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 or 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!