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911 - NORAD - FAA Manager destroyed 911 audio tape

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 1

									http://www.avweb.com/newswire/10_20a/briefs/187259-1.html



FAA Manager Mangled, Cut, Destroyed 9/11 Tapes

By Liz Swaine
Newswriter, Editor

Information provided to the commission investigating the U.S.
government's response to terrorist threats prior to September 11,
2001, names an FAA quality manager in the destruction of an audiotape
made in the aftermath of the 9/11 hijackings. Each of at least six air
traffic controllers and some ten other employees who were on the job at
the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Ronkonkoma,
N.Y., during the World Trade Center attacks gathered several hours
after to recall their version of events. But that tape, which could have
helped determine how the agency responded to clues that four planes
had been hijacked, was destroyed before it was ever heard. In fact,
officials at the ARTCC were never even told of the tape's existence. According to the report given to
the 9/11 Commission by Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead, the
audiotape was crushed in the hand of the unnamed FAA employee, then cut into small pieces and
tossed into different trash cans around the ARTCC building. Despite the fact that the quality assurance
officer had been told to retain all records pertaining to 9/11, he told inspector general investigators he
destroyed the tape because he felt making it was contrary to FAA policy, which calls for written
statements. He is also quoted to have said the controllers "were not in the correct frame of mind to
have properly consented to the taping" because of the stress of the day, and told investigators that
faced with a similar situation, he would repeat his actions.

Inspector General Mead told the 9/11 commission the employee showed "poor judgment," and in
calling for administrative action, said the employee's attitude about the destruction was "especially
troubling." The FAA confirms disciplinary action has been taken against the employee, but will not say
what that action was, or identify the employee. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) says the matter could
be investigated further.

								
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