Ten thousand copies of a book written by an American reserve soldier were set on fire. This burning was conducted by the American Department of Defense. The Department first bought these copies and later they were burnt. The army reveals that the book was entitled Operation Dark Heart. The latter contained the memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer. It seems it included some information which would endanger the American National security. In his memoirs, Anthony Shaffer depicts how he lived in Afghanistan when he was commanding a secret operations team under Bush administration.
Everything occurred last Monday, September 20, 2010. It is then that 9.500 copies of the book by Shaffer were burnt whereas the editing house produced in dual print new copies considering Government requests. According to the Army, some words, names and even some entire paragraphs had been rubbed out in black in this new version because this was classified information. One of the first lines of the book reads ‘ and then I was in Afghanistan and my duty was to guide the operations of the agency intelligence for defense, the center for American operations in the country’.
Shaffer, the writer of the book made these changes in his book expressing his sorrow of putting on fire his first manuscripts: the whole of this process feels reprisals. It sounds unimaginable to purchase 10 000 books and set them on fire; this is great loss, indeed. In addition, there exists a book which has never been censored. The latter is on sale on eBay at book copy US $ 1.995,95$, equivalent to 1.484,74 euros. What seems troublesome for the Department of Defense is Wikileaks, an organization that has put on line more than 91.000 military documents regarding the war in Afghanistan end July. This organization believes to have purchased a copy of this first version in a tweet which reads as set on fire any book you want, punks nazis.
The Department of Defense thinks that the manuscript dealt with the secret activities of American Army special operations, those of the CIA and the Security National Agency. However, Shaffer’s lawyer supports that the writer’s military hierarchy read the book before its publication and gave him the green light.
On the other hand, the Pentagon hopes the writer did not get the go ahead from the right persons. He might have gotten the permission of the Reserve Army, but not the Army as a whole, not even from the Department of Defense. Thence, he did not fulfill the required conditions of the regulations of the Department of Defense in terms of security matters.
For this reason, the Department of Defense says they are paying back the editing house for the costs of the first version and having not purchased copies of the rewritten version of the book. To Anthony Shaffer, he has not forgotten the action of the Army on this new version as we can read in the column ‘details product’ of his book on Amazon.fr: ‘ although I am not satisfied with the corrections, the censures by the Department of Defense increase the reader’s comprehension by attracting their attention on the defective results that are created by a bureaucracy of the disorganized Military Intelligence that has a heavy hand.
Although the writer can defend his writings, it is up to the Department of Defense to decide about this book censorship it deals with its activities in this particular region. But the question remains to know whether all the copies have been burnt. If not, this burning will not have brought any solution to the issue.