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The Trek Nation - The Court Martial of Captain Kathryn Janeway Part 2

The Court Martial of Captain Kathryn Janeway Part 2

By Da Woim
Posted at March 1, 2001 - 9:44 AM GMT

Return to the Court Martial main page

In the case of Starfleet vs. Captain Kathryn Janeway for General Court Martial, Fleet Admiral Ross Presiding

Rebuttal of charges and specifications, presented by Admiral D. Woim, first chair for the Defence

Opening Statement:

The Prosecution has done a fine job in presenting the facts of this case. The Defence readily stipulates to those facts. We have no objections, and why should we? Each and every one of those facts was taken directly from Voyager's records and databases. Many even come from Captain Janeway's own log entries. Why would we want to dispute facts that Captain Janeway has struggled so desperately to deliver to us? No, the facts of this case are not in dispute.

But there is much more to events than mere facts. As a notable Starfleet Lieutenant Commander once said, there is a "flavor" to events that exists wholly independent of fact. It is in that flavor where the truth of an event is ultimately found, and it is in the flavors of each of these specified events where Captain Janeway found justification for actions. The Defence will show that Captain Janeway had a logical, reasonable, and legal justification for each and every one of the command decisions that are in question today.

Charge I: Disobeying Orders

In response to Specification I, the Defence submits the following:

Voyager's records indicate, it was Captain Janeway's intent to board the Array and use its technology to return Voyagerand the Maquis fugitives to the Alpha Quadrant. As she attempted to realize that intent, however, the Kazon initiated a fire fight as they tried to seize control of the Array for themselves. Prior to that, the Caretaker had activated a self-destruct sequence aboard the Array, his dying wish that the Kazon not be allowed to plunder the Array's technology and further exploit and harm the Ocampa. During the course of the fire fight, the Array's self-destruct mechanism was irreparably damaged. The system onboard the Array that could return Voyager to the Alpha Quadrant remained intact, but then-Lieutenant Tuvok informed Captain Janeway that the system would require several hours to activate before it could be utilized. Captain Janeway did not have several hours. Voyagerwas barely holding its own in the fire fight and the Kazon had called for reinforcements. Soon to be hopelessly outgunned, Captain Janeway was forced to make the hardest decision of her life: In the interest of her crew's survival, as well as the defence of an innocent race, Captain Janeway ordered the destruction of the Array. Its technology obliterated, the Array's destruction left nothing for the Kazon to fight over, and they quickly withdrew from their battle with Voyager.

While the destruction of the Array had made fulfilment of her mission orders impossible, this act was the only viable option for Captain Janeway employ under the circumstances. The alternative would have meant the deaths of the Voyager crew and the Maquis fugitives, which would not have served Starfleet or the Federation at all.

Charge II: Violating the Prime Directive:

In response to Specification I, the Defence submits the following:

Captain Janeway did not "interfere" in the matter between the Kazon and the Ocampa. She was literally pulled into it, from halfway across the galaxy, very much against her will. But once there, once Voyager had already been made a factor in the event, Captain Janeway had an ethical and moral obligation to see to it that the interests of her crew, as well as those of the innocent, were protected. As stated earlier, the destruction of the Array served both of these interests, and the alternative served none whatsoever.

In response to Specification II, the Defence submits the following:

The Prime Directive does not draw a line at the vague phrase "lesser technology". It draws a line at the very specific case of pre-warp civilizations. That is the point where Starfleet personnel are absolutely forbidden to interfere. The fact that a Starfleet vessel may possess a certain unclassified technology that another warp-faring race does not possess in no way negates Starfleet's ability of using that technology to render assistance to that race. That is exactly what Captain Janeway did on this occasion. Voyager's records show that she allowed Dr. Ma'Bor Jetrel, a member of the warp-faring Haakonian civilization, supervised access to Voyager's transporter systems and medical facilities - two unclassified areas of technology - as he attempted to restore thousands of lives that were lost as a result of his creation. This sort of humanitarian aid and interspecies fellowship is at the very heart of Starfleet's mandate, and it is in no way a violation, or even an encroachment, of the Prime Directive.

