How Outlets Used “Operation Talon” to Manipulate the Public
Did you hear that Biden canceled a program intended to investigate sex offenders illegally in the US? Here’s what you should know.
Operation Talon is a Chicken Little
Multiple fantastical headlines now claim that President Biden canceled Operation Talon, a program described as investigating sex offenders who are illegally in the US.
Who would cancel such a project? You’d have to be out of your mind, right? That’s exactly the response the authors of those stories want you to have. Sure enough, it worked.
Here are two headlines on the story:
1) Breitbart: FLAG Moody: ‘No Reason’ for Biden to Terminate Operation Targeting Sex Offenders in Country Illegally
“On Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) stated that there is “no reason” for President Joe Biden’s cancellation of Operation Talon, an operation that targets sex offenders in the U.S. illegally.”
[No evidence provided for the claim]
2) Washington Post: New Biden rules for ICE point to fewer arrests and deportations, and a more restrained agency
“ICE officials also canceled Operation Talon, a nationwide operation targeting sex offenders subject to deportation that had been planned in the final weeks of the Trump administration, emails show.
A senior ICE official said the Biden administration had nothing to do with that decision. Speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, the official said they had not heard about the operation, but that it was possible that career staffers had planned it and set it aside while awaiting new instructions from the Biden team.
The official noted that Homeland Security Investigations, a separate wing of ICE that conducts criminal investigations, has continued investigating sex offenses involving U.S. citizens and non-citizens.”
[WP has emails it requested from the administration to verify the story]
Biden didn’t cancel it. ICE did. We’re already investigating sex offenses involving U.S. citizens and non-citizens through Homeland Security so the project was redundant. Operation Talon was an idea drafted in the final weeks of the Trump administration but was functionally redundant and never launched.
ICE set the project aside because another agency has already taken on the task and is far more able to handle the task.
How can you be less vulnerable to influence and manipulation?
When you see a headline, ask: what am I feeling, who benefits from that, and could there be more to the story. Often, stories are framed to shape the way readers feel about the situation. Decide how you feel for yourself by gathering all facts.
Partisan websites that know who they are going to support and condemn before a piece is even written are not motivated to inform you. They exist to influence you. Don’t be easy to influence. Be skeptical of all claims.
If what someone says their opponent is doing sounds crazy, check out the facts because there’s always more to a story. In real life, people recommend asking the person the story is about before repeating it. That goes for news as well.
Read Me for more information on manipulation-proofing your mind