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Section 31

Quantumflux01

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POSTS: 428

Report this May. 31 2010, 7:28 pm

Section 31 is the secret covert-ops organization that has been secretly protecting the Federation since it's birth. But it's flawed for 3 reasons:

1. Really Section 31 would be exposed, by a defector or a admiral who is uncomfortable with Section 31's dubious ethics. I find Section 31's secrecy quite implausible.

2. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidean Order know about Section 31. What if there are double agents? People who work for Section 31 but really work for some other intelligence agency. There must be double agents in Section 31.

3. It's highly unlikely that, in the birth of the Federation, Starfleet or the Federation wanted to create a secret covert ops organization that could deliberately bend the rules. How could the Federation top brass on one hand promote the ideals of the newly founded Federation and in the other secretly uphold them through any (dubious and despicable) means nescessary?

Eddogegr3

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POSTS: 235

Report this Jun. 02 2010, 12:29 pm

It is what we call, plot holes.  Nothing more.  Throw the writers a bone and just accept what is on-screen.  Makes things better.  You'll see.  The Section 31 episodes are some of the best and should be enjoyed for what they are.

Rometiklan

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POSTS: 19

Report this Jun. 02 2010, 11:41 pm

Quote (Quantumflux01 @ May 31 2010, 7:28 pm)
Section 31 is the secret covert-ops organization that has been secretly protecting the Federation since it's birth. But it's flawed for 3 reasons:

1. Really Section 31 would be exposed, by a defector or a admiral who is uncomfortable with Section 31's dubious ethics. I find Section 31's secrecy quite implausible.

2. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidean Order know about Section 31. What if there are double agents? People who work for Section 31 but really work for some other intelligence agency. There must be double agents in Section 31.

3. It's highly unlikely that, in the birth of the Federation, Starfleet or the Federation wanted to create a secret covert ops organization that could deliberately bend the rules. How could the Federation top brass on one hand promote the ideals of the newly founded Federation and in the other secretly uphold them through any (dubious and despicable) means nescessary?

I find the idea of Section 31 entirely plausible. Even with the most benevolent government, there is always a need to maintain security because there will be those who will challenge its sovereignty. So every superpower has its spy network to protect the best interests of its respective state. The former Soviet Union had the KGB, America has the CIA, and Britain has James Bond. :laugh:

whyaduck

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POSTS: 3478

Report this Jun. 03 2010, 9:45 am

Quote (Quantumflux01 @ May 31 2010, 7:28 pm)
Section 31 is the secret covert-ops organization that has been secretly protecting the Federation since it's birth.

That's true, but it was around before the Federation was formed. It was around before the NX-01 was launched.

juliansgirl7

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Report this Jun. 03 2010, 1:23 pm

So what was it protecting before the Federation?

subytrek

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Report this Jun. 03 2010, 1:42 pm

Earth? :logical:

Quantumflux01

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POSTS: 428

Report this Jun. 03 2010, 5:50 pm

Quote (Rometiklan @ June 03 2010, 4:41 am)
Quote (Quantumflux01 @ May 31 2010, 7:28 pm)
Section 31 is the secret covert-ops organization that has been secretly protecting the Federation since it's birth. But it's flawed for 3 reasons:

1. Really Section 31 would be exposed, by a defector or a admiral who is uncomfortable with Section 31's dubious ethics. I find Section 31's secrecy quite implausible.

2. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidean Order know about Section 31. What if there are double agents? People who work for Section 31 but really work for some other intelligence agency. There must be double agents in Section 31.

3. It's highly unlikely that, in the birth of the Federation, Starfleet or the Federation wanted to create a secret covert ops organization that could deliberately bend the rules. How could the Federation top brass on one hand promote the ideals of the newly founded Federation and in the other secretly uphold them through any (dubious and despicable) means nescessary?

I find the idea of Section 31 entirely plausible. Even with the most benevolent government, there is always a need to maintain security because there will be those who will challenge its sovereignty. So every superpower has its spy network to protect the best interests of its respective state. The former Soviet Union had the KGB, America has the CIA, and Britain has James Bond. :laugh:

Yes, but for Section 31 to be completely secret to virtually every member of Starfleet, except certain admirals of course, seems a bit implausible. It's a bit like the British army, the generals, being the only ones who know about MI5/MI6. Or the USA generals being the only ones who know about the CIA. I don't buy it; such secrecy cannot possibly be maintained.

Kor_Dahar_Master

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POSTS: 129

Report this Jun. 07 2010, 5:07 pm

I think it is unreasonable to think otherwise considering the circumstances.
Quote
2. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidean Order know about Section 31. What if there are double agents? People who work for Section 31 but really work for some other intelligence agency. There must be double agents in Section 31.


Double agents are not as comon in the intelligence community as the TV depicts but it may have happened.

The Tal Shiar and the Obsidean Order are however large well known internal and external agencies so are much more likely to be infiltrated than one focused externally, with considerably fewer members and with much less notoriety.

Starfleet inteligence is their to be seen like the Tal Shiar and the Obsidean Order and Section 31 can hide quite easily amoungst it.



Quote
3. It's highly unlikely that, in the birth of the Federation, Starfleet or the Federation wanted to create a secret covert ops organization that could deliberately bend the rules. How could the Federation top brass on one hand promote the ideals of the newly founded Federation and in the other secretly uphold them through any (dubious and despicable) means nescessary?.




We watch Enterprise and we know they are not long from a war that almost wiped out humanity, we know that the rules and regulations that govern the TOS and TNG era Trek did not exist, Archer initially had no prime directive ect. Even later when the Federation was created we cannot expect that every single rule from the TOS/TNG era was included as it is far more likely it was very basic and amendments were made over the years.

