Admiralty Office Report: Wrong Place, Wrong Time

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Filed By:
LCDR Valore

AO Investigative Report

Preface This report is compiled to assist the Admiralty in making command determination and what steps ought to be taken. This report analyzes the following points:

  1. The facts of the matter.

  2. Political ramifications.

  3. Additional personnel concerns.

This report is a series of analyses for flag decision-making. It does not analyze the legality of the actions taken, the letter of the law, its interpretation, nor whether any criminal activity had taken place. For information on laws and legal interpretation, this officer refers the reader to the staff judge advocate and office of legal counsel.

Narrative The initial report by Captain Mirazuni is accurate in the facts that it provides. However, the Admiralty Office’s investigation has uncovered additional details that add to the situation. Testimony from witnesses, both Starfleet and civilian, indicate the following: Starfleet had arrived at the planet to deliver a cadre of civilian observers to a pre-FTL civilization currently under surveillance by the Federation. However, something went wrong with one of the Federation’s probes. It had hit one of the native artificial satellites. Both superpowers began decrying it as an attack by extraterrestrials. The plan then shifted from delivering the new batch of observers to removing the ones currently on the planet. Though there was disagreement, the the overwhelming majority of dissent was retained in private thoughts. Operatives retained chain of command and carried out Captain Mirazuni’s directive following her rejection of alternative suggestions.

However, based upon the testimony provided by Captain Skye, Ensign Sovum, and the civilian observers aboard the shuttle, and a follow-up more informal testimony by Captain Tungsten, sometime before this, both the Starfleet personnel and civilian team had become increasingly agitated. Everyone was quite aware of the Prime Directive implications. Following argumentation by the civilian observers, Captain Mirazuni proceeded to threaten them with sedative gas. This is a particular detail that some personnel seem to have selective memory over, and vague probative questions were required to elicit information from some personnel. As the Starfleet personnel reiterated the threat, they seem to have successfully suppressed any vocal protests by the observation team.

Starfleet personnel then proceeded to make first contact with the planetary governments. The planetary great powers were receptive, despite earlier reports of rampant xenophobia.

Political Ramifications This officer traveled to the planet in question to evaluate the contextual consequences of First Contact. Whilst valuable data was acquired, the diplomatic corps stationed to handle the situation appear determined to minimize exposure as much as possible. Though this officer believes that such a strategy is ultimately moot, as the metaphorical dam has been broken, this officer defers to command on whether alterations are necessary. So far, the political ramifications have been at their most minimal, despite the far-reaching and substantive effects of the prime directive failing. The planetary technological or information level has remained the same due to an unwillingness on the Federation’s part to share any information regarding matters outside the planet. A diplomat chastised this officer for sharing a piece of Vulcan history during a meeting with a politician, despite no attempts to hide one’s appearance or Vulcaness.

Furthermore, perceptions of xenophobia, whilst perhaps applicable to the general populace, appear to be more of a political tool than ideology to the political class. It would imply that diplomacy would take place with rational beings intent on furthering their own political power, rather than ideological fanatics. Whilst it may be cynicism, it would also mean that there is much more room for diplomatic maneuvering than previously thought. There is considerable potential here.

There is a second ramification concerning the impugned reputation of Starfleet. The decision by a Starfleet captain, affirmed by her subordinates, to threaten civilian anthropological graduate students with force must not be ignored. Military force against civilians is devastating to an organization’s reputation, regardless of whomever insists they are right or wrong. This officer would reiterate that one of the largest concerns of the Flag Offices presently is Starfleet’s poor reputation on the frontier. This action accomplishes only the opposite of assuaging one’s concerns. If this is how a Starfleet captain would treat civilians under her care, by using threats of force to keep people suppressed, then considerable concerns arise as to how one would treat the locals of Doza and the other frontier sectors. This is -precisely- what the Office of the Admiralty seeks to avoid.

Additional Personnel Concerns The following are concerns posed to the admiralty about the functionality and future of personnel. They are not legal concerns and generally are outside the scope of a criminal investigation.

