Wired News: The Case for Terrorism Futures
I rather dislike Bush and I'm no friend of Poindexter's, but he was right and the media and the public are wrong. Compared to TIA (total information awareness) the futures proposal was simple, free of privacy issues, and very practical.
Within hours to days of 9/11 investigators sought evidence that terrorists had made "bets" on airplane and related stocks falling (shorted global or specific markets). This is one way to track that kind of activity.
In its absence, we'll have to rely on assessing overall trading patterns looking for evidence of "bets" that would pay off in the event of a major attack. Much less efficient.
I'm particularly impressed by the cowardice of the nation's editorial writers, who've failed to distinguish themselves in either criticizing the failures of the Bush administration or in defeinding ideas that seem unusual. I'm curious as to what Paul Krugman and The Economist will say.
PS. Years ago I made a similar proposal as part of a campaign finance reform plan.