Section 31 is commented to have been established in the very earliest days of the Federation and in most countries secret services there are provisions for its operatives to act outside the normal laws upheld by its particular nation.

Reed seemed to be a member before he joined Enterprise so it existed somewhat BEFORE the federation was created as part of starfleet.

nthdrone

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Report this Jun. 09 2010, 9:48 am

Quote (juliansgirl7 @ June 03 2010, 10:23 am)
So what was it protecting before the Federation?

I was just about to ask the same thing! LOL!

OtakuJo

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Report this Jun. 12 2010, 2:58 am

What do any of these rogue covert organisations really protect, other of course than their own interests?

And yes, Section 31 is entirely plausible. Even with the possibility of double-agents. Of course there would be double agents, and most likely they have their own ways of dealing with that. While on "assignment" for Sloan, Bashir was -- technically -- a double agent, in a way. Although of course it was all set up that way.

*probably should've posted spoiler alert. Oh well. Anyone who hasn't seen all Sec.31 episodes, forget what I just said. WAVES WITH MIB FLASHY LIGHT THING. There. Done.*

Certainly, though -- I agree, just go for Section 31 stories as being simply a really cool plot device. And it does make for some good stories!

stovokor2000

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POSTS: 2683

Report this Jun. 12 2010, 4:57 am

Quote (Quantumflux01 @ May 31 2010, 7:28 pm)
Section 31 is the secret covert-ops organization that has been secretly protecting the Federation since it's birth. But it's flawed for 3 reasons:

1. Really Section 31 would be exposed, by a defector or a admiral who is uncomfortable with Section 31's dubious ethics. I find Section 31's secrecy quite implausible.

Its doubtful anyone would believe that hypothetical person.

They only seemed to expose them selfs to those they thought would become members.
Quote

3. It's highly unlikely that, in the birth of the Federation, Starfleet or the Federation wanted to create a secret covert ops organization that could deliberately bend the rules. How could the Federation top brass on one hand promote the ideals of the newly founded Federation and in the other secretly uphold them through any (dubious and despicable) means nescessary?


Your misunderstanding how 31 was formed.

31 started out as a proposed act, like the "Patriot act".

It was written into earths government charter to allow for cretin actions in times of great danger.

Much like the PA allows for some laws to be bent when involving possible actions by terrorist.

The problem is that those who were charged with the job early on decided to take it too far.

Quantumflux01

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POSTS: 428

Report this Jun. 12 2010, 5:42 pm

Quote (stovokor2000 @ June 12 2010, 9:57 am)
The Tal Shiar did not know much about 31 at all.The only one that did was actully working for 31.

That someone was Koval, and he's the head of the Tal Shiar (well according to the TNG book Rogue). I don't think he's working for Section 31, whatever was indicated in DS9, but instead had some sort of deal with Section 31.

stovokor2000

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POSTS: 2683

Report this Jun. 12 2010, 9:18 pm

Quote (Quantumflux01 @ June 12 2010, 5:42 pm)
Quote (stovokor2000 @ June 12 2010, 9:57 am)
The Tal Shiar did not know much about 31 at all.The only one that did was actully working for 31.

That someone was Koval, and he's the head of the Tal Shiar (well according to the TNG book Rogue). I don't think he's working for Section 31, whatever was indicated in DS9, but instead had some sort of deal with Section 31.

Not to sound rude but, having "a deal" with someone is working with that someone.

And the episodes supersede anything that comes from a book.

nightbird47

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POSTS: 9

Report this Jun. 22 2010, 3:18 pm

I remember the huge division when the first 31 episode was shown.  Some of us in out little fanfic community thought it was terrible, and some thought it was perfectly logical.  Its true that EVERY government has its version.  Even the US.  It's all buried in the blackbox funding.  But its out there.  So why should the Federation not have its secret, no rules apply, intelligence agency?  Yes, they live in an idealized world.  But HAS 31 in its work allowed them to do so.

What is most sinester about 31 is they operate without any public connection, and with very wide discression.  And are not known.  In a sense this makes them the most effective.  But 31 is not known because it is not part of the image.  The Romulans accept that the Tal'Shair need to exist.  The Order is mysterious in its ways on Cardassia, but not unknown.  Even the Vulcans are known to have a very effective spy network.  But for the Federation to represent this ideal Section 31 cannot be allowed to become known.  Thus they are denying part of their own nature.

As for someone "outing" them, if you really firmly believe that the Federation is the ideal it projects, would you be inclined to believe some disgruntled Admiral or even less someone who simply ran afowl of them?  You see what you believe.  And later on, might that Admiral or citizen meet with an accident which would be nothing out of the ordinary?  Yes, some might see it as a hit, but if your a true believer, it wouldn't get through the blinders.

Is 31 evil?  They don't follow the rules, and they make people "dissapear".  But they also do it to SAVE the Federation so others can live in paradise.  Shades of grey?  It's much the same question as Sisko faced in Pale Moonlight.  31 had undoubtedly saved uncounted lives and the people who would be horrified if they knew.  But would those same people rather not have them exist and live in a much different, much harder world?

Quantumflux01

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POSTS: 428

Report this Jun. 22 2010, 4:52 pm

Good and evil become a bit blurred when you talk about Section 31; in fact 'the greater good' is probably the most dubious morale position there is; it implies there's no limits to do anything, however bad, to return to the status quo; to return to a morally 'good' position. I wouldn't say Section 31 is good or evil; just a bit dubious and possibly misguided (in their principles).

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