The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency is attempting to stop a controversial book about the Afghan war from being published in what the agency claims is a matter of national security.
Operation Dark Heart was written by former Army Reserve Lt. Col. and intelligence officer Anthony A. Shaffer, who was stationed at Bagram Air Base near Kabul in 2003.
In an Aug. 6 correspondence, DIA Director Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess Jr. said the book “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security.”
Operation Dark Heart had already been approved by Army reviewers earlier this year, but when CIA, National Security Agency and United States Special Operations Command saw the manuscript this July, they said it contained classified information.
Classified passages in question include names of other intelligence officers and accounts of operations. The book also outlines an intelligence program called “Able Danger,” which Shaffer asserts had pinpointed 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta as a threat before the terror attacks. Shaffer previously testified before Congress on the subject, but his claims were rejected.
Now, the Department of Defense is negotiating with the book’s publisher St. Martin’s Press to buy all 10,000 copies of the book’s first printing, which has not yet been distributed to the public. Meanwhile, a second printing with classified sections removed is scheduled to go to press at the end of the month, according to the book’s website.