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Pentagon Makes Good On Plan To Destroy Critical Book

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the in-soviet-union-books-burn-you dept.

Censorship 306

mykos writes "Remember when the Pentagon said they were arranging a taxpayer-funded, government-sponsored book burning a couple weeks ago? Well, they made good on that threat, purchasing 9,500 copies of the book to be destroyed. The publisher, St. Martin's Press, has redacted anything the Pentagon told them to redact in the upcoming second run of the book. They Department of Defense has not yet paid for the burned books, but says they are 'in the process.' Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham gave this statement: 'DoD decided to purchase copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security.' Whew, looks like we're safe now."

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Talk about censorship (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702662)

Why exactly is the publisher cooperating? On the one hand, the DoD is going to pay for every copy, so the publisher has guaranteed revenue if they print uncensored copies. On the other hand, if the publisher cares about getting this information out, why would they redact it?

Something about this smells funny.

Re:Talk about censorship (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702682)

What makes you think a book publisher cares about getting information out?

Re:Talk about censorship (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702958)

Most publishers are "artists" at heart and anti-censorship.

They want to able to print anything they wish. So I suspect the publisher was threatened by the Current Administration to either censor portions of the book, or have their bank accounts frozen. As I said just a suspicion but not unprecedented. Of course such a move violates our 9th and 10th Amendment rights.

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Insightful)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703066)

Writers != Publishers

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703266)

A publisher, who knows what's in the book, could see the listed items as being a threat to troops and whatnot, while seeing the info itself as not particularly important.

I think you live in a fantasy world of Standin' Up To Da Man, where you release info, even if it's hurtful to what your nation's engaged in, on principle.

Why does the idea of a publisher, who relies on freedom of speech, keep in mind, being a good citizen make you suspect ulterior motives or threats?

Re:Talk about censorship (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703336)

I think you live in a fantasy world of Standin' Up To Da Man, where you release info, even if it's hurtful to what your nation's engaged in, on principle.

Keep in mind that commodore64_love would have supported this move 150% had it been done during the Bush years. His mention and capitalization of Current Administration just further proves how much of a partisan ideologue he really is.

Re:Talk about censorship (3, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703322)

Sony, EMI, Universal, and Warner are "artists" at heart?

Did your rant against the current administration get in the way of your common sense? You usually do better than this.

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Interesting)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703368)

Of course such a move violates our 9th and 10th Amendment rights.

I'm not sure (you may be right) but I'm a little concerned that disclosure of ACTA [wikipedia.org] is being labeled as a matter of national security and the Executive office wants to get itself an Internet kill switch [internetki...hobama.com] . I can't help but feel our federal government is setting itself up to perform "biblical" levels of censorship.

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703064)

from my reading of it the last time this was on slashdot the author is quite happy with the arrangement.
The publisher is quite happy with the arrangement.
And the pentagon is quite happy with the arrangement.

Unless the author or publisher is being threatened in some way this doesn't strike me as like the government trying to shut down a newspaper or silence a reporter.
I don't even see what all the fuss is about.

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703206)

Yeah, but the author has changed his mind from last time, going on CNN to say how this is intimidation and retaliation, and how burning a book in the digital age won't stop freedom, etc. But, basically, he was naming names and specific cities and buildings, and he was discussing classified operations in detail. The Pentagon wants some of that redacted. He says "I sumbitted it for approval!" but the Pentagon says he was supposed to submit it to them, not just to his superior officer. (He kept it within his unit). Last time, it sounded like both he and the publisher agreed with everything. But now he's talking to CNN about how everything they removed is "ludicrous" and none of it was important, and so on.

Re:Talk about censorship (2, Insightful)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703412)

There has to be one person at the bitch with a conscience. Why hasn't that person heard of BitTorrent?

Re:Talk about censorship (5, Insightful)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702700)

The Pentagon didn't really 'buy' the books. They paid for them. There's a difference.

Some body at the pentagon "Oh, shit, this has classified intel in it. Call up the publisher"

Some body at the publisher "We'd love to help protect national security, but we don't want to take a multi thousand dollar hit to costs"

Some body at the pentagon "Yes, we can compensate American citizens for damages incurred by helping us protect national security"

Some body in the press "OMG THE PENTAGON IS BURNING BOOKS!"

