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Pentagon Plan: Buying Books to Keep Secrets





deanhills
Looks as though the US Defense Intelligence Agency is trying to stop a non-fiction "spy" book by Anthony Shaffer, who previously worked for the US Defense Intelligence Agency. US Department of Defence (DoD) approved the book for publication a long while ago after thorough review, but officials of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, who had run the contents by other international intelligence agencies are worried the book will reveal classified information. The book was due to be released on 31 August and 9000 copies had already been printed. Name of the book is "Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan.
Quote:
The publication of “Operation Dark Heart,” by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has divided military security reviewers and highlighted the uncertainty about what information poses a genuine threat to security.

Disputes between the government and former intelligence officials over whether their books reveal too much have become commonplace. But veterans of the publishing industry and intelligence agencies could not recall another case in which an agency sought to dispose of a book that had already been printed.

Army reviewers suggested various changes and redactions and signed off on the edited book in January, saying they had “no objection on legal or operational security grounds,” and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, planned for an Aug. 31 release.

But when the Defense Intelligence Agency saw the manuscript in July and showed it to other spy agencies, reviewers identified more than 200 passages suspected of containing classified information, setting off a scramble by Pentagon officials to stop the book’s distribution.

Source: NYTimes
ocalhoun
Well, that's fine.
It's a good thing that they are willing to compensate the author and publisher for the costs of printing the books, especially since they should have identified the classified information long before so many were printed.

...
Now, on the censorship of classified material to begin with, yes the classification process is very open to abuse, but some information is classified for very valid reasons. There needs to be some reform, and some way to prevent classification from being used only as a method of government cover-up, but revelation by random individuals is not the optimal way for this.
(Better, perhaps, would be people with high security clearances who scour classified information for evidence of government wrongdoing, and then go through independent channels to declassify that information.)
coolclay
Wow that is quite interesting. It sounds as if the information probably should be classified if not for our own citizens, but more to stop other countries from learning our spy techniques and other info. It's not like the Afghanistan problem is over. The battle is far from over and the info could hamper our efforts against the Taliban.
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