Stargate Program Disclosure

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Stargate Program Disclosure

Summary

Nearly six years after Stargate Command's reactivation, Major Paul Davis and General George Hammond disclosed the existence of the Stargate Program to national representatives of Earth's countries with the strongest military capability at a meeting held in the Pentagon. This disclosure was the first in a series that brought the Stargate Program to the attention of the governments of most of the countries of the world. (6.17 "Disclosure")

Stargate Program Representatives

Major General George Hammond had been the commander of Stargate Command since it was reactived in 1997. Although he was ready for retirement, he took his assignment with great enthusiasm and committed his life to seeing that the SGC operated with the highest degree of honor.

Major Paul Davis was the Pentagon's liaison with Stargate Command. He read every mission report coming out of Cheyenne Mountain and personally participated in some of the events he disclosed in this meeting.

Russian Army Colonel Chekov was the Russian liaison with the Stargate Program and Moscow. He, too, had a personal investment in many of the events disclosed in this meeting and saw many close friends lose their lives because of the program. He strongly believed in the benefits of keeping the Stargate active and held his government's interests in high priority.

Ambassadors

British Ambassador
Chinese Ambassador
French Ambassador

The five countries represented in this meeting hold the permanent member positions of the United Nations' Security Council and possess Earth's most powerful military capabilities.

Additional Attendees

Senator Robert Kinsey learned about the Stargate Program as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee during the first year of the SGC's full operational status. He then transferred to the Intelligence Oversight Committee. During his time knowing of the existence of the Stargate Program, he had a hidden agenda wherein he would take control of the program, placing it under the control of the NID.

Thor of the Asgard had been the primary representative of the Asgard, one of the SGC's most powerful allies in the war against the Goa'uld. The SGC, especially SG-1, had come to the rescue of the entire Asgard civilization on several occasions in their war against the Replicators. In return, the Asgard placed Earth in their Protected Planets Treaty with the Goa'uld System Lords and gave the SGC starships shield and weapons technology.

Details of the Disclosure

General Hammond invited the leaders of Earth's largest military powers to tell them of the Stargate Program and the Goa'uld. Along with Major Paul Davis and Russian Army Colonel Chekov, he revealed the Stargate Program and the threat of Anubis to the representatives of China, Great Britain, and France. At first, the three representatives thought that it was all a joke, but soon realized that what the General was saying was indeed the truth.

Major Davis presented a brief history of the Stargate Program, starting with the discovery of the Giza Stargate in 1928 (Stargate: The Movie) and the successful, but accidental, activation of a wormhole in 1945 (1.11 "The Torment of Tantalus"). He stated, however, that Dr. Daniel Jackson was the one who made regular travel possible through the Stargate by deciphering the symbols and determining how the Stargate operated (Stargate: The Movie; 1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods").

Placed into question during this meeting was Russia's role in the cover-up of the Stargate Program. What amazed the other representatives even more was the fact that Russia had operated a Stargate Program of their own for a short while. With only one Stargate left on Earth (6.02 "Redemption Part 2"), the United States and Russia conducted the program jointly. Russia had SG team members (6.16 "Metamorphosis", 8.03 "Lockdown"), and Colonel Chekov served as the Russian liaison to ensure that his country's interests are met, since they were leasing the Giza Stargate to the SGC after having recovered it from the bottom of the ocean (3.22 "Nemesis Part 1", 4.01 "Small Victories Part 2", 4.07 "Watergate", and 6.02 "Redemption Part 2").

At the time of the meeting, Russia had offered cover stories on the SGC's behalf to explain some of the alien encounters, the most recent being that their nuclear-powered submarine Rostov blew up near Alaska when it was actually the Goa'uld mothership that was abandoned by Anubis and Osiris when they couldn't override Thor's reprogramming of their ship's computer (5.22 "Revelations", 6.03 "Descent"). The cover story claimed that the alien ship was a meteor and that the submarine was destroyed from the shockwave of the meteor impact. In actuality, the Rostov was never near the downed Goa'uld ship, something the Chinese already knew and were planning to reveal to discredit the Americans and Russians. It was because of this threat of disclosure that Senator Robert Kinsey, a member of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, attended the meeting.

