Henshall works for the Crisis newsletters, while Morgan works for the Independent magazine. Writing books such as Flight 93 Revealed: What Really Happened on the 9/11 Let’s Roll Flight? and 9.11: The New Evidence, these two authors work to answer the unexplained questions of the 9/11 attacks.
The start of the 21st Century marked America’s preservation of peace and prosperity. This all changed on the fateful day of September 11, 2001, when America’s foreign and domestic stance crumbled alongside the rubble of the World Trade Center. Blame was immediately placed on the hands of Al Qaeda, and for a while, the government seemed complacent in holding these radical-islamic terrorists accountable. However, in the book 9.11 Revealed. Challenging the facts behind the War on Terror, critics such as Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan, reinvestigate the 9/11 attacks and question the government’s authenticity in uncovering what truly happened. Was it possible that “Al Qaeda carried out the 9/11 events without any help from certain elements within the US Government?”1 Poised to answer such questions, Henshall and Morgan examine 9/11’s few remainings to trace and uncover the alternate scenarios of that infamous day.
The beginning of the book mainly revolves around the background of the 9/11 attacks and the controversy that was brought with it. At around 8:46 AM on the day of the 9/11 attacks, reports were made by US news outlets that the North Tower of the World Trade Center had been hit by a hijacked plane. Soon after, the South Tower and the Pentagon had been hit as well, and by that time it was apparent that America was a target of terrorism. After the initial hysteria had died down, skeptics were astounded by how 19 terrorists could have hijacked three planes under the eyes of the FBI. Furthermore, the investigations that had been done on the attacks were being held private from the general public, efforts to indict Al Qaeda were delayed, and criminal probes were kept hidden. Henshall and Morgan analyzed the secrecy of the Supreme Court and the FBI, speculating if they “questioned the official story, or… straightened out the witnesses.”2 The simulation of events raised questions and doubts regarding the US government’s role in the 9/11 attacks. Four alternate scenarios were brought up to solve this mystery with the “official story, the incompetence theory, LIHOP[Letting it Happen on Purpose], and MIHOP[Make it Happen on Purpose].”3 The official story was the one fabricated by the US government, claiming that Al Qaeda was the sole culprit of the attacks. However, the other alternate scenarios claimed that US officials helped fabricate the whole development by pre-rigging the Twin Towers with explosives and removing officials from the buildings beforehand. The continued doubt of the US government would be galvanized over the following years due to the leakage of more evidence being found, which in turn, stifled the public’s trust in the government.
In the next portion of the book, Henshall and Morgan dive deeper into the conspiracy of 9/11 by examining the attacks before they took place. Before any of the events even happened, the primary question that filled every skeptic’s mind was: “how were the hijackers able to board the plane with weapons?”4 In 1996, Flight 800 had experienced an explosion from an undetected bomb. After this threat, the US airport security was “told” to tighten its regulations and prevent any harmful materials or weapons from getting into an airplane. Many airports also “introduced the automatic requirement of photo ID, as well as sniffer dogs”5 to assist in the protection of flight and passenger safety. Even with tightened security, Henshall and Morgan described how the 19 hijackers were still completely oblivious to any airport official or FBI detective. This failure to detect the suspicious activity of the hijackers was a big part of Henshall and Morgan’s argument of strange US government behavior. The question that revolved around the whole conspiracy was: how could the US government allow hijackers to carry weapons, yet still go completely unnoticed by security? Regardless, even when the planes were hijacked, “FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] had not notified it until 8:40am, or twenty-six minutes after the signs of hijacking.”6 The Kean Commission wrote that even with limited time, US planes should have had enough leverage in intercepting these planes, but they failed to do so. Henshall and Morgan highlight these faults by again blaming the work of the FBI and the US government and their failed cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. They noted how the administration’s peculiar behavior raised doubts in its authenticity.
Weeks after the destruction of the World Trade Center, the information collected from the CIA and the FBI around the crime scene was keep hidden from the public. The US government failed to disclose any real information to the families of the killed, which angered many Americans as this displayed the government’s failure to cooperate with the public. Furthermore, the evidence that managed to be leaked from the hands of the FBI did not correlate with what really took place. Originally, reports were that the Twin Towers utterly collapsed due to extremely high temperatures causing the weight of the floors to swiftly collapse on top of each other. However witnesses said that “the temperatures nearby were cool enough for them to walk away without the danger of being cooked alive.”7 Even during the collapse “the fires were already dying down when the collapse occurred,” exemplifying how the heat could not have caused the collapse.8 There were also reports claiming that there was “no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the pentagon.”9 After the attack on the Pentagon, there were no traces of the wing or tailplane parts of the hijacked airplane, which prompted skeptics to doubt there even being a foreign, terrorist attack in the first place. In often cases, government explanation did not line up with evidence, further prompting skepticism on the authenticity of government investigation and its direct involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
Towards the end of the book, Henshall and Morgan develop a connection between the the US government’s actions after the 9/11 attacks to America’s War on Terror. Henshall and Morgan explain how the Bush administration needed a justification in declaring war on Iraq after the Persian Gulf War. This book connects the US government’s strange nature during the 9/11 attacks to this justification. With suspicions slowly forming, the Bush administration officially announced America’s War on Terror against Afghanistan and Iraq, which was rather odd because “if there really were potentially dangerous countries cooperating with terrorists, they would most likely be... Pakistan and wealthy Saudi Arabia.”10 It was apparent that the administration’s motive in invading these countries was more than just revenge for 9/11. What made these two countries so dangerous was their nuclear arms capability. Aware of this danger, the authors expressed how America needed an excuse to enter Afghanistan and Iraq and disarm them of nuclear bombs. This excuse was America’s fright of radical islamic terrorism, which was stimulated by the 9/11 attacks. Combined with the mass media coverage of 9/11, patriotic sentiment was surging in America. The general fervor in society was its intense hatred towards Al Qaeda, but at the same time, its intense cohesion and unity to stand against this terror. Henshall and Morgan relates the growing patriotism to the government’s success in diverting the attention from the strange nature of 9/11. Soon enough, the government manipulated America’s attention so much that “TV channels fog-horned the administration’s terrifying warnings about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction,” instead of reporting about the terror of Al Qaeda.11 The alternate theory of this book explains how the US government might have placed the blame of 9/11 on the hands of Al Qaeda to justify their invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead of invading for terror reason, the alternate scenario noted America’s desire to extract nuclear weapons from these countries.
