Olbermann not amused by Rove's quip about 9/11
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Friday February 22, 2008

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Former White House adviser Karl Rove received an ignominious superlative Thursday night after a speech this week in which he mused that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were delivered by history.

He was given the familiar distinction as "Worst Person in the World" on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show.

"Defending the Iraq war as an opportunity to prove the U.S. would not hesitate to defend itself against Islamic extremist, even the wrong ones, [Rove said] quote, 'History has a funny way of deciding things. ... Sometimes history sends you things and 9/11 came our way,'" Olbermann said on Thursday night's episode of Countdown. "History has a funny way of deciding things -- 9/11. Real funny, Karl. Karl Rove, today‘s 'Worst Person in the World.'"

Rove spoke to a crowd of 1,200 at the University of Pennsylvania Wednesday evening. University officials would not reveal how much he was paid for the speech.

The former adviser to President Bush defended the Iraq war and proffered quotes from Democrats who believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion.

The country goes to war "not for the purpose of conquest but for the purpose of freedom," he said, according to the student newspaper, which did not report his 9/11 comment.

Those comments were noted by The Bulletin, another Philadelphia paper. It reported the exchange as follows.

[...]. On Iraq especially, the political strategist found it behooved him to underscore the unique circumstances under which the decision to go to war was made.

"History has a funny way of deciding things," he said. "Sometimes history sends you things, and 9/11 came our way."

Americans should not forget, he counseled, that every act of war sends a poignant political message and that any statement the U.S. could send by reluctance to fight Islamic extremists abroad will be taken as a sign of diminished will.[...]

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast February 21, 2008.