Deep Space Nine : "For the Uniform"

Spike just reshowed this episode earlier this afternoon and, much like most of S5 to S7 of DS9, it was thoroughly engaging and masterfully acted but the end, highlighted above, bothered me.

I understand (and really appreciate) that Deep Space Nine is a much darker show than The Next Generation or any of the other Treks is and that Sisko is a more human captain than any of the other four but was what he did reasonable? Can it be explained as anything other than the cold blooded attempted murder of thousands, possibly millions? He was obsessed with capturing Eddington but he went far beyond what any respectable person* would ever do in order to catch him.

Why wasn’t he court-martialed?
*Even though this was a truly despicable act, I do not dislike the character for it. Sisko is still one of my favorite characters of the entire universe.

Because it worked?

Me Maquis Cause is in opposition to the goals of the State.

Insuring the faliure of the Cause furthers the goals of the state.

The state is superior than mere civillians and knows better than them.

And that trumps bioterrorism and attempted genocide how exactly?

That was in reply to Otto.

Enola Straight: That isn’t Star Trek’s philosophy, nor one of any current first world nation. What do you believe would happen if Bush were to use bioterrorism on the Iraqis, making their country country inhospitable for fifty years and coming close to wiping out the nation in the process?

I didn’t say that attempted mass murder was justified. I semi-sarcastically suggested that the higher-ups in Starleet were interested enough in ending the Maquis problem that they were willing to look the other way, especially since no one apparently was killed and the displaced settlers were re-settled.

Remember also that the colonists were not Federation citizens (the colonists had to renounce their Federation citizenship to remain at their colonies), so an attack on them would not necessarily be a crime under Federation law (since part of renouncing their citizenship was renouncing any claims or protection under the UFP. The attack itself took place in Cardassian space so if any government would have a cause of action aganst Sisco it would be the Cardassians. But since Sisco pulled a big thorn out of their side by capturing Eddington and providing a habitable and easily settled planet for the colonists displaced by the Maquis attack, they perhaps were inclined to overlook the invasion of their sovereign space as well.

On a related note, the treaty between the Cardassians and the Federation was about the stupidest thing ever. Space is so incredibly vast, would it really have made that much difference to have little dimples and divots in the Federation/Cardassian border so that each side’s colonies would remain on that side’s, um, side?

But then if they’d done that we wouldn’t have had that fabulous episode of Next Gen with the Indians…

Eddington was only one officer in the Maquis and most likely not a very integral one at that. Rebel factions like that generally work in cells so that no one person is so important that their death or capture would cause the … um, cause, to unravel. Sure, capturing a traitor is important but at that cost? And when there’re dozens of others sprinkled all throughout the Maquis? Seems a little preposterous.

Also, I have a hard time believing that the (mostly) humanitarian UFP would turn a blind eye to what he did, regardless of who he did it to or where the coordinates were. It’s still an unprovoked attack on a civilian population.

It falls under the rule of Kirk: as long as it ends well, whatever actually happened or was said can be explained away as part of a devious scheme to fool the enemy.

Sisco’s action wasn’t just to capture Eddington; it was also to recover the WMDs that Eddington had.

It bothered me too. Cisko’s obsession with capturing Eddington went way beyond healthy. I seem to recall that at one point Starfleet even pulled him off of the assignment because it was too personal.

As to why he didn’t get in trouble I would agree with the other assess ments. Apparently no-one died, the displaced Maquis settlers ended up on the displaced Cardassian settler’s world and vice versa, and whats more Eddington was captured along with the WMD’s. In TV land success seems to excuse damn near anything.

No it wasn’t. He’d had orders for the past eight months to capture Eddington who had only had his WMDs for about three weeks by the time he was captured.

What’s more, as One And Only Wanderers said, he had been pulled from the mission because it was too personal and his methods were ineffective anyway. At this point, it wasn’t even his duty to capture Eddington.

I should really proofread before posting. I just saw you said “action” and not “mission”. That changes the meaning of your post just a bit and while I’m not sure I agree, it’d be too geeky even for me to argue motives here instead of what-ifs.

Oh I wasn’t saying that Sisco wasn’t unhealthily obsessed with Eddington; anything to squeeze a reference to classical literature that isn’t Moby Dick is fine with me.

As I understood his plan, it involved him BLUFFING to render every marquis occupied planet inhospitable to human life. He wasn’t going to do that, but he did have to convince Eddington that he was for real.

This is why he used the radioactive material on that one particular planet.

IIRC, The planet was UNINHABITED, EXCEPT for the small colony which had plenty of time to get the heck out of dodge.

I agree. It was just a very good bluff. He would have been screwed if Eddington did not surrender, because he was not really prepared or willing to do what he claimed!

Kinda like in Enterprise where the captain had the alien in the airlock. He was bluffing. He would not have killed that alien if it didn’t confess. But the alien sure believed he would.

Or like in Firefly when Mal had Jayne in the airlock when Serenity was about to break atmo.

Except Mal would’ve blown Jayne the hell out the door.

Enterprise is for pussies.

Archer would have blown him out of the airlock if he hadn’t complied. He spent the entire year looking for a reason to kill some Xindi and that was as good a reason as any.

S3 of Enterprise was very morally ambiguous, much like the later seasons of DS9.

FYI: There are no C’s in Sisko’s name. His name isn’t Sisco, or Cisko.

Just so ya know. :slight_smile:

(PS: No Y’s in “Riker,” either!)

…and there’s only one R in Kirk’s middle name. (I wonder how many people will get that?)

Nah. If the Xindi didn’t talk, he would have have stacked him up with other naked Xindis and made a cool pyramid. That would have gotten the information out of him!!