Before Dishonour....seriously?!

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by sosolidshoe, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    So why are people blaming DRG3 for following canon? ;)

    Roddenberry's TMP novelization introduced the concept of the short-term marriage contract (Kirk and Ciana). Maybe Sisko could achieve ongoing happiness after his canon-imposed sorrow by just living with Kassidy when/if they reconcile?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'd like to think he's smart and patient enough to grasp that it's just the beginning of a new arc for the character, so it would be premature to judge it. What will make the difference is where the character goes from here.

    After all, his objections to Sisko's initial fate in "What You Leave Behind" were resolved when it was made clear that he would be coming back eventually. The fact of his separation from his family didn't have to be written out completely. It just had to be made clear that it wasn't permanent.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    ^And I doubt very much that this one will be. I thought it was pretty clear this and ZSG were setting up the direction of future DS9 book, and TBH I was rather shocked when people seemed to interpret it otherwise.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Sisko and Kass don't seem like the kinds of people who'd be content to do that. They strike me as the sorts who are a bit more traditional and will go at it all the way, up to and including a full formal marriage -- and who would ultimately rather end it all then not go that route.
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    That's how I saw it too. Thinking back to Avatar, that opened with Kira Nerys in a rather low place, and ended with her in a lower one. That wasn't done out of a strange desire to destroy the character but to set up an arc for later books, which ended up leading to far more cheerful events. I assumed Sisko was being set up for an arc of his own in Rough Beasts..., and indeed it seems that the next two Typhon Pacts will be featuring him. After all, he hasn't had much of an arc since he returned, has he? He was sort of side-lined to the mystical mentor role, and was more an important supporting character in Vaughn, Kira and Jake's stories than a lead in his own right. Now it looks like we've got a new direction for the character. It certainly doesn't look to me like it was randomly decided to wreck Sisko's life and then casually move on. I imagine he'll probably end up in a better place when this is all over and done.
     
  6. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In two minds about this - I liked RBOE but disliked ZSG and hope this is not the start of a series of bad spy stories with Bashir.

    Either way, following Sisko and Bashir isn't what I want from DS9's continuation. Not that it's up to me...
     
  7. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    I'm hoping for a good series of spy novels with Bashir. He's seen the difference between his holosuite adventures and reality and he's embraced the reality with gusto. He's had to make the tough decisions and he's proven to himself that he's up to the job.

    I'd also like to see Section 31 portrayed as a covert intelligence agency and less as moustace twirling villiains. You should not go "Oh, she's the bad guy" at the end of ZSG. You should be courious as to what Bashir's reaction will be but to suddenly make it black & white/Starfleet & Section 31/good & evil. Simply making Sec 31 the bad guys in every situation turns them into cartoons.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    But Section 31 are bad guys. If you want legitimate spy stories, read ones about Starfleet Intelligence. Section 31 is nothing more than a murderous criminal organization.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But Section 31 isn't an intelligence agency. An agency, by definition, is an organization that works on someone else's behalf -- in this context, on behalf of a government. Section 31 does not work for any government and operates under no legal charter or authorization. It twists one sentence in the Federation Charter as an excuse for its existence but it was never formally, legally established. It's just a group of people working outside the law and in secrecy, answering to no one but themselves. The term for that is a cabal or conspiracy, not an agency. Whatever you think of the validity of their actions, whether you see them as malicious criminals or heroic rogues, they're still outlaws, not agents.
     
  10. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    Their legitimacy still dervies from the Federation Charter. We don't know exactly how it was set up. They appear to have access to Federation ships and technology. It's not three guys operating out of a cave somewhere. In ZSG they're involved with the operation into Breen space that Bacco assigns to SI. You'd think that somebody would notice if SI wasn't doing the job they'd been assigned to.

    S31 is the rubber glove the Federation wears when they don't want to get their hand dirty. We have no evidence that they're not official. Just very much on a need to know basis. Keeping the details away from the president gives her plausable deniability.
     
  11. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whether Section 31 have Government sanction or not is immaterial when it comes to illegal activities. Murder is murder either way.

    What does surprise me is squeamishness regarding the activities of intelligence organisations - they do what they are set up to do... it's not necessarily 'nice'.
     
  12. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    How much of the US government is based upon the fragment of a sentence "promote the general Welfare" from the US Constitution?

    Just because it's not covered extensivly doesn't mean it's not valid.

    Was what Bashir did in ZSG murder? The guards may have been armed but the technicians weren't. He had to keep them from preventing the completion of his mission. Is it murder to kill unarmed civilians as opposed to armed military?

    They also set off a bomb in the transport tunnel. They took precations to minimize casualties but it's still possible that some civilians were injured or killed, people who had nothing to do with the theft of the slipstream data. Are they valid targets?