In response to Specification III, the Defence submits the following:

Again, the Prime Directive does not prohibit the application of Starfleet technology in the assistance of a warp-faring civilization. Captain Janeway's allowance of her Chief Engineer to reactivate the disabled robot using Starfleet technology is not a violation.

In response to Specification IV, the Defence submits the following:

When it appeared as though the Kazon boarding party would inevitably seize control of Voyager's bridge, Janeway did indeed attempt to initiate the ship's self-destruct sequence, as per Starfleet protocol. However, unbeknownst to Captain Janeway or the rest of her crew at that time, Voyager's self-destruct mechanism had been rendered inoperable by a number of calculated attacks perpetrated by the Kazon in the days leading up to their final assault on Voyager. Mere seconds after learning of the self-destruct malfunction, the Kazon stormed the bridge and forcibly took command of the ship. There was no way for Captain Janeway to have prevented Voyager from falling into Kazon hands. And after losing Voyager, it is a testament to Captain Janeway's strength and leadership that her deposed crew survived on the barren world long enough to be rescued. It is also a testament to Captain Janeway's ability to inspire her crew that Lieutenant Paris, Crewman Suder, and Voyager's EMH fought so tactfully and diligently in order to save their Captain and crewmates, and return Voyager to its rightful owners.

Charge III: Communicating With The Enemy and/or Aiding The Enemy and/or Aiding and Abetting Criminals:

In response to Specification I, the Defence submits the following:

Had Captain Janeway not made the specified revisions to Voyager's command structure, an already precarious situation would have only gotten worse. Half of Voyager's crew was killed when the Caretaker violently brought the ship to the Delta Quadrant. With its remaining Starfleet crew, Voyager could not have sustained itself. Captain Janeway determined that survival of both her crew and the Maquis crew would depend on their mutual cooperation, and the Maquis agreed. To maintain order and stability on Voyager, Captain Janeway decided that the mixed crew would have to function as a Starfleet crew under her leadership. In the interest of fairness, and in order to facilitate this difficult and tense assimilation process, she granted Chakotay the Starfleet field commission of Commander, and made him Voyager's First Officer. (A decision, by the way, which was supported by then-Lieutenant Tuvok, who at the time was next in line on Voyager's Starfleet command structure.) With their former Captain now acting as Voyager's First Officer, the Maquis personnel were put more at ease with the situation, and could more readily accept their new Starfleet lifestyle. This decision by Captain Janeway defused a potentially explosive situation onboard Voyager. She acted well within her discretion, and she always maintained ultimate control of Voyager.

The reinstatement of Tom Paris was also an act that was within Captain Janeway's discretion. Voyager's original helmsman was one of the personnel who was killed, and she needed to be replaced. Despite his chequered past, Mr. Paris' extensive piloting skills made him the best choice to sit at Voyager's helm.

B'Elanna Torres' elevation to the position of Chief Engineer aboard Voyager was also a matter of the most capable person being selected for the job. Upon Commander Chakotay's recommendation, Captain Janeway came to learn that Ms. Torres had extensive technical knowledge, expertise, and ingenuity. And despite a physical altercation with another crewmate (for which she was reprimanded) B'Elanna Torres was judged to be the person best suited for the Chief Engineer position.

While these revisions did serve to drastically alter the highest echelons of Voyager's command structure, the Defence maintains that they were all duly warranted. Each of these promotions was tactically sound; each improved Voyager's ability to function efficiently and survive in the Delta Quadrant. And all were within Captain Janeway's scope of discretion. Also, donning the Starfleet uniform was all the "oath of loyalty" Captain Janeway felt she needed. Each crewman who did so was made well aware of what that uniform stood for. Each crewman knew what would be expected of him as a Starfleet representative. The decision was not entered into lightly by anyone. And finally, it should be noted that, thanks to these steps and others, ultimately, Captain Janeway's assimilation of the Maquis personnel proved incredibly successful. The Starfleet and Maquis crews did learn to work together as a single, cohesive unit. The Maquis never once attempted a mutiny on Voyager, and all early episodes of friction between the two crews were dealt with quickly and fairly by Voyager's new command structure.

