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Tony Bennett apologizes for 9/11 remarks

Tony Bennett attends Tony Bennett's 85th Birthday Gala

Tony Bennett attends Tony Bennett's 85th Birthday Gala Benefit for Exploring the Arts at The Metropolitan Opera House. (Sept. 18, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Tony Bennett apologized Tuesday for remarks he made in a radio interview Monday that blamed the United States for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

During an interview on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show to promote the singer's new album, "Duets II," the discussion ventured into politics. Stern asked Bennett how he would deal with the terrorists responsible for destroying the Twin Towers.

"Who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists, or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don't make a right," Bennett said, adding "They flew the plane in, but we caused it. We were bombing them, and they told us to stop."

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Bennett, 85, clarified 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 said. "My life experiences -- ranging from the Battle of the Bulge 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."

Ed Kowalski, a director of the 9/11 Families for a Secure America Foundation, told Newsday, "Tony should stick to singing songs rather than making an unintelligent statement about U.S. foreign policy."

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