Wouldn't recent events lead to full war between Fed and Romulan Free State?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Yistaan, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    1) Sloan claims it is authorized by the "original Starfleet Charter," not the Federation Charter. If you're going to cite legalese, please get the legalese correct. Confusing the Starfleet Charter for the Federation Charter is like confusing the Naval Act with the United States Constitution.

    2) Citing the "original" Starfleet Charter is not the same thing as citing the current Starfleet Charter.

    3) Once again, ENT's "Divergence" makes it clear that the part of the United Earth Starfleet Charter that Sloan is referring to does not authorize the existence of an agency with clarte blanche to do whatever it wants. It does not even authorize the existence of any particular division of Starfleet whatsoever. All it provides for is a certain level of leeway in times of crisis -- that's it.

    4) The United Earth Starfleet Charter can no more legally authorize the existence of the Federation Starfleet than the February 1776 Act of the Massachusetts Great and General Court that authorized the creation of the Massachusetts Naval Militia could be said to have authorized the existence of the United States Navy.

    5) There is no such thing as an autonomous department of a military branch in a democracy. All agencies of the democratic state must by definition be answerable to the democratically elected government. If they are not, they are not legitimate governmental agencies. No agency can be above the law. Carte blanche is legally impossible in a democracy.

    Considering that Section 31's alleged claim to be authorized by the UESF Charter is legally null, I would indeed argue that Section 31 is to the Federation as the Ku Klux Klan is to the United States government -- especially back in the days when the KKK leadership often consisted of local governmental elites who engaged in illicit conspiracies to continue to oppress black people.
     
  2. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suspect we'll never find out if Starfleet uses S31 or is used by it for this exact reason.

    My interpretation of it that has as much evidence as anything is that Section 31 only "exists" when it is having Starfleet invoke Section 31 of its charter to justify a mission or action that is hideously illegal. Sloane's fake identity as a Starfleet Intelligence officer holds up because it IS his identity when he's not doing Section 31 business.
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The intent on DS9, which was later followed through with the novels (including one co-written by one of the writers of Inquisition) is that Section 31 was indeed an illegal organization of criminals. It was later STID and now Disco that treats them as some sort of legitimate black ops agency.
    Except they aren't authorized by the Starfleet Charter. They simply use an interpretation of the Charter's thirty-first section to justify their existence and actions.
    As a secret organization they are not legitimate, which both the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order are. Also, as stated in dialogue, Section 31 is not accountable to the civilian government. Their Tal Shiar is accountable to their civilian government, and the Obsidian Order is supposed to be, though on Cardassia the civilian government at the time was little more than a figurehead.
    They know it exists, which is more than the average Federation citizen in the 24th century knew about Section 31. Also, it's publicly known Enabran Tain was their director, and his address was publicly known to the point that even Damar, who was a low ranked nobody serving on a freighter before the Dominion came was able to recognize the place he was hiding out as Tain's home.
     
  4. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I get that but it's not like Star Trek hasn't quietly retconned things all the time. Even then, the novels interpretation disagreed with other licensed canon of the time like Star Trek: Online where it was also a legitimate black ops agency.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    STO came after the novels, and they may have been operating from the interpretations of STID or Disco.
     
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Star Trek: Online is from 2010 so it predates Into Darkness. Mind you, SECTION 31 has always had a "misaimed fandom" (see TV tropes) since Deep Space Nine. Lots and lots of fans loved the organization and there was even a desire to see a series about it.

    I agree they were meant as an illegal evil conspiracy but DS9 played with that as Sisko himself did several S31-esque things.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What I've noticed, and this is something even the novels are guilty of, is that there seems to be a constant desire to make Section 31 the boogeyman of the Star Trek universe in that everything shady and corrupt is by inevitably connected to them. According to the novels, they were behind Kirk's mission to steal the Romulan cloaking device in The Enterprise Incident, the whole affair in TUC, the relocation of the Ba'ku in Insurrection and the experiments of the Omega particle and subsequent drafting of the Omega Directive on Voyager. TATV even includes an implication that they were behind the events of The Pegasus on TNG. It appears being a corrupt douche is only possible for those who belong to an off the books black ops agency.
     