In response to Specification II, the Defence submits the following:

Yes, Captain Janeway did contact, and eventually allow a Romulan, Telek R'Mor, onboard Voyager. And yes, perhaps it was an act of desperation, but desperate times breed such measures. This was Voyager's first opportunity to, at the very least, make contact with the Alpha Quadrant, and possibly even get the crew home. How could Captain Janeway not take advantage of this fleeting opportunity? The decision merely to contact the Romulan vessel violated no Starfleet protocols whatsoever. At no time did Captain Janeway reveal sensitive information to the Romulan during their communiqués. The eventual decision to allow R'Mor to beam aboard Voyager was a matter of necessity, to prove if it would be possible to safely transport the Voyager crew through the micro-wormhole, and it was only arrived at after hours of careful deliberation and preparation on both sides. And never was Voyager's security compromised by R'Mor's presence. From the moment he arrived on the transporter pad he was met by security personnel and they never left the his side. He was never allowed access to sensitive areas of the ship, and his visits were kept as brief as possible. Captain Janeway did what was necessary in an attempt to save her crew, but never on this occasion she violate Starfleet rules and regulations.

In response to Specification III, the Defence submits the following:

Captain Janeway cannot be blamed for the crimes of Seska. Seska was a well-trained covert operative who had not given any indication of duplicity until the discovery of the food replicator on the Kazon vessel. Once this disturbing revelation was made, Captain Janeway, in accordance with Starfleet protocol, launched a full and immediate investigation into how the Kazon had acquired this Federation technology. The investigation eventually uncovered the truth of Seska's Cardassian background as well as her alliance with the Kazon. With help from the Kazon, Seska did escape Voyager's custody, and with sensitive information. This was certainly an unfortunate event. However, at no time was Captain Janeway negligent in her duties, or in discord with Starfleet rules and regulations, so she cannot be blamed for Seska's espionage.

In response to Specification IV, the Defence submits the following:

The merging of the two crews was not an illegal act, and Seska's crimes are her own.

In response to Specification V, the Defence submits the following:

Dr. Ma'Bor Jetrel was not a fugitive from any law enforcement agency. Though hated by Talaxians for his role in the destruction of Rinax, Jetrel was not a "war criminal." Therefore, Voyager's assistance of Jetrel was not unlawful.

In response to Specification VI, the Defence submits the following:

In this case, Captain Janeway felt she had no right to impose her judgment on the parents, and she was right. She left the choice to Commander Chakotay; it was he who ultimately decided to try to rescue his child from the Kazon. He was willing to do so on his own, but Captain Janeway did what any good Captain would: She threw her full support behind her First Officer. Well aware of the risks involved, Captain Janeway, and the entire Voyager crew, set out to help Commander Chakotay save his son. There is nothing unlawful or unethical about this decision. On the contrary, this was the very definition of Starfleet camaraderie.

In response to Specification VII, the Defence submits the following:

Where is the crime in attempting to forge alliances and cease open hostilities? Captain Janeway had nothing but the best of intentions when she tried to create alliances with the Kazon and the Trabe. She was attempting to create peace and bring stability to a very tense region of space. Through no fault of her own, however, the negotiations were undermined the Trabe. Though the desired outcome was not achieved, Captain Janeway was never at fault. And once again, she should not be blamed for the crimes and duplicity of others.

