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The system's not broken. It's fixed.

European police say match-fixing probe uncovers more than 680 suspicious soccer games. Yikes!

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A wide-ranging match-fixing investigation has uncovered more than 680 suspicious games — including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games — and found evidence that a Singapore-based crime gang is closely involved in match-fixing, Europol said Monday.

It was unclear exactly how many of 680 games mentioned were previously known to have been tainted, but the very public announcement shed light on the murky underworld of match-fixers, who bet on fixed games to reap enormous profits around the globe.

The probe uncovered €8 million ($10.9 million) in betting profits and €2 million ($2.7 million) in bribes to players and officials and has already led to several prosecutions.

Those numbers are far lower than many previous estimates [hmm] of the amount of cash involved in match-fixing and betting on rigged matches, but prosecutors said the amounts they named were what they could directly pin down through 13,000 emails, paper trails, phone records and computer records.

The low numbers make me wonder who's being protected.

Biking, soccer.... What next? The banks?

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Submitted by jawbone on

Worse than Lance Armstrong's doping fer sure.

In cycling everyone had a chance to dope to affect outcomes (except for purists and those who couldn't afford the "right stuff"), so at least the race winners actually won, I think.

Submitted by cg.eye on

... so the right question is, "just how much of HSBC's money-laundering came from gambling, as well as drugs -- and to whom are US bookies' bets traceable?"

As with everything else, Follow the Money.... the love of the game hasbara is trotted out so we don't see the damage, as with brain damage stats, domestic violence surges and the utter sabotage of the National Body Hatred Month that was January.

Submitted by lambert on

Interesting. I was hoping for a Russian or German word, but perhaps the Israeli's have brought these practices to unprecedented heights...

Submitted by lambert on

... From this article:

Many topics have been proposed for discussion in this session. In the brief time available to me as a panelist, I would like to put forward some thoughts about the control of narrative and the manipulation of information as an essential element of modern warfare. The Israelis call this “hasbara.” Since they are without doubt the most skilled contemporary practitioners of the art, it seems appropriate to use the Hebrew word for it. And, since Israel’s most recent war (against the Palestinians in Gaza) sputtered to an end just ten days ago, I’ll cite a few examples from that war to illustrate my main points.

Before I get to specifics, let me provide a general description of hasbara and its purposes. Hasbara is usually translated as “explanation.” That does not do the concept justice. Hasbara links information warfare to the strategic efforts of the state to bolster the unity of the home front; ensure the support of allies; disrupt efforts to organize hostile coalitions; determine the way issues are defined by the media, the intelligentsia, and social networks; establish the parameters of politically correct discourse; delegitimize both critics and their arguments; and shape the common understanding and interpretation of the results of international negotiations. Hasbara is multifaceted and well-adapted to the digital age. It embodies a public-private partnership in which the state leads and committed volunteers follow in implementing an information strategy. In its comprehensiveness and complexity, it bears the same relationship to unidimensional public diplomacy as grand strategy does to campaign plans.

Hasbara has its roots in earlier concepts of propaganda, agitprop, and censorship. Like them, it is communication calculated to influence cognition and behavior by manipulating perceptions of a cause or position with one-sided arguments, prejudicial substance, and emotional appeals. Unlike its progenitors, however, hasbara does not seek merely to burnish or tarnish national images of concern to it or to supply information favorable to its theses. It also seeks actively to inculcate canons of political correctness in domestic and foreign media and audiences that will promote self-censorship by them. It strives thereby to decrease the willingness of audiences to consider information linked to politically unacceptable viewpoints, individuals, and groups and to inhibit the circulation of adverse information in social networks.

Past efforts by states to shape domestic and foreign opinion depended on the production of persuasive information and efforts to deprive audiences of access to contradictory information by interrupting its supply through censorship, jamming, and other techniques directed at reducing its flow. By contrast, hasbara assumes the free flow of information within an open marketplace of opinion. In that context, it seeks to promote selective listening. The purpose is to constrict the demand for information, not its flow. Although hasbara includes efforts to impede access to information through a wide variety of techniques adapted to new information technologies, it focuses on limiting the receptivity of audiences to information.

I had hoped to find a word for the immersive, totalizing quality of our discourse from the Soviet or East German regimes. But in fact, their systems did not assume a "free flow" of information at all. It's almost as if "soft totalitarianism" is more pervasive than the hard kind.