I really don’t know how I feel about this:
A 911 operator, speaking to a woman trapped on the 83rd floor of the World Trade Center, offered hope of a rescue team that never appeared, recordings of emergency phone calls from Sept. 11 released Wednesday show.
“Listen to me, ma’am,” the operator told a panicked Melissa Doi during a 20-minute phone call. “You’re not dying. You’re in a bad situation, ma’am.”
A portion of Doi’s conversation was played for jurors in April at Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui’s trial, but the rest was wasn’t public until Wednesday’s release of 1,613 previously undisclosed 911 emergency calls from the morning of the 2001 terrorist attacks.***
The New York Times and families of Sept. 11 victims sued for access to the emergency calls and firefighters’ oral histories. Attorneys said they wanted to find out what happened in the towers after two hijacked jetliners crashed into them and what dispatchers told workers and rescuers in and around the buildings.
The calls also include 10 previously unreleased 911 calls made by people trapped in the towers, although those calls will include only the voices of the operators who heard their pleas.
The city in March released transcripts of 130 calls from people trapped in the towers, including only the voices of operators and other public employees. The callers’ voices were cut out after city attorneys argued that their pleas for help were too emotional and intense to be publicized without their families’ consent.
Thousands of pages of emergency workers’ oral histories and radio transmissions were released last August.
I am conflicted- I think they are our recordings, as we paid for them and we should be able to hear them, and the government should not have the right to supress them. At the same time, I don’t feel the need to have these calls splashed all over the news causing unneccessary pain and suffering. Is there a middle ground that could have bbeen found, or is this just one of the flaws of our form of governance?