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I sure as hell didn't know about this until it came into the spotlight a couple of days ago, and I think that everyone should know about a sick little program the Pentagon was planning to implement (before it thankfully got killed)
The U.S. Pentagon, in conjunction with a DARPA project under the leadership of retired Admiral John Poindexter (an important figure in the Iran-Contra scandal) was planning to create a futures market in which people could bet on future terrorist attacks. More specifically, people could place money on whichever target (person or location) they believed terrorists would strike next.
According to Poindexter and the Pentagon team (reporting to Paul Wolfowitz), this was somehow supposed to help prevent future terrorist attacks. DARPA released a statement saying that this market "is exploring new ways to help analysts predict and thereby prevent the use of futures market mechanisms." How the hell this market was supposed to predict future attacks is beyond me; how is the average person supposed to accurately predict a future attack?
Senator Daschle was right on with these remarks about this proposal:
I couldn't believe that we would actually commit $8 million to create a Web site that would encourage investors to bet on futures involving terrorist attacks and public assassinations... I can't believe that anybody would seriously propose that we trade in death.
Senator Wyden had these remarks:
The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it's grotesque.
Thankfully, both the House and Senate spoke up against it and forced the Pentagon to kill this ill-concieved market. The fact that the Pentagon under the Bush Administration could even think about making this grotesque, outrageous market public shows that the Pentagon has far too much power. No agency should even consider creating something like this. At least the House and Senate had enough sense to kill this ridiculous proposal.
"It was not God who created man, but man who created God." --Santa Caserio
Here's a link to DARPA's page on the topic:
I see this as yet another attempt to privatize and use neoliberal economic theories in applications where they aren't effective or applicable.
This post was edited by mclaincausey on Jul 30, 2003.
Damn, well, here:
Jul 31, 2003 16:42 # 14394
Granted, I've come up with some...disturbing ideas, however this is just too wrong. Betting on assassinations and attacks? That's just a bit overboard. And could you imagine the attacks that it would inspire? It's rediculous. As are other things that the govt does (such as announce on TV our stratagy. Don't they think people in foriegn nations watch CNN too?). Anyway, I too am thankful that the Senate had enough sence to shoot this down.
You fail it.