Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Government Books Censorship The Military United States Your Rights Online

Pentagon Aims To Buy Up Book 347

jamie writes "Operation Dark Heart, a book about the adventures and frustrations of an Army officer who served in Afghanistan, has ruffled some feathers at the Pentagon. From the article: 'The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing — 10,000 copies — of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pentagon Aims To Buy Up Book

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:51PM (#33547860)

    They're buying the damned book themselves, paying cash for it. It's not really censorship if they, instead of banning it, go through entirely legal channels to simply purchase every copy of it, is it?

    Grey area?

  • by KarrdeSW ( 996917 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:55PM (#33547910)
    I think at the point that they are using any resources (yours or their own) to make some determination as to what you can/cannot read. That is censorship.
  • by Ziest ( 143204 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:01PM (#33547976) Homepage

    This government, I would not call it "ours", has not believed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights since at least the late 60's. The peak of this country was some time in the early 80's. The downward spiral has begun.

  • by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:43PM (#33548324) Journal
    I fail and read the article. The book will still be publicly available after things like specific names and other sensitive bits of information get sanitized. By not doing so, lives and missions are placed in jeopardy with little real benefit for society []. The publisher will be releasing the book for the public, but the DOD is compensating them for the loss they'd incur from not being able to sell the original printed products.

    Does the public have the right to all the information? Sure, in time. There are procedures under the Freedom of Information Act to get it later on, like when revealing it will cause minimal damage (and probably just PR damage). Demanding to know it right now just because of curiosity? Would you like identifying information to be posted on 4chan? There are many "reasonable and normal" people out there who would react in the same way as them.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:53PM (#33548396) Journal

    Your history is a little too molested for my taste. the real destruction of the US constitution started during the civil war time and really became institutionalized during FDR. You are at minimum 100 years off and generalship at least 30 years off the most noticeable disregard of it.

    FDR said at a speech that the government shouldn't be involved welfare or social issues two years before he was elected president. He then did did an about face and trampled all over it. In 1930 FDR said:

    As a matter of fact and law, the governing rights of the States are all of those which have not been
    surrendered to the National Government by the Constitution or its amendments. Wisely or unwisely,
    people know that under the Eighteenth Amendment Congress has been given the right to legislate on this particular subject, but this is not the case in the matter of a great number of other vital problems of government, such as the conduct of public utilities, of banks, of insurance, of business, of agriculture, of education, of social welfare and of a dozen other important features. In these, Washington must not be encouraged to interfere.

    This s[eech was given considering the Volstead Act. He states that he knows they need a constitutional amendment in order to act on matters of the conduct of public utilities, of banks, of insurance, of business, of agriculture, of education, of social welfare and of a dozen other important features. Yet he totally ignores that two year later as president, creates a standoff with the supreme court in which they ended up backing down and bending the interstate commerce clause in order to save face, and this was the biggest disregard for the constitution by the government in recent times and it's still being conducted to this day. Why you just now think it's happening is a mystery to me. but it still happening is not surprising at all seeing how when you allow one infraction, others will follow.

  • by flajann ( 658201 ) <> on Saturday September 11, 2010 @06:28PM (#33548622) Homepage Journal

    AND it's paying for your enormous deficit, which is likely to bankrupt US pretty soon..

    Ok, you've got two unwinnable wars, then what?

    The US went bankrupt many years ago. Why do you think all the gold was confiscated back in 1933 []

    and Nixon took the USD completely off the gold standard? []

    You only resort to these extreme measures if you have a negative ROI. If you have sustained negative ROI, that's actually worse than actual bankruptcy, which is an admission that you failed and promise to restructure. Nope, the rampant spending continues, and the fiat money flows. The broken system becomes even more broken, as fiscal fantasy becomes even more out of line with fiscal reality.

    That party cannot continue forever, I don't think.

  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @06:30PM (#33548640) Homepage Journal

    Crap i had a rant all prepared and you go and take the fun out of it....

    Seriously this type of reporting is akin to all those emails I get from my Tea-Partier Mother-in-Law and I have to take time to let her know she is spreading lies and misinformation in order to incite and such is harmful to a democratic system of government.

  • by GiveBenADollar ( 1722738 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @06:57PM (#33548796)
    Why is this even a story?! On ship once, our cruise-book (think yearbook for the navy.) had to have pages cut out and sharpied over because there were pictures of things that the photographer and publisher had agreed not to use. It wasn't because we hated books or free speech, it was because there are some things we don't want potential enemies to know. This is no different. If you once had a security clearance and then write about your experiences you are still under contract for the clearance you once had. This guy didn't get permission to print this book before he published and now is in hot water over it.
  • where the books are (Score:2, Interesting)

    by w00tsauce ( 1482311 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @09:10PM (#33549488)
    16365 James Madison Highway Gordonsville, VA 22942-8501 It would be a shame if that warehouse accidentally got burglarized and the book published online.
  • by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @11:22PM (#33550102)

    I gather you don't really quite understand how society works. "Stupid You" if you take the drugs right? I think we both agree. But, how many stupids are there in the world? How many people exist that are too immature and not evolved enough to have the sense not to swallow the entire content? Who pays to clean up that mess? I can understand moderation - but our newspapers are littered with stories of people who don't do moderation.