Captain Picard *headpalm*

The question we should be asking is not "Should the pentagon be burning books?", it's "Should the pentagon have (so much) classified information?"

Re:Talk about censorship (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702852)

Buying and paying for something is exactly the same thing you utter moron. They bought them and then proceeded to burn them. Come up with something smarter than pointless (and incorrect) semantics next time you half-witted turd.

Re:Talk about censorship (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702904)

How the hell is that +1 insightful? "Paid for" covers production cost. "Buy" is retail price. There is most certainly a difference.

Re:Talk about censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702990)

Hear, hear.

In addition to the difference in costs, "buy" also implies that the seller has a choice, whereas "paid for" could just as well mean that the publisher was forced (openly/directly or not) to turn over the books but that the government at least decided to reimburse them for it.

Re:Talk about censorship (0, Flamebait)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702856)

Some body in the press "OMG THE PENTAGON IS BURNING BOOKS!" Captain Picard *headpalm*

Someone else in Pentagon "Office of Information Management for US Citizens" -- "Who was the ignorant jackass that ordering public books burnings when they could simply be 'placed in storage until the relevant information is de-classified'."

Re:Talk about censorship (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702920)

Storage in a SCIF for 50 years would cost orders of magnitude more than simply destroying the books and reimbursing the publisher for the printing costs. (I used to certifiy SCIFs and have a good idea of how much they cost to maintain and operate.) Also, I seriously doubt the books will be be burned. Like the vast majority of destructed classified material in the US, it will probably be mulched, and the mulch will be delivered to a paper plant where it is recycled.

Re:Talk about censorship (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702938)

It's "somebody".

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702984)

Basically:
1) Publisher contacted Pentagon, said "we have this book, can you check nothing classified has been inadvertantly included"
2) Pentagon: "Sure, everything is fine, go ahead"
3) Publisher prints book
4) Pentagon: "Oh shit, we missed (thing that is still classified), you can't sell this!"
5) Publisher: "Couldn't you have told us that before we spent all this money on an unsellable book?!"
6) Pentagon: "Our bad, we'll 'buy' the existing copies, destroy them, and you can print a second run with free publicity"
7) Publisher: "Sure thing"

Re:Talk about censorship (1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703014)

>>>The Pentagon didn't really 'buy' the books. They paid for them. There's a difference.
>>>Some body at the pentagon "Oh, shit, this has classified intel in it. Call up the publisher"

So? This is a difference that matters not. (Like whether I paid the hooker with dollars or euros - the end result is the same.) I can not lay my hand on any part of our Union Constitution that gives the general government power to censor information.

If the Pentagon left classified information (i.e. info that they are holding americans without trial), then too bad for them. Let them do a better job. A democratic Republic can not work if the leaders treat the People like Serfs (or children). The People have a right to know because the people are the source from which all legitimate authority comes from. Thank God for places like wikileaks so the tyrants can not hide their actions in the dark.

As for the publisher, shame on them. "Collaborator" is the proper term. They should let the people know, via the liberated press, what is really going on behind closed doors. Just as the publishers did during the Watergate or McCarthy scandals.

Re:Talk about censorship (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703024)

Do you think it's in anyone's interest to allow the publication of the names of people who are collecting intel after the government has spent years training them and putting them in positions to actually collect information? This is very much like the Valerie Plame outing a few years ago, at the time some people acted like it was the crime of the century.

Re:Talk about censorship (5, Informative)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703238)

Yes, it is. Revealing them can allow us to realize whom we've been trusting with our money, our information, and to set policies. For example, Manuel Noriegas's status as a recipient of CIA intelligence and funding and trainee of the "School of the Americas" contributed to his eventual takeover of Panama and control of its cocaine trade. Don't you think it would have been helpful to know exactly what money or support he got from the US, and useful to know what gangsters we're currently supporting and funding worldwide? And wouldn't it have been helpful to know, in advance of the war, that the claims about Iraq purchasing "yellowcake" uranium ore came from, so that they could be exposed before a war costing billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives, and which cost us any hope of lasting victory in Afghanistan?

Re:Talk about censorship (2, Interesting)

heptapod (243146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703054)

You're an idiot. Censorship is still censorship even if the book is bought up then burned claiming it's legitimate because they bought the book and have the right to do anything with it that they want short of violating ACTA or the DMCA.

