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'Operation Dark Heart' Turned To Pulp: Military Officials Watched Publisher Destroy 9,500 Books

09/27/10 02:39 PM ET   AP

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department says it has paid $47,000 to destroy 9,500 copies of a former Army intelligence officer's war memoir that the Pentagon contends threatened national security.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said Monday that military officials last week watched as St. Martin's Press pulped the books to be recycled.

The publisher had planned to release on Aug. 31 Anthony Shaffer's book "Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan – and the Path to Victory." Shaffer's lawyer, Mark Zaid, says the Army Reserve cleared the manuscript beforehand but the Defense Department later rescinded the approval, claiming the text contained classified information.

Shaffer and the publisher agreed to redact the material.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Defense Department says it has overseen the destruction of 9,500 copies of a former Army intelligence officer's war memoir that the Pentagon contends threatened national security.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said Monday that military officials last week watched as St. Martin's Press pulped the books to be recycled.

The publisher had planned to release on Aug. 31 Anthony Shaffer's book "Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan – and the Path to Victory." Shaffer's lawyer, Mark Zaid, says the Army Reserve cleared the manuscript beforehand but the Defense Department later rescinded the approval, claiming the text contained classified information

Shaffer and the publisher agreed to remove the material.

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Filed by T.J. Ortenzi  |