Just one day after Tony Bennett, of all people, stirred up controversy not only by telling Howard Stern that the U.S.-Iraqi war was, in his opinion, a "tremendous, tremendous mistake," but by pointing the finger of blame for the devastating and tragic 9/11 attacks toward our own shores, the Duets II crooner—and, incidentally, World War II vet—has seen fit to issue an apology for the perceived callousness of his remarks.
"There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country," he clarified in a statement released late Tuesday, not long after his Sirius XM comments hit the headlines.
"My life experiences—ranging from the Battle of the Bulge (in World War II) to marching with Martin Luther King—made me a lifelong humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior.
"I am sorry if my statements suggested anything other than an expression of my love for my country, my hope for humanity and my desire for peace throughout the world."
Well, when chatting with Stern, the topic of conversation rolled around to Sept. 11, and Bennett mused, "But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don't make a right."
"They flew the plane in, but we caused it. Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop."
After gaining agreement on a few points from Stern, Bennett brought to attention a meeting with President George W. Bush in 2005, of whom he claimed "had a special liking to me," which included the former president's opinion on the war.
"He told me personally that night, he said, ‘I think I made a mistake,'" Bennett explained.
(Originally published Sept. 20, 2011, at 7:56 p.m. PT)