The Pentagon slipped up being overzealous. The Wikileaks fiasco showed us that nobody reported on the data made available to the internet. Mainstream medial outlets were besides themselves asking "Was this ethical?" and masturbating over what it means to be a journalist. Had the Pentagon shrugged and allowed the book to be published nobody would've cared beyond the media exclaiming "Secrets! In this book!" completely avoiding any issues meant to be brought to light by Mr. Shaffer's memoir.

Those secrets would've remained hidden in plain sight. Everyone would continue to not care about Afghanistan and the status quo would have remained without burning books.

Re:Talk about censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703184)

but why should we foot the bill?

Re:Talk about censorship (4, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703248)

Some body at the pentagon "Oh, shit, this has classified intel in it. Call up the publisher... "The question we should be asking is not "Should the pentagon be burning books?", it's "Should the pentagon have (so much) classified information?"

According to the NYT article [nytimes.com] ,

The Defense Department’s handling of Colonel Shaffer’s account of his experiences in Afghanistan in 2003 appears to have been bungled from the beginning. The Army reviewed the manuscript, negotiated modest changes and approved it for publication in January.

Then, in July, the Defense Intelligence Agency saw a copy, showed it to the N.S.A. and other agencies, and decided that some 250 passages contained classified information. But advance copies were already out to potential reviewers and the Military Book Club, and the first 10,000 copies were in a warehouse. Those are the copies the Pentagon is arranging to buy and pulp.

So the Army cleared it, but then the nebulous "Homeland Security" apparatus decided that the Army didn't do a good job. Keep in mind, this is the same intelligence community that missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, missed the WTC bombing in '93, missed the attacks in Kenya, missed the attacks on the Cole, missed 9/11, missed WMD in Iraq... do I really have to continue?

There's a fucking secret army of contract killers that aren't part of the government, a vast secret police that has virtually abolished every thing we pretended was civil liberties and due process, but in newspeak, that's called patriotism.

Paying your fair share of taxes while our nation is engaged in two wars which supposedly are an existential threat to our way of life... well, that's fucking communism.

It's enough to drive a person insane.

Re:Talk about censorship (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703358)

The question we should be asking is not "Should the pentagon be burning books?", it's "Should the pentagon have (so much) classified information?"

Depends on what the data in question was. Some things really would effect our security. ( others, not so much )

Since i missed the first story, does anyone know what really was in the books that was so bad? Or is it still the abstract 'names, techniques and places' excuse?

Meanwhile, at WikiLeaks... (2, Funny)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703432)

Some body at the pentagon "Oh, shit, this has classified intel in it. Call up the publisher"
Some body at the publisher "We'd love to help protect national security, but we don't want to take a multi thousand dollar hit to costs"
Some body at the pentagon "Yes, we can compensate American citizens for damages incurred by helping us protect national security"
Some body in the press "OMG THE PENTAGON IS BURNING BOOKS!"
Captain Picard *headpalm*

Julian Assange : "Yay ! More stuff to upload onto WikiLeaks !"

Sweden : "...hum, our server start to get a little bit full...."

Some body at the pentagon : "Look ! This time we have definite and conclusive proof that Julian Assange is an evil pedo-terrorist ! And it's complete coincidence that we have found it just right now"

Swedish Judge : "Nah, sorry. Still looks photoshoped. The light isn't quite right"

Re:Talk about censorship (5, Insightful)

Seth024 (1241160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702728)

They were always willing to cooperate but they already made the first run. It's just the DoD paying for the damages of forgetting to censor something in the book beforehand.

Re:Talk about censorship (1)

Hungry_Myst (1614225) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702774)

"forgetting to censor something" They didn't "forget" to censor anything, they weren't planning on it. The DoD just came in after and told them they had to.

Re:Talk about censorship (2, Informative)

Seth024 (1241160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703056)

From the article of the original slashdotted article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/09/AR2010090907747.html)

"Shaffer's book was reviewed and cleared in writing by the Army Reserve earlier this year."

They did clear it. Afterwards they realized they forgot something and are paying for the damages of the first run.

Re:Talk about censorship (-1, Offtopic)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702818)

Mod parent up.

