Ted Turner: KGB Was ‘Honorable’
CNN founder Ted Turner said the former Soviet intelligence agency KGB was “honorable” — and equated the U.S. mission in Iraq with the U.S.S.R.’s invasion of Afghanistan.
During an appearance on last week’s “Meet the Press,” Turner — whose latest book is “Call Me Ted” — was asked by host Tom Brokaw if he believes all nuclear weapons can be eliminated if the U.S. and Russia take the lead.
Turner, co-founder of the Nuclear Threat Initiative to stem the spread of nuclear weapons, said “absolutely,” and called the Russians “very reasonable, pragmatic, practical people.”
When Brokaw mentioned Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s past with the KGB, Turner responded:
“Well, he had that background. But you know, we have an FBI, and we're not prejudiced against somebody who's worked at the FBI. It's an honorable place to work. And the KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work. And it gave people in the former Soviet Union, a communist country, an opportunity to do something important and worthwhile.”
The next exchange went like this:
Brokaw: “But in the meantime, it appears that he's very much more interested in just causing difficulty for the United States, getting in our face in a manner of speaking.”
Turner: “Well, wait. We're the ones, in my opinion, we're the ones that started that. We're the ones that started by putting the Star Wars system in Czechoslovakia and Poland when they wanted to be part of it. We've said that system is only to protect us from Iran or protect Europe from Iranian missiles. So why didn't we cooperate with the Russians? Why have we constantly been pushing on the Russians all the time?”
Brokaw: “Your friend, Jimmy Carter, tried to be friendly with Leonid Brezhnev, and for his friendliness what did Brezhnev do? … He invaded Afghanistan.”
Turner: “Well, we invaded Afghanistan, too, and it's a lot further — at least it's on the border of the Soviet Union or the former Soviet Union or Russia…”
Brokaw: “But Ted, don't try to go there in terms of justifying that … It was naked aggression on the part of the Russians at the time.”
Turner: “Well, going into Iraq was naked aggression on the part of the United States.”
Brokaw failed to challenge that assertion.
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