NOTE: SO FAR THIS IS THE LARGEST ARTICLE EVER PRINTED BY THE UK MAINSTREAM MEDIA RAISING MANY OF THE SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE 9/11 COVER UP
9/11 ON TRIAL
|Towers that fell ‘like a controlled demolition’. Planes that vanished then mysteriously reappeared, And crucial evidence that has been lost for ever. A new book raises bizarre yet deeply unsettling questions about the world’s worst terror atrocity…..|
|By Tony Rennell – Daily Mail, Saturday
6th August, 2005
Full Pages 36, 37 & 38, although NOT included on the Daily Mail web site.
THE ACTUAL PICTURES ON THE DAILY MAIL ARTICLE ARE AS FOLLOWS:-
The one from the airport would have military personnel
on board who had checked in as ordinary passengers under false names. The one from the airbase would be
an empty drone, a remote-controlled unmanned aircraft.
Somewhere along their joint flight paths, the
passenger-carrying plane would drop below radar height, and disappear,
landing back at the airbase and unloading its occupants in secret.
Meanwhile, the drone would have taken up the other
plane’s designated course.
High over the island of Cuba, it would be exploded in mid-air after
broadcasting an international distress call that it was under attack from
The world would be told that a plane load of blameless
American holidaymakers had been deliberately shot down by Fidel Castro’s
Communists – and that the US had no choice but to declare war and topple
This ‘agent provocateur’ plan – code named OPERATION
NORTHWOODS and revealed in official archives – dates from 1962 when the
Cold War was at its height.
Four decades later, there are a growing number of
people who look back at this proto-conspiracy and then to the events of
9/11 and see uncanny and frightening modern parallels.
For Cuba, read Iraq, say these skeptics. For the dummy airliner, read the
Twin Towers in New York.
The Northwoods plan is crucial to the argument
presented in a hugely provocative – many would say fantastical – yet, at
times, genuinely disturbing new analysis of 9/11 by two radical British
based journalists, Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan.
Did the CIA
actively help the hijackers?
In it, they examine various conspiracy theories that
suggest the Bush administration connived in the devastating aerial attacks
on New York and Washington four years ago.
To give Bush the excuse he wanted to push ahead with his secret,
long-held plane to invade Iraq and capture its oilfields.
As we shall see. Many of the theories they raise are
outlandish in the extreme. It
would be easy to dismiss them as hokum, the invention of over-active
imaginations among those whose instinct is always to find some way to
blame America for the world’s ills.
Are we really supposed to believe that the CIA
actively helped the hijackers succeed – or even that the US government
staged the whole attack and itself murdered thousands of its own
Some would say that even in discussing suck notions,
we are lending comfort to terrorists and doing a disservice to the
However, much of evidence the authors present is
undeniably compelling – and their arguments sound rather less preposterous
in the light of OPERATION NORTHWOODS all those years ago. That plan was proposed in all
seriousness by America’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in a memo to the Secretary
of Defence. It got as far as
the Attorney General – Robert Kennedy, brother of the president, John
Kennedy, before being vetoed.
It is proof, says Henshall and Morgan, that forces at
the top of the US Government are capable of conceiving a deadly, devious
and fraudulent plan to further their own secret ends – even under such a
supposedly ‘nice guy’ president as JFK.
In which case, can the idea of a 9/11 plot by those
who serve the deeply mistrusted Bush really be ruled out with total
certainty, without at least considering the arguments?
Of course, the official explanation for 9/11 is that
Al Qaeda just got lucky that sunny morning in September 2001.
The terrorists conducted their attacks without outside
help, by this account, and intelligence and other blunders by the US
authorities that contributed to their terrible success – for example,
ignored warnings that an attack involving aeroplanes was likely, or
issuing US entry visas to 19 Islamic fanatics set on murder – were just
This is the White House’s version and it was endorsed
by a Washington commission of inquiry under Thomas Kean published last
But, according to Henshall and Morgan, the story is
full of gaping holes and unanswered questions. And the most startling question,
which remains unresolved, they say, is why the hijackers’ principal
target, the two 110-storey towers at the World Trade Centre in New York
crumbled so easily.
No-one who watched each building suddenly cascade into
dust and debris in just 20 seconds will ever forget the slow-motion
horror. But now the question
is asked: was it all too pat, too neat?
