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NYT Deems “After Ayotzinapa” Among Best Podcasts of 2022, Updates to the Archive’s Ukraine Cyber Vault, and Much More from the Archive: FRIMFORMSUM 12/15/2022

December 15, 2022

NYT Names “After Ayotzinapa” One of 2022’s Best Podcasts

The New York Times has named “After Ayotzinapa” one of the “Best Podcasts of 2022,” calling it a “jaw-dropping account” that “implicates authorities at the highest level.” The podcast, which investigates the 2014 forced disappearance of 43 Mexican college students, is the result of a partnership between the Archive’s Kate Doyle, reporter Anayansi Díaz-Cortes, and Reveal News from the Center for Investigative Reporting (the Spanish-language version, “Después de Ayotzinapa,” was released in co-production with Adonde Media and Animal Politico).

The podcast is the latest in a multi-year effort by Doyle and Archive staff to find justice for the disappeared. The Archive has filed hundreds of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for U.S. documents on the students, its connection to the “war on drugs”, and U.S. security assistance to Mexico. The investigation of the 43 disappeared students remains ongoing, with the appointment of a new special prosecutor’s unit in Mexico in 2019, the publication of the third GIEI report, and sustained support from the international human rights community. The National Security Archive continues to investigate the case with our partners at Centro Prodh and Reveal.

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Archive Updates Ukraine Cyber Vault

The National Security Archive’s Cyber Vault project recently updated its Ukraine page with almost 50 new reports and studies covering the cyber aspects of Russia’s continuing occupation of Ukraine. The materials are a mix of records from the U.S. and foreign governments as well as from international organizations such as the European Union and NATO. Given the unusual role that cybersecurity firms are playing in the conflict, the new additions include a number of items from the private sector as well.

The Ukraine page’s highly detailed timeline of events has also been updated, making the document current as of December 14. The timeline covers more than just developments on the ground, such as important cyberattacks, government decisions, and policy pronouncements. It also serves as an expanding repository of summaries and links to analytical and theoretical articles about a wide range of issues raised by the conflict, such as why Russia’s cyber response has been relatively muted, the phenomenon of hacktivists working in tandem with governments, and the impact of unprecedented intelligence sharing between the United States and its allies.

Visit the National Security Archive’s Ukraine Cyber vault here. 

The U.S., Canada, and the Indian Nuclear Program, 1968-1974

Canadian inspectors visiting the Canada-Indian Reactor (CIR) at Trombay in June 1968 were “unsettled” by information suggesting that India was heading toward the “development of a nuclear device,” according to a recently declassified U.S. State Department telegram obtained by the National Security Archive. Canadian nuclear experts later told U.S. diplomats that the reactor fuel had been irradiated at a level low enough to produce “weapons grade plutonium” and that, if India was seeking to produce plutonium, the reactor could generate up to 12 kilograms a year.

The document is among a new collection of declassified records recently published by the National Security Archive that shed light on the early years of the Indian nuclear program and U.S. policy toward India’s nuclear ambitions in the years before its first nuclear test in May 1974.

The Cuban Missile Crisis @ 60:POSTMORTEMS

In the immediate aftermath of the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev met with the Czechoslovakian Communist Party leader, Antonin Novotny, and told him that “this time we really were on the verge of war,” according to minutes of their October 30, 1962, meeting posted today by the National Security Archive. “How should one assess the result of these six days that shook the world?” he pointedly asked, referring to the period between October 22, when President Kennedy announced the discovery of the missiles in Cuba, and October 28, when Khrushchev announced their withdrawal. “Who won?” he wondered.

To “assess the result” and the implications of those dangerous days when the world stared down what Kennedy aide Theodore Sorensen called “the gun barrel of nuclear war,” the National Security Archive is posting a final collection of postmortem documents, concluding its series on the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In addition to the summary of the Khrushchev-Novotny meeting, the selection includes correspondence from Khrushchev to Castro, Castro’s own lengthy reflections on the missile crisis, a perceptive aftermath report from the British Ambassador to Havana, and a lengthy analysis by the U.S. Defense Department on “Some Lessons from Cuba.”

Read the entire posting on the National Security Archive’s website.

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