Friday, December 31, 2010

Pentagon Censorship Of Afghan War Book

Author Fights Pentagon Censorship Of Book On Afghanistan War

Anthony Shaffer thinks the war in Afghanistan went off track in 2003 and wrote about it in his book Operation Dark Heart. Shaffer was a senior operations officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency when he served in Afghanistan, winning a Bronze Star for operations there.

Unhappy with policy choices, Shaffer is critical of them in his book. He says he sought clearance for the publication of Operation Dark Heart and has the letter granting it.

The Pentagon counters that he followed improper procedure when getting that clearance, and the Defense Department then spent about $50,000 to buy the first printing of the book, 9500 copies, which it destroyed in order to prevent some disclosures from becoming public.

It then forced him to redact information in later editions.

Shaffer has sued on First Amendment grounds.

"There is a great deal of effort that's been made, I believe, to editorialize the war.One of the reasons I did my book was to explore and present to the American Public the rest of the story about why the war went off track and, frankly, much of the Pentagon's concerns, I believe, were not security related. They had more to do with embarrassment and trying to dodge accountability for some very bad decisions made in 2003 and 2004," Shaffer told 9News Now. {continued}

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