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New Yorker Magazine Fact-Checker Makes Outrageously False Claim About Combat-Wounded ICE Agent

This is one of the most severe dangers of social media.

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This story would be hilarious if it weren’t so indicative of just how far gone our inability to control the spread of information has gotten.

Who in their right mind would accuse a wheelchair-bound, combat-wounded veteran Marine who works with abused children of being a Nazi?

You guessed it–a hysterical left-wing journalist. And a professional fact-checker, at that.

Trending: Biden Comment on Chauvin Trial Stuns Legal Observers

Talia Lavin, a Harvard-graduate fact checker for The New Yorker, recently got herself in some hot water when she commented on a picture ICE had posted of the aforementioned combat veteran, Justin Gaertner, who now happens to work for ICE, helping them to protect children from online sexual exploitation. 

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Could this guy possibly be more of a hero?

Well, according to the left, no, he’s a Nazi, and, in their apparent search to bolster this claim, they scrutinized the image, seemingly finding stone-cold proof of his white supremacist ties: an Iron Cross tattoo.

Lavin, clearly putting her fact-checking skills aside as soon as she saw the word “ICE”, jumped right on the bandwagon and tweeted out the picture of the ICE agent with a Nazi tattoo!! 

“Lavin, the professional fact-checker, rushed to judgment,” explains Michelle Malkin in a piece for National Review. “She abused her platform. Amid the national media hysteria over President Donald Trump’s border-enforcement policies, Lavin derided a photo of Gaertner shared by ICE, which had spotlighted his work rescuing abused children. Scrutinizing his tattoos, she claimed an image on his left elbow was an Iron Cross — a symbol of valor commonly and erroneously linked to Nazis.”

The meme spread like social-media tuberculosis: Look! The jackboots at ICE who hate children and families employ a real-life white supremacist.

Only it wasn’t an Iron Cross. It was a Maltese Cross, the symbol of double amputee Gaertner’s platoon in Afghanistan, Titan 2. He lost both legs during an IED-clearing mission and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor and the Purple Heart before joining ICE to combat online child exploitation.

When actual military veterans, whom Lavin failed to consult before defaming Gaertner so glibly, pointed out that the image looked more like a Maltese Cross, Lavin deleted her original tweet “so as not to spread misinformation.”

Too damned late. The harm to Gaertner’s name and honor is irreparable and cannot be unseen, unread, or unpublished.

WOW.

Very big oops.

https://twitter.com/zepblackstar/status/1008869628397936641

But this is one of the most severe dangers of social media. Like the multiple images of young children who, it turned out, had not been separated from their parents at the border, Gaetner will still most likely be associated with Nazism in the minds of the left, many of whom most likely missed the memo that it was not, in fact, a Nazi tattoo.

This is how lies spread. The sensationalistic claim always gets more attention than the boring, properly fact-checked reality.

But there’s an important lesson here for the left, as well. Lavin ended up resigning from her job, but not before whining for being called out for her disinfo.

“This has been a wild and difficult week,” Lavin wrote, according to The Blaze. “I owe ICE agent Justin Gaertner a sincere apology for spreading [a] rumor about his tattoo. However, I do not think it is acceptable for a federal agency to target a private citizen for a good faith, hastily rectified error.”

This would be a fair point, if this private citizen had not targeted a man who lost his legs fighting for her freedom and now spends his days protecting children from child predators only to be unfairly demonized because he works for the agency enforcing laws the left wants to see abolished. Both she and Gaertner are victims of something much bigger than themselves: an era in which the truth is valued far less than the reach of your claims.

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Putin Puffs Out His Chest: Crossing ‘Red Lines’ Will Prompt ‘Asymmetrical’ Response

Putin has been extremely antsy as of late.

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Russia

It appears that US President Joe Biden is really getting under the skin of Russian President Dictator Vladimir Putin. These leaders of the world two preeminent superpowers have been trading barbs for weeks now, and on a range of subjects.  The latest focus of their fury has to do with the Kremlin’s continued aggression against Ukraine, where Russian military forces are lining just over the border, with “invasion stripes” painted on their vehicles to prevent friendly fire. This is a tacit admission that there will be fire, and Biden isn’t going to stand for it. The US first sent warships in the direction of the Black Sea in an attempt to deter Putin from poking the bear.  The Russian government responded by blocking the entrance to the area and warning that America’s maneuvers were “adversarial”. Biden responded by sanctioning Russia over a major hacking attack that took place months ago. Now, just ahead of what is believed to be an inevitable Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin is once again puffing out his chest. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual State of the Nation speech, warned on Wednesday against provoking his country, promising a swift retaliation against anyone who crossed “red lines.“ Moscow will respond “harshly,” “quickly” and “asymmetrically” to foreign provocations, Putin told an audience of Russia’s top officials and lawmakers, adding that he “hoped” no foreign actor would cross Russia’s “red lines,” according to a Reuters translation. Russia is also facing international condemnation for their treatment of journalist Alexei Navalny, who is believed to be at death’s door at a Russian prison hospital.  Joe Biden has said that Russia would “pay a price” if Navalny were to perish in custody of the government.

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DOJ Opens Investigation into Minneapolis Police Department

The investigation will feature the department’s civil rights division.

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On Tuesday, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd for nearly 9 minutes as the restrained man slowly suffocated, in a moment that has haunted our nation for a year. Now that Chauvin is off to prison, and a likely, lengthy appeals process, the Department of Justice is now hoping to find out exactly what went wrong in Minneapolis, and whether or not there is some systemic issue with the police department itself. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday that the Justice Department will be conducting an investigation of law enforcement in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd. The announcement comes one day after a Hennepin County jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second degree murder for killing Floyd. “Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” Garland said during a press conference. Garland said the probe will be a “fully comprehensive review” that will look into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.” He specificed that this includes “using excessive force, including during protests,” as well as “discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful.” The DOJ will utilize their civil rights division in the investigation, and the Attorney General said that the move could protect “good cops” from their not-so-pristine peers in the precinct. “I strongly believe that good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices,” Garland said. “Good officers welcome accountability because accountability is an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust.” Chauvin was moved to prison on Wednesday, and promptly…

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