9/11 Commission Orders New York to Hand Over Documents
New York Times
The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks announced today that it had subpoenaed New York City for a variety of police tapes and other material about the attacks. It said that the city's refusal to hand over the material had "significantly impeded the commission's investigation."
The 10-member commission said that the subpoena required the city to turn over tapes and transcripts of emergency 911 calls made that day, as well as transcripts of hundreds of interviews of firefighters that were conducted after the terrorist attacks.
"The city's failure to produce these important documents has significantly impeded the commission's investigation," the panel said in a statement, adding that the initial request for the materials was made more than four months ago. "Given its statutory deadline, the commission cannot wait any longer for these vital records."
City officials said that the city has withheld the tapes and documents from the commission in hopes of reaching an agreement that would allow the city to edit the materials to remove "personal last-words" commentary by victims of the attacks that was captured in many of the police and fire department tapes.
The announcement of the subpoena - the third issued by the panel, which had previously subpoenaed the F.A.A. and the Pentagon - came as groups of victims' families stepped up their protests about an agreement between the commission and the White House for access to Oval Office daily intelligence briefings.
The panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States, is headed by former Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey. The vice chairman is Lee H. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana.