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Pentagon celebrates Banned Books Week by destroying spy memoir

Just in time for Banned Books Week comes news that the Pentagon has overseen the destruction of a book deemed to contain classified information about the war in Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Defense was attempting to buy the entire 9,500-copy first print run of Operation Dark Heart by former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer. The Pentagon and publisher St. Martin’s Press have since come to an agreement to publish a redacted version of the controversial memoir.

AFP reports:

With Pentagon representatives looking on, St. Martin’s Press pulped the first print run of Operation Dark Heart a week ago and has released a revised version in a deal with the U.S. government.

“There were approximately 9,500 copies of the book that contained classified information that the department entered into an agreement with the publisher to destroy,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.

“The publisher conducted that destruction a week ago on Monday the 20th, with DoD (Department of Defense) observers there to witness it.”

Elsewhere, it has been reported that the DoD, which originally approved the manuscript, has reimbursed the publisher to the tune of $47,000 (U.S). As for the supposedly dangerous secrets contained in the book, they still might see the light of day: apparently, an unknown number of electronic versions of the uncensored first edition have already been sent to reviewers.