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NBC Promotes Jordan's Queen Noor and Valerie Plame 'On a Mission' to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interviewed Jordan's Queen Noor and former CIA operative Valerie Plame about their effort to rid the world of all nuclear weapons: "...two women taking on a big challenge....leading an initiative called Global Zero. The goal, to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world." The headline on screen declared them to be "on a mission."

At one point, Guthrie suggested the naivety of the goal: "The counter-argument to that is, 'Wait a minute, all the bad actors in the world are racing toward more nuclear weapons. Can we really afford to do that?' Noor replied: "Well, I think if the United States and Russia, who have 90% of the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons, do continue to make the deep cuts that started during Reagan, that Obama has built up on, that President Obama now in his next term can make with the Russians, significant credible cuts in, then the rest of the nuclear states will join a process..."

For the most part, Guthrie simply teed up Noor and Plame to promote the project:

> And Your Majesty, you recently said something that we're really at a tipping point, almost a point of no return where there could be no chance to try to reduce nuclear weapons in the world to zero. Why is that?

> And I want to pick up on that with Valerie. This is something you worked on when you were at the CIA. Some people might look at this and think, "Well, wait a minute, as long as the nuclear weapons are in the hands of safe countries, responsible countries, why is zero the goal?"

> Because you worry about rogue states, of course. You worry about terrorists. You worry about accidents. There's this – you have a movie called Countdown to Zero, which makes this argument in quite a compelling way, and it tells the story of one Russian man who actually tried to sell nuclear material to Al Qaeda.

Guthrie never made reference to Plame's controversial past nor asked her about the scandals rocking the CIA since the Benghazi attack and the resignation of Director David Petraeus.

Here is a full transcript of the November 16 segment:

8:13AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Back now at 8:13 with two women taking on a big challenge. Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan and former CIA operations officer Valerie Plame are leading an initiative called Global Zero. The goal, to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world. Good morning to you both.

QUEEN NOOR: Good morning, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: Well, you have your work cut out for you, don't you?

NOIR: We do. But we're joined by 300 other leaders of the movement and young people around the world, so it's not just the two of us. In fact, it's quite a large team.

GUTHRIE: And Your Majesty, you recently said something that we're really at a tipping point, almost a point of no return where there could be no chance to try to reduce nuclear weapons in the world to zero. Why is that?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: On a Mission; Queen Noor's Call to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons]

NOOR: Well, proliferation since the period of the 1980s, when President Reagan launched a process, his vision was zero, and he launched a process that cut American arsenals by 50%, and Russian as well. They worked on this together. Since that period of time, proliferation has reached out into other parts of the world, and today we have 19,000 weapons that are some not well secured, some in very volatile regions, and we have the threat of proliferation extending even further into the Middle East.

GUTHRIE: And I want to pick up on that with Valerie. This is something you worked on when you were at the CIA. Some people might look at this and think, "Well, wait a minute, as long as the nuclear weapons are in the hands of safe countries, responsible countries, why is zero the goal?"

VALERIE PLAME: It has to be the goal. I've absolutely evolved in my position. Working in a covert capacity at the CIA, I was doing operations to try to make sure that either – that bad guys, whether they're rogue states or terrorists, do not acquire nuclear weapons. But I've evolved in where the point now nuclear technology is so widely available, the proliferation of weapons, we're far beyond where we were at the height of the Cold War, where it was just the United States and Russia. And now I think we have to drain the swamp. There is no other way, a sane way ahead.

GUTHRIE: Because you worry about rogue states, of course. You worry about terrorists. You worry about accidents. There's this – you have a movie called Countdown to Zero, which makes this argument in quite a compelling way, and it tells the story of one Russian man who actually tried to sell nuclear material to Al Qaeda.

PLAME: Yes, the vignette of that was rather a low-level worker in a uranium plant in the former Soviet Union, and he knew that by taking – he could secrete very small amounts of highly enriched uranium, and he had a buyer that was a representative of Al Qaeda, and the whole reason that he wanted to sell that was so that he could get a refrigerator. I mean, for him that was what – that's all it was to him, a means to, you know, make his personal life a little better.

GUTHRIE: Queen Noir, when you look at this and you say you want the U.S. to lead the way, you want Russia to lead the way in reducing nuclear arsenals. The counter-argument to that is, "Wait a minute, all the bad actors in the world are racing toward more nuclear weapons. Can we really afford to do that?"

NOOR: Well, I think if the United States and Russia, who have 90% of the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons, do continue to make the deep cuts that started during Reagan, that Obama has built up on, that President Obama now in his next term can make with the Russians, significant credible cuts in, then the rest of the nuclear states will join a process that will make it much more difficult for any other state to acquire weapons and for any state that has weapons, not to join that process. We believe that is the only way, Global Zero believes that's the only way to shift from our current course towards disaster to one which promises a more peaceful world.

GUTHRIE: Well, Queen Noor, it's great to have you here. Valerie Plame, you as well. Thank you. And the website is globalzero.org if you want more information. Appreciate it.

NOOR: Thank you.

PLAME: Thank you. 

-- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow him on Twitter.