More of our precious deficit-swelling tax dollars well spent on literary critiques. From the NYTimes, “Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book’s Reprint“:
… The Defense Department is buying and destroying the entire uncensored first printing of “Operation Dark Heart,” by Anthony Shaffer, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, in the name of protecting national security.
A supposed secret removed from the second printing: the location of the Central Intelligence Agency’s training facility — Camp Peary, Va., a fact discoverable from Wikipedia. And the name and abbreviation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, routinely mentioned in news articles. And the fact that Sigint means “signals intelligence.” Not only did the Pentagon black out Colonel Shaffer’s cover name in Afghanistan, Chris Stryker, it deleted the source of his pseudonym: the name of John Wayne’s character in the 1949 movie “The Sands of Iwo Jima.”
[I]n the case of Colonel Shaffer’s book, uncensored advance copies — possibly as many as 100 — were distributed by St. Martin’s Press before military officials found what they thought were security lapses. The New York Times bought an uncensored copy online this month, and on Friday got the redacted version from the publisher…
The Pentagon’s intervention has greatly increased interest in the book: one uncensored copy sold for more than $2,000 this week on eBay, and when the story broke last week, preorders for the new edition pushed the book as high as No. 4 among best sellers on Amazon.
A Pentagon spokesman, Colonel David Lapan, said he could not discuss specific redactions “because the information in question is considered classified.” Colonel Shaffer said Friday that his Army bosses asked him not to discuss his book for now. In a statement released by St. Martin’s Press, he suggested that the changes inadvertently offered some insight.
“While I do not agree with the edits in many ways,” Colonel Shaffer wrote, “the Defense Department redactions enhance the reader’s understanding by drawing attention to the flawed results created by a disorganized and heavy handed military intelligence bureaucracy.”
That’s Wikipedia for you — just one unpatriotic spoiler after another!