DoD Wants To Buy First Printing Of Reservist’s Book To Destroy It
The Defense Department wants to buy up all copies of the first printing of a book by a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so the memoir can never see the light of day.
“Operation Dark Heart,” which was scheduled to be published this month by St. Martin’s Press, recounts the adventures and frustrations of an Army reservist, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who served in Afghanistan in 2003, a moment when the attention of Washington and the military had shifted to Iraq.
Shaffer, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Advance Defense Studies in Washington, describes a number of planned covert operations, including an aborted cross-border surveillance operation using sophisticated eavesdropping technology that targeted high-level al-Qaeda operatives based in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The operation was shut down by military officials concerned about offending Pakistan, according to Shaffer’s account.
The Army Reserve approved the book, but the Defense Intelligence Agency objects to the use of names of intelligence officers. The intelligence community and the publisher have agreed on contents for a second edition that leaves out material they object to.
The Pentagon said in 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.”
Shaffer was previously known for alleging before the 9/11 Commission and Congress that 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.Click here for reuse options!
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