Major Davis continued his presentation by explaining who the Goa'uld were and how they operated. Since they were discussing the various types of alien ships that existed, Davis noted these three types of Goa'uld ships encountered thus far:

  • Ha'tak - the large pyramid ship, or mothership, which can come in various sizes. Goa'uld System Lords had entire fleets of these. Davis told of the time that Heru'ur and Apophis had gathered their fleets in order to combine their forces against the other System Lords. They had met in the Tobin System, but the Tok'ra's plan to destroy both was thwarted when Apophis had brought his entire fleet and had cloaked them in the process. Apophis destroyed Heru'ur and absorbed what remained into his army (4.13 "Serpent's Venom").
  • Al'kesh - mid-range bombers that SG-1 first encountered when helping the Tok'ra move their base from Vorash (4.22 "Exodus Part 1").
  • Death Gliders - the interceptor fighter jets that seat two. SG-1 brought two of these back with them from Apophis's ship when Apophis and Klorel attempted to destroy Earth (1.22 "Within the Serpent's Grasp Part 1", 2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2", and 2.14 "Touchstone").

Davis did not mention the Tel'tak (the cargo or scout ships) that the Goa'uld use, but are very popular, especially among the Tok'ra and Rebel Jaffa. He did, however, review with the ambassadors the Goa'uld's modus operandi concerning the invasion and subjugation of a planet:

  • they begin with a long range assault launched from orbit (in the Ha'tak) designed to take out planetary defenses and instill fear in the population. An example of this tactic was when the Goa'uld System Lord Svarog attacked the planet Latona (5.20 "The Sentinel").
  • once they've completed their orbital assault, they'll then be free to move in for tactical strikes against any remaining ground position (usually done from within Al'kesh and Death Gliders). Since the Al'kesh can carry several troops, they are most likely deposited on the planet from these ships. Goa'uld System Lord Zipacna's destruction of the Tok'ra base on Ravanna was an example of this tactic (5.15 "Summit Part 1").

General Hammond and Major Davis continued in their presentation by introducing the current, at that time, threat of Anubis:

  • Anubis and Osiris captured Thor of the Asgard in order to obtain information on Asgard technology. Anubis had reappeared in the ranks among the System Lords after being thought dead (5.15 "Summit Part 1" and 5.16 "Last Stand Part 2") and had used advanced technology that the Asgard were not even aware of (5.22 "Revelations").
  • Anubis attempted to destroy Earth by sending an asteroid on a collision course. He knew that the Asgard could not help Earth because of the terms of the Protected Planets Treaty by making this collision look like a natural disaster. SG-1 was able to send the asteroid through a hyperspace window, effectively going through the Earth and coming out on the other side (5.17 "Failsafe").

Interestingly enough, although they mentioned that the second Stargate (the one found in Antarctica in the episode, 1.18 "Solitudes") had been destroyed, they did not mention that it was due to an attack by Anubis (6.01 "Redemption Part 1", 6.02 "Redemption Part 2"). They might have gotten to this point in their briefing, but by this time, the ambassadors were appalled that the United States had been fighting such a war in secret. Hammond stressed again that the reason for their being told about the Stargate Program was to form a military coalition, but the ambassadors were insistent that they should reveal the existence of the program to their citizens. Hammond and Davis stressed that telling the populace about these aliens would only cause widespread panic. They insisted that Earth could effectively defend against the Goa'uld, even if their weapons were inferior. As an example of their ingenuity, they explained that they had blown up a sun in order to take out Apophis's entire fleet (4.22 "Exodus Part 1"), but the ambassadors were not impressed, stating that this particular approach was not applicable if the Goa'uld attacked Earth.

Davis told them that they had been effective in using their inferior technology by launching attacks through the Stargate itself. An example of this tactic was when they sent two missiles to destroy Jaffa encampments near the Stargate on the planet Latona. They sent a UAV through the Stargate first in order to acquire the targets and then took out the encampments with the two missiles. This tactic allowed SG-1 and SG-3 to have clear access to search for SG-9 and help reactivate the planet's defense system (5.20 "The Sentinel").

Even though the ambassadors were impressed, they felt that Earth still did not have the advanced technology needed to defeat a mothership. To that point, Major Davis discussed the development of experimental spacecraft using alien technology acquired through 'gate travel:

  • X-301 - hybrid fighter-interceptor based on a combination of human technology and parts from two salvaged Death Gliders (from 2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2"). Davis reported, however, that this experimental ship failed to meet expectations (4.12 "Tangent"), but helped in the development of its successor.
  • X-302 - an entirely man-made craft, with similar ability of the X-301 (6.01 "Redemption Part 1").
  • X-303 - Prometheus battle cruiser capable of interstellar travel (6.11 "Prometheus"). It was designed to carry a complement of eight X-302 fighters and was one of several planned.