    Which is cheaper - the army surrounding the bottle, or paying to have a support net to catch the stupid when they fall?

    For as long as I exist, I have to depend on others doing the right thing just to stay alive, all of us do. Mostly this works out pretty well given average life spans and such. You are honestly suggesting we legalize all drugs? No controls at all? What about the medical profession, prescriptions exist for good reason, far more than just limiting supply to drug users.

    I'll side with you as soon as you can eliminate society from your equation.

  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Saturday September 11, 2010 @11:23PM (#33550106) Homepage
    I was gonna mod you "flamebait" because there is no "FUCKING RETARD" option. Instead however, I'll respond to this:

    The book will still be publicly available after things like specific names and other sensitive bits of information get sanitized. By not doing so, lives and missions are placed in jeopardy with little real benefit for society.

    Our current state secrets regime is based on a Supreme Court case, United States v. Reynolds, which protected Boeing from revealing information regarding the deaths of three engineers in a plane crash because it would endanger national security. From the blurb for Claim of Privilege []:

    But the Air Force, at the dawn of the Cold War, refused to hand over the accident reports and witness statements, claiming the documents contained classified information that would threaten national security. The case made its way up to the Supreme Court, which in 1953 sided with the Air Force in United States v. Reynolds. This landmark decision formally recognized the "state secrets" privilege, a legal precedent that has since been used to conceal conduct, withhold documents, block troublesome litigation, and, most recently, detain terror suspects without due-process protections.

    Even with the case closed, the families of those who died in the crash never stopped wondering what had happened in that B-29. They finally had their answer a half century later: In 2000 they learned that the government was now making available the top-secret information the families had sought long ago, in vain. The documents, it turned out, contained no national security secrets but rather a shocking chronicle of negligence.

    In other words, the very case that gave us the state secrets BS that Obama is latching on to harder than Bush II, was based on a COVERUP of NEGLIGENCE, not for any actual national security reasons. Boeing and the Air Force killed these smart geeks, and then LIED to protect their ass. That's what the state secrets doctrine is about -- it isn't about protecting anyone but the fuckwads ruining our country. Wake up already.

    You can also listen to the TAL report [], it is the second story.

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:22AM (#33550374) Homepage

    For that, you'll have to look at the Espionage Act, and its amendments in the Sedition act. In summary, it's illegal to aid groups the American government has declared to be enemies.

    I'm afraid I don't remember the details involved (coincidence, I swear), but I seem to remember a biographical book a few years ago causing quite a ruckus, as it indicated that an elected official (in California, I think) had a relationship with a prostitute. It turned out to be false, but the guy's career was ruined. Similar stories abound for abortion clinic doctors. It seems having a real identity in the public spotlight is indeed a risk.

    Relatedly, this is why so many fictional works have the disclaimer that "any relation to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental." Being responsible about others' lives does not have to get in the way of telling a story.

  • by dafing ( 753481 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @02:14AM (#33550816) Journal
    Thats a good way to deal with being modded "Troll" :)

    Its one of those things online, if someone doesnt agree with you, you are a *TROLL* man, a freaking *TROLL*!!!!1!!!1!

    I get it, you got modded down for speaking ill of Rand, yet others can get "+5 insightful" mods from similar comments!

    You have it exactly right "...they want the freedom to be the ones in charge of everything."
  • by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @03:00AM (#33550982) Homepage

    In my opinion, a big part of problem with the war on drugs (and abstinence only education as well) is that the people who support the lies become invested in them... Financially to be sure, but intellectually and emotionally more so.

    For some, it's cognitive dissonance and for other's it's reputation.For the emotional, there's such a belief in the lies told about drug use, and they are so heavily invested in those beliefs that it's impossible for them to truly consider alternatives. For the more rational supporters of prohibition, they've put so much of their reputation on the line, that it's nearly impossible for them to back off and admit that they spread misinformation, and wasted billions upon billions of dollars, ruined lives, and manipulated everyone over this issue.

    I personally suspect that drug prohibition will end in two stages... The first will be for a vocal group to really put the message out there, and to educate the public that legalization, while not perfect, would be a significant improvement over prohibition. This group needs to convince people that lies are not education, and that truth and reality are far more effective messages against drugs than scare tactics and misinformation.

    The second stage will be the rotation of those invested in prohibition out of power, which IMO will happen naturally - no one's going to be forced out of government due to an anti drug position, but they are going to eventually retire. It may take many years, but as those who grew up with a drug education take positions in government.

    Gay rights is a similar issue... It's been pointed out that gay marriage has overwhelming support from my generation (people younger than their mid 30s) and that it's really only a question of who will legalize gay marriage... Do those in power want to go down in history for supporting gay rights? Or do they want to wait another 30 years until my generation is in power to do it?

    End rant...

Variables don't; constants aren't.