DoD policy on “No Easy Day”

| September 24, 2012 | 30 Comments

Country Singer sends us the Memorandum for Official DoD Guidance Concerning the Book, “No Easy Day”. just like I said they would do when I wrote the review, they’re calling unspecific parts of the book “classified” and “sensitive unclassified” and forbidding DoD folks from discussing the book in public.

So, this is for your information. We don’t want anyone getting in trouble, no matter how stupid the policy sounds.

Category: Big Army

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  1. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Jonn,

    You and I called it. Just like Wiki! Only different!

  2. Jabatam says:

    Wow! Luckily, I have no DoD ties! I have it but haven’t read it yet…school work is keeping me really busy but I look forward to the time when I can

  3. Boris says:

    Well, I guess I need to stop asking people about this book on a r15.com

  4. Bubblehead Ray says:

    Soooo… if you read a part of the book that you realize is classified information, you’re required to store the book(which is available EVERYWHERE) with classified documents?. Wow… the dumbass is strong with this one. It sounds like a Duffle Blog joke.

  5. Mudwhistle62 says:

    So since I just finished it, should I burn it or turn it in or something? It read like a watered down Marcienko book but with OBL getting shot in the face in the end.

  6. Hack Stone says:

    You can just store it beneath a construction trailer in DC like that Clinton administartion official did when he smuggled the classified documents out of the National Archives, and then allegedly destroyed them by cutting them up with scissors. And oh yeah, he lied to the investigators about it.

  7. Nik says:

    Wait…someone in Clinton’s administration lied? Really? Never would have suspected.

    And they say people don’t lead by example anymore.

  8. Mudwhistle62 says:

    Lolitics!

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    Speaking of Clinton, Monico Lewinski is releasing another tell-all memoir, which includes Slick Willy’s whining about Hillary and love letters that Mr. Bill wrote to Monica.

    That memo from SECDEF is so badly written. Should I rewrite it for them? Those people must all be functionally illiterate. We’re doomed…doomed, I tell you!

  10. TheOtherMatt says:

    @ #5, shred it and take it with you on your next camping trip. Makes starting the campfire a whole lot easier, and nobody will ever know. Win-win! :D

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    Memorandum dated 24 September 2012
    From: Me

    To: SecDef L. Panetta

    Re: DoD memo re: No Easy Day

    Leon:

    I’ve reviewed the memo regarding ‘No Easy Day’ issued by the UnderSecDef’s office.

    It’s confusing, overwritten, unclear, and a waste of my tax money.

    Your people can’t write clearly and succinctly.

    In fact, they are functionally illiterate.

    If you want clarity, please send your memos to me. I’ll fix them. You can then review them and offer revisions. Note: only small revisions will be accepted.

    And frankly, if your subordinates can’t tell the difference between classified and unclassified info, they shouldn’t be working at the Dept. of Defense. Nor should anyone find it necessary to remind them to not discuss classified stuff outside of work.

    Please stop wasting my tax money hiring illiterate college graduates to work for you. They need to find jobs in the private sector where performance actually counts. In fact, I would dump about half of those bozos right now, because they’re wasting my tax money.

    Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

    Regards,

    Ex-PH2

  12. Green Thumb says:

    Who is actually in charge, here?

    Scary.

  13. Devtun says:

    @9
    $12 million can buy Monica quite a few blue dresses…Bubba is back bigger and better than ever – time to cash in (she ain’t getting any younger y’know).

    Hey, this is the same gov’t that claimed embassy attacks were a spontaneous reaction inflamed by some obscure video…
    meanwhile the Brits and German media call it terrorism – yikes! Change story – now it indeed was terrorism. Really ironic that this administration likes to label Romney as a foreign policy novice – bet Mitt doesn’t bow to any foreign head of state or gov’t.

  14. come on, this is a joke….right? Is there somebody at DOD that’s actually that retarded?

  15. Stacy0311 says:

    @6-I believe you are referring to the current Secretary of Defense. Or maybe it was Sandy Berger the National Security Advisor. It’s so hard to keep track of all the liars in the Clinton Administration. I guess it was a “lead by example” type of White House…..

  16. Common Sense says:

    I would think that they’d be more concerned with all the classified and sensitive information lying around the still unsecured Benghazi consulate.

    Or maybe they’re waiting for CNN to do another sweep.

  17. Devtun says:

    It was former NSA Sandy Berger (or Burglar).

  18. JP says:

    “Don’t you dare discuss the information in that publicly available book!”

    ….yeah…..speaks volumes.

  19. Flagwaver says:

    So, we can’t talk about a book that was publicly published in a country that has Freedom of Speech. What next, globally outlawing anything that the Muslims feel might be offensive? Oh, wait… Hillary signed a treaty to that effect already.

  20. 2-17 AirCav says:

    A few questions regarding the memo:

    I am “free to purchase NED.” May I also borrow a copy or accept one given to me as a gift?

    I need not store a copy of NED in a container “unless classified statements in the book have been identified.” I see that the word statements is classified. What if there is only one statement that is classified? Also, does this apply to statements or to classified questions as well? If a statement is unclassified one day and I do not store a copy of NED but the statement is later classified and storage is required, does the storage requirement apply retroactively? If so, have I violated this security memorandum? Lastly, I see that the terms information and statements are used in the memo. What is the distinction between them? If there is none, why the different terms?

