Buy It. Read It. But You Can't Talk About It.

So, you're curious about the controversial insider account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Maybe you want to read "No Easy Day" on your lunch hour, sitting outside your office on a nice autumn day.

But if you're in the Navy, or you live or work on a local base, you might wonder whether you should even allow yourself to be seen holding a copy of the best-selling book written by former SEAL Mark Owen (a pseudonym) and Kevin Maurer.

Worry no longer: The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense has circulated a directive to address your concerns. The memo, dated Sept. 20, notes that "No Easy Day" - which it shortens to the acronym NED - was not submitted for Pentagon review and may contain classified and sensitive, unclassified information.

That alone shouldn't stop you from reading it, Pentagon lawyers assert. But if you do decide to read it, beware of whom you talk to about it - especially if you have firsthand knowledge or can figure out what sections of the book may divulge classified information.

Just in case Barnes & Noble or Amazon were worried, the memo states that Department of Defense personnel "are free to purchase NED." And once you possess it, the memo helpfully specifies that you are not required to store it "in containers or areas approved for the storage of classified information."

There is one caveat that folks in the SEAL and intelligence communities might want to note: Anyone who possesses "firsthand knowledge of" classified information in the book, or who even suspects what the classified information might be, "shall not publicly speculate or discuss" those aspects of the book "outside official U.S. government channels."

If you were tempted to take to Facebook or Twitter to share your suspicions about what's classified, think again. The memo makes clear that personnel "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."

If you weren't particularly interested in reading "No Easy Day" before, but the Pentagon's cloak-and-dagger commentary and its latest edict have sparked your interest, don't bother heading to a Navy Exchange to buy it.

At a news conference earlier this month, spokesman George Little noted that the Pentagon had not banned the sale of "the book" in military exchanges. But it appears that the Navy Exchange Service Command has decided to err on the side of caution.

Kristine Sturkie, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach-based command, said Thursday that Navy stores have, in the past, carried books written by former SEALs. But Navy exchanges aren't stocking "No Easy Day," she said, "since it is believed the book contains potentially classified or sensitive information."

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