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
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. eavesdropping operations.
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.
Update: Nameless Censorship
18th September 2010. Based on article
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, officials said.
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 officials said.
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 said.
The second, revised edition would be ready by the end of next week, said the author's lawyer, Mark Zaid.
Update: Books Burnt
26th September 2010. Based on article
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.