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Randal Shayne

Poll of the Week: The Section's Direction

Poll of the Week: The Section's Direction  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you support Section 31?

    • Section 31 is vital- they defend the Federation against threats Starfleet would have little success standing against. They are a preemptive line of defense necessary in this galaxy. I support them.
      1
    • Section 31 is a good idea, and I support them, even if I don’t always agree with their methods. That said, they work for the common good.
      1
    • Section 31 is a necessary evil. Their tactics, organization and autonomy are not to be condoned. I support their mission, not how they accomplish it.
      2
    • Section 31 is more of a threat to the Federation than an aide. The organization’s lack of recognition and accountability in even the highest echelons of the Federation makes them a dangerous liability. While their intentions may be good, that cannot justify the means. I do not support them.
      7
    • Section 31 is a terrorist group that should not exist, nor continue its mission, nor speak for the Federation in any way. They are an unacceptable blot on the Federation, and must be held accountable for their actions. The fact that legitimate threats exist does not justify such behavior. I do not support them in any way, and believe they are contemptible.
      3
    • Something else? Tell us in the comments section below!
      0


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Ah, Section 31. That shady organization whose nearly invisible agents of chaos(?) roam the shadows, seeking out and eliminating threats to the Federation in decidedly non-Starfleet ways. Officially, they don’t exist, but they are the self-proclaimed guardians of the Federation and its way of life, carrying out missions and repulsing threats too urgent to leave in the otherwise capable hands of Starfleet. Authorized by the original Starfleet Charter, Section 31’s first chronological appearance was during the fourth season of Enterprise. An operative named Harris ordered Lieutenant Malcolm Reed to sabotage Enterprise’s efforts to locate the captured Doctor Phlox. Reed, himself formerly associated with the clandestine agency, found himself in an impossible position, torn between loyalties. Harris later explained that his actions were in the best interest of Earth- by delaying Phlox’s retrieval from his captors, the Klingon Empire was stabilized, which he considered in the best interests of the fledgling Starfleet. Two centuries later, Section 31 was responsible for infecting the Founders with a morphogenic virus that, over time, began to kill them. This action was taken in the light of the Federation’s growing casualties, and the fact that an outcome favorable to the Alpha Quadrant Alliance looked less and less likely. Used as leverage, this action on the part of Section 31 did at least contribute to the Dominion withdrawal.

While they have been shown to care about the greater good, Section 31’s rogue nature makes them accountable to no one, and their tactics are often bloody, deceitful, and irrespective of innocent life. Assassination, torture, interrogation, treason, and even genocide are perfectly acceptable in their eyes, so long as it works in the favor of the Federation.

This week’s poll asks you to describe your opinion of Section 31. Are they a necessary component of the Federation’s security, resolving threats before anyone else knows they even exist? Are their actions more positive then negative? Or are they a stain on the Federation, a blight to be discouraged and avoided? In essence, would you support them and their efforts? Give us your vote, and tell us in the comments section below!

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Im in the minority I think, but I think Section 31 is a good idea. Their actions are undertaken in the best interests of the Federation. How many times could they have averted disasters to the Federation that went unnoticed because they were willing to do what needed to be done even if it wasnt in keeping with the Federation's ideals.

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This type of question is something I really struggle with. There are many times when I think the ends don't justify the means. And many, many other times when I think that they do. Perhaps it's just situational, or dependent on what the "ends" are on whether or not I agree with the tactics.

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Is that what we have become? A 24th century Rome driven by nothing other than the certainty that Caesar can do no wrong?
~ Julian Bashin to Admiral William Ross, 2375

I'm not a fan of 'ends justifies the means' - that morally wrong actions can lead to a morally right outcome - and I wholeheartedly believe in accountability. 
So, I'm against Section 31. The fact that they are autonomous and accountable to no one is horrifying to me as are some of the actions they have taken in support of their goal.
The United Federation of Planets was founded on some fairly lofty principles. Starfleet operates under the prime directive. I respect that. 

Anyways, that's my two cents. Interesting poll ... keep 'em coming.
 

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Section 31 bothers me for a number of reasons but I'll sum it up as: 

Section 31 is, effectively, something like a mythical 'KGB' - it exists not to 'protect', but to force things to go the way of the Federation government. Its very existence in the recent films and DS9 is not only incredibly unrealistic, but it goes against the basic outline of the Federation's morals and Roddenberry's vision. While Gene's vision was sometimes a bit...odd (to say the least) it's one thing to say the Federation is willing to use their Intelligence agents in wet work, and quite another to say they're fine with overriding individual rights and lives at the discretion of their agents.

The Federation is supposed to be an enlightened government who actually rules with their citizen's best interests in mind, and I do not feel that Section 31 fits into that at all. 

(Also, to be realistic? If you want some opposing leader killed, it's far better to encourage their own government's dissidents to do the job for you and deny any involvement, than it is to send in fanciful 'James Bond' types.)

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12 hours ago, Taelon said:

Section 31 bothers me for a number of reasons but I'll sum it up as: 

Section 31 is, effectively, something like a mythical 'KGB' - it exists not to 'protect', but to force things to go the way of the Federation government. Its very existence in the recent films and DS9 is not only incredibly unrealistic, but it goes against the basic outline of the Federation's morals and Roddenberry's vision. While Gene's vision was sometimes a bit...odd (to say the least) it's one thing to say the Federation is willing to use their Intelligence agents in wet work, and quite another to say they're fine with overriding individual rights and lives at the discretion of their agents.

The Federation is supposed to be an enlightened government who actually rules with their citizen's best interests in mind, and I do not feel that Section 31 fits into that at all. 

(Also, to be realistic? If you want some opposing leader killed, it's far better to encourage their own government's dissidents to do the job for you and deny any involvement, than it is to send in fanciful 'James Bond' types.)

Up to that last line, I was in total agreement ... (laughs)

But you do have a point. From a story viewpoint, Section 31 was immensely irritating -- the whole idea of a shadow organization that sees all/knows all is unrealistic and their methods were way over the top. You know, there are a whole lot of armchair quarterbacks in the actual world that think they could run the country better than those in charge so its also reasonable to assume that such types exist in the Star Trek universe. However, and its not a small however, they shouldn't be the ones in charge. I agree with you -the Federation is supposed to be enlightened government and yes indeed, Gene Roddenberry had some ... odd ... ideas.

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