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Alistair State of Medical Emergency

Subject : Alistair State of Medical Emergency

From : Ambassador Joy Two, UFP, Aegis

To : Administrator McDowell, Alistair

CC : Ambassador Joy Eight, MMS Mudd

Encryption : UFP39D

Precedence : Immediate

Security : Secret





I believe the recent declaration of a state of emergency is in violation of interstellar treaty in many respects. However, some parts of it are a good idea.


Unless you object the diplomatic courier MMS Mudd will soon be in orbit around Alistair. Their primary mission will be to observe the archeological site, to confirm that no looting or careless destruction of artifacts is taking place, to resolve any conflicts in testimony between your science people and the Aegis people, and to provide any assistance that both parties believe ought to be provided. The Mudd will leave the system at your request.


Drankum's emergency directive says before and after any ships or personnel go to the surface of Alistair, they must visit Aegis for inspection. I believe he is exceeding his authority, but want to double check the legalities and evidence thoroughly before confronting him with this. However, should a third party ship not of the Aegis Alliance or Daystrom Institute come to Alistair, I think it would be a good idea to send it to Aegis for inspection and talking to. It might be appropriate for somebody to redirect such ships away. The sure (and perhaps only) way to make Drankum's order entirely and unquestionably valid would be for you to make a near identical state of emergency declaration that seconds his quarantine. If either of you issues an emergency statement, this would be profitable only for lawyers. If both of you issue statements, any common ground between the two would be much more valid, at least as far as any interloping third party is concerned.


When you first came to Aegis, we had a number of conversations, including one where we discussed placement of the initial colony site. You gave me the impression that you could locate this site anywhere on the planet. While I was not specifically looking for that point, my first reading of the legal papers associated with the founding of the colony confirmed you had that right.


Ambassador Drankum's declaration of emergency claims your territory is limited. This is in conflict with what you told me, and what I remember of the founding documentation. I have attached a copy of the founding documentation. Could you have your people confirm that the documentation is accurate, and make comment on whether your statements to me were true to the best of your understanding?


During a recent incident, Drankum practiced a Big Lie approach, proclaiming something true which was clearly incorrect in the text of a treaty, nearly starting an sector wide war on the basis of his lie. It seems he is doing something similar again. I believe the problem should be solved by best scientific and engineering practice, rather than through political and military maneuver. However, Ambassador Drankum is not an ideas person. He very seldom negotiates or compromises with anyone save a certain retired Starfleet captain who is not immediately available. He solves all problems by throwing a temper tantrum, insisting he gets his way, with science, law, military balance of power and common sense ignored. He recently nearly brought the Ferengi into war with the Federation, Cardassians and Romulans. I do not know why he is mobilizing military assets now. Who is he intending to fight? Do you know if the Ferengi have an equivalent to the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Calling for military force when there is no need is a grave political error. What will happen when we actually need them?


Do not expect good faith negotiation with Drankum, though from principle I believe it should be attempted anyway. The problem is likely technologically solvable. The problem is that Drankum's ego will not allow him to give any ground at all. It is not about what is best for the planet. It is about whether he will get his way.


This is problematic to the crew of the station. He is issuing illegal orders. He holds a diplomatic passport. He cannot be held personally accountable for criminal acts. According to the Nuremberg principles, however, his crew can be held accountable. Obeying orders is not a legal defense. We are heading into a Prime Directive situation, where the station CO is ordering interference on a planet without the informed consent of the planetary government. We are going into a situation where the crew could face court marshal whether they obey illegal orders or not.


There is another mechanism that might get invoked. If the XO, CMO and a quorum of department heads find the CO to be incompetent or acting outside of regulation and law, the CO can be relived. This is not a procedure to be invoked lightly, but Ambassador Drankum is clearly operating outside rule of law on several levels, and he is putting the careers of his crew at risk.


But all of the above goes away if you can get the Aegis science and engineering folk to present a technical plan you can approve. I do know the archeological site is important. However, removing the hazardous waste is also important. One level of the conflict may be between your Federation scientific values and his Ferengi economic values. The two of you might never agree on what is important. My values are focused on law. I can see the importance of both economics and academics, but when they come into conflict, the issue should be resolved through rule of law rather than by who has more military force immediately at hand.


I have a scientific question as well. It has definite legal and political implications, but I believe the question must be asked.


Was the archeological site leaking radiation before your dig began, or did the actions of your people initiate the radiation release?


I ask for technical reasons. If the entire release is new, it might be extremely beneficial to act promptly, before any strong wind storm might distribute radiation further, or rain wash contaminants deeper into the soil or water. If the release is old, then there is no emergency. The problem is in long standing. There is no reason to be declaring an emergency and implementing hasty and politically volatile actions.


I have my suspicions that the release is new, that your people had something to do with it. If the radiation release were old, it should have been detected in the preliminary surveys. There is no way that a radiation hazard as large and deadly as this one should have been present on a planet cleared for colonization. Thus, it seems likely that the release is very new. Your people, well trained as they are in archeology, are not so expert in handling hazardous material sites, especially if there is no warning that hazardous materials are present.


I may have additional questions. I am having my people dig into the legal aspects of the problem. If it becomes necessary, I will go into that further. For now, I am still in the vain hope phase. I believe we should try to seek a reasonable technical compromise, something that satisfies safety, radiation clean up and archeological integrity alike. I would far prefer to avoid a legal and military confrontation with Drankum. The last one was not fun.


But we shall see what comes.



Ambassador Joy Two, UFP, Aegis

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