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By Christopher Ruddy

The recent "leak" of a classified Pentagon report that the U.S. military recently has drawn up plans to use nuclear weapons against seven nations was no accident.

The Pentagon report identifies China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria as nuclear targets, and directs military planners to begin preparing nuclear strike plans in case of a nuclear, biological or chemical weapons attack on the U.S. or "in the event of surprising military developments."

U.S. officials were quick to confirm the report, which no doubt sent a serious signal to rogue states about what will happen if the U.S. is hit with a nuclear device.

This "news" of the nuclear war plans should not be surprising to NewsMax readers.

President Bush and the Pentagon are only following the advice given to them by NewsMax columnist and Russian defector Col Stanislav Lunev.

On Sept. 24, Col. Lunev's column headlined: Bush Must Warn Rogue States of Nuclear Retaliation.

Lunev, the highest-ranking military spy ever to defect from Russia, warned the White House that the terrorist threat would not abate: "These groups clearly have received sufficient funds, supplies, support and hospitality from rogue nations – all of whom have close ties to Russia's military and intelligence agencies."

Lunev continued ominously: "... we are in a full-blown war, the stakes are high for each side. No one can rule out that these terrorists may have biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. No one can rule out their use. International terrorism currently has enough power to challenge the West and, using weapons of mass destruction, perhaps hit us with a devastating blow."

Col. Lunev also said, "The planning, network and resources involved in the operation of Sept. 11 suggests to me that one or more countries were behind this, and also that Russian intelligence agencies were likely aware of the possibility of these attacks."

Lunev argued that the Sept. 11 attack was simply a precursor to a much larger attack.

The terrorists and their backers are clever propagandists and realized that a mass destruction attack against the U.S. would rouse Muslim and world opinion in the U.S.'s favor.

The terrorists, Lunev thinks, "realized America would retaliate."

Only in the aftermath of U.S. retaliation, which the world has since witnessed in Afghanistan, Lunev wrote that "we must worry about the next attack, which may be an escalation in scope and severity over the ones of Sept. 11."

Lunev then gave advice that has now been heeded by the Bush administration: "My suggestion is that the U.S. must warn rogue states, i.e., Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya, that if these groups use a weapon of mass destruction on an American city, the U.S. military will not do any investigations, there will be no delay – the U.S. will use similar weapons on their population centers and military targets."

On Oct. 16, just over a month after Sept. 11, Lunev worried again about a nuclear attack, in an urgent memo to President Bush, which was published on (see: Memo to Bush: A Plan to Prevent Weapons of Mass Destruction).

Lunev candidly informed President Bush: "Right now, there is no way to assure America that such weapons [of mass destruction] will not be used. We must be honest and admit that time may already have run out.

"The terrorists have had a huge time advantage over us. They had almost the whole past 10 years to move without sanction from the U.S. government. For all practical purposes, these terrorists may have already deployed weapons of mass destruction here."

It should be remembered that it was Lunev who, as a GRU defector, first told the CIA that Russia had already deployed suitcase nuclear bombs inside the U.S.

In the wake of the al-Qaeda attacks, Lunev was justifiably troubled that other rogue operators, such as Iraq and North Korea, would use the opportunity to detonate a nuclear device in America – with the hope that it would be conveniently blamed on bin Laden.

"Already, I have encouraged you to warn all backers of al-Qaeda, including any and all backers of terrorist groups and nations, including Iraq, Iran, Syria and others, that the use of weapons of mass destruction on American soil will cause the U.S. to use such weapons against any and all backers of these terrorists.”

Lunev added, in his Oct. 16 memo, "You should tell them the U.S. will retaliate without investigation and go after 'likely suspects.'"

Lunev then advised the president on a critical tactical maneuver: He should not simply warn rogue nations of a potential nuclear retaliation, he must draw up plans to do so.

Lunev wrote, "You should not just warn rogue nations, you must have your Pentagon begin to prepare to use such weapons against these nations.

"If you do, the many spies in the U.S. government will report back to rogue nations that you are serious and if a weapon of mass destruction is used against America, you will respond with fury. Then no one will be safe.

"I can assure you that this will be unsettling to America's enemies."

Lunev then reminded the president how successfully this strategy had worked during the Cold War.

"In the early 1960s, President John Kennedy was faced by a similar nuclear threat from rogue nation Cuba. Kennedy did not warn Castro that he would hit Cuba if the U.S. was so attacked.

"Kennedy went right for the jugular. He warned Nikita Khrushchev in no uncertain terms that any nuclear attack by Cuba on the U.S. would require a "full retaliatory" strike at the Soviet Union.

"When the Soviets heard the 'bad news,' that Kennedy was not going to be a pushover, weapons of mass destruction were immediately removed from Cuba.

"You must emulate Kennedy now. You should do so sooner rather than later," Lunev concluded in his memo.

President Bush, wisely, chose to take the advice.

Editor's note: You can hear Col. Lunev in his own words, uncensored, in the powerful audiotape NewsMax has published: "CIA FILES." "CIA FILES" includes the full story of what Col. Lunev told the CIA -- and his warnings about Russia's links to terrorist groups, as well as their plans using suitcase nuclear bombs in America -– CLICK HERE to get "CIA Files":

Special Report to Readers
Monday, March 11, 2002