I'm actually not sure why there was all that secrecy either, but the book isn't really fresh in my memory. I think Starfleet wanted to keep everything hush in case there was big retaliation against them? Or perhaps they wanted to see what state the planet was in as shoot for plausible deniability? Anyone else remember? But what really threw me was that this was completely unrelated to the previous future-information that Taurik found in Armageddon's Arrow.