You simply can't compare the events of 9/11 to Watergate. I think I've posted here previously that one of the real black holes of information for me about 9/11 is the 32 minutes between the time FAA controllers recognized the first hijacking and the actual impact with WTC2. Another 15 minutes passed before the second plane hit WTC1. As I was driving back home during the morning of 9/11/01, the air traffic control aspect of this whole thing nagged at me. What were the controllers doing for 45 minutes? Sitting on their thumbs? What were the American Airlines supervisors who were in communication with flight attendant Betty Ong on first plane doing besides talking? Out of all of the aspects of 9/11, these gaps have never been answered to my satisfaction.
Then comes this report today from the NY Times:
The taping began before noon on Sept. 11 at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, in Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, but it was later destroyed by an F.A.A. quality-assurance manager, who crushed the cassette in his hand, cut the tape into little pieces and dropped them in different trash cans around the building, according to a report made public today by the inspector general of the Transportation Department...(more)
But the most important national event in any of our lives, and a mid-level functionary of FAA systematically turns what might have been a critical piece of evidence, the most important ATC information available, to dust.
I'm really bothered by this revelation.
(Thanks to Allez @ PEMB for this catch!!)