At this point, the ambassadors were beside themselves with the knowledge that the United States had the technologically advanced craft capable of taking them out. General Hammond assured them that they only intended to use these craft in the fight against the Goa'uld and in defense of the planet, but the ambassadors felt that Hammond and the U.S. military held too much power to be ignored. It was at this point that Senator Kinsey proposed a compromise so that the other countries would be equally represented in the protection of Earth. Kinsey's goal was to turn the Stargate Program into a civilian-run operation with the NID in control. Since the Intelligence Oversight Committee supervised the NID, this proposal would, in effect, give Kinsey control of the program — something he had wanted ever since he learned of the Stargate's existence while serving as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee (1.21 "Politics").

General Hammond pointed out that the NID didn't have a very good track record, bringing up the fact that it was the NID who attempted to assassinate Kinsey (6.14 "Smoke and Mirrors"), to have Hammond replaced with a puppet in control of the SGC by threatening his granddaughters (4.15 "Chain Reaction"), and by stealing technology from Earth's allies (2.14 "Touchstone", 3.18 "Shades of Grey").

To argue his case, Senator Kinsey tried to discredit General Hammond's leadership abilities and the credibility of SG-1, the SGC's flaship team. He stated examples of when he felt that having a program under the control of the military and such "incompetence" had nearly destroyed the world or led to its invasion on several occasions. And, the Senator stressed, all of this was done while the rest of the world remained totally ignorant of the threat.

  • the blackhole incident that could have torn the Earth apart (2.15 "A Matter of Time")
  • the orb entities' infection of both the SGC computer system and personnel (2.07 "Message in a Bottle")
  • the invasion of Replicators (5.19 "Menace")
  • the invasion of aliens with mimicking devices (3.14 "Foothold")

Kinsey had a stack of files with which to back up his claims and he, no doubt, would have continued to argue his case, but the conference broke for a recess. At this point, Colonel Chekov took the opportunity to argue on Hammond's behalf with the Chinese ambassador. He stressed that the Stargate Program was costing the United States over seven billion dollars per year, and that Russia, as a junior partner, reaped the benefits through the SGC's efforts. Any advanced technology developed during the program, such as the X-302 and X-303, was researched and developed by the United States, while the Russians saved time and money by merely waiting for the blueprints. He privately proposed to the Chinese ambassador that China and the other two nations could have the same arrangement.

After the conference reconvened, Hammond acknowledged that Earth had made some enemies while operating the Stargate, but that they had made several strong allies as well. He said that they have operated honorably and that he stood by the record. Seemingly on cue, Thor of the Asgard beamed into the conference room and told the ambassadors that he preferred that Stargate Command remain under Hammond's and SG-1's able leadership. Thor mentioned that they had helped the Asgard on several occasions and the Asgard, in return, were installing Asgard-designed shields and weapons on the Prometheus as a small token of thanks for SG-1's recent efforts in securing the galaxy (he most likely was speaking of the threat of the Replicators in their most recent encounter in the episode, 6.12 "Unnatural Selection", in which SG-1 used the Prometheus on their mission).

Thor's argument won out. The ambassadors agreed to allow the United States Air Force to continue to operate the Stargate Program in secret in Cheyenne Mountain. The governments represented in this meeting, and Canada (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"), were included in the Gate Alliance Treaty, which would later form a committee of representatives called the International Oversight Advisory (IOA), who controlled the majority of the Stargate Program's funding after the Senate Appropriations Committee reduced their budget to 30% of what it had been before the defeat of the Goa'uld (9.04 "The Ties That Bind", 9.17 "The Scourge"). The Russians continued to maintain their presence in the SGC (8.03 "Lockdown").

Subsequent Disclosure

Up until the Gate Alliance Treaty was enacted (Season Six), the position of President of the United States had been filled by one man. This President was never named or seen, but he decided that because his term was coming to an end, that the Stargate Program should be documented as a testiment to his administration's efforts in keeping the world safe, as well as to acknowledge the sacrifices made by so many people whose lives and, in some cases, deaths, had remained secret for so long (7.17 "Heroes Part 1").

To this end, the President hired a civilian documentarian named Emmett Bregman to produce a film that illustrated the honor of the Stargate Program. Bregman had years of journalism experience and was trusted by the President to produce a fair documentary.

