portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

New York City Seals 911 Data

People who doubt the official line and want to know what really happened at the World Trade Center on September 11 will run into a new wall of secrecy. A Bloomberg administration order blocks access to all audio and written records of firefighter and police. The mayor has sealed transcripts of radio communications, of 911 calls from trapped victims, and written records of personal accounts by hundreds of firefighters and policemen on the scene.
According to a New York Times story of July 23, the Bloomberg administration has concluded that it "has no intention of releasing audiotapes of the Fire Department dispatchers, hundreds of individual accounts of firefighters or transcripts of radio communications from that day."

The city says that a federal court order in the Moussaoui case justifies the action, that interdepartmental communications are exempt from the Freedom of Information Law, and that the 911 dispatch calls contain "highly personal and emotionally charged material" that could comprimise the privacy of survivors.

The Bloomberg administration has concluded that these records should never be released to the public.

The New York Times had filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court seeking numerous records on September 11. The city's action was in response to the Times' suit.

After 911, firefighters submitted hundreds of oral histories in writing, which now, by the city's act, are among the sealed records. "The histories are for more than for historical purposes," a former senior fire official told the Times. "They are of great value to understanding what happened there....people should be able to see them."