    I am not permitted to discuss potentially classified and sensitive unclassified information contained in NED. At what point does information lose its potential to become classified and unclassified but sensitive? What does discuss mean? If one makes a simple declarative statement to another but there is nothing more, does that utterance constitute discussion?

    I’ve had enough of this. The memo is vague, rife with ambiguity, and unfathomably dense. I wonder how much the author gets paid to write this junk.

  21. Twist says:

    It’s like someone poured a can of alphabet soup on a piece of paper and then put a letter head on it. If I read said can of alphabet soup correctly, we can still discuss the book, just not things in it that are classified. Let me point out the elephant in the room. How in the hell are we supposed to know what is classified and what is not? Some things would be a no brainer, but who here hasn’t seen something that was classified that you have no idea why it is?

    I’ll be ok as long as they don’t classify “House to House”. I just can’t put that book down.

  22. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Twist: It’s worse than you think. Information and statements that are POTENTIALLY classified cannot be discussed.

  23. Twist says:

    I guess I will just wait 1 year 3 months and 29 days to read the book and discuss it. Yes I am counting down the days to retirement.

  24. Perry Gaskill says:

    This is what’s known as trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

  25. Hack Stone says:

    Sounds like “Any rebroadcast, reproduction, or other use of the pictures and accounts of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited.” Probably just as likely to result in a penalty.

  26. Hondo says:

    Twist, Ex-PH2: Twist has hit the nail on the head. The book may well contain classified information that is not obvious to most, the release of which may still do great damage to the US national interest.

    Even small things we know may be of great value to an adversary. Here’s a historical example.

    In August 1945, an official history of the Manhattan Project – generally referred to as the Smyth Report after it’s author – was released publicly. Even though it had been extensively reviewed prior to release, the first edition contained reference an unknown and completely unexpected phenomenon called reactor poisoning (Wigner poisoning, if I recall correctly). This was caught and removed from the second edition. However, the Soviet Union obtained copies of both editions of the Smyth Report. The removal highlighted for them the importance of the material that had been deleted.

    The Soviet nuclear program was operating on far fewer resources than had the Manhattan Project, and had access to far less uranium. The material about reactor poisoning in the original edition of the Smyth Report very likely prevented the first Soviet reactors from being complete failures – and thus likely allowed them to develop the fission bomb a number of years earlier than they otherwise would have. Richard Rhodes documents the above in his excellent book Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb.

    The Smyth Report is only one example where even extensive pre-publication security review missed material of value to an adversary. And No Easy Day underwent absolutely no pre-publication security review whatsoever by either the operational or intel communities.

    That’s why I have such heartburn with Bissonnette here. As an operator, he’d almost certainly have little detailed knowledge of the technical details regarding sources and methods used to develop intel behind the bin Laden raid; ditto for the “former Special Operations lawyer” who allegedly reviewed the document on his publisher’s behalf. Both of these individuals thus would have virtually no insight whatsoever into what small details that could appear innocuous on the surface might instead be the key to expose sources and methods.

  27. MikeD says:

    I’m a security nut, but this crossed a line for me:
    “DoD personelle: … 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.”

    So you’re telling me that an Army 11B with no clearance cannot post or comment on Facebook on his own time if someone else says “well I think page 53 has classified information on it” even to say “dude, I think you’re full of it” or he’s in violation of this policy? Go to hell. That’s ridiculous BS and a violation of DoD member’s freedom of speech. If he’s in uniform or on duty? Fine. Otherwise, I’d advise Mr. Sticklen and Mr. Bouchard to stick it up their tailpipe.

  28. Ex-PH2 says:

    Hondo, I agree with you, and with your point — that the book was not properly reviewed pre-publication for classified material — because I was told (back in the Cold War era, mind you) “when in doubt, leave it out”.

    The memo, however, is a bone of contention because it is so poorly written that both Twist and I have made the same point, which is that you can’t tell someone it’s okay to read but NOT to discuss classified material if it isn’t labeled or made clear what “classified” pertains to.

    Doubtless, Bissonette had no idea what was and was not considered highly classified in regard to anything involved in the OBL mission, other than the fact that he was one of a team of SEALs engaged in that mission. In the “60 Minutes” interview, he did not once mention that the Blackhawk that crash-landed was a stealth aircraft. That came from the White House. I haven’t read NED, but in view of his not specifying the technology behind the helicopter, I think it would be safe to assume he thought it was simply a Blackhawk, not a special kind of Blackhawk.

    So, the memo, which is supposed to address the ‘loose lips sink ships’ idea, muddies the waters by telling people not to discuss classified material in the NED book, but doesn’t have that material redacted from the book which could have precluded issuing that over-wrought memo in the first place.

    Besides, if that memo had simply said ‘don’t discuss on pain of torture on the rack’, or something similar, it might have been more clear.

    Everyone who posts on this board can create a memo with more clarity than what is inscribed on that piece of paper.

  29. ARoberts says:

    Just saw this exact memo come out on an official Army page on FB. I really wish they would hire folks who can read, write and understand the English language better……

  30. Anonymous says:

    No matter how skilled or elite some of these operators are, some of them (like the author)will end up biting pillows for the mighty dollar and stepping on heads the whole way!

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