General Order 24 orders them to destroy all life on planets which are a threat to the Federation.
In 2251 Captain Garth issued General Order 24 to destroy the planet Antos IV as a "general threat to the Federation." The Federation actually has a provision for this in extreme cases.
While Captain Garth was insane when he gave the order and it was not carried out, the order nonetheless was part of Starfleet's governance.
Three years later Captain Pike visits Talos IV and is tortured. The Talosians are deemed so unredeemable that they issue a new General order that any Starfleet vessel even approaching the planet will suffer the death penalty. Talosians are so dangerous that starships or fleets even hearing communication coming from the Talos region must ignore them - even distress calls and orders. You must consider every communication to be false.
This brings a couple questions:
How did General Order 7 (death penalty for approaching Talos IV) get written before General Order 24 (Destroy hostile planets), And why wasn't Talos IV just destroyed under the same General Order Captain Garth used three years earlier?
Why Talos IV is a galactic threat:
- The Talosians were once warp-capable, they know how to reach other worlds.
- The Talosians can nearly drive people insane from enormous distances - they even reached Spock while on Vulcan.
Who is actually fit for General Order 24 if not this race?