Operation Dark Heart

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Operation Dark Heart
Cover of the first edition
Cover of the first edition
Author Anthony Shaffer
Country United States
Language English
Genre memoir
Publisher Thomas Dunne
Publication date
2010
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 320
ISBN 978-0-312-61217-7
OCLC 526077073

Operation Dark Heart is a 2010 memoir by U.S. Army intelligence officer Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer notable for the lengths the U.S. Defense Department went in an attempt to censor information revealed within, after the book had already been distributed free of redactions.

The book details Shaffer's five months in Afghanistan. It includes former code names and operational details and describes some of the inner workings of America's intelligence agencies. After submitting the book for review to the U.S. Army in 2003 and receiving approval, a printing of an only modestly censored edition was made, and nearly 100 advanced copies were distributed.

Shortly after the first printing, the Defense Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency saw copies of the book and insisted on censoring passages they deemed sensitive. The first, uncensored printing of nearly 10,000 copies was purchased and destroyed by the Pentagon in its entirety, and a second, censored printing was released in September 2010.[1] However, because several original, advanced copies are in circulation, the contents of the censored passages are known, and the Pentagon's attempt to keep the information secret has flagged the known but censored content as more interesting. Further, the entire debacle has attracted more attention to the book, undermining the Pentagon's proclaimed intention of keeping the information contained, barring an even more exhaustive effort.

On September 26, 2010, WikiLeaks announced on Twitter that it had obtained a copy of the first edition.[2]

Critical publications of plain text versus redacted text[edit]

On September 18, 2010, the New York Times published, with commentary, the plain text and censored versions of page 26 of the book.[3]

On September 29, 2010, the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy posted a brief article analyzing the redactions and criticizing their quality,[4] and also posted side-by-side comparisons of pages xvi, xvii, 30, 55, 56, 195 and 257.[5][6] On October 5, 2010, they published a side-by-side comparison of the book's index.[7]

On October 4, 2010, the Army Times published a before-and-after analysis of ten redactions in the book.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shane, Scott (2010-09-10). "Pentagon Plan: Buying Books to Keep Secrets". The New York Times. p. A16. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ "Twitter: Wikileaks". Twitter. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  3. ^ Shane, Scott (2010-09-18). "Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book’s Reprint". The New York Times. p. A9. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19.  Page 26.
  4. ^ Steven, Aftergood (2010-09-29). "Behind the Censorship of Operation Dark Heart". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  5. ^ "Dark Contrast". Federation of American Scientists. September 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  6. ^ "Dark Contrast". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  7. ^ "Dark Index". Federation of American Scientists. September 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  8. ^ Naylor, Sean D. (2010-10-04). "Censored book masks sensitive operations". Army Times. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 

External links[edit]