Hello and welcome to Truth OR Myth, a Star Trek Web Series that looks at the Truth, or canon, information to dispel any myths that have surfaced on any given topic. In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into Star Trek to see if fans claims about Starfleet and the UFP not being shady in “Old Trek” are true and therefore validate that aspect of their opinion when it comes to “New Trek,” I hope you enjoy…
One of the arguments by those fans of Star Trek that dislike what they’ve termed “New Trek” is in regards to how Starfleet And the United Federation of Planets are portrayed as Shady Organizations when “Old Trek” never did. But is that argument true? Well, today we find out…
Recently on this channel, I’ve been making videos, dissecting the arguments given by the small chunk of vocal fandom that is against Star Trek‘s recent iterations. This channel has always been dedicated to the truth of any situation, whether I agree with that truth or not, and let me tell now, there are some people who simply can’t handle the Truth. Both the Comments sections on my previous 2 videos in this series had those individuals who tried to blindly argue against the facts presented in those videos or change what the topic of those videos was about.
My first video was on violence in Star Trek and proved, violence was always there, just simply in a form which was permitted by censors and television standards of the time. While the second video was about Star Trek‘s inconsistencies, which again proved that Star Trek always had them. These 2 videos were about those specific arguments and by presentation of the proof, made those arguments invalid. And so now we come to a third argument, which is, Was Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets always a shady organization, or was this concept merely created for “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard”.
So to find out, let’s head back to Star Trek‘s Beginning as a franchise, and look at “Star Trek: The Original Series” of the show, to see if there’s anything within those episodes that could prove these 2 organizations weren’t and aren’t the spotless entities that some fans like to think they are. I think in order to begin at the right spot for this deep dive, we should talk about the Prime Directive… It is Starfleet’s General Order 1, it’s law, that the UFP created sometime during or after forming the Federation.
We know from the Episode the “Omega Glory”, the Prime Directive is an absolute law. Kirk tells us that in his log entry, that a Starship Captain, their crew and the starship itself are expendable when it comes to obeying the Prime Directive. It’s the whole driving point of that and many other episodes actually, So why then are their so many episodes that seem to just to ignore this law?
Take the episode “Errand of Mercy”… Here Starfleet once again might be going to war with the Klingon Empire, and in order to get a leg up on these nasty bad guys, the Prime Directive is thrown out the airlock, when Kirk is ordered to Organia to convince it’s simple, not capable of warp travel species to join as allies with the Federation against their Klingon Foes.
Or how about the “Episode a Taste of Armageddon” Where Starfleet sends the Enterprise with an Ambassador, to Eminiar 7, in order to begin peaceful relations with that culture? Now it certainly seems like the Eminians have some knowledge of other Space Faring cultures, as they warn the Enterprise to stay out of their space, yet this Ambassador, representing the Federation simply orders Kirk to ignore that communication and head into another world sovereign Space. Shouldn’t that be considered by Kirk and Company as an illegal order, and thus invalid? But instead, Kirk and crew head to the planet and when it’s discovered that Eminiar and it’s neighboring Planet Vendicar are in a Computer Control War, Kirk takes it upon himself to end that war.
Now you can sympathize with Kirk all you want, but the reality of the situation is simple, These 2 planets are involved in their own clearly internal matter and thus are protected by the Prime Directive, non-interference. Isn’t stopping a war, so the Federation can have peaceful contact with said societies constitute interference? And yet Kirk wasn’t prosecuted for the violation, why? Because Starfleet Ordered him there, and the Ambassador sent with the Enterprise, who represented Starfleet’s intentions, permitted this act to occur by giving his own orders to Kirk.
As we all know, Kirk and the Prime Directive have a very interesting relationship indeed. He seems to violate the PD every other week and everyone is ok with it, why? Well because what he did was morally correct, or in the best interest of Starfleet and the Federation, but laws simply don’t work that way. Laws are not suggestions that a person can choose to follow or not when it suits them. And what does it say about a government who don’t follow their own laws whenever it suits them.
