by Caroline Post, News Anchor, Kepler News, filed by Wire
You may think prison is too strong a word. What would you call it when you are locked in a room with no food for 18 hours? What would you call it when you are behind a locked door with no way of knowing what is going on in the outside world? What would you call it when your movements are restricted to a tiny office shared with another person, and all choices you might make are denied? I call it prison, and I protest vehemently the treatment I received as a representative of the Federation News Network, employed legally and lawfully to present the news.
That is bad enough. but the issue goes beyond my incarceration without cause. As long as the United Federation of Planets has been in existence, since it's first 4 member peoples proposed an alliance, it has been a republic which honors the values of universal liberty, equality, justice, peace, and cooperation. At least, that's the political line we hear day in and day out. Apparently, on Kepler Station, those values can be abridged at the whim of the station commander!
Wherever Starfleet has gone in the known universe, wherever the diaspora of Earth humans has spread, the ideal of freedom of the press has been honored and preserved. Without a free press, without someone to critique the performance of our governmental entities, how can we keep those entities honest? The purpose of a free press is to provide information to the citizens, even if it is information the governing body, in this case, the body of the Station commander, does not want those citizens to have.
A republic, by its very definition, means a people in control of their own destinies. It means that the people are to be trusted to make choices and decisions. Whenever in the course of history a government, or its representative, has chosen to remove the choices and decisions from its people, that government has failed, usually in violence and bloodshed.
Captain Blake is fortunate that here, on the edge of Delta Quadrant and far from home, we are not so blood-thirsty as to depose him from his exalted position. However, this reporter will be watching him closely. Where one is imprisoned unjustly, others may follow. Where one is denied rights, others may also find themselves denied the rights of citizens. If one is a victim, more may become so. I will be watching.