To Shoot First

The aide carried a portfolio of photographs into the General's office.

"General, there's another confirmed sighting," the aide said.

"See, what did I tell you? There's been an increase in UFO sightings!" the General thundered.

"We've increased our anti-air defenses and fired on unidentified craft, as you ordered, but we've found an explanation to those sightings," the aide calmly replied. "We've recovered the wreckage of one of those identified craft."

"You mean you shot down one of those alien bastards? Good work!"

The General eagerly opened the portfolio, expecting to see an extraterrestrial craft. He was shocked at what he saw.

"You don't mean?" he gasped.

"No, General. Those weren't aliens. They were a new type of weather balloon. The Science and Technology Department is a bit angry at us, as they've poured millions into a new series of high-altitude weather balloons. They were designed and launched en masse, but news of it was delayed due to bureaucratic inefficiency."

"I already know what's going to happen. They'll need a scapegoat."

The aide perked up. "How about that Air Force Colonel? He's already got some flak for shooting down weather balloons. No pun intended."

"Excellent! That's one thing I do love about this nation. There's always another department to take the blame when you need it."

Both laughed.

"Never liked the Air Force, anyway. Bunch of airheads," the aide snickered.

"Well, no need to worry about aliens, then. Just the main foe of ours, red tape."