Look at the episode “The Enterprise Incident“. In that episode, in order for Starfleet to once again get a leg up, this time against the Romulan Star Empire, they Order Kirk and Spock to lie, cross the Neutral Zone and steal a piece of technology, the Cloaking Device from the Romulans. So shady is Starfleet, that they even make Kirk and Spock swear to not only destroy the Enterprise if the plan goes sideways but to lie in order to protect Starfleet’s Name. That’s pretty shady of itself really.
There are many examples in TOS in regards to Starfleet’s Shadiness, and it’s willingness to do whatever it takes in order to get an outcome that is beneficial for them.
But The Original Series isn’t the only series with these types of problems. Take “Star Trek: The Next Generation” For Example.
Remember that time Admiral Mark Jameson was ordered out of retirement in order to conduct negotiations to rescue hostages? Well Jameson was a horrible Admiral. During this episode we find out he definitely violated the Prime Directive by giving Federation Weapons to both sides of the conflict on this planet. Because of his direct actions millions died, but does Starfleet do anything about that? Like court Martial Jameson in to oblivion? No. Instead they eventually promote him to Admiral, and he serves a long time in Starfleet.
Now it may be possible that Jameson lied to command about the whole incident, but someone had to have known about his lies. After all, how does Jameson beam down so many weapons to both sides without someone else knowing or helping? But even if Starfleet was fooled, when the truth of what he did came out, why didn’t Picard place him under arrest? I mean Picard knew he violated the Prime Directive and yet Jameson remains in command of the mission.
Even if you think that only Jameson could solve the crisis, shouldn’t Picard have said, ok You’re under arrest, but I’ll let you finish this mission but I’m now in charge of it to prevent any further violations? I mean Jameson is a War Criminal.
A similar problem exists with Admiral Pressman from the episode “The Pegasus”. Here Starfleet, against the Treaty of Algeron, develop a Phase Cloaking Device. the big difference in this episode though, is that we find out that the crew of the U.S.S. Pegasus mutiny when they discover the illegal activities going on on the ship. After a fierce firefight, Pressman and a young Riker, and Seven others escape the starship before it’s presumed lost for all eternity.
Now mutinies on a starship aren’t common, and you better believe there would be an inquiry into the whole matter by Starfleet, since we know from “The Measure of a Man“, that that is standard Starfleet procedure after the loss of any starship.
So the question here is how did Pressman get away with this? And the only answer can be that Starfleet allowed him too. In other words, to protect their image once again, Starfleet covered up the incident and no one was the wiser. does that sound like an upstanding organization to you?
This type of behavior by the highest representation of Starfleet and the federation continues all through The Next Generation and Deep Space 9.
In the episode “In the Pale Moonlight“, for example, Starfleet, approves a plan put forth by Benjamin Sisko to trick the Romulan Star Empire into their war with the Dominion. Why? Because Starfleet wasn’t winning it.
Or remember Admiral Layton from the 2 parters “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost“, Starfleet was willing to overthrow the legitimately elected Federation Government in order to have things done their way, as Layton and his Cohorts felt the federation wasn’t doing enough to protect its citizens. Shady right? Or how about the introduction of Section 31, an organization which by it’s own definition exists in secret to do whatever it takes to keep the Federation a Utopian Society.
The problem here is that Starfleet knows all about Section 31, but allows them to continue once again because it benefits them. Sisko tells us they know about Section 31 by how they react to Bashir’s Claims, neither confirming nor denying Section 31’s existence. What’s up with that? If I was organization as dedicated to the fundamentals that some fans believe Starfleet and the UFP have, then finding out about this secret organization would be something Id detest and want to root out immediately, but instead no. Starfleet merely continues on its way and covers up the whole matter.
