📝 Is A Former DoD Head Being Silenced?
Is the Pentagon guarding classified information or obstructing free speech? That's the question at the center of a case between former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the department he once ran. Esper attests he followed the formal process of approval for his forthcoming book, having submitted his unpublished manuscript to the Pentagon in May, only to receive some 60 pages of redactions he claims are unfounded.
"For nearly six months, I patiently followed the formal process, only to have my unclassified manuscript arbitrarily redacted without clearly being told why," Esper said in a statement, according to NPR.
The Pentagon has declined comment on the matter citing ongoing litigation.
Esper's memoir, scheduled for a May 2022 release, chronicles his time from Secretary of the Army, to Defense Secretary, to his ultimate firing by former President Trump via a tweet in November 2020. The various redactions Esper was asked to make include not quoting "former President Trump and others in meetings, to not describe conversations between the former president and [Esper], and to not use certain verbs or nouns when describing historical events," notes the New York Times.
With a flurry of books about the inside workings of the Trump Administration coming to print over the last year, it's a surprise that Esper's is being singled out for its contents. That being said, a little public controversy never hurt anyone's book sales.