[ Wednesday, July 30, 2003 ]

Gambling on corpse counts

Thankfully, no futures trader will have to utter the words, “I can’t believe I lost all that money because those damn terrorists did not kill enough people by the end of the quarter.”

In a rare relocation of a collective backbone, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and other members of his party actually stood up to a recent Pentagon proposal that put the government close to endorsing a gambling on death policy that could have led to such a comment. The idea was to setup a futures market based around potential terrorist attacks or other events like the possible assassination of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

It was recently stopped, though.

If Pentagon officials had their way, people would have basically wagered on the likelihood of an event occurring within a certain time.

The idea was for the Pentagon to gather information in order to possibly predict future events based basically upon seeing where the smart money went. Aside from all other arguments about devaluing human life to a gambling formula and the idea of profiting directly from death, the proposal forced the question of how bad is the current state of intelligence gathering if the military wanted to rely on 10,000 online investors to help form policy?





Dave Sutor [4:05 AM]