanted. Clearly someone in the Section 31 leadership, if such a thing exists, saw a potential threat years ahead of anyone else in the UFP, and had a weapon prepared in the meantime. Sure enough, the situation degenerated, and the weapon was deployed.
     
  10. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know I know at least one Section 31 supporter who thinks that Koval wasn't playing 31 like a fiddle. But I can't help but think that is either naive thinking or seriously over estimating Section 31 becuase Koval is the head of an organization that is probably older and more experienced at backroom manipulations of other organizations than the new kid that is Section 31.

    I mean seriously Section 31 only gets away with stuff becuase their secret, the Tal Shiar get away with stuff becuase everyone is afraid of them, which means they can get a lot more stuff to use and are probably less vulnerable seeing as they don't have to worry about being to big to stay unnoticed.

    Of course I can't help but think the virus's degenerative effects may have also made her a little nutty as well.

    Making a biological weapons to wipe out a race when it still hasn't been determined if a major war is avoidable or not or even how destructive said conflict would be doesn't make Section 31 sound better.

    It makes them sound like nutty reactionaries who will cause more harm than good becuase they over react and make things worse.

    Imagine if the virus had been detected and exposed before the war. The federation would probably find itself facing the Dominion with no allies since it makes them look like genocidal paranoid reactionaries who would destroy the first people who they think might be a threat.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I always assumed that he was.

    In fact didn't this very thing pop up (non-canon though it may be) in at least one of the novels? IIRC, Koval was intentionally feeding Section 31 false data so they would investigate spies that don't exist, or go after the wrong people, etc. I don't know if he was actually working for the real Romulan government the whole time, or if he was playing both sides against each other, but it seems obvious that Koval is not a "real" Section 31 operative.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  12. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    It's not supposed to make them sound better. It's an observation that makes them sound worse. They are paranoid.
     
  13. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Or prepared for any eventuality.
     
  14. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    S31 is the Batman of the Federation...but more violent and paranoid.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Considering that plenty of real-life cultures have very different conceptions of individuality and group identity than modern America? Of course not. But it remains a canonical fact that there are separate Founder individuals -- however differently they conceive of their relationship to others -- and that not all Founders are involved with running the Dominion.

    And what about other Founder children?

    There is no evidence for this hypothesis.

    Starfleet was very clearly perceiving the Dominion as a threat by early 2371 -- that's why the Defiant was stationed at DS9. That Starfleet Command did not decide to engage in genocide does not mean that it didn't take the Dominion seriously as a threat and that only Section 31 had the foresight to see the war coming. Everyone knew the war was coming by DS9 Season Four.

    You are presenting a ridiculous and false premise -- that only if you are prepared to engage in pre-emptive genocide are you seeing a threat. This is absurd.

    An excellent point about how Koval could have actually been a triple agent, pretending a true loyalty to Section 31 while remaining in truth loyal to Romulus. But I would suggest that the idea that Section 31 are "new kids" who aren't experienced at backroom manipulation may be misguided. Whoever founded Section 31, whenever this happened? They were probably the institutional descendants of people who've spent their lives in such secret police organizations. Section 31 is the spiritual descendant of groups like the Stasi, the FSB, the MSS; of people who undertook programs like Operation Condor, the CIA's Mockingbird, the RCMP's PROFUNC, or the FBI's Operation COINTELPRO. These people are the spiritual descendants of J. Edgar Hoover-style authoritarianism, and I've no doubt they inherited all those centuries' worth of expertise in backroom deals and manipulations. Just because you're new to the interstellar stage doesn't mean you're new to the game.

    Besides, we don't know how old the Tal Shiar is. For all we know, it might only have been founded in the 24th Century. ;)

    Excellent point!

    Quoted for truth!

    Yep. To say nothing of the fact that it would have turned the conflict into a war of aggression by the Federation.