    Like I said, Section 31 lets the Federation keep clean hands.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They claim it does. But that's just taking advantage of the vague and poorly phrased language of that passage. Bottom line, no group can be legitimate unless it is answerable. Unless there is a mechanism to keep it in check, to ensure that it is penalized if it crosses the line. Section 31 does not have that. And any such institution, no matter how well-intentioned it may be to start out, will inevitably become corrupt. History is replete with examples where well-meaning institutions with no answerability or checks on their power ended up becoming corrupt and self-serving, ultimately driven more by maintaining their grip on power than on whatever principles they initially set out to serve. Without checks and balances, without a mechanism for penalizing or removing those who do wrong, no institution is legitimate.


    Nobody claimed that. It's a conspiracy operating illegally within Starfleet and the UFP government. Naturally those officers and officials who are part of, or coopted by, the conspiracy have access to Federation resources. Just as real-world politicians or police officers in the service of organized crime have access to state resources. The access to resources does not negate the illegality of the cabal.

    It's not an either-or question. All the members of the conspiracy naturally have other, legitimate jobs within the UFP or Starfleet. That's what the conspiracy needs to function: members who hold positions of power. Surely you've read spy stories where characters nominally working for one agency were actually moles or double agents for some other organization. In this case, Sarina was nominally, officially working for Starfleet Intelligence, but her true allegiance was with Section 31.


    And that it completely unethical and morally indefensible. The citizens of a free nation have an absolute right to determine what is done in their name. In cases where national security precludes them from doing so directly, it's the responsibility of their elected representatives. Power must be accountable or it will inevitably be corrupted. History leaves no doubt of that. And the Federation is smart enough to know that. The UFP government would never knowingly allow the existence of a group with no legal accountability.
     
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Ditto the US general public's interpretation of "right to bear arms"?

    Always amazes me what amateurs think they're going to do with a loaded (or unloaded?) pistol in the bedroom side table when they notice a shadowy figure in their bedroom.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, it does not.

    Sloan in "Inquisition" said that Section 31 was "part of the original Starfleet Charter." We hear Article 14, Section 31 of the United Earth Starfleet Charter in ENT's "Divergence:" All it says is that regulations may be bent in times of crisis. Nothing about that establishes the existence of a permanent organization that is above the law in all circumstances.

    Naming themselves after Article 14, Section 31 of a defunct charter is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to give legal cover for a plainly illegal organization. It would never hold up in court.

    Yes, and the people who engaged in the Iran-Contra Conspiracy were part of the U.S. National Security Council. That doesn't mean that Iran-Contra was not a violation of federal law, or that the people who engaged in that were not engaging in a criminal conspiracy.

    They had an agent in President Jaresh-Inyo's cabinet -- they were literally infiltrating the civilian government. And then, they assassinated the next President of the United Federation of Planets. I don't know how much less official you can get.

    Uh, no, preventing the President from knowing about them means that they're not working for the government. That's not "need to know" -- the head of state always has a right and need to know what the agencies of the state are doing. It's inherent to the position. If an agency is concealing its activities from the head of state, then its agents are committing a crime; if an agency is concealing its very EXISTENCE from the head of state, then that is not an agency of the state, period. Agencies of the state answer to the state, not to themselves.

    Not that much. Most of it is based on the Commerce Clause, not the General Welfare clause. And besides, those are all subject to judicial review, which Section 31 is not.

    Except that that was a Starfleet Intelligence operation, not a Section 31 operation. Section 31 only got involved insofar as they got Sarina assigned as Bashir's partner in order to manipulate him into joining them at a later date. Sarina just happened to be one of Section 31's agents within Starfleet Intelligence -- the actual operation to destroy the Breen shipyards remained an S.I. op, not 31.

    Exactly!

    Saying, "Well, Sarina was on that mission in ZSG, so Section 31 must be legal" is the equivalent of saying, "Well, the mole in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was working for MI-6, so it must not have been illegal to leak data to the Soviet Union."
     
  16. Brikar99

    Brikar99 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What do we think of the scene when Sisko said that Starfleet claimed to be appalled at the idea of Section 31... but then swept the investigation under the rug?
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's nothing the current United States government doesn't essentially do...just look at how much we've learned from our recent financial failures. Historically it's much easier to verbally express a moral stance than to take action upholding said stance, especially when not doing so will ultimately serve your purposes.
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It means that one or more of the members of the conspiracy is probably in the admiralty and used their position to kill the investigation. One might compare it to the way Nixon tried to kill the investigation into Watergate -- an indication that the criminals are powerful, not that there was no crime.

    Exactly.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    No matter how good the intentions of the people who created 31 were, the organization crossed the line from possibly being just misguided people with good intentions to outright bad guys the moment they attempted to commit genocide. I don't care what kind justification you use, there is no way you could convince me that was justified.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yup. Like Picard said in "The Drumhead," we must be ever vigilant in order to hold onto our morals. Any group without oversight and answerability will not remain moral indefinitely. If it answers to no one but itself, eventually its overriding priority will be justifying and protecting its own self-interest, no matter who else has to suffer.