News @ ID Court prevents release of most September 11 emergency calls

Discussion in 'News @ ID' started by Illuminated_1, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Illuminated_1

    Illuminated_1 New Member

    CNN) -- The emergency phone calls made by people trapped inside the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, need not be released to the public, a New York court ruled Thursday.

    The New York State Court of Appeals declined to grant the wish of September 11 families who joined in a lawsuit seeking release of all tapes and transcripts of calls made from inside the Twin Towers to 9-1-1 operators.

    "We are not persuaded that such disclosure is required by the public interest," the judges said in their ruling.

    Instead, it agreed only to the release of calls from any relatives of the eight families who joined a lawsuit, originally filed by The New York Times as part of a request under the freedom of information law.

    The families sought release of the 9-1-1 calls possessed by the Fire Department of New York, along with department dispatcher calls and interviews with firefighters who participated in the September 11 rescue effort.

    The court did order the release of 511 interviews with September 11 firefighters.

    It ordered that the oral histories be disclosed except for "specifically identified portions that can be shown likely to cause serious pain or embarrassment to an interviewee."

    The fire department also will be required to release some internal communications between dispatchers and other employees -- those with "factual statements or instructions affecting the public" but none disclosing "opinions and recommendations."

    The FDNY had resisted the disclosures, citing privacy concerns.

    The appeals court disagreed with families whose attorneys argued in a hearing last month in Albany that public interest outweighed privacy protection of those who died in the attacks.

    Although 9-1-1 calls might contain previously undisclosed factual information about what was happening inside the towers, the judges wrote, "it is normal to be appalled if intimate moments in the life of one's deceased child, wife, husband, or other close relative become publicly known, and an object of idle curiosity or a source of titillation."

    Referring to the calls, they said, "Those words are likely to include expression of the terror and agony the callers felt and of their deepest feelings about what their lives and their families meant to them. The grieving family of such a caller -- or the caller, if he or she survived -- might reasonably be deeply offended at the idea that these words could be heard on television or read in The New York Times."

    No families came forward to oppose the release.

    Norm Siegel, an attorney for the eight families who sought full disclosure, said they will seek affidavits from other families authorizing the release of additional 9-1-1 calls.

    "We won a lot, but there are things we didn't get," Siegel said.

    The FDNY also sought to block the release of six unidentified tapes and transcripts selected by federal prosecutors as evidence in the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person facing trial in the United States for the September 11 attacks.

    The court rejected the concern, saying the release of these calls would not affect the ability to seat an impartial jury.

    The 9/11 commission, which had access to the FDNY tapes, found significant flaws in the city's 9-1-1 system and recommended improvements.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/24/sept11.tapes/index.html
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    I post this article because I just do not understand why this information would NOT be made public. We can hear the 911 tapes of a person who gets hot coffee spilled on them at a drive through or hear the 911 tapes about how a 3 year old can call 911 when grandpa is ill. That's cool! All tapes should be made public unless the subject matter is part of an on going investigation. Oh I think I just answered my own questions. BUT STILL, the events that happened on Sept. 11, 2001 is like the most important thing that has happened in most of our lives and they won't let us listen to the actual tapes. I think we should be able to hear them. They are important! Being from California and in California on the day of the supposed attacks, I would love to hear on the tapes the perspective of people whom were there watching it in front of them. Maybe if we ALL had more information about what happened on 911 we could maybe help understand and get to the bottom of what really happened? I have to admit I am one of those individuals that do not believe the official story/explanation of what really happened on the day Sept. 11, 2001.

    :mad:

    [Edited on 3-24-2005 by Illuminated_1]
     
  2. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    :up:

    I agree - there is a public interest to releasing those tapes. For some it will answer questions that may linger, for others it will serve as a reminder of the events of that day and for some it will simply satisfy a morbid curiosity.

    The few recordings that are going to be released thanks to the eight families who joined the suit should provide some answers as will the transcripts/interviews. For me this is a good beginning.

    The judges also left this ruling open in that they only censored releasing tapes in which family members had not agreed to their release. One of the plaintiffs, also a family member, is now seeking to get waivers from those families.

    To me this appears to be a win-win situation for plaintiffs.

    B.
     
  3. [quote/]I post this article because I just do not understand why this information would NOT be made public. We can hear the 911 tapes of a person who gets hot coffee spilled on them at a drive through or hear the 911 tapes about how a 3 year old can call 911 when grandpa is ill. That's cool! All tapes should be made public unless the subject matter is part of an on going investigation. Oh I think I just answered my own questions. BUT STILL, the events that happened on Sept. 11, 2001 is like the most important thing that has happened in most of our lives and they won't let us listen to the actual tapes. I think we should be able to hear them. They are important! Being from California and in California on the day of the supposed attacks, I would love to hear on the tapes the perspective of people whom were there watching it in front of them. Maybe if we ALL had more information about what happened on 911 we could maybe help understand and get to the bottom of what really happened? I have to admit I am one of those individuals that do not believe the official story/explanation of what really happened on the day Sept. 11, 2001.[/quote]

    Illum...good point. Likewise, im still waiting on the 911 call made by Ashley Smith. I've yet to hear her side of the call. I only saw what the deputy sheriff said to her as it was posted on CNN. Where is the Smith call?

    I don't think she ever made the call. And any call you hear subsequently that is supposedly made by her will be one they manufactured in some hollywood studio. The Brian Nichols saga is just good old fashioned movie making.

    The game's afoot!

    peace and respect
     
  4. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Personally, I say keep them secret. This is an even that was a terrible tragedy and curiosity makes us want to hear them. But, these were these peoples last moments in life and I for one feel that most should not be made public. This was a terrible ordeal for them and I am sure many things were said that they would want to be kept out of the public ear.

    Do we really want to hear someone asking an operator to tell his family that he loves them? Do we really want to hear someone crying about how they are dieing or hear screaming? This will really help no one, it will only bring out harsher feelings and maybe fix peoples curiosity... no more.

    I agree keep their last moments sacred.