Reagan: ‘Moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers…’
“In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I’m sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!”
Cullen Murphy “The Gold Standard: The quest for the Holy Grail of equivalence,” Atlantic Monthly, January 2002 http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200201/murphy
It has also been reported in the Asia Times.