Subject: Pattern and Utility
From: LtCdr Joy Ten
To: Captain McTalis
Classification: Eyes Only
As I understand the recent mission, one of our crewmembers violated the law of an allied planet on that planet's soil. This law would be considered improper under the Federation Guarantees. The individual may have been ignorant of the law. However, by the standards of the time and place, her arrest was according to evidence and due process.
As I understand it, this ship received external authorization from Starfleet to free our crewmember, and to use violence in doing so. It is my understanding that a captain would ordinarily not have authority to over ride the law on a local allied planet. However, I obeyed a lethal order without question on the basis and assumption that we had received proper authorization from higher authority.
This unit requests the identity of the authorizing individual and agency. In the haste of launching the mission, it did not seem proper to challenge mission authorization. However, recent post mission activity on Defiant could be interpreted as destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice. While this unit is willing to comply with such direction, the chain of command leading to the mission should be confirmed. If this unit is unable to confirm the chain of command and mission authorization, it is my duty to find and inform an appropriately cleared and ranked representative of the Judge Advocate General's office to confirm it in my place.
In addition, I am concerned that we have numerous crewmembers from cultures that value blades and honor. It is my understanding that Starfleet doctrine is to avoid violence save as a last resort. While Starfleet also emphasizes diversity, and strives to make use of unusual strengths, I am growing concerned that the voices of the blade and honor cultures are speaking with such frequency and firmness that basic Starfleet doctrine is being repressed.
As a specific example, at the council before the recent mission was launched, both Doctor McTalis and myself requested opportunity to speak. This opportunity was never granted. The decision was reached without our voices being heard.
Normally the effects of crewmember cultures and worldviews on crew efficiency and behavior would not be my concern. I believe the second officer's function is in assisting the CO and XO in achieving the specific mission. Second officer and Ops are line officer's roles. Cultural and crew efficiency concerns are normally addressed by the councilor. However, it seems the Defiant's current councilor is from a blade and honor culture. I suspect he does not perceive the problem as I do, nor may he be interested in solving it. I find he is more interested in line officer's tasks, in optimizing the solution to missions, rather than to attending to the needs and efficiency of the crew.
Captain, the Joy Class can not operate well in all environments. We are programmed with respect for life and law at very high priorities. We do not operate well in an environment where life and law are not highly respected. This unit has served long on Defiant, and under your command, without prior difficulty. However, this letter is of a familiar pattern seen under other commanders, a pattern that reflects stress and conflict between android and commanding officer. I am concerned that if this pattern is not broken, the utility of continued operation here may become questionable.