NORAD officials are adamant that their annual Santa-tracking exercise does not interfere with their ordinary operations, and officials have made on-again, off-again claims that the operation costs either nothing or very, very little (which in Pentagon terms could be anywhere from $20 to $20 billion). But what do we really know about the intricacies of the program?
Very little, as it turns out. Officials are careful to decline to provide any information about Operation NORAD Tracks Santa, making only vague references to Christmas magic. Officials insist that the Santa exercise is ingrained in NORAD’s culture. So too is the secrecy.
Clearly no executive order exists defending the notion of NORAD Tracks Santa as a national secret. In spite of this, officials appear to have provided none of the intricacies under the Freedom of Information Act.
Additionally troubling, at least one person indicated that there is a “secret” list of Santa’s eventual targets at NORAD, pointing to more untoward international dealings which, one can only hope, will emerge from some State Department document.
The damning truth about the administration’s dealings with the elven kingdom of the North Pole is perhaps as closely guarded a secret as exists, and its revelation to an eager-to-know public might well produce a new flurry of calls to crack down on whistleblowers. But a president nominally dedicated to public openness cannot, in good conscience, maintain the truth of their role in Santa’s operations a secret any longer. Simple decency demands a full public airing of the facts of the upcoming Santagate.