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The Scandal of Archimedes was an infamous event in the history of the United Federation of Planets.
The start of the disaster occured in Stardate 1/7009 when the Andorian colony world of Th'allt appealed to the Federation Council for the protection of their trade routes from unscrupulous Tellarite merchants. This resulted in growing dissent among the Federation member races that threatened to bring about civil war. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Interstellar Trade and Commerce did not take any action as was requested by the Andorian colonists.
Starfleet Intelligence's Independent Activities Unit codenamed the event Operation Archimedes but they did not recommend a specific course of action to deal with the growing crisis. Fourteen months later, Starfleet Admiral Hathari took matters into his own hands and instituted a blockade around Tha'llt and eventually fired at a Tellarite merchant ship which magnified the situation to the media who in turn made the whole affair public.
This was known as a combined blunder by both the Bureau of Interstellar Trade and Commerce along with Starfleet Intelligence Command. The event emphasized the unwielding bureacracy that the Federation suffered from at the time. (FASA RPG module: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual: Agent's Orientation Sourcebook)