Though 30 years old, the towers had expressly been
built to survive the impact of a Boeing 707, a plane the same size and
carrying as much fuel as the ones that struck. That they collapsed after being
hit and fell at such speed was unprecedented in the history of
architecture. It astonished
The official explanation is known as the Pancake
Effect – steel supports melting in the intense fireball, causing the
floors to tumble down on each other.
The problem here is that the heat from the explosions
was probably not nearly as great as people tend to assume.
There was indeed a lot of kerosene from the aircraft
fuel tanks when flight 11 from Boston hit the North Tower between the
94th and the 98th floors but pictures show that most
of this fireballed outwards.
Experts have questioned whether the fire ever got hot enough to
melt the buildings’ steel frames.
Oddly, too, original estimates by firefighters after
the second plane, Flight 175, hit the South Tower, were that the blaze was
Two firefighters actually reached the crash zone on
the 78th floor and a tape exists of them radioing down that
just two hoses would be enough to get the fire under control – in which
ca\se the situation should have been little different from a ‘normal’
office fire, and no steel tower ever collapsed as the result of such a
‘The fire wasn’t hot
enough to cause a collapse’
Kevin R Ryan, laboratory director at a US underwriting
firm specializing in product safety, was sacked from his job last year
after questioning the official explanation.
“The buildings should have easily withstood the
thermal stress caused by the burning jet fuel”, he said. “If steel did soften or melt, this
was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly
burning fires in those towers.
That fact should be of great concern to all Americans.”
Intriguingly, Ryan claimed that his firm had checked
and approved the steel used in the towers when they were built. This was later vehemently denied
by the bosses who sacked him.
To add to the mystery, the tape of the two firemen was
kept secret and when relatives were finally allowed to listen to it, they
had to sign strict confidentiality agreements.
If the Pancake Effect theory is wrong, there’s one
obvious alternative: that the towers were brought down by the sheer impact
of the planes hitting them.
But this, according to the skeptics, ignores basic physics.
The initial hit on the North Tower, for example,
destroyed 33 of the 59 columns in its north face. This meant the damage was
asymmetrical, so any resulting collapse would surely have been
In fact, the building fell evenly. The TV aerial on the summit sank
vertically, in a straight line.
There were other strange anomalies. According to the Kean Commission,
when the first plane struck: ‘A jet fuel fireball erupted and shot down a
bank of elevators, bursting into numerous lower floors, including the
lobby level, and the basement four storeys below ground.’
Unlikely, say Henshall and Morgan. A firm by a French documentary
crew, who by chance were following a New York firefighting team that day,
shows the first men arriving.
The lobby was covered in fine debris and the windows were shattered
but there was none of the soot or oily residue that burning jet fuel would
have left behind.
Meanwhile down in the basement, a 50-ton hydraulic
press was reduced to rubble and a steel and concrete fire door
demolished. Witnesses there
said the destruction was less like that from a fireball flash and more
like that from a bomb.
Some firefighters told reporters that day that they
thought there had been bombs in the building – before apparently being
silenced by their chiefs. So
had Al Qaeda cleverly placed explosives inside the rowers as well as
attacking them from the air?
Or, as conspiracy theorists would have it, had some
homegrown agency mined the towers to make sure they fell – but neatly
without collapsing over the rest of Manhattan, America’s financial and
The authors quote an expert demolition contractor from
Pennsylvania, Michael Taylor, who said the fall of the buildings ‘looked
like a controlled demolition’.
Another expert, Van Romero, vice-president for
research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, reached the
same opinion after studying videos of the disaster, and concluded that
‘explosive devices inside the buildings’ caused them to collapse.
Strangely and without explanation, he recanted that
view just ten days after going public with it. Might he possibly have been leaned
Even stranger, say Henshall and Morgan, was the
collapse of a third building on the World Trade Centre site, a smaller
47-storey block known as WTC7, which was largely ignored by the world’s
It had not been hit by a plane yet it, too,
mysteriously fell many hours after the Towers had gone.
The official explanation for this was that fuel stores
caught fire as a result of debris from the burning towers, the building
began to bulge in one corner, and after that it was unsalvageable.
But remember that, according to Henshall and Morgan, a
steel-framed building had never collapsed as a result of a fire before
this day. And, again
according to the authors, WTC7 appears almost untouched by fire in
photographs taken at the time.
The landlord of the World Trade Centre site, Larry Silverstein, explicitly suggested at one point that WTC7 was deliberately demolished. He told a US TV documentary that a decision was taken to ‘pull’ the building rather than risk loss of life, though this was later denied.
