This unit did not directly observe most of the actual killings. In my training as a Helm officer, I always have an evasive course available when there are nearby threats to the ship. Similarly, whenever there are significant numbers of armed men present, this unit identifies a large solid object that can be placed between the threat and this unit. During much of the conflict, this unit was exercising the Joy Class's Sixth Law, which prohibits allowing damage or destruction of this unit's hardware.
The impression, however, was not of battle, or even of execution, but of ceremony. This felt like a ritual. Those present did not seem to have doubts about the morality, legality, or correctness of the action. After the fact, I was asked my opinion of the 'cleansing'. I expressed disapproval.
It is my belief that the action was to some degree staged for our benefit. A communications loss occurred just as the shooting began, almost certainly caused by subspace jamming. The calm of the participants after staging a multiple murder in front of Starfleet personnel seems unusual, though this may be proper for their culture. It seems likely that someone planned the incitant to make an impression, or perhaps to judge our reactions. It is not certain that the desired staged impression reflect the true culture of the planet. Worst case, someone who does not want the planet to join the Federation may be inserting false data intended to block Federation membership.
This unit is not expert in judging motivations of organic beings. The above should be considered, more data gathered, and more analysis performed.
This unit is more familiar with Federation law. Assuming that ritual killings of minorities are an entrenched and vital part of the culture, the problem of their membership becomes difficult. Two very basic and important principles of Federation law are brought into conflict.
The First Guarantee states 'All sentients shall be equal under Law'. Assuming members of the dominant racial groups are not killed by the government, members of minority groups should also not be killed. The Guarantees are a basic statement of individual rights, that must be granted all sentients on Federation planets or ships.
The conflicting principle is that the Federation shall grant independence to each planet to run their government as they will. We do not force others to live by our standards. The Guarantees and the non-interference principle are in basic conflict. It is my understanding that the Guarantees have precedence. The basic purpose of the Guarantees - or of any Bill or Rights - is to prevent abuse of government power by any level of government. Thus, the Federation may not interfere in local affairs of a Member planet except to protect the Guaranteed rights of Federation citizens, or to keep the peace.
There is honest disagreement about what to do if an established Member planet disregards the Guarantees. The commonly held guidelines follow. Force should only be used as a last resort. Any citizen wishing to keep his or her Guaranteed rights should be given an opportunity to leave the planet, at which time the planet should be allowed to leave the Federation. Only if the violation of the Guarantees is brutal or lethal should Starfleet actively intervene.
This planet is not yet a Member. As such, the principle of non-interference should be dominant. We have no right or duty to protect Guaranteed rights of non Federation citizens on a non-Member planet. While the planet does have starflight - and thus is not protected by the Prime Directive's prohibition against contact and contamination - we still cannot simply force our own laws and morality on their culture.
Or so says the law. Captain Kirk, among others, would remake non-member planets to match his own sense of morality on a regular basis. This unit is programmed to obey the law, and does not approve of the actions of 'cowboys' such as Kirk. This unit does not approve of the reprogramming of the androids of Mudd as performed by Kirk. However, Kirk retained command of his ship in spite of his actions on Mudd and elsewhere.
Examination of Starfleet records for captains who do remake planetary cultures on their own initiative indicates such officers do not remain captains for long. They are either relieved of command or promoted to Admiral. This unit recommends that the planetary officials be made fully aware of the Guarantees. Both sides should attempt to evaluate the cultural impact of granting the Guarantees to the local populace. It should be understood that the planet cannot remain in the Federation if they do not fully accept and implement the Guarantees.
As a Member planet which does not accept the Guarantees would present grave difficulties, delaying full membership pending a good faith effort to implement the Guarantees seems prudent.
Lt Joy Ten