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Poop Man Bob

Pentagon setting up market where investors bet on chance of terrorist attacks, etc.

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Does this strike anyone else as really, really wrong?

 

 

 

Link to Yahoo News story.

 

Pentagon's Futures Market Plan Condemned

Mon Jul 28, 7:46 PM ET

 

By KEN GUGGENHEIM, Associated Press Writer

 

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon (news - web sites) is setting up a stock-market style system in which investors would bet on terror attacks, assassinations and other events in the Middle East. Defense officials hope to gain intelligence and useful predictions while investors who guessed right would win profits.

 

Two Democratic senators demanded Monday the project be stopped before investors begin registering this week. "The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it's grotesque," Sen. Ron Wyden (news, bio, voting record), D-Ore., said.

 

The Pentagon office overseeing the program, called the Policy Analysis Market, said it was part of a research effort "to investigate the broadest possible set of new ways to prevent terrorist attacks." It said there would be a re-evaluation before more money was committed.

 

The market would work this way. Investors would buy and sell futures contracts — essentially a series of predictions about what they believe might happen in the Mideast. Holder of a futures contract that came true would collect the proceeds of investors who put money into the market but predicted wrong.

 

A graphic on the market's Web page showed hypothetical futures contracts in which investors could trade on the likelihood that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) would be assassinated or Jordanian King Abdullah II would be overthrown.

 

Although the Web site described the Policy Analysis Market as "a market in the future of the Middle East," the graphic also included the possibility of a North Korea (news - web sites) missile attack. That graphic was apparently removed from the Web site hours after the news conference in which Wyden and fellow Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan (news, bio, voting record) of North Dakota criticizing the market.

 

Dorgan described it as useless, offensive and "unbelievably stupid."

 

"Can you imagine if another country set up a betting parlor so that people could go in ... and bet on the assassination of an American political figure, or the overthrow of this institution or that institution?" he said.

 

According to its Web site, the Policy Analysis Market would be a joint program of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, and two private companies: Net Exchange, a market technologies company, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of the publisher of The Economist magazine.

 

DARPA has received strong criticism from Congress for its Terrorism Information Awareness program, a computerized surveillance program that has raised privacy concerns. Wyden said the Policy Analysis Market is under retired Adm. John Poindexter, the head of the Terrorism Information Awareness program and, in the 1980s, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

 

In its statement Monday, DARPA said that markets offer efficient, effective and timely methods for collecting "dispersed and even hidden information. Futures markets have proven themselves to be good at predicting such things as elections results; they are often better than expert opinions."

 

The description of the market on its Web site makes it appear similar to a computer-based commodities market. Contracts would be available based on economic health, civil stability, military disposition and U.S. economic and military involvement in Egypt, Iran, Iraq (news - web sites), Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey.

 

Contracts would also be available on "global economic and conflict indicators" and specific events, for example U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state.

 

Traders who believe an event will occur can buy a futures contract. Those who believe the event is unlikely can try to sell a contract. The Web site does not address how much money investors would be likely to put into the market but says analysts would be motivated by the "prospect of profit and at pain of loss" to make accurate predictions.

 

Registration would begin Friday with trading beginning Oct. 1. The market would initially be limited to 1,000 traders, increasing to at least 10,000 by Jan. 1. The Web site says government agencies will not be allowed to participate and will not have access to the identities or funds of traders.

 

The market is a project of a DARPA division called FutureMAP, or "Futures Markets Applied to Prediction." FutureMAP is trying to develop programs that would allow the Defense Department to use market forces to predict future events, according to its Web site. "The rapid reaction of markets to knowledge held by only a few participants may provide an early warning system to avoid surprise," it said.

 

It said the markets must offer "compensation that is ethically and legally satisfactory to all sectors involved, while remaining attractive enough to ensure full and continuous participation of individual parties."

 

Dorgan and Wyden released a letter to Poindexter calling for an immediate end to the program. They noted a May 20 report to lawmakers that cited the possibility of using market forces to predict whether terrorists would attack Israel with biological weapons. "Surely such a threat should be met with intelligence gathering of the highest quality — not by putting the question to individuals betting on an Internet Web site," they said.