Certainly, according to Henshall and Morgan, the
building’s fall in seven seconds was just as textbook-tidy and suspicious
as the collapse of the Twin Towers.
Given that it also housed offices of the US Secret Service, the CIA
and the Defence Department, this has led conspiracy theorists to give it a
key role in the supposed 9/11 plot – as we will see shortly.
Part of the whole problem, according to Henshall and
Morgan, is that vital evidence about what happened was destroyed or
muddied in the wake of the atrocity.
One expert said there were bombs inside the towers
Ground Zero, the base of the towers, was fiercely
protected by the authorities – understandably so because it not only
contained human remains but a cache of seized drugs held in an FBI office
and more than $1 billion of gold from bank vaults in the Buildings.
Yet what went on behind all the heavy security?
After most air disasters, the wreckage of the planes
is meticulously gathered up and pieced together in search of clues.
Extraordinarily, in the course of removing the rubble
from the Twin Towers to a nearby landfill site, the 9/11 salvage operation
seems to have ‘lost’ four six-ton aircraft engines, besides failing to
find the ‘black box’ flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders
from either of the planes.
These data boxes – which could have revealed exactly
what happened in the doomed jets – are deliberately designed to withstand
heavy impacts and exceptionally high temperatures. It is, according to experts, very
rare for them not to be recovered after an accident.
Unfortunately, according Henshall and Morgan, there
was a singular lack of official zeal even to establish the very basic fact
that the aircraft that hit the Twin Towers were the same as those that
took off from Boston.
Perhaps, with almost the entire world watching the
attacks on TV, it hardly seemed necessary to prove the glaringly
obvious. But this failure to
follow standard procedures for accident investigation once again gave
encouragement to the conspiracy theorists.
And then there was the oddity of the single
passport. The black boxes may
have been destroyed and steel girders melted – yet somehow one of the
hijackers’ passports avoided this inferno and was found intact in a nearby
street by ‘a passer-by’.
To Henshall and Morgan, that seems absurd, as does the
almost instant identification of this person as a hijacker rather than a
passenger or a Twin Towers office worker. Conspiracy theorists suspect the
passport was planted to help establish the official story in the first,
critical hours after the disaster.
Still more unanswered questions surround what happened
at the Pentagon in Washington, in the third successful terrorist attack
After taking off from Dulles Airport, Washington,
American Airlines Flight 77 dropped off the radar screens for 36 minutes
when its transponders sending signals back to air traffic control were
When the blip reappeared, it was closing on the city
but where precisely the aircraft had been for the past half an hour was a
mystery. Nor could anyone in
air traffic control figure out what it was.
Experienced officials apparently watched its speed and
maneuverability and thought it must be a military plane. Conspiracy theorists maintain this
is precisely what it was.
In a repeat of New York, no evidence has ever been
produced from the wreckage to prove that it was Flight 77 that hurtled
into the side of the Pentagon at 350mph.
Photographs show that the hole it made was large
enough for the fuselage of a Boeing 757 but not for the wings and the
tail, though these supposedly disappeared through the gap and then
For the conspiracy theorists, this points to a
conclusion that what hit was not Flight 77, and not even a jetliner.
Some witnesses claim the plane they say hit the
Pentagon was a small one, an eight – or 12-seater, and that it did not
have the roar of an airliner but the shrill whine of a fighter plane, One witness is convinced it was a
The authors say the matter could be cleared up by CCTV
footage of the crash from a nearby filling station, a hotel and traffic
Unfortunately, the FBI seized all three videos within minutes of
the crash and they have never been released.
The hole in the Pentagon was too small for a Boeing
If they were produced, they might lay to rest the
theory that what hit the Pentagon was a military drone painted in airline
livery and that just before impact it fired a missile to enable a clean
entry which would explain the lack of debris. But until they are, the skeptics
will continue to have a field day.
In essence, to the extreme conspiracy theorists, what
took place on 9/11 was a repeat of the aborted OPERATION NORTHWOODS.
Far from being an attack by Islamic terrorists, they
say, the events were a complete hoax, a conjuring trick by the US
government in just the same way that Kennedy’s generals wanted to fool the
world over Cuba.
Planes were swapped, ‘drones’ slammed into the World
Trade Centre (which was mined with explosives as well) and the Pentagon,
and the identities of alleged hijackers from the Middle East were stolen
or invented to put the blame on Al Qaeda.
