Evidence. Do we ever see Palpatine stop a telepath prying into his mind in a canon source?
Well, he spends all his time on Coruscant, interacts closely with Jedi on a regular basis, and does so for a period of decades. He manages to not only keep specific secrets from them, but to conceal from them any hint whatsoever
that he is actually a Sith lord seeking to ensure their downfall. So much so that they literally scour the galaxy looking for this 'Sidious' character and it never even occurs to them to carefully investigate Palpatine specifically because he seems a little... off... somehow.
Thing is, the Jedi actually do have the ability to sense deception, tension, and other such negative emotions. With the sole
exception of Palpatine, the Jedi routinely perform at least Deanna Troi-level feats of "I sense hostility" or "I sense treachery" or some such.
If Palpatine's inner emotions are a tornado of malice and darkness, then that means he's hiding that from Jedi who are normally pretty good at picking up surface feelings. This suggests that his mental shielding is very reliable, so reliable that not only did Palpatine succeed in hiding his malice and treachery for decades, he knew in advance he would be able to do so from the very beginning- because otherwise, the whole "live in the capital of the Republic surrounded by Jedi" part of his plan would have been obvious suicide and he never could have enacted that plan.
If his inner emotions aren't
a tornado of malice and darkness, then maybe his mental shields are less powerful than that... but correspondingly there is less for him to hide from wandering Betazoids.
In the Revenge of the Sith novel (I do not believe this is currently canon) there is this exchange:
He [Palpatine] turned desperately to Saesee Tiin. "Master Tiin-you're the telepath. What am I thinking right now?" Tiin frowned and cocked his head. His blade dipped. A smear of red-flashing darkness hurtled from behind the desk. Saesee Tiin's head bounced when it hit the floor. Smoke curled from the neck, and from the twin stumps of the horns, severed just below the chin
If the novel is a valid source, then only one of the four Jedi Masters who came to attack Palpatine was a telepath, and Palpatine stops it by putting a blade through his neck, not by being able to resist. It's reasonably implicit that Tiin has not tried to scan him before.
Tiin was not
necessarily the only telepath or 'psychic' among the four Jedi masters present; at that point Palpatine was clearly just trying to distract one of them so he could get in among them with the lightsaber. He may well have chosen to speak to Tiin because, for whatever tactical reason, he wanted to distract Tiin first, rather than distracting one of the others.
In The Force Awakens we see telepathy again. Ghetto spoilers Kylo Ren, who's no Palpatine, mind you, can't keep Rey out of his mind once he's made a link, and he seems to expend considerable effort
That's a fair point.
Compare that to Luxwana Troi (a high official in the Federation, remember), or if you're feeling really crazy, Tam Elbrun, for the upper end of Betazoid ability – and remember, though he had problems, Elbrun was employed by Starfleet, another of the sorts of people the Federation President might run into. Elbrun was unable to not read people's thoughts.
I could go on, but every appearance of Luxwana in the two series she appears in, is an example of her being able to know people's surface thoughts in close proximity to her at will.
A core concept of TNG is that the Federation considers telepathy to be actionable in negotiations and political matters. It's why Troi rates a bridge seat. Luxwana is able to fire an employee for having pornographic thoughts about her, and as far as we know, wasn't hauled before an employment tribunal or whatever the Federation equivalent may be.
Palpatine has never faced and defeated a telepath except by physical force in any canonical material of which I am aware... Please show your evidence that he has comparable powers, or power to resist a telepath except by physical force.
Are you assuming that normal Jedi do not possess a degree of 'telepathy?' They're certainly empaths if not full telepaths. I'd be surprised if you think that needs to be proven.
So at this point the only valid course I can see you taking with this argument is something like:
"While Palpatine routinely hides from empaths in his own setting and does so very reliably, the difference between concealing one's thoughts from a mere empath (like a half-Betazoid psychiatrist, or a Jedi knight) versus concealing them from a true and highly skilled telepath
is like the difference between being able to resist a lit match versus an acetylene torch. Palpatine's proven skill at the former does not confer the ability to do the latter."
There's the example of the Maraposans in Up the Long Ladder which has a cloning technology that produces an adult clone far faster than Kamino – within days. This civilization is depicted as less advanced in all other respects than the Federation, having no starships of its own, and being at the mercy of a Federation starship in orbit.
Note that their lack of starships may well be a result of their limited population size- they resorted to cloning so that the six surviving colonists of an interstellar journey
could expand into a population capable of sustaining the colony.
The Dominion shows that such a technology exists and is scaled up to military use, saying that there's no discussion of the Federation using clone soldiers is disingenuous, the fact that a clone army is inherently a slave army is a major theme of the Dominion War, and we see on various occasions Starfleet personnel trying to get the Jem'hadar to realise this ("Rocks and Shoals"), and other Jem'hadar rebelling ("To the Death") when they are able to get their own Ketracel White.
