Tony Bennett Backtracks After Controversial 9/11 Remarks
Singing legend Tony Bennett was on Howard Stern's radio talk show on Monday to discuss his latest album, Duets II, which includes performances with Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse. Somehow, though, the discussion took a turn toward the touchy subject of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Bennett said some things he has since decided to reword.
Speaking about the United States' reaction to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, Bennett told Sten, “But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don’t make a right." As the conversation continued, Bennett, 85, who calls himself a pacifist, refused to acknowledge that U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan was a result of the 9/11 attacks. “They flew the plane in, but we caused it, because we were bombing them and they told us to stop," he said.
By Tuesday, the singer was doing damage control on his Facebook page. "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 wrote, adding an apology to the families of the victims of 9/11: “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.
On Stern's show, Bennett also claimed that during an awards assembly at the Kennedy Center in 2005 then-President George W. Bush "personally" told him that he thought he made a mistake by invading Iraq.
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