The Office of State Security, often referred to as StateSec or SS, was the all-encompassing security and intelligence agency of the People's Republic of Haven during the rule of the Committee of Public Safety (1905 - 1914 PD).
The Office of State Security was created after Rob S. Pierre's coup of 1905 PD as an executive agency of the new government. Its first and only director was Oscar Saint-Just, former second-in-command of the prior Legislaturalist regime's Office of Internal Security. Saint-Just wielded absolute power over StateSec, many of whose officers were personally loyal to him. He was both feared and respected by the personnel under his command.
StateSec was formed by merging all existing Havenite police, security, and intelligence forces into one agency:
- Mental Hygiene Police (MHP), which had operated earlier under the Office of Public Information (PubIn),
- Naval Intelligence Section
- Naval Security (NavSec), a special intervention force controlled by the Secretary of War
- Office of Internal Security (InSec), a secret police force, that also operated abroad as an intelligence service
- Office of Naval Intelligence (RHN) (NavInt), the Havenite Navy's military intelligence service
- Public Order Police
- Special Operations
During the entire rule of the Committee of Public Safety, StateSec was its most steadfast support and source of power. It carried out what was, for most purposes, a state terror regime. StateSec was present in every facet of life under the Committee's rule, from domestic policing to control of the military.
The single greatest failure of StateSec was its failure to detect the Leveler Uprising. The Levelers, unlike other factions, maintained fanatical secrecy by operating in cells under the overall direction of LeBeouf and his inner circle. Worse still was the massive and unsuspected infiltration of both StateSec and the Committee of Public Safety. Use of "tactical" nuclear weapons to wipe out StateSec headquarters, as well as a virus that prevented communication, prevented StateSec from stopping the Uprising, and from preventing Leveler members and their supporters from assaulting the Committee itself. The maligned and mistrusted Navy was the only organization capable of stopping the Levelers. Admiral Esther McQueen used kinetic strikes and cluster bombing to do it. Following the Leveller Uprising, the Committee was purged; Saint-Just took great care to find and eliminate any StateSec officers who might have helped or sympathized with the Levelers, particulalry those who might have been involved in getting nuclear weapons into regional headquarters.
After Admiral Esther McQueen's failed coup of December 1914 PD, preparations were made to make State Security's warships and the regular Navy forces into one unified force. However, before this could happen, Admiral Theisman's coup of May 10, 1915 PD ended the dictatorship of what remained of the Commitee of Public Safety. Saint-Just was killed and the Office of State Security dissolved.
The Pritchart administration replaced StateSec with two agencies with very definite and disparate responsibilities to avoid the kind of centralization and abuse of powers they had exercised under the Legislaturalists and under the Committee.
- the Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS), specifically organized as a civilian, non-partisan intelligence gathering and analysis organization
- the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA), responsible for internal law enforcement at the federal level, as well as counter-intelligence operations.
The Office of State Security was organized into several mutually-supporting branches aimed at enforcing the Committee of Public Safety's policies throughout Havenite society. These branches included
- the State Security Naval Forces, essentially a small Navy
- the State Security Ground Forces
- used as marine components for StateSec Naval Forces vessels,
- probably included the Intervention battalions - heavy infantry troops with powered armor and heavy weapons, and light security forces armed with pulsers, used to restore order in the event of unrest,
- the prison services, responsible of operating the People's Republic's extensive prison system
- the foreign intelligence branch
- the military intelligence branch
- People's Navy supervision branch (the People's Commissioners)
- Special Investigator for the Director
Presidential Security, Committee Security, Capital Security and the Chairman's Guard were all part of StateSec and tasked with guarding the core leadership, but they were kept intentionally isolated from each other to prevent collusion, and this led to confusion and an inability to coordinate during the Leveler Uprising. (HHA1.3: AWoG)
Both the State Security Naval Forces and Ground Forces were mainly staffed, by necessity, with "disaffected" elements of the old Legislaturalist military. These elements relied on StateSec for the promotion and authority denied them by the regular military. Since personnel were selected and promoted for political reliability first and foremost, StateSec's armed forces were less efficient than the RMN, GSN, or the PRN. However, they fought with considerable bravery during both the Leveler Uprising and McQueen's attempted coup, despite their inferior training and leadership. (HH8)
The People's Commissioners were established as senior StateSec officers posted to every ship, squadron and fleet command in the People's Navy. They served as political commissars, watching over the unit commander, countermanding his or her orders if necessary, and reporting any possibly disloyal or treasonous activity by any member of the crew.
Despite the degree of tension between commissioners and career naval personnel, some commissioners formed real partnerships with the unit commanders they supervised.
During Esther McQueen's appointment as Secretary of War, People's Commissioners had their powers reduced somewhat; they could no longer countermand the orders of naval officers. However, their ability to report suspicious activities to the commissioners meant that they still wielded final power over regular officers. (HH8)
Ranks and Uniforms
StateSec's uniforms consisted of a red tunic and black trousers. The blouse worn under the tunic was gray, and had collar insignia. A belt buckle insignia unique to StatSec was also worn. (SI1) Intervention battalions wore field uniforms of standard army infantry chameleon fatigues and armor. (HHA1.3: AWoG)
People's Commissioner, despite holding ranks in StateSec, were rarely referred to by their rank, as People's Commissioners were StateSec officers assigned to People's Navy flag officers. Less senior StateSec supervisory officers appeared with naval ranks As such they were the only officers for whom the proper form of address remained "Sir/Ma'am". Naval officers were referred to as 'Citizen <rank>'; for example, "Citizen Commander Smith" or "Citizen Admiral Jones". (HHA4.5: F)
Commissioners' uniforms were worn free of any rank or insignia. (HH4)
- In the German translation of the Honor Harrington novels, the Office of State Security was translated to Ministerium für Systemsicherheit (Ministry of System Security) as opposed to the literal translation Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. Likewise, the usual abbreviations StateSec or SS were translated to Sys, instead of using the more appropriate abbreviations StaSi or SS. This was almost certainly done because of the intensely negative connotations of these terms in the German language; SS is the commonly known abbreviation for the Nazi German Schutzstaffel, and the real-world Stasi was the secret police of the East German GDR. While David Weber undoubtedly intended for these parallels, the German translators likely did not wish to use these term since both those periods of German history are highly sensitive and controversial topics to this day.
- The only known exceptions were courier ships, as they were considered too small and unimportant to require their own people's commissioners. (HH7)
- Examples include Eloise Pritchart and Admiral Javier Giscard, Denis LePic and Admiral Thomas Theisman as well as Everard Honeker and Admiral Lester Tourville.
- which earned them the nickname "Black Legs" among the prisoners of Hades.
- Those assigned to Admiral's Chin task force were an exception. (HHA4.5: F)