The SGC was told that they were going to celebrate the 1000th trip through the Stargate, but General Hammond was aware of the political maneuverings. He was very protective of his command and decided to follow the President's orders to the literal letter, which meant that Bregman and his crew would not be allowed exposure to any ongoing activity. Bregman's crew was made of two Air Force airmen, Technical Sergeant Dale James (camera) and Airman First Class Shep Wickenhouse (sound), and was escorted by Public Relations liaison Colonel Tom Rundell.

Being the hard-driving journalist he was, and one who wanted the truth of war, Bregman asked each of the people he interviewed if they felt that the Stargate Program should be made public. Bregman received evasive responses, obviously as a result of several years of his interviewees' keeping the secret of the Stargate Program from the public. Finally, though, he was able to get his documentary completed, but not before being witness to the hard truth of what the SGC was up against in their war against the Goa'uld and their ceaseless efforts to protect Earth. In producing this documentary, Bregman himself may have become one more person who knew that the world was not yet ready for the truth after all.

Bregman's documentary may never be brought before the public, but it was an attempt to set the record straight for an outgoing President. Inadvertantly, the documentary also served to pay honor to those who so richly deserved it.

Most probably, Emmett Bregman had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before ever being briefed on the existence of the Stargate Program. When the billionaire businessman Alec Colson tried to reveal the existence of alien life in a public newscast, Bregman contacted Daniel Jackson to determine what the Program's position would be on the matter. Colson was discredited by Carter, and the Stargate Program remained a secret. (8.08 "Covenant")

After the newly inaugurated President Henry Hayes was introduced to the Stargate Program, he decided that the best political move would be to put a civilian in charge. He agreed with Vice President Robert Kinsey that if the Stargate Program were to go public, it would be better received if a non-military leader known to the world as a peaceful negotiator were leading it. To that end, President Hayes replaced General Hammond as the commander of the SGC with Dr. Elizabeth Weir.

Unfortunately, Dr. Weir's appointment came at a time when the SGC was in the middle of the race with Anubis in locating the Lost City of the Ancients, and soon the world was under attack by a large fleet of Anubis's powerful ships. Vice President Kinsey's interference in SG-1's efforts to save the world and evidence of his dealings with the rogue NID and other shady organizations led President Hayes to call for Kinsey's resignation.

During Anubis's attack, President Hayes ordered that other national governments be put on alert: Russia, Great Britain, France, China, and Canada. It has never been revealed when Canada was given full disclosure of the Stargate Program.

The Media vs. The SGC

Emmett Bregman may have been the first journalist actually recruited to document the Stargate Program, but he was not the first journalist to know of the existence of the program.

Several years prior to the disclosure meeting held at the Pentagon, a newspaper journalist named Armin Selig approached Colonel Jack O'Neill while he and Captain Samantha Carter were in Washington, D.C., in order to receive Air Medals for their part in saving the world against Apophis's and Klorel's attack (2.01 "The Serpent's Lair" and 2.09 "Secrets").

Selig knew of the Stargate, what it looked like, what it was used for and who used it. He knew that Jack was involved with the program and had approached him with the hope of receiving a confirmation on the existence of the Stargate from him. Selig knew that there were between nine and twelve SG teams who traveled through the Stargate from deep within Cheyenne Mountain under NORAD. He knew that Jack led the team called "SG-1". Selig also knew that the program cost over seven billion dollars a year to run and that one of its main purposes was to bring back alien technology to offset the expenditure. His story never ran as he was run down by a car after meeting with Jack. Before he died, he cursed Jack for having him murdered.

Since Selig's time, the shady dealings that Senator Robert Kinsey had with the NID and the very aggressive tactics taken by this group with regards to the procuring of alien technology to offset the high cost of keeping the program active (2.14 "Touchstone", 3.18 "Shades of Grey", 4.15 "Chain Reaction", 5.11 "Desperate Measures", 6.11 "Prometheus", and 6.14 "Smoke and Mirrors") have been exposed. There were businessmen, called "The Committee", who attempted to adapt stolen alien technology to produce patents and who were in control of a rogue faction of the NID to murder anyone who they felt threatened their mandates. It was most probable that Selig was murdered by a former agent of the NID, but whether or not Senator Kinsey or The Committee had ordered the hit remains a mystery (8.15 "Citizen Joe").