Re:Talk about censorship (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703052)

>>>Mod parent up.

Good grief. I can't believe how readily you (and others) are to watch your right to speak, print whatever you wish, and basically be a Free Individual be taken away. The central Union government is demoting you to the level of a Serf (slave) and you cheer them on. I can just imagine Slashdot ~80 years ago: "They weren't mistreating the Gypsies and Jews. They were just asking them to carry IDs and wear the symbol of their religion on their sleeve. There's nothing with that."

And somebody replies:

"Mod parent up."

Re:Talk about censorship (0, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703152)

I can just imagine Slashdot ~80 years ago: "They weren't mistreating the Gypsies and Jews. They were just asking them to carry IDs and wear the symbol of their religion on their sleeve. There's nothing with that."

Well, I don't care about the gypsies, because I don't live in a caravan.

And I don't care about the Jews, because I like to eat pork.

Hey, how dare you take that book away from me? If you don't give it back I'll... hey, where did all the Jews and Gypsies go? I was hoping those guys would stand up for me as fellow downtrodden. I sure can't count on these television-watchers to help me... They're not going to get upset unless someone takes away their Faux News.

Re:Talk about censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702886)

What's to smell funny? You're under the illusion that when someone does something that you perceive as being "good" and at the same time profitable that they're doing it for noble reasons. Bullshit. It is possible to fight the "good fight" and make cash at the same time. Sometimes people don't even care if it's "good", they're just in it for the cash. This is called a win-win situation. If people were smart they'd force this way of thinking onto their buddies in the government but the two party system makes petty infighting more profitable for the parties.

You're living in a fantasy land if you really think the majority of people on the street today do what you think is the right thing for unselfish reasons. Most people do the right thing because it helps them get shit on less by the powers that be. Some are smart enough to make doing the right thing also make them some money. These people get away with hoodwinking you into thinking that they're a swell guy while maintaining a living.

These concepts should not have to be explained to adults.

Re:Talk about censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703044)

Would you beat up a homeless guy if you were paid for it and you wouldn't be punished for it?
I know that I wouldn't but perhaps I am living in a fantasy land.

Re:Talk about censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703458)

You are (living in a fantasy land)... considering that there are probably a bunch of people out there that WOULD beat up a homeless guy for cash; especially if they wouldn't be punished for it!

Re:Talk about censorship (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702976)

This doesn't seem to be a case of forced censorship at all. The publisher agrees that the names that slipped through in the first batch shouldn't be in circulation because it puts lives in danger. No scandal or opinion is being suppressed here.

It's a fairly safe bet that the costs the publisher gets reimbursed for won't be the full retail book price. It's normal for clearance to be required when someone involved with classified missions releases information. The government is covering the cost of a screw up in that review process as it should. Yes, the mistake has resulted in some wasted money, but they did the right thing.

Cooperating? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703326)

Sounds like they just got a gig to sell a bunch of books that they printed. That is their job.

America, Land of the "Free"... (2, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703414)

... where you can say what you like, if you get permission first.

Seriously, guys, look at how we do it in the rest of the world. Learn from the experience of others. When Britain let America run its own affairs, it was a bit like leaving a house full of teenagers alone for a weekend with the keys to the gun cabinet and wine cellar.

How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (3, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702666)

..and the Streisand effect they are now creating ensures that the redacted information is rapidly identified and disseminated?

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (2, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702806)

Considering the author and the publisher are cooperating, let's guess never?

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (2, Informative)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702924)

What about the layouter, the graphics guy, the printer, the corrector and 20 other people who might have a PDF?

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703276)

Well, let's guess that those people will probably care about staying out of prison more than they will care about letting the public know about the names of undercover operatives.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703324)

What do you want to bet, in the next month or so, Wikileaks gets a copy of *that* 1st edition PDF...

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702838)

As much as I would like to cry "wasted taxpayer money" or "censorship" I can't see where this is either.

As far as censorship goes, the people wishing to express themselves or to share information are not being violated. On the contrary, they are as interested in limiting the information as is the pentagon.

