The Pentagon is so worried about revelations in a new memoir about the War on Terror that it's considering buying 10,000 copies — the entire first printing — and destroying them. Sounds like a good book, no?
The book, Operation Dark Heart, is a memoir by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and Army Reserve colonel who recounts his experiences in Afghanistan gathering intelligence against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Oddly enough, his publisher had allowed the Army to review a copy of the book earlier this year. After suggesting a few edits, the Army reviewers gave their okay, saying they had "no objection on legal or operational security grounds."
This summer, however, the Defense Intelligence Agency got their hands on a copy, "showed it to other spy agencies, reviewers identified more than 200 passages suspected of containing classified information." The book was scheduled for release on August 31, and review and advance copies had already been sent out, before its release was put on hiatus.
Both sides now appear to have agreed on the contents of the second printing, but negotiations are focused on what to with the 10,000 copies already published.
The Pentagon is now negotiating with Shaffer's publisher to buy the entire first print run, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The Pentagon's plan to destroy all 10,000 copies of the initial printing was first reported Thursday night by the New York Times.
This is great news for Anthony A. Shaffer. His book that most people never would've heard about is now "the book the Pentagon doesn't want you to read," and will find its way to curious readers in some form or another, whether the Pentagon buys the first printing or not. And if the Pentagon does want to go through with this purchase, well, hopefully Anthony A. Shaffer knows that the federal government can print as much money as it wants, and he can adjust his price-per-copy accordingly.
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