The DoD has distributed a memo to its employees explaining its stance on Mark Owen’s book No Easy Day, and I’ve got it right here (they even give the book an acronym!). It lays out guidelines for how Pentagon employees should handle the information they will inevitably consume when they read the book, and what to do with the book when they identify classified information in it. I’m happy to say that the DoD is not imposing a ban on purchasing the book.
The memo, in a nutshell, says that DoD personnel:
- are free to purchase NED;
- are not required to store NED in containers or areas approved for the storage of classified information, unless classified statements in the book have been identified;
- shall not discuss potentially classified and sensitive unclassified information with persons who do not have an official need to know and an appropriate security clearance;
- who possess either firsthand knowledge of, or suspect information within NED to be classified or sensitive, shall not publically [sic] speculate or discuss potentially classified or sensitive unclassified information outside official U.S. Government channels (e.g., Chain-of-Command, Public Affairs, Security, etc.);
- are prohibited from using unclassified government computer systems to discuss potentially classified or sensitive contents of NED, and must not engage in online discussions via social networking or media sites regarding potentially classified or sensitive unclassified information that may be contained in NED.
I wish the DoD the best of luck in its endeavor.