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article imagePentagon purchases and burns memoir written by ex-officer

By Stephanie Dearing     Sep 27, 2010 in Politics
The U.S. Pentagon has purchased almost 10,000 copies of Operation Dark Heart, the memoirs penned by a former US military officer who served in Afghanistan.
The books were burned by the Pentagon, because they contain "state secrets." Amazon reports the following on its website: "Important Message for Customers: On Friday, August 13, 2010, just as St. Martin’s Press was readying its initial shipment of Operation Dark Heart, the Department of Defense expressed concern that its publication could cause damage to U.S. national security. The publication of the initial edition was canceled. However, after consulting with the author, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, St. Martin's Press agreed to incorporate some of the government’s changes, which includes redacting classified text, into a revised edition."
The AFP reported on September 17 that a last minute deal had been reached between St. Martin's Press and the Pentagon to "remove intelligence details." The Defence Department had offered to pay for the first publication of the book, which was originally printed in August.
The Daily Mail, the Pentagon paid $250,000 for the books already printed. CNN reported Saturday that the Pentagon supervised the destruction of 9,500 of those books on September 20th. The Pentagon had initially approved the book, then revoked its permission.
Author Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer only learned about the Pentagon's decision Friday. Schaffer told CNN "The whole premise smacks of retaliation. Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous."
MacMillan, which owns St. Martin's Press, had issued an undated statement saying "On Friday, August 13, 2010, just as St. Martin’s Press was readying its initial shipment of this book, the Department of Defense contacted us to express its concern that our publication of Operation Dark Heart could cause damage to U.S. national security. After consulting with our author, we agreed to incorporate some of the government’s changes into a revised edition of his book while redacting other text he was told was classified. The newly revised book keeps our national interests secure, but this highly qualified warrior's story is still intact. Shaffer's assessment of successes and failures in Afghanistan remains dramatic, shocking, and crucial reading for anyone concerned about the outcome of the war.
“While I do not agree with the edits in many ways, the DoD redactions enhance the reader’s understanding by drawing attention to the flawed results created by a disorganized and heavy handed military intelligence bureaucracy." —Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer."
MacMillan said Shaffer "... is a Bronze Star Medal recipient and a lieutenant colonel in the U. S. Army Reserve. He is a CIA-trained senior intelligence operations officer with more than twenty-two years of experience in the intelligence community. Currently, he is a Fellow and Special Lecturer at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, D.C."
According to Daily Postal, copies of the original book, Operation Dark Heart, had been circulated for reviews to members of the media earlier this year.
The Washington Post said Shaffer had testified before Congress, alleging "... a covert Pentagon task force called "Able Danger" had identified Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker in the Sept. 11 attacks, before the assaults on New York and the Pentagon. Shaffer's claim was later rejected by congressional investigators, among others. But he repeats the assertion in the book."
The official website for the book Operation Dark Heart has posted a video about the attempts of the Pentagon to suppress the book's publication.
In the meanwhile, the book has been printed a second time, and the Pentagon's changes have been made, CNN reported. Readers will notice the changes, said CNN, as black lines throughout the book.
The censorship has some people claiming the Pentagon is trying to suppress the truth about 9/11.
More about Pentagon, State secrets, Book burning, Operation dark heart, Able danger
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