According to Wikipedia
, "pwned" (variously pronounced, but usually as "owned") means that someone has been fooled, bamboozled or duped into a course of action that spells easy victory for the opponent. It apparently grew out of Internet slang.
Etymology is fun, isn't it?
Now, I want to introduce you to this guy:
His name is Manucher Ghorbanifar
, a gentleman of leisure and dealer in weapons and information. Iranian-born, he is probably the single biggest jiveass liar and complete motherfucker to cross the path of the United States in the past 50 years. With the help of Reagan White House operatives Michael Ledeen and Oliver North, Ghorbanifar sold the idea of selling weapons to the MEK terrorist group on the strength that they were against the Islamic government in Tehran, and then skimming the profits from those sales to fund the contras
That's rather simplistic, but it's the bare bones of the idea. And what did we get for it?
About 240 dead Marines, killed in their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Makes me wonder why Ollie North hasn't shot himself yet. It also got us a Socialist government in Nicaragua and the destruction of any credibility that might have been enjoyed by Ronald Reagan up to that point. There was the possibility that he could have been impeached, but I guess enough people were scared of having to do it again, so soon (10 years) after another Republican was impeached, that they balked.
Ghorbanifar's name, however, surfaced again shortly after 9/11. Again, with Ledeen's help (and illustrating that neoconservatives are like the old Bourbons - they forget nothing and they learn nothing) Ghorbanifar tried to sell us information on Iraq and Iran that he said came from dissidents within Iran, that could be useful in our war on terror.
The Defense Department recalled Ghorbanifar, though, and their counterintelligence investigators doubted that what he had on offer was useful - but could have been planted to manipulate us. That investigation, however, was stopped by an undersecretary within then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office.
The McClatchy News Service came out with this article
a couple days ago in which the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (the village idiots, in other words) finally reported that a lot of the information used to gull the American people into war was almost straight moonshine. Some of that goes straight back to Ghorbanifar, with major help from Ledeen, Douglas Feith, and at least one official within Vice-President Cheney's office.
So, who stood to gain from all of this? Ghorbanifar angled for up to $30 million in taxpayer's money, showing that he's not just a liar but a greedy little shit. But who stood to gain The Most
That answer would have to be the Islamic Republic of Iran, and does not require any great exercise of logic or geopolitical expertise to deduce. Iraq was a secular Sunni thorn in Iran's side, having attacked it in 1980 and locking it into a barbarous war of attrition for eight years. Iraq was always the only nation in the region strong enough to restrain Iran.
So the idea that Ghorbanifar was Tehran's agent when he peddled his dubious info to Ledeen, et. al. is actually quite plausible.
And, to reprise the question I asked earlier, what did we get for it?
Five years of war.
4100 dead American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen.
Thousands wounded and traumatized.
Iraq impotent for decades to come.
And the Islamic Republic of Iran the winner in the game.
Sure enough, We Got Pwned.