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In the middle of a lengthy monologue (Mass Effect: Library Edition volume 1 p. 167, originally in Mass Effect: Evolution #4), Desolas says this:

-- I will topple every challenger. First, the sniveling civilian rulers here [on Palaven] will fall -- and then all our rivals, one by one.

According to the in-game codex (Secondary Codex -> Aliens: Council Races -> Turians: Government):

Turians have 27 citizenship tiers, beginning with civilians (client races and children). The initial period of military service is the second tier. Formal citizenship is conferred at the third tier, after boot camp.

[...]

At the top are the Primarchs, who each rule a colonization cluster. The Primarchs vote on matters of national import. They otherwise maintain a "hands-off" policy, trusting the citizens on each level below them to do their jobs competently.

Obviously Desolas did not mean to say that Palaven is ruled by "client races" (the volus) and children. Aside from this being patently absurd, it's clearly contradicted by both the codex and Mass Effect 3, where we actually get to meet the Primarch of Palaven. He's just a general who happened to get a field promotion; there is clearly no civilian control of the military in play here. In contrast, the Systems Alliance does not attempt to replace Shastri (the Prime Minister) or Udina with members of the military, because the Alliance does observe civilian control of the military.

Was this an error, or did Desolas actually mean something by this?

  • 1
    It's in issue #4. – user68762 Sep 4 '16 at 20:05
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Desolas probably meant that as the Palaven (military) command bowed to the Council's decision to stop hostilities with the Alliance and agreed to treat the humans as equals, they're no better than weak civilians (like the volus) but he himself is on his way (under the influence of the monolith) to create meta-turians/drones and built an undefeatable army to restore turian supremacy. He also promises:

"equality among races is now in the past and destiny is at hand."

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