St. Martin’s has issued a statement regarding the revised edition of Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan--and the Path to Victory by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, which it published on September 24, after the U.S. government bought the 9,500-copy first printing for $47,500, and St. Martin’s destroyed and recycled those copies at the government’s request.
The letter, from publisher Thomas Dunne, says that in mid-August, as St. Martin’s was readying its initial shipments of the book to be released from its warehouse, the Department of Defense contacted the publisher saying that publishing the book could damage U.S. national security. “This was unexpected,” Dunne writes, “since we knew the author… had worked closely with the Department of the Army, and had made a number of changes to the text, after which it passed the Army’s operational security review.” Still, Shaffer met with the Department of Defense and other U.S. intelligence agencies to review changes and redactions they wanted him to make, and Shaffer then requested that St. Martin’s incorporate some of the government’s changes into a revised edition of his book. He also asked that St. Martin's redact some text that the government said was classified, even though “he disagreed with that assessment.”
St. Martin’s did make the changes and redactions, which are in the second printing of the book which was released last week. A note accompanies those books, saying, “We apologize for any frustration readers may encounter in reading Operation Dark Heart in this redacted form, but we are confident Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer’s remarkable and vivid story will shine through nonetheless.”