In response to Specification VIII, the Defence submits the following:

Captain Janeway was caught between two bitter enemies. In order to guarantee the survival of her crew, she had to make the decision to side with one of them; neutrality was not a feasible option. According the Voyager's records, all of the available information told Captain Janeway that the Borg were the lesser of the two evils and were more open to negotiation. Though the Borg were enemies of the Federation, this temporary alliance was the only chance Voyager had to ever return home. And even still, the decision was not entered into lightly. Captain Janeway pondered the situation for many hours, eventually coming to the best decision for her crew: A temporary alliance with the Borg. The fact that the Borg eventually betrayed that alliance is irrelevant to this charge.

Charge IV: Violating the Temporal Prime Directive:

In response to Specification I, the Defence submits the following:

Voyager's records indicate that the letters given to Telek R'Mor were all of a personal nature, and would be delivered to the crew's families only after Voyagerhad already been brought to the Delta Quadrant. There was no attempt to undo or alter any historical events. This was merely an act of compassion designed to give the crew's families peace of mind. The Prosecution freely admits that this event did not constitute a violation of the Temporal Prime Directive. Therefore, the Defence asks for the immediate dismissal of this charge.

Charge V: Conduct Unbefitting an Officer and Unfitness For Command:

In response to Specification I, the Defence submits the following:

As the Defence has already explained, Captain Janeway's decision to destroy the Array had compelling ethical and moral reasons. Captain Janeway was clearly justified in her action. Therefore, it does not constitute conduct unbecoming an officer. And the ability to make such a difficult, necessary command decision proves beyond a shadow of a doubt Captain Janeway's fitness for the responsibility of command.

In response to Specification II, the Defence submits the following:

Whether or not certain crewmembers agreed with Captain Janeway's decision is irrelevant to this charge. As Captain, the decision was hers to make. Whether Captain Janeway retained her crew's respect is somewhat relevant, but the Defence refutes the Prosecution's claim that Captain Janeway had lost that respect. Had the crew lost confidence in Captain Janeway's ability to lead them, she would have been relieved of command. That did not happen at any time during her command of Voyager. Had the crew not respected Captain Janeway's command, they would not have accepted her disciplinary measures, which they did after the incident of theft. The Defence believes that this more than proves that Captain Janeway always had the obedience and respect of her crew.

The crewmembers responsible for the theft of the space-folding technology were all identified, and Captain Janeway reprimanded each one accordingly. While their conduct may reflect on Captain Janeway, and all Starfleet officers, it does not in any way reflect unfitness for command.

In response to Specification III, the Defence submits the following:

Being forced to surrender a ship does not constitute conduct unbecoming an officer or unfitness for command. Surrender is always a risk in combat, and it has always been considered a viable option for Starfleet Captains to employ as a last resort under extreme circumstances. Captain Janeway did surrender on this occasion, because surrender meant saving the lives of her crew. And saving the lives of her crew was the only way to keep open the possibility of retaking the ship sometime in the future. Had Captain Janeway not ordered that surrender, Voyager's crew would have been killed, and the Kazon would still have gotten away with the ship.

The Prosecution has not even come close to meeting its burden of proof for this court-martial. They have not been able to show with any compelling amount of evidence that Captain Janeway is guilty of the charges and specifications listed. And the Defence has offered sufficient legal justification for each and every one of the acts in question. Therefore, the Defence asks that the members of this court-martial find Captain Kathryn Janeway not guilty on all charges and specifications.


Next week will see the focus of the trial change to some of Janeway’s more recent adventures. Second speaker for the prosecution, David E. Sluss (aka infamous reviewer The Cynic) will continue the argument for the Prosecution through to the present from season four, while Lisa, Grand High Janewayite of the J-Team, will once more present the case for the Defence. In the mean time, go back to the introductory article.

What do you think? Should Janeway be found innocent or guilty? Please send in your reactions to feedback@treknation.com and they might be published in a special edition of the Trek Nation mailbag!

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Da Woim is the moderator of the Trek BBS Voyager forum and one of it's more respected reviewers.