The Rundown, special edition
Way too much news, fam.
My last dispatch on Elon Musk’s command over Ukrainian military operations was a bit longer than usual and required shortening The Rundown. And so, as promised, here’s an extra special dispatch exclusively for paid subscribers with the rest of the roundup. There has been so much going on and I don’t want you to miss anything.
I’ll be back with you on Thursday morning with a complete dispatch. Lucky number 13 in fact. If you’re new here, make sure you’re subscribed before then. And thank you for reading and supporting my work.
🚨 The Rundown
The Mary Ferrell Foundation has sued the Biden administration “for failing to implement the 1992 JFK Records Act.” The law signed by President Bill Clinton ordered the public release of 16,000 government records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Biden issued a memo on Oct. 22 arguing that in light of the pandemic the government needed more time to engage with other agencies to determine any “identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
“What are they hiding?” asks Robert Kennedy Jr., the son and namesake of JFK’s brother, in a story speculating on what the archive will eventually show.
Most intriguing theory: CIA contacts with assassin Lee Harvey Oswald “while Kennedy was still alive, which the CIA has repeatedly covered up,” according to Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA officer and senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center.
The Marine Corps’ indefinite ban on “water operations involving surf zone transit” for its Amphibious Combat Vehicle continues. The service says the suspension will remain in effect until “additional testing data can be collected and analyzed” following an ACV rolling over in the surf at Camp Pendleton, California, on Oct. 13.
Also, an extensive independent study of Marine Corps basic training has recommended that recruits be trained by both male and female drill instructors. The Corps is the only service to separate trainees by gender at the platoon level, but it’s required by law to “fully integrate” its boot camps, starting with Marine Corps Recruit Depot, S.C., in 2025.
Dozens of British military pilots have been lured with large sums of money to help train China’s military. It’s unclear exactly what they are doing, but a western pilot with valuable techniques, tactics, and procedures in their head costs Beijing roughly $250,000.
“When former UK military pilots provide training to the People’s Liberation Army of China it clearly erodes the UK’s defense advantage. We are taking immediate steps to deter and penalize this activity,” said the UK Ministry of Defense, noting it was conducting a review and warning of potential prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.
A South African flying school linked to their recruitment claims it has been in contact with the MoD for “many years” and said none of the trainers possessed classified or operationally sensitive information.
That may be true, but just sharing insight into how western military pilots think or operate their jets can be dangerous. “If they know how western planes react, then they can react,” an Air Force officer tells me.
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