Along with the ‘passengers’ who apparently boarded the
planes, the ‘suicide hijackers’ are now either dead or living under
different identities, just as the pentagon planned fro the military
personnel it was going to use back in 1962.
The theory seizes on the fact that, like the plane
that apparently hit the Pentagon, both Flight 11 and Flight 175 switched
off their transponders on their way to the Twin Towers and disappeared
from Radar screens. According
to the skeptics, this gave them time and opportunity to land at the
handily located Griffiss Air Force Base, a Pentagon command center which
also houses research laboratories into advanced computers and radar. There, they were supposedly
replaced by remote-controlled substitutes.
In technical terms, this is not as far fetched as it
sounds. The US military
experimented with unmanned aircraft as far back as World War II and there
have been successful jet models since. Well-connected conspirators, so
the theory goes, would have little difficulty getting their hands on a
system to fit in an airliner.
The switch would supposedly be foolproof because, as
we have seen, the aircraft in the ruins would not be properly
Then there was the smaller building known as
WTC7. It was the obvious
point from which to run the New York end of the scam, guiding the planes
into their target.
Afterwards, of course, the evidence had to be destroyed, hence its
Taken as a rush, and without looking at the detail
this might seem vaguely plausible.
But could we really have been so totally and utterly conned?
Common sense says no. An operation of such intricacy and
complexity would require the co-operation – and the silence until death –
of thousands of people.
Everything we have read about the victims on the planes, and their
heartbroken relatives, would be a carefully constructed sham.
It might just be possible in a totalitarian society
but surely not in a flawed yet robust democracy like America. And with four missions (the
hijackers of the fourth plane, Flight 93, were overthrown by its
passengers), not just one as in OPERATION NORTHWOODS? No.
To be fair to Henshall and Morgan, they make it clear
that they themselves are not advocating such an extreme theory of empty
planes and hoax attacks.
They admit the Pentagon’s radar reconstructions
suggest the planes were not switched, and that alleged Al Qaeda
ringleaders are said by their interrogators to have confirmed the official
Instead of retreating into fantasy, they simply insist
that something is being held back – that we have not been told the full
story. And it’s hard to
discount all their arguments.
Why, they ask, were air traffic controllers so slow to
report suspected hijackings to the military that day in breach of standard
procedures, with the result that fighter planes arrived too late to
Flight controllers in four separate incidents were
unaccountably slow to realize that something was wrong and alert the
military authorities. Even
after one plane was definitely known to have been hijacked, they failed to
respond promptly when others went missing.
The air force scrambled from the wrong base
For some reason, too, when fighter planes eventually
were scrambled to New York, they were from an airbase 150 miles away,
rather than the much closer one in New Jersey. The Twin Towers were ablaze before
they got there.
All the while the local TV channels were smoothly
getting eye-in-the-sky helicopters into the air over the World Trade
Centre. In the words of the
authors: “Their routine
mobilizations stand in stark contrast to the apparent impotence and
indecisiveness of the $350-billion-a-year US military.
Yet for all the shortcomings of the Federal Aviation
Authority and the US Air Force that day, no-one was ever fired or
One explanation for this paralysis is that there was,
as fate would have it, an air defence exercise going on in US airspace
that same day, codenamed Vigilant Guardian. The air traffic controllers were
confused by this, thinking the planes disappearing from their screens
might be part of the exercise.
No say the 9/11 sceptics.
This was exactly the sort of smokescreen operation that anyone
wanting to make life easier for the hijackers would launch to paralyse any
authorities that might get in the way.
When the first evidence came that hijackings were
taking place, traffic control officials wasted valuable time wondering
whether or not this was part of the Vigilant Guardian exercise.
Suck a smokescreen fits well with two types of
government-inspired plot postulated by 9/11 sceptics – popularly known as
‘LIHOP’ and ‘MIHOP’.
‘LIHOP’ – ‘Let It Happen On Purpose’ – holds that since the turn of the new century, radical right-wingers in Washington (the so-called new-cons) had been keen to get a US military presence in the Middle East oilfields and were also desperate to do something about Al Qaeda, which had been targeting US interests overseas.
When evidence came in of an impending terrorist attack, they decided to ignore it. They intended that it should succeed. It would act at the very least as a ‘wake-up’ call to their apathetic fellow countrymen and at best as an excuse for war.
