Garak, the enigmatic Cardassian who was also a tailor on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, kept everyone in the dark about his true past
Although Garak did reveal that he had worked for the Obsidian Order (his father was even the leader), he wasn’t forthcoming with everything about his life before DS9, not even to his good friend, Dr. Julian Bashir. We do learn that he was also a Cardassian spy which would make him the perfect choice for the shady Section 31.
Fans speculate that the tailor was placed on Deep Space Nine by Section 31 so that he could spy on Gul Dukat and report on the Cardassian occupation, but this does seem a little far-fetched given that the occupation lasted for so many years. With a man on the inside, it would seem that Section 31 would have been able to do something to end the situation before allowing millions of Bajorans to die…unless Garak was simply using his position as a double-agent for his own purposes.
There’s no doubt that you couldn’t take Garak at face value. There was always more to him than he’d reveal and that we’d ever see. As he’d been kicked out of Cardassia, it wouldn’t be surprising that he would turn on his government, but as far as being a part of Section 31, that seems questionable. Instead, Garak seemed to be a man out for his own interests. Although he would help his friends, his own agenda came first. Would that have been something Section 31 would have tolerated?
Additionally, his position and banishment from the Obsidian Order, would probably have taught him that groups with nefarious purposes aren’t to be trusted. Unless there was something in it for him, Garak would most likely steer clear of involvement. As much as he could be considered loyal to his friends, he was also not one to align himself to any one side for very long as evidenced by his rededication to his father and subsequent torture of Odo (and other misdeeds).
It’s certainly possible he was sent to Deep Space Nine after he was cast out from Cardassia, though it was surprising that the Bajorans tolerated a Cardassian on the station after the occupation was over. But there are too many uncertainties with Garak to think he would be trusted 100% to carry out efforts for Section 31. He had a meltdown when he was decoding information for Starfleet Intelligence, knowing it would result in the death of his fellow Cardassians. Section 31 required a much stronger commitment, one that would have had Garak possibly crossing lines over into darker territory than just helping to eradicate his kinsmen.
What do you think? Was Garak an operative for Section 31?