I do not feel it's disingenuous as such to argue that the Federation does not seriously entertain the notion of cloning armies in a hurry because they lack the facilities to do so.
What I will
concede is that the Federation clearly does have ethical issues with cloning which are far more intense than the Republic in Star Wars. They also have a much better and more consistent track record on the subject of slavery- the Republic tolerates slavery of both droids and organic beings, although it makes enslaving organics nominally illegal inside its own borders.
While I'm not sure I
agree that a cloned army is inherently an enslaved army, I agree that the Federation thinks so. As I noted in an earlier post, this is a very likely issue to arise, and the Federation will probably start looking very closely into the origins and nature of this clone army.
Although if Palpatine has "knowledge of the Federation" it seems likely he would have prepared for this in advance, for example by arranging the cloning through a known and semi-reputable civilization such as these Arcturans, or the Mariposans. And by establishing contacts within parts of the Federation government likely to sympathize with his political agenda if it is spun correctly
, such as Section 31.
The Federation never considers building a Dreadnought torpedo, that we know of, but there's every reason to think they could.
Beyond merely the immorality of it, why would the Federation do such a thing? Their culture opposes cloning generally, in Up the Long Ladder, when Riker and Pulaski find clones of themselves in tanks, Riker's immediate reaction is abortion by phaser.
Riker's reaction seems to be in large part caused by the fact that he
has been cloned without his knowledge or consent. Which is ironic given the nature of that little transporter hiccup which happened to him on the Potemkin
some years earlier, but there it is.
The technology for making clones in bulk (and much faster than in Star Wars) exists and is certainly shown to be used by various cultures; the Federation is never said to be unable to understand it or use it, it is rational to conclude that much like genetic engineering, they do not choose to do so as a culture.
I will note that the old Star Wars EU contained references to cloning techniques much faster than the one used by the Kaminoans
Presumably, if Palpatine were operating in the Federation, he would be using the best cloning available there
. It's not like he personally invented the Kaminoan cloning process, after all; they were just contractors.
If the Federation was one tenth as militarized as modern France, and the 600 bn represented its total population, (Approx figures 66000000/300000 = 220/1. Reduce by factor of ten 2200/1; 600,000,000,000/220= 272,727,272) then it would have two hundred million people in the military. Two million clone troopers is now and has always been an asinine figure for the size of the GAR.
Two million clone troopers is an utterly asinine figure in the context of Star Wars. Somewhat less asinine in the context of Star Trek.
It is possible that the total size of the Federation military actually does consist of several hundred million personnel. But if so
, then less than 1% of those troops can be actively serving on their starships. Because they have at most, oh, ten thousand such ships, most of which have crews of rather less than a thousand.
Even given that starbase crews could easily equal or even exceed the active starship crew strength at any given time, if we're generous we might somehow posit that Starfleet has ten
people serving in starbases and other stationary facilities for every person serving aboard ship. That's still on the order of 10% of this supposed "hundreds of millions of military personnel."
In which case Starfleet (or another military/paramilitary organization within the Federation) must be employing roughly ten groundside personnel who serve no
naval role, not even maintenance and support of ships, for every person who does serve such a role. Purely to provide ground security.
I'll believe it when I see evidence of such a large army organization actually existing.
So basically, two million clones is tiny compared to the population of the major Star Trek polities, but it is not
tiny compared to the active-duty part of the Federation military, or at least the parts of that military we actually see
Indeed, two million clones might actually be close to the maximum size of ground forces they are physically capable of deploying, given the limits of their spacelift assets.
Clone Troopers programming as undetectable
By act of OP, they can't have their programming detected by psychic means. Good thing the programming is in an inorganic chip inserted in their heads, eh?]
And thankfully, Rebels establishes that if you remove the control chips, they gain the ability to defy immoral orders:
Zor did not specify that these clonetroopers' programming is being done the same way. As I recall, we were given considerable reason to think that in the old EU, clonetroopers were indoctrinated and conditioned, not just implanted with a mind control chip.
However, that's a detail. Here, it is likely that Palpatine would be trying to use whichever methods of cloning and indoctrinating his troopers would be most convenient and practical. Since Star Trek cloning is faster than Kaminoan cloning, relying on psychological conditioning may be difficult or impossible, in which case Palpatine would have
to use control chips, in which case yes, they'd be detected in short order.
Which the Federation can't remove (as far as we know) brain implants reliably, they can certainly detect them, as shown in these examples; so from there they might want to know what the thing does.
Agreed, and if nothing else, if
control chips are used, the Federation will extract one from a dead clone sooner or later.
Although, again, this seems like the sort of thing Palpatine would see coming if he started the scenario familiar with the Federation's strengths and weaknesses.