How not to censor a war book

How not to censor a war book
Operation Dark Heart is a book.
That’s all I’m allowed to say.

Colonel Anthony Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, wrote a memoir about his time in Afghanistan in 2003 called Operation Dark Heart. It was approved for publication by the Army, but when other government agencies saw it, they decided that some passages were too sensitive and had to be censored. Problem was, advance copies had already been sent out.

So the Defense Department is going to buy and destroy the 10,000 copies that are sitting in a warehouse.

I’m not sure what they’re going to do about the books that are out there.

For instance, one book was on eBay for $2,000.

Some already have gotten copies of both books, such as The New York Times. They’ve compared both books and discovered that many of the redacted passages are just plain silly to censor. Of course, since both books are available, anyone who can find both versions can compare them and discover what the government thinks is classified.

Maybe that’s why obvious passages were censored, to take attention away from the real secrets.

Said the author:

"While I do not agree with the edits in many ways," Colonel Shaffer wrote, "the Defense Department redactions enhance the reader’s understanding by drawing attention to the flawed results created by a disorganized and heavy handed military intelligence bureaucracy."

I know very little about the book, but if you were a publicist, you couldn’t ask for better publicity.

Let’s take bets. How long will it be before this book appears on Wikileaks, or as a torrent file for anyone to download for free?

Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book’s Reprint, The New York Times>>

Operation Dark Heart at Amazon>>

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One thought on “How not to censor a war book

  1. In January of 2013, the Pentagon changed its mind. From The New York Times:

    "In an illustration of the government’s changeable ideas of what should be secret, Pentagon censors have decided that nearly half of more than 400 passages deleted from an Afghan war memoir can be printed without damaging national security."

    Pentagon Reverses Some of Its Censoring of a War Book

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