As far as "wasted tax money" goes? Well, yeah... okay, I will concede that there is an element of waste here, but it is not enough to get angry over. You want to get angry? Ask the government to explain why so much "foreign aid" is being sent to Israel. They are far from helpless and hopeless. They are not starving. They aren't suffering at the hands of an oppressive nation. So why? And how much of our money is going there? You don't want to know. *THAT* is wasted tax money.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702960)

As much as I would like to cry "wasted taxpayer money" or "censorship" I can't see where this is either.

We can't know without the work in question, which our government has censored so that we can't see it. It's censorship when it's done by the government, for good or ill.

As far as "wasted tax money" goes? Well, yeah... okay, I will concede that there is an element of waste here, but it is not enough to get angry over.

I am angry over every unnecessary expenditure.

You want to get angry? Ask the government to explain why so much "foreign aid" is being sent to Israel. They are far from helpless and hopeless. They are not starving. They aren't suffering at the hands of an oppressive nation. So why?

The UN created the nation of Israel to keep the middle east fighting one another for the foreseeable future, and as the nominal leader of the UN (that is to say, the most puissant nation in the UN Security Council, the only nations who actually have a say in the UN) the USA is funding the status quo. It's not very complicated.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703296)

The UN created the nation of Israel to keep the middle east fighting one another for the foreseeable future, and as the nominal leader of the UN (that is to say, the most puissant nation in the UN Security Council, the only nations who actually have a say in the UN) the USA is funding the status quo. It's not very complicated.

The UN created the nation of Israel at the end of World War 2 because it needed a grand anti-axis gesture, and had learned nothing about the dangers of displacing existing people for societal engineering reasons. That it has kept the middle east in turmoil is probably legitimately an accidental side effect, rather than an intentional one.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703074)

>>>they are as interested in limiting the information as is the pentagon.

I would be too if the Pentagon told me, "Either you censor the second printing, or we'll throw you in jail for violating the Patriot Act." And don't tell me it can't happen. They did the same to Alice Paul and the suffragettes, when the Dept of Defense jailed them for violating the 1910s version of the Patriot Act. (And all they wanted was the right to vote.)

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703182)

Israel provides valuable intel to the US. Intel on extremists in the Middle East.

Also the aid is attached to an agreement that Israel will buy weapons from the US. This means that Israel develops tactics and strategies using the same weapons that US forces use. This information is shared with the US military and results in fewer casualties of American soldiers.

Are you arguing that spending money on information that saves American lives is a waste of money?

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703386)

Israel provides valuable intel to the US. Intel on extremists in the Middle East.

If any of this was involved in the run-up to Iraq, we can see just how valuable that intel really is.

This information is shared with the US military and results in fewer casualties of American soldiers.

We give over 3 billion dollars a year to Israel. If the goal was developing tactics and strategies for desert forces with US weaponry, I'm sure 3 billion dollars would buy a lot of training time at a facility in the Saudi desert.

Are you arguing that spending money on information that saves American lives is a waste of money?

US support of Israel is frequently cited as the reason why Middle East terrorists keep hitting the US. In very direct ways, if we didn't support Israel, we wouldn't have lost 5,000 people in 9-11. We wouldn't have lost thousands of soldiers in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. More significantly, we wouldn't have hundreds of thousands of young men and women coming back from the front traumatized or permanently injured, requiring help for the rest of their lives. And of course, the trillion and a half dollars we spent on those wars could have gone a long way to saving lives domestically.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703434)

Hahaha. Really? You don't see where the problem in the middle east started? There was no big problem before Israel was created. By supporting Israel, we are creating and maintaining enemies. This is good business if you are in the Military Industrial Complex. It's bad if you are interested in the safety and security of the U.S. nation and its people.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702918)

..and the Streisand effect they are now creating ensures that the redacted information is rapidly identified and disseminated?

Got two grand to blow on Ebay?

Really, if the idiots in the Reserve had done their job, this stuff would be just as censored, only without the spectacle of a book burning.

Every government operation with any kind of security has burn bins available precisely for destroying books. There are tremendous amounts of information destroyed every day, and most of it is just classified secret, so it's totally mundane.

The waste is incredible, whether it's civilian or military it doesn't matter.

Re:How long before a digital copy is leaked.. (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703274)

No worries, they're planning to burn Ebay next.

