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Broken Arrow

This story is causing a bit of a stir, but it shouldn't. Read:

The Pentagon office that proposed spying electronically on Americans to monitor potential terrorists has a new experiment. It is an online futures trading market, disclosed today by critics, in which anonymous speculators would bet on forecasting terrorist attacks, assassinations and coups.

Traders bullish on a biological attack on Israel or bearish on the chances of a North Korean missile strike would have the opportunity to bet on the likelihood of such events on a new Internet site established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

If you're opposed to capitalism in general, it's understandable why you'd react in horror to a proposal such as this. And so it's without surprise that the usual suspects are making the usual noises:

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, D-Ore., said.