The US Air Force, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), in a gross case of mistaken identity, disintegrated Santa Clause and his 18 reindeer over Washington airspace this evening. Apparently, the heavy red man was flying over restricted airspace when he was mistaken for an intercontinental ballistic missile and was disintegrated on the spot.
The pilots of the two, F-18 Navy Hornet Fighters sent to the area say they tried to contact the object and unleashed several AIM-9 sidewinder missiles into the side of his sleigh after he failed to respond.
"It was bound to happen," said Palestinian peace activist, Sumaya Farhat-Naser. "The United States is sitting on a powder-keg."
NORAD commander, Timothy Keating said of the incident, "We live in the real world, where you have to make real decisions. Sometimes there isn't much time to make them. If you wait more than a second, it could be all she wrote."
Volunteers who were working with NORAD Santa Tracking Operations Center (STOC) were dismayed when they had to break the bad news. Children, who were busy calling in and sending emails wanting to get a fix on Santa Claus' whereabouts before the incident occurred, were shocked to hear the news.
Those kids who were watching live, 3-D video-stream footage of the jolly saint getting blown to smithereens had it the worst said volunteers.
"What kid is going to understand that their number one hero was blown to smithereens just doing his job?" said children's advocate and author, Jonothan Kozel.
Social workers were being called in from all over Washington and locations outside the DC area to deal with the crises. Crisis centers opened throughout the city so that families could take their children for help dealing with strong emotions.
When asked again if he thought that the two Navy fighters acted in haste, Keating said, "We're a defensive organization. We have no intention of conducting offensive operations unless we're attacked. Those two fighters tried to make contact with him, but there was no response on his part. We're not even sure if that was the real Santa Clause, or a Communist impostor."
Researchers compared tonight's incident with the US Army Infantry fiasco reported earlier this month whereby US Abrams tanks blew up the Buddhas of Bamiya during a morning target practice exercise.
Researchers say that it has been too long a journey for the Fourth Century Bishop, over 1,600 years, to end up disintegrated in the sights of an F-18 aircraft.
This is a sad day for everybody.
In other news today, the US Navy has another one of their submarines in trouble off the coast of Australia. Apparently giant sperm whales are being attracted to the submarines for some reason.
Navy officials are not sure if it is the Navy's sonar that the giant whales are attracted to, or just the design, or if Cuba is feeding the giant fish large doses of Macca to stimulate it's sexual appetite to disable the subs. This issue is currently under investigation.