The Prometheus mentioned by Major Davis in his disclosure meeting at the Pentagon was also a secret which, if revealed, would support the existence of alien life and, thus, the Stargate Program, for it was through the activities of the Stargate Program that the Pentagon obtained the alien technology to develop the space-worthy battle cruiser. When a television journalist named Julia Donovan approached Major Samantha Carter about the existence of the Prometheus Project, of the non-terrestrial nature of trinium, and of the over two billion dollars being spent secretly on something in the deserts of Nevada, the Pentagon was given authorization to offer Donovan an exclusive with the condition that she sign a non-disclosure agreement and wouldn't go public until given the word to do so. It was a compromise, but Donavan accepted the offer and was given access to both the Prometheus and to the knowledge of alien life (6.11 "Prometheus").

When corporate billionaire Alec Colson revealed the existence of alien life on international television by exhibiting a live Asgard clone, Julia Donovan was given the exclusive to interview Lt. Col. Samantha Carter in order to refute Colson's proof. Even Emmett Bregman left over a dozen messages for Daniel Jackson to contact him, most probably wanting to know what was going to happen concerning public disclosure (8.08 "Covenant").

Colson had additional evidence to support his claim of the existence of alien life: his corporation had satellites that recorded Anubis's recent attack on Earth. The images captured by these satellites showed the Prometheus doing battle in orbit with Anubis's fleet and the results of the use of the weapon Jack used from the Ancient Outpost (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"). Colson was going to blackmail the world governments into admitting the truth of the alien attack with all of this evidence. Even though the President decided to offer Colson complete disclosure in return for his silence, Colson was prepared to do battle with the government so that the people could be prepared. His corporation, however, was destroyed by his efforts as well as the workings of another rogue cell of the NID called "The Trust". Colson's life-long friend and business partner, Brian Vogler, was most probably murdered before he could divulge their dealings with him, but his death was called a suicide. Colson was offered life at the Alpha Site so that he could continue to contribute his engineering expertise at protecting the world — something he knew then that he would have to do in secret.

The Scientific Community vs. The SGC

After Anubis's attack and defeat over Antarctica, it was hard to keep the existence of the Ancient Outpost, and thus, the Stargate Program, a secret from those countries who had a presence in Antarctica under the Antarctic Treaty. According to this treaty, the continent of Antarctica was never to have military bases, but only scientific observatories. With the knowledge that there was a great and powerful weapon in Antarctica and in the hands of the United States government, the Stargate Program was shut down as an act of good faith during the negotiations for the final disposition of the Outpost. Dr. Weir was assigned to act as the chief negotiator to make sure everyone's concerns were met. The outcome of these negotiations meant that the SGC would still retain oversight of the Outpost, but that the countries with permanent research facilities on the continent were given access to it for study (8.01 "New Order Part 1", 8.02 "New Order Part 2"). Unfortunately, the Outpost's weapons platform remained an issue with the Treaty Nations, so it was removed from Antarctica and placed at Area 51 in Nevada five years after its discovery (Stargate Atlantis: 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate"). Even more unfortunate, the platform was destroyed when a Wraith super-hive attacked Earth.

Once Daniel Jackson discovered the destination of the city-ship the Ancients called "Atlantis", Dr. Weir assembled her expedition team that she stated represented over a dozen countries (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1"). There were a dozen countries that signed the main Treaty of 1959 (enforced in 1961). Since then, there are over forty countries involved. Article 13 of the Treaty states that any member of the United Nations may join as well as any other country invited to do so by the Treaty Nations, thus making the knowledge of the Stargate Program available to more countries of the world.

Conclusion

With the disclosure of the Stargate Program to the nations of the Antarctic Treaty, and indirectly to those of the United Nations, it can be fair to state that a majority of the world's governments are aware of its existence. This is not to say, however, that these nations have divulged the existence of the Program to their citizens, as is apparent with the handling of the Alec Colson incident (8.08 "Covenant"). Even though the Stargate Program has been described by the man who made it happen, Dr. Daniel Jackson, as "the single most important human endeavor for the future of mankind" (1.13 "Fire And Water", 3.10 "Forever In A Day"), the Program will most likely remain a secret as long as mankind continues to demonstrate his inability to refrain from acts of intrigue and terrorism as is still evident in the world today. This point was driven home when Lt. Col. Samantha Carter witnessed the chaos into which the world could be thrown when she was transported into an alternate reality in which the Stargate Program had become public knowledge following Anubis's attack (10.13 "The Road Not Taken"). She briefed the President on her experience upon her return (10.18 "Bad Guys"), and the Stargate Program remains a secret to this day.

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--DeeKayP 19:10, 4 Sep 2004 (PDT)