Operation Dark Heart is the new book by former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and retired army reservist Anthony Shaffer
It sounds like an interesting read with the tagline: spycraft and special ops on the frontlines of
Afghanistan and the path to victory but now the Pentagon does want to let people get a look at what's inside.
The book was originally cleared by army reviewers, who vetted the manuscript to ensure it didn't reveal national security secrets. It
went to press, was sent to reviewers, and was even available for a short time online.
But now the Pentagon is now negotiating with Shaffer's publisher to purchase all 10,000 copies of the first print run with the intention of destroying them. It
turns out the book may indeed contain a significant amount of senstive material. Once the DIA looked over the book, and shared it with other intelligence agencies, 200 passages suspected of containing classified information were discovered setting off a scramble by Pentagon officials to stop the book's distribution,
according to the Times.
The classified portions of Shaffer's book, according to the Times, include the names of American intelligence officers who served with Colonel Shaffer and his accounts of clandestine operations, including N.S.A.
Fox is reporting that intelligence officials are also trying to deep-six portions of the book concerning a classified data mining program known as Able Danger.
A publisher has agreed to remove US intelligence details from a memoir by a former army officer in Afghanistan after the Pentagon raised last-minute objections,
The book, Operation Dark Heart , had been printed and prepared for release in August but St. Martin's Press will now issue a revised version of the spy memoir after negotiations with the Pentagon, US and company
In an unusual step, the Defense Department has agreed to reimburse the company for the cost of the first printing, spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told AFP. The original manuscript contained classified information which had not
been properly reviewed by the military and US spy agencies, he said.
St. Martin's press will destroy copies from the first printing with Pentagon representatives observing to ensure it's done in accordance with our standards, Lapan
The second, revised edition would be ready by the end of next week, said the author's lawyer, Mark Zaid.
In a statement to CNN, Pentagon spokeswoman
Lt. Col. April Cunningham said defense officials observed the September 20 destruction of about 9,500 copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's new memoir Operation Dark Heart.
Shaffer says he was notified Friday about the
Pentagon's purchase: The whole premise smacks of retaliation, Shaffer told CNN on Saturday. Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous.
Shaffer's publisher, St. Martin's Press, released a second
printing of the book that it said had incorporated some changes the government had sought while redacting other text he (Shaffer) was told was classified.
From single words and names to entire paragraphs, blacked out lines appear throughout
the book's 299 pages.
Anthony A. Shaffer has filed suit against the Pentagon for what he feels is uncalled for censorship of his book, Operation Dark Heart .
Shaffer's book details his time in Afghanistan and the war being fought there. In September of this
year, the Pentagon purchased the entire first print run, spending $47,300 for the copies and then destroying them, stating that Shaffer had listed classified information in the text.
The book became an instant bestseller after publisher quickly
reprinted a redacted version.
Shaffer's suit claims that very little, if any, of the redacted material was actually classified and that the Pentagon is unfairly censoring his work.
Shaffer's lawyer, Mark S. Zaid, said that while his client
agreed to allow publication of the hardback with the government's redactions, we reserved the right to come back and challenge the decision in court.
A paperback edition is scheduled for publication next year, and Shaffer is asking the
court to order the Pentagon not to require the redactions in the new edition and not to pursue civil or criminal penalties against him for releasing it.
A former intelligence officer with the
US Department of Defense has been given the go-ahead by a federal judge to sue the Pentagon and the CIA for censoring his best-selling account of the war in Afghanistan * .
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer can follow through with his plans to take his
former employers to court, US District Judge Rosemary Collyer decided this week, ruling against the government's arguments that the author of Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan and the Path to Victory had no standing to sue.
News that the CIA has demanded extensive cuts from a forthcoming book by former FBI agent Ali H Soufan made the front page of the New York Times. But Soufan's isn't the only recent memoir to earn the intelligence agency's wrath by, in part,
criticizing its use of brutal interrogation techniques in the decade since 9/11. There's also The Interrogator , by Glenn Carle, a CIA veteran who was given the task of questioning a purported al-Qaida kingpin in 2002. Carle's book was
published earlier this summer with many passages, and occasionally entire pages, blocked out with black bars to show where the agency had insisted on redactions.
Soufan has called many of the CIA's excisions from his own book ridiculous, pointing out that some of the
classified information is a matter of public record and appears in the 9/11 report and even in a memoir by former CIA director George Tenet.
Two mainstream bookstores in New Orleans have filed suit against Attorney General James D. Caldwell and more than 40 district attorneys over House Bill (HB) 153. Primarily an anti-pornography measure, the Louisiana law requires anyone who publishes
material harmful to minors on the Internet to verify web-surfers' dates of birth before allowing them access. But for independent bookstores like the plaintiffs, HB 153 poses a unique threat : deny minors access to their entire web catalog or face a
According to a Shelf Awareness report, HB 153 requires this of booksellers:
[To] either place an age confirmation button in front of their entire website, thereby restricting access to materials that
may be appropriate for all ages, or attempt to review all of the books ... available at their website and place an age confirmation button in front of each individual page that might be inappropriate for any minor.
HB 153 considers
material harmful to minors if :
(a) The material incites or appeals to or is designed to incite or appeal to the prurient, shameful, or morbid interest of minors.
(b) The material is offensive to the average adult applying
contemporary community standards with respect to what is suitable for minors.
(c) The material taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors
Owner Britton Trice notes that the Garden District Bookshop cannot possibly review the 1 million-plus titles on our website, and would therefore be forced to ban all minors from browsing the collection. But even bookseller sites that cater
exclusively to older generations would be required to put age verification walls in place, because the $10,000 fine applies to any retailer that does not verify visitors' ages, regardless of whether any minors come to the website or not.
Coalition, the ACLU, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are named plaintiffs in the challenge, alongside the Garden District Bookshop and Octavia Books.