|FBI won't release Flight 93 tape
CNN | December 21, 2001
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI is refusing to release the cockpit voice recording from United Airlines flight 93 which crashed September 11 in Pennsylvania after being hijacked by terrorists, declining a request from at least one victim's family.
Deena Burnett, wife of passenger Mark Burnett, has been asking the FBI to let her hear the cockpit tape.
Sources say the tape captured some sounds from the cockpit during a fight between the hijackers and passengers. Several passengers, including Mark Burnett, are credited with preventing the plane reaching its intended target, possibly a Washington landmark.
Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-California, whose district includes Burnett's home in San Ramon, California, has written several letters to the FBI requesting it to play the tapes for those families who want to hear them. Some family members were upset after Newsweek last month printed some excerpts from the recording's transcript.
"I am disheartened, and quite frankly disgusted, that accounts of the cockpit voice recording of Flight 93 have surfaced in news reports," Tauscher wrote FBI Director Robert Mueller November 28. "Whether the FBI provided the information or failed to secure it, it is entirely inappropriate in light of these reports that the FBI continues to ignore the repeated requests of family members to hear the tape."
The FBI wrote back, declining Tauscher's request.
"While we empathize with the grieving families, we do not believe that the horror captured on the cockpit voice recording will console them in any way," FBI Assistant Director John Collingwood wrote.