Well, depends on Julian Assange (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703450)

...and on how long it takes him to prove that the latest definite and conclusive proof that he is an Evil Pedo-Terrorist (that just happens by random chance to have been discovered just right now, exactly during the book censoring scandal - what a coincidence) is, in fact, badly photoshopped.

Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702670)

The Qur'an burning is back on, then?

Public Money (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702674)

So I can I sue to get my book? After all, I paid for it.

Re:Public Money (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703168)

Sure you can, but how much are you willing to spend to get your part, which is, let's see, 138M tax payers, 10K books, leaves you with 1/13,800th of a book. With any luck, it'll be an entire word.

Missed golden opportunity (3, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702712)

The authour should've seen this coming and made the first print run 9,5 million books instead.

Re:Missed golden opportunity (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703148)

The publisher decides how many copies the first print run gets, and unless it's a very well known author who's more-or-less guaranteed to get to the top of the bestseller lists immediately after publication (think the Terry Pratchetts of this world), there's no chance they'll order a massive print run.

Not making a point... (4, Insightful)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702716)

...because I'm not sure what point to make. Or even if any point needs to be made at all. But I feel compelled to post a link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451 [wikipedia.org]

Come on bittorrent (5, Insightful)

mr_bubb (1171001) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702730)

Bittorrent will have to become the only media that counts anymore. Once upon a time, the NYT and Washington Post would risk everything to publish the Pentagon Papers or the works of WoodStein. Now, in our burgeoning police state, we're reliant on WikiLeaks and bittorrent to speak truth to power. It's heartbreaking.

Unredacted version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702750)

I'll wait for the Official Wikileaks Edition.

30000 Complaints about Directv (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702754)

The way DIRECTV really works: It is simply ran by extortion of sorts. Yes, they have a bunch of lawyers, but its only to keep them up to date on what they can get away with and to defend them everytime someone manages to get through the gauntlet of the US legal system which they keep pretty well greased with a combined effort with the RIAA. They have just about everyone paid off. OVER 30,000 Complaints with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) on Bait and Switch tactics! OVER 30,000 ! Now, tell me they are greasing a lot of political palms to keep from anything happening.

Did the author get any from print run? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702766)

Did the author get any from the first print run?
Usually a set number are put aside for the author during printing.
They are then sent out. The rest of the books are then 'for sale'.
Lets hope someone got copy in the wild and one day we get to compare the 'approved' version to the non redacted edition.

Re:Did the author get any from print run? (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703068)

I got both copies right here. In the original version, Han shot first.

Reality is stranger than fiction (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702782)

So in practice the censorship is going to get more and more intense, although surely in a very covert manner, all the time banging into our heads "You have freedom. There is no censorship and no propaganda. You can trust us, we care for you first."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451 [wikipedia.org] was a nice book-burning-society story.
Well this seems to be a primary target for p2p legitimate uses... Is there no torrent for this?

Re:Reality is stranger than fiction (1)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703230)

is it really censorship if the author agrees to it? Sounds to me its more of a situation where the pentagon phones up the author, let him know that he mentions a person in the book who is still active in the field, and he'll be in danger once the book is published. The author said "oh shit, I didn't realize that, the intention of my book isn't to put someone's life in danger, I'll change it up so that doesn't happen."

Full text? (1)

pooh666 (624584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702816)

So where is the link to the full text of the original? IS this Slashdot or f'ing CNN?

Re:Full text? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702932)

So where is the link to the full text of the original? IS this Slashdot or f'ing CNN?

REDACTED!!!

Re:Full text? (2, Insightful)

Kristopeit, Michael (1892492) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702944)

1997 slashdot could have helped you. 2010 slashdot makes CNN seem useful.

Misinformation campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702956)

This action by the pentagon serves to validate the information contained in the book. What if the info is bogus and they want that bogus info to appear valid.
They have to know a digital copied will make it's way into the wild.

Stupid or Evil?

2nd Edition has already been printed (5, Informative)

Allnighte (1794642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33702970)

From the previous /. story that covered this, in the comments:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1784344&cid=33547938 [slashdot.org]

"The blurb is intentionally misleading here. The govt gave the OK for the book but then upon a later review they were worried about some names released and a 2nd printing has already been agreed upon by both parties. They are just deciding what to do with 10k books that were already printed. Obviously the publisher spent money to already print them so they aren't going to just destroy them."