 

Wyden said $600,000 has been spent on the program so far and the Pentagon plans to spend an additional $149,000 this year. The Pentagon has requested $3 million for the program for next year and $5 million for the following year.

 

Wyden said the Senate version of next year's defense spending bill would cut off money for the program, but the House version would fund it. The two versions will have to be reconciled.

 

 

On the Net:

 

Policy Analysis Market: www.policyanalysismarket.org

 

DARPA's FutureMap Web site: www.darpa.mil/iao/FutureMap.htm

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theres a thread on this

 

yes

it is disgusting

 

at least there are a couple of (democratic) senators who agree..

they are generating a lot of bad publicity

i saw them excoriating the bastards on tv last night

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Re: theres a thread on this

 

Originally posted by !@#$%

theres a thread on this

 

Oops .. I didn't see that. Oh well, that thread devolved into three people trading "fuck yous," so maybe this will produce some debate or a little more awareness.

 

Although there's not much to debate here. It's absolutely ridiculous.

 

Like SteveAustin said, this opens up the possiblity for terrorists to actually make money off of their attacks. How's that for a little added motive? If Terrorist A succeeds, he leaves a nice little pool of cash for Terrorist B to work with. Ugh..

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thought I'd move this over here:

 

Originally posted by SteveAustin

let me get this right. So if this is real...someone could bet on a terror attack and make money. The traders identities and funds would be kept secret from government agencies...so...hypothetically you could make money from carrying out your own terrorist attack. brilliant. we've already funded half of them at some point in time...might as well keep em on the payroll.

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Guest

In Vegas you can bet on anything.

I'm sure that there's a 'terrorist leader board' with a free buffet.

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Yeah this makes no sense to me at all. It's like sponsoring terrorism publicly. I've always said you can predict headlines by keeping a close eye on businesses but this is ridiculous. Could become a kinda self fulfilling prophecy with the money involved.

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Guest ctrl+alt+del

worry not, pmb

 

Pentagon Cancels Terrorism Betting Plan

 

 

Pentagon Cancels Terrorism Betting Plan

1 hour, 33 minutes ago

 

 

By KEN GUGGENHEIM, Associated Press Writer

 

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon (news - web sites) on Tuesday abandoned a plan to establish a futures market that would have allowed traders to profit by correctly predicting assassinations and terrorist strikes in the Middle East.

 

Facing outraged Democratic senators, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said he learned of the program in the newspaper while heading to a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Iraq (news - web sites).

 

"I share your shock at this kind of program," he said. "We'll find out about it, but it is being terminated."

 

Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said in an interview that he received assurance from the head of the Pentagon agency overseeing the program that it would "stop all engines on this matter today."

 

Warner spoke by telephone with Tony Tether, head of the Pentagon's Defense Research Projects Agency, after consulting with Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. The three agreed "that this should be immediately disestablished," Warner said.

 

Warner said that DARPA "didn't think through the full ramifications of the program."

 

The little-publicized Pentagon plan envisioned a potential futures trading market in which speculators would wager with one another on the Internet on the likelihood of various economic or political events in the Middle East, including terrorist attacks or assassinations. A Web site promoting the plan already is available and registration of traders was to begin Friday.

 

When the plan was disclosed Monday by Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, the Pentagon defended it as a way to gain intelligence about potential terrorists' plans.

 

Wyden called it "a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism." Dorgan described it as "unbelievably stupid."

 

Criticism mounted Tuesday. On the Senate floor, Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle of South Dakota denounced the program as "an incentive actually to commit acts of terrorism."

 

"This is just wrong," declared Daschle, D-S.D. At an Armed Services Committee hearing, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (news - web sites) called it "a futures market in death."

 

Republicans joined in the criticism. At a news conference, Warner, Stevens and Roberts said they had not been told details of the program and would never have supported it. "This defies common sense. It's absurd," Roberts said. Warner called it "a rather egregious error of judgment."

 

At the Foreign Relations hearing, Wolfowitz defended DARPA, saying "it is brilliantly imaginative in places where we want them to be imaginative. It sounds like maybe they got too imaginative," he said, smiling.