    Yeah. In the TNG novel Section 31: Rogue by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin, Koval makes a deal with Section 31 where he'll hand over a list of Tal Shiar spies within the Federation in return for Section 31 agreeing to thwart the Federation Diplomatic Corps's attempts to persuade a neutral planet to vote to ally itself with the UFP. The Section 31 agent on scene thinks it's a good deal, but what he doesn't realize is that Koval wanted that planet to ally itself with Romulus because there was a spatial anomaly in its sector that could be used to channel huge amounts of energy to Romulan starships, giving the Imperial Fleet a huge tactical advantage over Starfleet (or some such technobabble advantage; I don't remember the exact detals). And that that list is comprised of old spies who were already targeted for elimination by the Tal Shiar anyway.

    Section 31 is well and truly bamboozled in the book, and only the intervention of the crew of the Enterprise saves the day.
     
  16. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    And which Founders weren't involved in running the Dominion? Odo and Laas? The other 98 changelings wandering through the galaxy? Maybe my memory is foggy, having only finished a rewatch of all of DS9 back in January, but I don't recall any changelings that weren't Founders and I definitely don't recall seeing any children amongst the Founders.

    Whoa. I'm not presenting anything. I'm just putting together the facts as presented in the canon. The bioweapon that Section 31 infected the Founders with did not spring out of thin air. Some lead time was required to develop it before it was deployed. Unless you want to argue that Section 31 is able to develop tailored viruses to recently-encountered species nigh overnight.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Don't know. Doesn't matter. We know, canonically, that some weren't -- that's all it takes to establish the existence of innocent civilians within the link.

    You said, and I quote, "Clearly someone in the Section 31 leadership, if such a thing exists, saw a potential threat years ahead of anyone else in the UFP..."

    This statement only makes sense if you define preparing for pre-emptive genocide as "seeing a potential threat" and define all of Starfleet's numerous preparations for conventional conflict undertaken between 2371 and 2373 as "not seeing a potential threat."
     
  18. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Very well. I'll amend my original "claim" to say that "Clearly someone in the Section 31 leadership, if such a thing exists, saw a potential threat at the same time as the rest of Starfleet and the Federation political leadership, and while trusting the UFP to seek a diplomatic solution to the potential threat, and trusting to Starfleet to competently defend the UFP, sought a weapon with which to attack the Dominion leadership. This search for a weapon resulted in the development and deployment of the morphogenic virus." Does that suffice to soothe you? Are your hackles no longer raised? Will you get off your high horse and stop seeing me as some pro-genocidal supporter (even if it is only fiction)?

    And please cite the episode, at the very least, that supports your claim that "some" Founders weren't involved in running the Dominion. I really don't recall any dialogue supporting that idea.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Now your statement is factually accurate.

    "The Search, Parts I & II," wherein we learned of the existence of Founder infants who don't know about the Dominion -- or about anything. You know, like infants tend not to.
     
  20. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know having thought about it some more if the Founders had all died and Dukat or hell even Damar was still running Cardassia at the time the Federation and its allies might have been screwed.

    I mean there was only one Founder shown running things in the Alpha Quadrant and many of the Jem'Hadar and Vorta might not have even seen any Founders before let alone this one, so whats to stop an ambitious Cardassian like Dukat from coming along and convincing Weyoun to keep the Founders deaths quiet?

    I mean Damar was able to convince Weyoun to try to kill Odo who is considered a Founder so getting him to keep the rest of the Vorta and Jem'Hadar in the dark about their god's death wouldn't be to much of a stretch.

    Now imagine if the Cardassians use this leadership void and the blackmail opportunity they would now have to get more power with the Dominion to the point of controlling it. There goes any hope of a Cardassian rebellion. And what if the Breen still ally with the Dominion?

    I really can't help but think the federation got lucky with the virus situation, it could have easily blown up in their faces, and the at this shows that Section 31 is too reckless to be trusted especially since theirs is nobody to check them.
     

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