So nothing to see here, move along...

official member (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33702988)

an official member of the tinsel town butt faggots

This news just in... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703016)

Due to popular demand, St. Martin's Press has just announced they will start a second printing run of the book, Operation Dark Heart.

Great another article on this (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703020)

Wasn't one enough? We knew they were going to shred the things during the first article, where after a bunch of arguing, everybody eventually settled down with the real story and the relatively innocuous explanation.

Did we need to go through it again?

I guess so.

Oh well, I'm going to go shred some copies of the Wilderness Survival Guide. That'll teach you.

Damage national security? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703040)

By "damage national security", may I assume they mean "embarrass the government"?

I don't have a problem with this (3, Informative)

ronmon (95471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703094)

I was in the USAF ~30 years ago working for the USAFSS, later ESC. We were tasked by NSA and in fact my last posting was at Ft. Meade (NSA HQ) after several years in the far east. My TS/SCI clearance gave me access not only to Top Secret information, but the source of that information as well. You don't get drafted into this kind of work. It is something you have to work hard for and vetting for a clearance is extremely rigorous. The agreements that you sign entail many restrictions and if you don't want to be bound by them, don't sign them. If you have some kind of moral or ethical problem with that, stay out of the business. I have no sympathy for anyone who gives away national secrets. Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Re:I don't have a problem with this (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703120)

I have no sympathy for anyone who gives away national secrets. Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

So just to be clear, if some illegal act done in the name of the people of the USA has been classed as a national secret, then if someone should bring this to light so that we can see what is being done in our name they are a criminal? No, they are a patriot.

Re:I don't have a problem with this (3, Insightful)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703194)

The problem is "National Secret" sometimes means "Embarrassing things we don't want the people to know about to give them more reasons to want us out of power." Go read about the AEC and Manhattan Project sponsored plutonium injections, and radioactive iron experiments on pregnant women. Also go see how the military exposed infantry and pilots to radioactive fallout intentionally to see what would happen. The only way to guarantee the government and military not get out of hand is to have some transparency. Im not saying we should send a list of all out sub locations to the Chinese, Im saying it is too easy to classify information that should be known about as early as possible to limit unethical things happening. Or do you think its okay to let soldiers wait in trenches near ground zero of a nuclear explosion and also let pilots fly through the resulting mushroom cloud?

Re:I don't have a problem with this (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703310)

The only way to guarantee the government and military not get out of hand is to have some transparency.

The problem is 'some transparency' = "We (the Pentagon) get to say what is transparent and what isn't".
Exactly the situation we have now.

Re:I don't have a problem with this (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703374)

I have no sympathy for anyone who gives away national secrets.

Giving away things is just unAmerican. It's the highest bidder or nothing!

An argument against perpetual war (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703108)

I think a legitimate tension exists regarding govermental secrecy:


  • We citizens don't want our goverments to be secretive, because that can be used to pull a fast one on us and/or to establish autocracy. And it can be used to hide the funneling of money to private interests and friends of those in power, without scrutiny. And besides, if the government's authority flows from us, maybe we just don't feel like letting it be secretive. It's the government's obligation to suck it up and exert no more power over us than we collectively authorize.

  • During wartime, and to some extent during peace time, we need to government to keep secret in general, so that our adversaries don't know certain things (force levels, where our nuclear subs are located, etc.)

The problem with perpetual war is that it makes the second point above be more legitimately compelling than during peace time. But that reduces our abilities to keep our government in check, which is always risky for the citizenry.

This is one good reason to not pursue forgeign policies that have us constantly in a state of low-level war around the world. It reduces the legitimate reasons for giving those in power an environment in which they can screw over the rest of us.

Re:An argument against perpetual war (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703210)

We also would save a ton of money in taxes. What a lot of people don't seem to understand is that we have military bases in almost every country in the world. Why? It doesn't make us safer if we have a large ground force in stable areas like Germany but it wastes a lot of money.

The problem with our foreign policy is it is based on this mythical idea that somehow we can keep information from everyone all the time. That if we restrict access to -insert "hostile" country here- they will never gain -insert military technology here- and the world will maintain its status quo. Rather than a foreign policy that makes sure that hostile countries aren't hostile to us.

