The big news over the weekend (besides the threat of the other book burning) was Andrew Shaffer's military memoir, Operation Dark Heart. That is, the Department of Defense's pulling of the title for security purposes. According to the Washington Post, Shaffer's military tell-all, does tell all, including a number of aborted and failed operations. For security reasons, the Department of Defense saw it best to buy the entire first printing (10,000 copies): to be burned. It's kinda like Fahrenheit 451...Not that I wanted to read Shaffer's memoir. It's of no importance to literature and I doubt Shaffer actually wrote the thing by himself (ghost writer!) It's a money title, but that does not remedey what we see happening here: censorship.
The discontent can be seen on the book's page on Amazon.
One reviewer says:
"I, too, do NOT want to buy this book in its censored (redacted) version. Who is the Defense Dept to tell us (AMERICAN CITIZENS) what books we CANNOT have?..."
Yet some are on the government's side:
"...Do you people understand this is NOT censorship? The correct channels of making any publication "unclassified" were not followed. Our classification system is a joke so it doesn't surprise me that classified material in this book may have been approved. Some DoD official got ahold of this and so Whoa....not so fast. If they believe classified information exists in this book it is their obligation to secure it. Stop trying to make some larger conspiracy out of this. I'm not ignorant enough to believe the gov. doesn't try to hide things, but I'm smart enough to know if something is classified by the government, it is not NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE."
I, on the whole, dislike Amazon reviewers; they are overall a dumb group of people, and in this case, they miss the entire point.
The point is not that it is classified information. The point is not the government telling you what you can and cannot buy. The vicitm is neither the government nor the consumer. It's the author who is having his work (the work of his ghost writer) bought out by the government to be burned. And while I doubt that this will set a precedent, it's a bit disturbing, disgusting even.
So shell out a couple of hundred dollars on Ebay to get an uncensored version...