 

Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., told Wolfowitz "I don't think we can laugh off that program,"

 

"There is something very sick about it," she said. "And if it's going to end, I think you ought to end the careers of whoever it was thought that up. Because terrorists knowing they were planning an attack could have bet on the attack and collected a lot of money. It's a sick idea."

 

DARPA has been criticized by Congress for its Terrorism Information Awareness program, a computerized surveillance program that has raised privacy concerns. Wyden said the Policy Analysis Market is under the supervision of retired Adm. John Poindexter, the head of the Terrorism Information Awareness program and, in the 1980s, national security adviser to President Reagan.

 

Warner said Poindexter and Tether had personally reviewed the program. Warner, Roberts and Stevens declined to say whether the two men should be fired. Tether was to meet with lawmakers later Tuesday.

 

 

 

The program is called the Policy Analysis Market. DARPA said it was part of a research effort "to investigate the broadest possible set of new ways to prevent terrorist attacks."

 

Traders would have bought and sold futures contracts — just like energy traders do now in betting on the future price of oil. But the contracts in this case would have been based on what might happen in the Middle East in terms of economics, civil and military affairs or specific events, such as terrorist attacks.

 

Holders of a futures contract that came true would have collected the proceeds of traders who put money into the market but predicted wrong.

 

A graphic on the market's Web page Monday showed hypothetical futures contracts in which investors could trade on the likelihood that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) would be assassinated or Jordanian King Abdullah II would be overthrown. Although the Web site described the Policy Analysis Market as Middle East market, the graphic also included the possibility of a North Korea (news - web sites) missile attack. The graphic was later removed from the Web site.

 

In a statement Monday, DARPA said markets could reveal "dispersed and even hidden information. Futures markets have proven themselves to be good at predicting such things as elections results; they are often better than expert opinions."

 

According to its Web site, the Policy Analysis Market would be a joint program of DARPA and two private companies, Net Exchange, a market technologies company, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of the publisher of The Economist magazine.

 

Trading was to begin Oct. 1. The market would have been open to at least 10,000 investors by Jan. 1.

 

The Web site says government agencies will not be allowed to participate and will not have access to the identities or funds of traders.

 

The Policy Analysis Market is part of a DARPA project called FutureMAP, or "Futures Markets Applied to Prediction." FutureMAP is run by Poindexter's division of DARPA, the Information Awareness Office, and the products of FutureMAP were to be given to the Terrorism Information Awareness project, another one of Poindexter's programs, for evaluation.

 

___

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"At the Foreign Relations hearing, Wolfowitz defended DARPA, saying "it is brilliantly imaginative in places where we want them to be imaginative. It sounds like maybe they got too imaginative," he said, smiling. "

 

Everything is a joke, eh.

 

Regardless, I'm pleased the plan got tossed in the trash.

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I'm really beginning to think I need to run for some sort of office. Its painfully obvious some of our "leaders" are extremely ignorant.

 

shocked it was real...pleased its gone.

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hah....thats ridiculous that it even got that far...i mean at least they are down enough to not give a fuck and try to get it legalized.

the streets are paved with blood in america.

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Doesn't it make any of you uncomfortable that the people who are supposed to protect us were gonna make book on the odds of our continued wellbeing?

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Originally posted by mr.yuck

http://www.fatcap.co.uk/host/files/blown_up_pres_e0.gif'>

here is what my money is on

 

 

****interseting fact****

 

 

after 9/11, the rental rate of the movie Independence Day went up %250.

 

just shows you have movies have numbed us to reality.

 

stupid movies, they make me think that i can acually have romance and it will work out in the end.

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oh shit at first i thought you meant that the price for renting the movie went from $4 up to $14. But that's not the case so I'll just be quiet now.

 

 

Smart: Yes it is very troublesome that our government is placing bets on just how long we will prosper. But I don't really have a very well formulated thought on this so I'm gonna keep my mouth shut for now.

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I haven't read the articles, but from what I have heard about it in various places..... This is almost one of those "stranger than fiction" things.

 

I was laughing out loud about the fact that this was considered seriously enough to make the news.

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