Captain Mirazuni: It was clear from provided testimony that the Captain’s decision to proceed with First Contact was her own and only her own. She disregarded the opinions of both junior officers and her fellow captains. Whilst such statements may seem accusatory, this officer also seeks to mitigate such an effect. All testimony shows that a better alternative could not be named. Different ideas had been proposed, but it was abundantly clear no idea was clearly better than the other. It was, in effect, a bad situation with no clear solution. Captain Tungsten’s proposal seemed to have as much chance of success as did Captain Mirazuni’s, though it could have resulted in an entire civilian observation team being massacred by natives had it failed. This is no light weight to consider in deliberation. That being said, it will be important for Command to note that the captain is prone to arriving at solutions herself and sticking to them, and plan appropriately in deploying ships to situations.

Ensign Thyzee: When the order to initiate First Contact was given, Ensign Thyzee did so immediately and without question. Whilst such efficiency is commendable, this officer’s interview with the Ensign illuminated strong concerns. Ensign Thyzee was unable to recall the more concerning portions of the operation. This officer at first assumed it to be forgetfulness, which is common as no individual is expected to remember every part of their life. However, it became clear to this officer that it was not the case in this instance when the conversation turned from the facts of the matter and to a question of loyalty and dedication. Loyalty to a singular individual, or dedication to the Federation and its ideals. It was a question that frustrated the Ensign, and commentary alluded to the fact that the Ensign was struggling on whether she should tell this officer what had occurred, or keep her mouth shut on the matter. It was clear that Ensign Thyzee did not wish to be known as someone who informs command about the actions of her superiors, even if they do wrong. Though in this same conversation, she acknowledged the weight that the Prime Directive has on the operations of Starfleet and did the opposite of dismissing it.

Recommendation Regarding the Prime Directive: This officer cannot, at this time, advocate for staunch disciplinary procedures at this time. Based upon testimony, the contextual situation the Starfleet personnel found themselves in, and the current state of the planetary society that had undergone First Contact, this officer has reached the conclusion that what had occurred is potentially the best resolution that could have been reached. Planetary politics are stable, the observation team is safe, and a war did not occur. The only course of action this officer can zealously advocate for is an investigation into the probes used to surveille the pre-FTL society and whether they were defective. If so, efforts should be taken to immediately replace them and ensure that this incident does not repeat.

Regarding Threatening Behavior and Hostility: This officer can only recommend that actions be taken to ensure that Starfleet Captains do not engage in threatening their passengers or any civilians in the course of their duties. The success of Starfleet is highly dependent on it maintaining a benevolent image and reputation. Utilizing, or threatening to utilize, force against what is practically a defenseless population without serious provocation is unjustifiable both ethically and morally. These people were graduate students and other anthropological researchers. Furthermore, the political concerns - especially in the frontier when the threat of such things is heightened by distrust - are clear and obvious. Trust is easy to destroy but hard to build. The fact that this information had to be acquired through an investigation and was not present in any report presents concerns that ought to be addressed. Had there not been a Prime Directive inquiry, it is safe to say that this matter would not have been made known at all.

Regarding Ensign Thyzee: The confused loyalties of Ensign Thyzee present a tertiary concern. Whilst it did not impact the mission, down the road it may result in an otherwise avoidable problem. There is not a singular doubt in this officer’s mind that Ensign Thyzee means well and hopes to perform as an exemplary officer. Her decision to act as she did was not done by malice, but inner conflict. Though it is not applicable in this particular instance, this officer is concerned that the Ensign could be convinced to facilitate the machinations of a more Caesarean superior officer. The solution here ought not be punitive - quite the opposite. Corrective instruction to ensure that the loyalty of personnel is to Starfleet and not individual officers is paramount to ensuring a stable and dedicated cadre of junior officers. The ensign has the potential to be an excellent officer with proper guidance.

OOC The results of Valore’s investigation into AAR: Wrong Place, Wrong Time.
If I got anything wrong, please please inform me.