You know how some people get starstruck by celebrities? I don't. Maybe it's from having family in L.A. for all these years or maybe it's the fact that their lives are all over magazines, TV entertainment shows and the Internet. But I just don't feel excited about who Lindsay Lohan is dating now or when she's going to rehab (again!).
You may be wondering what this has to do with federal news. When I was on the west coast a few weeks ago, we went to a wine bar and I was THIS close to bumping into Monica Lewinksy. My sister was not impressed saying she wished it could've been Brad and Angelina or George Clooney. I was grumpy, thinking about what I would have said to her (a journalist is always thinking about what questions he or she would ask, given the opportunity). Well, I feel giddy again, because today I get to meet someone who makes me nervous, but in a good way.
His name is Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and I think he may have one of the hottest books coming out of D.C. since "The Game Change". I'm personally so fascinated by him because his book is so real and so raw, even the Pentagon has said it's too much truth. I can find out who's dating who in Hollywood or the next celeb having a baby with the click of a button. But it's not everyday you get a glimpse into the life of someone in the military.
Shaffer is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who recently published his memoirs in a book called, "Operation Dark Heart". He got the manuscript approved by the Army initially. But then some higher-ups in the federal government decided the book revealed sensitive material about military operations in Afghanistan. The book was already in the process of being published at this point. They met with the publisher and both sides decided those parts of the book would be blacked out for the second editions. But oops, some of the orginials copies got out. The timeline is still a little unclear, as you can see in this New York Times article.
That's when the Pentagon reacted, finding 9,500 copies of the memoir and getting rid of them. The DOD says the books were recycled; others say they were burned and all for a price tag of about $47,000.
The nearly 300-page book is critical of the Pentagon's handling of the Afghanistan war in its early days. Lt. Col. Shaffer served in an Army Reserve unit in 2003.
Tonight, we'll talk to the man behind the controversial read. I'm curious to know what he has to say about changing his book, the burning book allegations and what's actually in his memoirs. Did he reveal too much or was the Pentagon being overly cautious?
Oh, and just in case you thought a little controversy didn't bring in the cash:
The New York Times reported that a "Operation Dark Heart" original sold for $2,000 on eBay last week. But no, I'm not the one who bought it.
If you have questions or comments for Lt. Col. Shaffer, email me or send me a tweet. It's firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @CapitalInsider.