Citing National Security Concerns, The Pentagon Buys & Destroys 9,500 Books

Concerned that information published in a book by Lt. Colonel Anthony Schaffer contained classified information deemed a threat to national security, the Pentagon purchased the 9,500 books — only to destroy them. Titled “Operation Dark Heart,” the book recounts Lt. Col. Schaffer’s life in Afghanistan while working for the Defense Intelligence Agency. The publisher was contacted by the Pentagon in August when they were appraised of the security problem.

Reported yesterday by Luis Martinez in Jake Tapper’s column at

After consulting with Shaffer, “we agreed to incorporate some of the government’s changes into a revised edition of his book while redacting other text he was told was classified. The newly revised book keeps our national interests secure, but this highly qualified warrior’s story is still intact,” the publisher said.

The Pentagon officials said that the book threatened to divulge state secrets. Alex Spillius reported in the Telegraph/UK that Shaffer believes he’s fallen victim to increased scrutiny after the release of thousands of sensitive documents by the website Wikileaks and that the “Pentagon wanted to shut this off until after the election,” because it was “more bad news.” The first books were reportedly destroyed September 20.

Thumbnail photo from AP

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