Re:An argument against perpetual war (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703252)

Rather than a foreign policy that makes sure that hostile countries aren't hostile to us.

I don't think it's entirely possible to head off foreign aggression. If I recall, many of Germany's neighbors discovered that at the beginning of WWII.

But I mostly agree with your point. There's no clear reason why we need to be the enemy of Russia, China, some of South America, and a sizable fraction of the Middle East.

Re:An argument against perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703376)

The problem with perpetual war is that it makes the second point above be more legitimately compelling than during peace time.

During perpetual war there is peace time?

Re:An argument against perpetual war (1)

hsjserver (1826682) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703452)

I agree and I think you make some good points but I think that if Citizens United taught us anything, it was that there is more than one way to create an autocracy.

WHOA, Hold On There, Tex... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703140)

They Department of Defense has not yet paid for the burned books, but says they are 'in the process.'

"In the process"???

Uh-huh. I'm from New York, and until the money is handed over and IN THE BANK, then handing over the merchandise will likewise, be "in the process". Heck, that's pretty much a standard across the entire planet.

As Watto would say: What, you think you're some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I'm a Toydarian. Mind tricks donnat work on me. Only money. No money, no parts, no deal.

What about the other 500? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703160)

According to the earlier /. post, there were going to be 10,000 copies in the first run.

10,000 - 9,500 = 500 copies at large, any one of which can (and will) be made public.

What freedom of speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703178)

I guess freedom of speech only works when you're bashing Islam or anything that doesn't fit the narrow (ultra-conservative) view. I thought the US was becoming more communist under the Bush administration (spying on its own people, carting people people off for torturing, removing any media that doesn't spread the propaganda, etc.) but it looks like there's no end in sight there.

Woodward and Bernstein should get to kick someone in the nuts for this.

Re:What freedom of speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703396)

You are seriously going to sit there and make such an ultra-fucking-retarded comment like that? There is nothing about the current U.S. Government that is anything approaching conservative, much the less ULTRA-conservative. Also, it has become far more difficult to bash, or even talk about that retarded, false religion that is called islam.

Fuck, you could burn a million Christians and/or Jews before you could think about burning a Qur'an. Too many people, today, are all too willing to pussyfoot around crazy muslims, but I say fuck those camel-jock motherfuckers.

I am going to burn a Qur'an for every one of these books that were destroyed. Fuck that moon god cocksucker and fuck all muslisms. You are all a bunch of child-molesting, murderous, inbreed, faggots.

Did the print run numbers change? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703202)

I previously heard the first run would have 10,000 copies printed; now we are hearing 9,500.

But... (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703240)

...did they buy up all the Kindle copies too?

almost there, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703270)

... except for the one copy that got away, got scanned and hit you on thepiratebay or wikileaks :-)

Rapidshare? Torrent? (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703290)

Come on, folks. Surely someone has a copy of the original printing to scan.

Kindles, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703302)

What if they release it online?

A Different Angle (2, Interesting)

kd5zex (1030436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703380)

I smell a PSYOP, please follow along.

1. DOD needs to move the public opinion.
2. DOD tasks "former" Army officer with penning a book as Americans don't respond well to leafleting.
3. DOD realizes that no one will want to read said book.
4. DOD says "Frack! We screwed up! There is sensitive info in there, buy the first printing a destroy all of them."
5. Instant book sales and publicity (AKA: Propaganda).

If the author was really trying to get the info out he would have self published it in PDF and released it on the internets.

And the classified information is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703382)

they spent x gazillion dollars on triple ply toilet paper. Now Al Goldstein knows the Pentagon is weak and WE ALL GONNA DIE!

So this is how democracy dies ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33703446)

to no applause, and a whimpering protest.

Really, Slashdot crowd? (4, Informative)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 3 years ago | (#33703460)

I can't believe you guys, can you honestly forget about this article, that was handily posted two weeks ago: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/11/1944227/Pentagon-Aims-To-Buy-Up-Book" [slashdot.org]

This was pointed out then that it was just more of a misunderstanding than anything else, so why is everyone reacting to it like it's a brand new issue?

..usually it takes just a few comments down to find one that refers back to a previously posted article here on Slashdot, either the same article (more and more common, lately) or one from the recent past.
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