WASHINGTON, DC—A joint federal-state task force intends to apprehend Santa Claus, whom it regards as a dangerous fugitive, Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Chet Waldron told reporters yesterday.
Among the factors making Claus a “person of interest,” according to Waldron:
- Claus’s entry of private property makes him guilty of civil, and probably criminal, trespass.
- Claus’s immigration status is in question. He has repeatedly entered the United States without a passport.
- Claus appears to have purposefully avoided the inspection of the goods he has imported into the United States by customs authorities and the payment of relevant tariffs.
- Self-described “pro-family” groups have asked the administration to take action because Claus’s provision of toys to children interferes with their parents’ rights to oversee the upbringing of their offspring, since many popular toys may encourage attitudes and behavior of which parents disapprove or legitimize values and lifestyles parents find objectionable.
- The fact that Claus has failed to provide information about the contents of the packages he carries has raised questions about whether any of his actions violate US drug or money-transfer laws.
- Claus enters and traverses US airspace using a custom-built vehicle that lacks approval by the Federal Aviation Administration. Further, FAA officials note that he does not file flight plans, lacks a pilot’s license, and flies through darkened skies guided only by a tiny bioluminescent red light, in a clear violation of traffic safety regulations.
- Justice Department attorneys have raised questions about Claus’s willingness to distribute his products for free, asking whether doing so violates anti-dumping rules.
- There is no record that Claus, who clearly “conducts business” in the United States, has ever obtained a business license.
- Some items delivered by Claus are believed to have been produced in violation of US patent and copyright laws and international treaties.
Claus defenders had hoped that the arrival of the Obama administration would lead to reduced emphasis on the planned Claus prosecution. But the presence of vocal Claus critics—including Secretary of State, said to regard Claus as a “persistent threat to national security,” and Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole, who has been quoted as urging the North American Air Defense Command to “shoot the old guy out of the sky”—in the upper echelons of the Obama administration suggests that Claus will continue to be a federal target.
US Senator Joseph Lieberman (Ct.) has called on the White House to support designating Claus’s North Pole workshop a terrorist organization. “We’ll see how long people keep supporting this bastard when they realize we can seize their assets and lock them up in Guantanamo,” Lieberman enthused to a National Press Club audience.
While the administration has yet to formally endorse Lieberman’s proposal, “We’ll keep looking,” Waldron told reporters. “Americans concerned about their safety can be sure that we’re going to put a stop to this persistent threat.”
*Originally published by Gary Chartier and George Getz.