Dead Drop: November 5

UNPUBLISHING NEWS:  Normally, suppressing information is not a good thing.  But we will waive that opinion when it comes to viewing 120,000 photos and 17,000 videos that have been quietly deleted from the Department of Defense’s publicly available imagery archives.  The images were taken during the twenty-year-long war in Afghanistan, but Pentagon officials have elected to remove them because many show Afghan citizens working or associating with U.S. and allied troops – and they don’t want the Taliban sifting through the photos looking for people to punish. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby made the decision and told reporters, “My guidance was: I want any imagery that could be used to identify individuals and/or family members over the last 20 years of war; I wanted it to be unpublished for a temporary period of time, and it is temporary.” There are still tons of images and videos available to the public from Afghanistan – but for now, none that could add to the risk of those left behind.

PUBLISHING NEWS:  The messy exit from Afghanistan was bound to be memorialized in more than just photos or daily newspapers. For example, retired Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann and journalist James Gordon Meek have landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster to write, The Last Mission, which will tell the story of a private group of U.S. special operations veterans and civilians who worked under Mann’s leadership to help secure the safe passage of their “brother,” an experienced Afghan commando and how that rescue inspired a plan to help another 600 Afghan family members who were stuck near the Taliban-encircled Hamid Karzai airport in the final days of the Afghan war. The anticipated publication date is August 2, 2022.

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