In the much the same way, some historians believe, President Roosevelt knew in advance from broken codes about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 – but let it happen, at the cost of 2,400 lives, because he wanted an excuse to join World War II.
‘MIHOP” takes a step on from this – ‘Make it Happen On Purpose’. This theory has the same motivation but the active involvement of US agents. Planted in Al Qaeda, they helped organize the plot, or at the very least cleared a path for the hijackers.
These agents may even have tried to keep down casualty figures, which some think were suspiciously small in the circumstances.
The plane that hit the Pentagon was seen to swerve at the last minute and hit an area of the building that was largely unoccupied – and which had just been fitted with reinforced external walls and blast-resistant windows. A crash into the other side would have killed and maimed many thousands instead of just 125.
In New York, too, more than 50,000 inhabitants of the Towers were targeted but just 2,600 killed – not least because of the orderly way in which the buildings collapsed, after most of the occupants had been evacuated. Was this an example of a ‘managed’ atrocity?
For most observers, the idea of US involvement in the attacks still strains credulity beyond breaking point. Yet that catalogue of unanswered questions remains troubling.
Some are very basic. How, for example, did the hijackers manage to slip past airport security with weapons?
The White House explanation is plastic knives, but there has never been any independent confirmation of how the men were armed. Some passengers who made phone calls from the doomed planes said they witnessed stabbings but others spoke of bombs and even guns being used.
the official recourse to ‘plastic knives’ smacks of a cover-up to conceal
security lapses – or worse, a deliberate turning of blind
Another problem here is those very phone calls from the planes. Experts in Henshall and Morgan’s book say it is all but impossible to make a mobile phone call above 8,000 feet – let alone four times that altitude, as the jet passengers are alleged to have done.
So how were these calls on which so much of the 9/11 narrative has been built ever made? Could they possibly have been invented?
The authors write: ‘Few issues cause as much controversy amongst 9/11 sceptics as these, not least because they were cited – by Tony Blair among others – as eyewitness reports and proof positive the official narrative was true.’
Doubts are even raised over the gung-ho story of Flight 93, the fourth plane in the attacks, which passengers apparently seized back from the hijackers, causing it to crash into a field but miss Washington.
The legend of the heroic cockpit-storming, launched to cries of ‘Let’s Roll’, was a product of tapes that have never been authenticated or released to anyone other than the victims’ relatives, who were sworn to secrecy.
Henshall and Morgan say the matter could be cleared up if recordings or billing evidence from phone companies were produced but they never have been.
This call for transparency is the thrust of their whole argument. It is time, they say, for a full and truly independent inquiry into 9/11 that will reveal all the facts and silence the rumours.
One thing it could consider would be the anthrax attack on America three weeks after 9/11. Five recipients of contaminated letters died, postal facilities were closed, as were office buildings on Capitol Hill where hundreds of lawmakers and staff were tested and given an antibiotic.
At the time, this was seized on by the Washington power-brokers pressing for action against Iraq. ‘Who but Saddam Hussein could have supplied Arab terrorists with anthrax,’ they asked.
By contrast, skeptics about 9/11 see this as this finishing touch to the grand plot – an attempt to distract attention from any doubts about the atrocities and the lessons to be learned from them.
They may have a case. The letters mysteriously stopped and the anthrax spores were identified by scientists as a particular strain stemming only from the government’s own labs in Maryland.
But by then the scare had shut down congress at a crucial time, when questions about 9/11 were beginning to surface, and helped deepen the mood of fear and paranoia among ordinary Americans.
It was those fears, say the skeptics, that Bush exploited to get his way on Iraq. Had he plotted it that way all along? Henshall and Morgan raise enough awkward points to make it a thought that cannot simply be laughed out of court.
After all, Bush and Blair, took us to war assuring us that ‘the Iraq regime continues to possess some of the most lethal weapons ever devised’. Yet those weapons of mass destruction have not been found and many doubt they existed.
With public trust one of the major casualties of the war, can any of us be absolutely sure we have not been caught up in a lie and perhaps a bigger one even than we ever though possible?
In their inquiries Henshall and Morgan may have
discover no smoking guns – but they have certainly left a whiff of
something sinister in the air.
|9/11 Revealed: Challenging The Facts Behind The War On Terror,
by Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan is published by Robinson on August 25
To order a copy (P&P free), Telephone 0870 161 0870