“Star Trek: Voyager” isn’t exempt either from this bad behaviour. Janeway constantly violates the Prime Directive during her entire journey. Not only in getting Voyager stranded in the Delta Quadrant in the first place by involving the ship in a clearly internal matter, but she’s constantly violating the sovereign space of other Governments, stealing other peoples technology or giving away Starfleet tech, and she flat out murders a sentient lifeform, Tuvix, and then almost murders an Equinox crew member in Voyagers Cargobay simply cause she’s angry.
So what does Starfleet do when Voyager finally does get home? They promote her to Admiral, as though she’s an example that all Starfleet officers should follow.
Actually, years ago, I put forth a theory about Janeway’s promotion that I still find valid today. That when Voyager returned home, there was an inquiry into Janeway’s behaviour and to avoid a public relations nightmare if they court-martialed her, they forced her to accept the admiralty, where really, she couldn’t do as much damage as if she remained in command of a ship. But either way, you look at her and the series, Starfleet either turned a blind eye to what happened or they forced her into the Admiralty to preserve once again their own image. And that type of behaviour is clearly shady.
Now there are many other example all through out old Trek of this type of deceptive and abhorrent behavior. behavior which not only contradicts the image that Star Trek puts forward about Starfleet and the United federation of planets, but also contradicts the arguments put forth by the Haters of New trek that Starfleet and the UFp are both upstanding organizations that we should aspire to, and that New Trek simply isn’t following Old Trek’s examples in that regard.
But the truth is, they are following it to the letter.
You have episodes like Ensign Ro, which has Admiral Kennelly teaming up in a conspiracy with the Cardassians. Or how about the episode “The Drumhead”, where Admiral Norah Satie is willing to throw the entire Federation into turmoil and destroy loyal officers, simply to have her name be important once again?
How about the Deep Space 9 episode “Rapture“, where Sisko clearly violates the Prime Directive by directly telling the Bajorans to NOT enter the federation at that time? Here that violation pretty much gets brushed off because Starfleet doesn’t want to annoy the Bajorans and keep control of the Wormhole.
Or what about Starfleet’s tendency to claim ownership over everything they see. Like Data in “The Measure of a Man” or the crashed Dominion starship in the Deep Space 9 episode “The Ship“? Because of the finders, keepers law isn’t shady at all. Or the Episode “For the Uniform“, where Sisko poisons a planet atmosphere and again Starfleet turns a blind eye why? Because Sisko captured Eddington, a situation great for Starfleet.
And I could go on and on, but again, I think you see the point.
You can hate whatever Star Trek Series you want, but what you can’t do is makeup facts to support that argument. I know some people will watch this video and be outraged that I could even suggest that Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets were ever shady. Or they’ll try to divert the argument to something else rather than being forced to discuss the topic of this video. Some will even attempt to attack me personally or say I’m being rude or mean simply because they don’t want to face these facts. They’ll make up explanations and justifications to make themselves feel better, but the truth is that facts ALWAYS don’t lie.
Starfleet and the UFP have always been portrayed as shady organizations, they simply were never portrayed as realistically shady organizations as they are in new Star Trek. The seeds were always there my friends, simply “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard” have taken those seeds, watered them and let them grow into a realistic portrayal of Governing bodies that was always there.
And for me, I commend them for adding that old Trek Troupe in to the New, Star Trek mix…
Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth or Myth, what Shady Starfleet or UFP behaviour have YOU found contained within all of Star Trek Iterations? What do you think about what I’ve said here? Well leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel, hitting that little bell icon so you won’t miss a single video we release.
Just a little reminder here, as these topics, tend to, by their nature be inflammatory. This website is a non Toxic environment for fans of ALL Star Trek. So, you come in guns blazing or disrespectful about your opinions and you’ll be shown the door.
If you comment on the video YouTube has an excellent algorithm to catch those comments before they’re posted, and I’ll be moderating the comments thoroughly to ensure that respectful decorum is maintained. You can have an opinion, but that doesn’t give you the right to try and shove it down anyone else’s throat!
Want to help the channel remain upstanding and dedicated to the truth? Then just click HERE to become a channel Patron…
Watch The Latest Truth Or Myth Below
Thanks again for watching, Live long and prosper…