Special Reports Personal Collection:
Norris Carden's (www.nuzman.com) e-mail collection of Drudge's Special Reports (5/31/1997 - 1/17/2001.)
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT BULLET XXXXX SEPTEMBER 5, 1997 XXXXX
LEBED: 100 NUKES MISSING IN RUSSIA
But is news segment a grand movie advertisement?
Retired Russian Gen. Alexander Lebed tells Sunday's 60 MINUTES that
Russia's military has lost track of 100 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs.
CBS' Steve Kroft investigates the terrifying possibility in a segment
titled: THE PERFECT TERRORIST WEAPON.
For the first time publicly, Lebed admits that the one-kiloton
devices, which are highly concealable and relatively easy to detonate
by one person, "are not under the control of the armed forces of
Russia." In a private briefing to a delegation of U.S. Congressman
last May in Moscow, he said he believed 84 were unaccounted for. He
tells 60 MINUTES that he believes the figure is now more than 100.
"Can you imagine what would happen psychologically, morally, if this
weapon is detonated in a big city?...About 50 to 70,000 people, up to
100,000 people would be killed," Lebed tells Kroft, in a scene that
sounds direct from the upcoming film PEACEMAKER.
PEACEMAKER, coming in a few weeks [coincidence?] from DREAMWORKS to
theaters nationwide is based on an article written by veteran
journalists Leslie and Andrew Cockburn about high stakes scenarios
involving nuclear weapon smuggling in the former USSR. George Clooney
is a US Agent that ends up chasing a nuke around New York City that is
stowed in a backpack. Nicole Kidman plays the head of the White House
Nuclear Smuggling task force. In the film, a Balkan terrorist wants
to plant the nuclear device on the doorstep of the United Nations.
The DRUDGE REPORT can reveal, 60 MINUTES first learned of the
potential missing devices -- called SADMS [Special Atomic Demolition
Munitions] -- from the Cockburns. And Leslie Cockburn, a former 60
MINUTES producer, is producing Sunday's report.
It is not known if 60 MINUTES held a story of this magnitude to
coincide with the movie's release, the first film from Steven
Spielberg and David Geffen's new company. 60 MINUTES executive
producer Don Hewitt could not be reached for comment all day Thursday.
At its least, the chain of events seems to be a confusing mix of
news/movie tie-in/political play. Lebed is a foe of President Boris
Yeltsin who this week announced that he would step down in 2000 --
leaving the field wide open.
A Russian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells the
ASSOCIATED PRESS on Thursday night that the Russian military does have
portable nuclear bombs, which security experts describe as the
"perfect terrorist weapon" in the wrong hands. But Russian officials
interviewed by Kroft for the report were skeptical about Lebed's
A White House official tells several wires on Thursday: "We don't
have any evidence to support what [Lebed] said and responsible Russian
officials have specifically denied it... We have no credible
information any nuclear weapon, suitcase or not, has even been
available on the black market."
I say call in Andy Rooney.
Filed by Matt Drudge in Hollywood
9/4/97 19:41 PDT
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