  8. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eh, that's just the novels. Did you know that in Episode 7 of Season Two that Kirk talked to a woman who turned out to be his greatest love that was an agent for the guys behind Gary-7 and plotting to ensure the discovery of Khan Noonian Singh as part of the Temporal Cold War? I love the novels but they read like this guy. At least since Star Trek: Destiny.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Tarek71

    Tarek71 Commodore Commodore

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    It is clear from the dialogue, not only in DS9, but in ENT, Disco and JJTrek, that this is definitely a govt organization. They say that they are authorized, and nothing onscreen contradicts that, notwithstanding novels and BBS posts to the contrary. They are very clearly like the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order. The gen pop knowing it exists or not knowing it exists has no bearing whatsoever on whether it is State authorized and sanctioned. And legitimacy is not a req for that. The State sanctioning their activities doesnt make them moral or legal in any case. Legitimacy is a separate question than authorized.
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hardly. When Bashir asks who authorizes them, Sloan just mentions the Starfleet Charter, which comes off a more an evasion of the question. Considering Sloan himself states in the same conversation that Section 31 does not submit reports or seek approval from any higher authority regarding their operations makes it sound like they are very much not authorized.
    Not even a novel co-written by one of the guys who created them?
    Only in the sense of their loose morals.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, not only does (pre-Omarian Nebula, pre-Detapa Council coup, pre-Dukat coup, pre-Dominion War) the average Cardassian citizen know that the Obsidian Order exists, but the Cardassian elites want the average Cardassian to know the Obsidian Order exists. They want normal people on Cardassia living in constant fear of the Obsidian Order, believing that they're being watched at all times -- that way the people will be less likely to rebel against the corrupt oligarchy that ruled the Union.

    Re: Star Trek Into Darkness. Nothing about that film contradicts Section 31's status as an illegal conspiracy within the Federation. Yes, Admiral Marcus implies to Kirk that it's legit -- but in the course of the film, we find out that they're secretly building a starship staffed by mercenaries who are not Starfleet officers, as part of an illegal plot by Marcus to provoke a war with the Klingons that will allow him to take over the Federation. So, no, I don't buy that Section 31 is a legitimate agency in the Kelvin Timeline either.

    I'm not convinced the depiction of S31 in DIS constitutes a real retcon. I mean, the entire plot of the season revolves around an omniscient artificial intelligence feeding Starfleet officers falsified information to manipulate them. There's no reason not to imagine that Control was tricking Admiral Cornwall and the others into thinking S31 was legit so that it would be able to operate its own private army out in the open without Starfleet hunting them down.

    Everything contradicts Sloan's claim that they're authorized. He cites a legally inactive document (again, citing the United Earth Starfleet Charter for the Federation Starfleet is like citing the February 1776 Massachusetts law authorizing the Massachusetts Naval Militia to justify the existence of a division of the United States Navy -- it's legal nonsense), whose relevant passage does not establish a military division with carte blanche (it only allows for leeway on officers' actions in times of crisis), and it is explicitly depicted as operating without authorization from or accountability to the Federation government. They even spy on the head of government! None of that is what a legitimate government agency does.

    You want special operations and espionage storylines to satisfy your boner for worshiping security services? That's cool -- the Federation already has an intelligence agency capable of satisfying those boners for you: Starfleet Intelligence.

    Section 31 is not the Federation CIA. It's the Federation KKK.
     
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  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was more basing it on the fact that they had the resources to build a huge warship seems to be more outside the capabilities of an illegal criminal organization. Indeed, even IDW's comics thought so, given they had an entire story arc devoted to the fact the Vengeance was essentially Marcus's own passion project that nearly resulted in ruining Section 31.
     
  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mind you, Marcus is the Naval Chief. You can't really go higher than that unless its the Federation's President.

    We also have an Admiral using Sloane, which implies Sisko and Bashir's belief Sloane is a lunatic terrorist....may be naive.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was always under the impression it was the other way around.
     
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty much mine too.
     
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  16. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It wouldn't be the first time a corrupt government official engaged in a conspiracy to illegally divert funds to pay for an illegal operation.
     
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  17. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't get that impression at all since Ross is the guy who ends the episode and explains that Bashir was his and Sloane'spatsy. Sloane wasn't the mastermind there and that's a lot more sinister in its implications.

     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the more sinister implication is that Section 31 wasn't answerable to Ross.
     
  19. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For me, it was the idea that Section 31 is flat out just the Federation's weapon and known to flag officers.
     
  20. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Commodore Commodore

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    If Section 31 really was just a criminal organization with no legitimate standing, why wouldn't Starfleet simply say that Section 31 was a criminal organization with no legitimate standing?
     
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