Operation Dark Heart:Censorship in 2010

by Abigail Pfeiffer on October 31, 2010

Operation Dark Heart

I just got a copy, a censored copy I should note, of the book “Operation Darkheart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan and the Path to Victory” by Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer.  I may have never heard of this book before had there not been the controversy surrounding it.  This book was released in it’s original form and then this year the Pentagon bought all 9500 copies of it and proceeded to destroy it.  Then a censored version was released (lucky us, how kind of the government) and I just got a copy of it from the library yesterday. I haven’t started it yet, but I wanted to blog about it before I read it and then give my opinion of it when I finished.

I would not claim that I am an expert on any of the Middle East wars, but I am starting to read about them so that I can have a good grasp on the issues happening over there. Essentially, I want to know what is going on so I can identify when the media is feeding me a line of bullshit. But I digress.  Apparently, the first version of this book had information that would have compromised national security and the safety of the troops in Afghanistan. Ok, I can appreciate that, but is that really the truth?

The Pentagon made a statement that the: “manuscript did not undergo a pre-publication information security review as required by DoD regulation. This became known to the Department only recently, and after the manuscript was printed by the publisher. DoD has been working closely and cooperatively with the publisher, LTC Shaffer and his counsel to address the problem and any potential issues involving classified information.”

I just have a hard time wrapping my head around a Lt. Col that would put the security of his troops, or any American troops for that matter, in putting classified material in a book. That is not to say that there haven’t been bad officers throughout history.  I tend to think that the first run of the book made someone in either the military or government look really stupid, or some dumb mistake needed to be covered up. But that’s just my humble opinion.

Shaffer had this to say in a statement to CNN: “Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous.”

Click here for some further reading.

Click here for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s letter about the book.

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