|FDNY BRASS HEAR SECRET
By DAVID SEIFMAN, PHILIP
MESSING and BRIAN BLOMQUIST
July 11, 2002 -- Senior FDNY officials
yesterday listened to an hourlong 9/11
tape of World Trade Center radio
transmissions found early this year, but
would not disclose what it revealed about
the final moments of their lost brethren.
The Port Authority released the tape to
the Fire Department after top fire brass
agreed to keep its contents under wraps at
the behest of federal prosecutors in
Virginia, who plan to use a copy at the
trial of accused "20th hijacker"
"This is an important case and we
don't want to jeopardize it," said a
senior fire official.
There was some hope the tape would answer
lingering questions about how high fire
companies got in the towers, the problems
they encountered and how many heard the
evacuation order issued before the towers
Surviving firefighters have said they
didn't hear the order - which some
officials attribute to a faulty radio
signal-boosting repeater mounted in a
FDNY Capt. Pete Gorman, head of the
Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said
he was troubled that the department didn't
arrange to listen to the tape earlier,
while recovery efforts were still underway
at Ground Zero.
"If they had heard a certain ladder
company was on a certain floor of either
tower, that might have told us where we
could find them in the ruins," he
Gorman also was puzzled about the need for
confidentiality, noting, "This is
chitchat from firefighter to
Moussaoui's fired public defender agreed,
and said he doesn't believe the
confidentiality order applies to New York.
"It doesn't prevent the owner of the
information - if they want - from giving
it out," said Frank Dunham.
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