Henshall and Morgan’s purpose in writing this book was to retell the 9/11 attacks through an evidence-based account, aimed at illustrating the event as how it actually transpired. Henshall and Morgan are not undermining any scenario or claiming that a certain scenario must have happened. Instead, they are offering alternate synopsis and creating other possibilities by being “primarily concerned with the direct evidence on 9/11.”12 Essentially, these two authors are open to alternate scenarios by examining real evidence. For example, there were conspiracy theories based upon the relative few casualties in the 9/11 attacks. Henshall and Morgan mentioned how the hijacked planes could have killed thousands of more people if given a better opportunity. The authors qualify this scenario as “the plane hit the least threatening place to life”, while also qualifying the official story, claiming that it was all coincidence.13 This shows how the authors never took one side or the other, instead being open to the possibility that there might have been other developments behind 9/11 and the War on Terror.
A journalist for the Independent magazine, Rowland Morgan tends to lean towards the left-side of the political spectrum, acting more as a liberal rather than a conservative. Left-wingers tend to enhance the idea of freedom and thought, while being more radical in action. As a liberal, Morgan could potentially find motivation in writing a book that shares the possibility of a conspiracy. Also, Morgan plans to write a book on how government deceives their electorates over war. This exemplifies Morgan’s apparent lack of trust in the government which could explain why he thinks there’s an alternate synopsis behind 9/11. Ian Henshall also shares the same passion to reveal government secrets. He wrote an updated version of this book, 9/11 Revealed: The New Evidence, which explains his curiosity over the 9/11 attacks and his passion for conspiracies. Overall, the authors are just analysts that have seen “inconsistencies in the official portrait of the hijackers,” and are determined to explain the 9/11 attacks in a consistent manner.14
The years following the 9/11 attacks signified America’s growing sense of patriotism as well as its urgency to coordinate international policies. By 2003, America had already captured Saddam Hussein and established their presence in the Middle East. With these political and military advancements, America’s mass media “enthusiastically fostered a climate of flag-waving patriotism,” as the people’s frustration over the ambiguity of 9/11 translated into their common goal of ending terrorism.15 However, another phenomenon was developing domestically, one that dealt with the relationship between American society and their government. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Americans generally put more trust in the hands of the US government as they were too focused on the tragedy of the attacks. However, as time past by, skeptics were becoming unsure of the transparency the Bush administration displayed, as their investigation and response to the 9/11 attacks were uncanny. Gradually, the patriotic sentiment on America’s War on terror was transformed into doubt about the US government. During this time period, skeptics such as Henshall and Morgan took an unbiased approach in solving the mystery of 9/11 because they wanted to truly uncover what really happened on that fateful day. Even though this time period showcased America’s growing patriotic sentiment, it was the public’s dissatisfaction towards the US government’s handling of the 9/11 that prompted Henshall and Morgan into writing this book.
In the critical review of 9/11 Revealed by Eamonn Gearon, the topic of “unanswered questions and alleged inconsistencies in the official story” during 9/11 is expanded upon.16 Gearon expresses how this book introduced new theories, exposed many lies, and basically retold the 9/11 story from an evidence-based and truthful perspective. He notes how there were many inconsistencies and facts that simply did not line up with reality, but the book was ready to “pounce upon… any inconsistencies in the official account.”17 Gearon also explains how the book was written to be really engaging and easy-to-read with its use of visuals and diagrams. In regards to usefulness for the typical reader, Gearon mentioned how any reader, skeptic, or supporter, would leave with new information after having read this book. In another critical review by Amazon, the reviewer expresses how Henshall and Morgan “reveal that important parts of the official story are no longer tenable.”18 Basically, this review mentions how this book works to investigate the 9/11 attacks from an analytical perspective.
Henshall and Morgan thoroughly deliver their information through a contemplative and critical tone, setting up an engaging environment for the readers. The factual evidence that the authors analyze are easily interpreted because the authors frequently back up their statements with direct quotes, first-hand accounts, and visualizations. Moreover, Henshall and Morgan treat this book as a research-based forum rather than a subjective story, which allows the readers to receive real evidence with an objective outlook on the analysis. To expand on this engaging notion, the authors incorporate many rhetorical questions to keep the readers interested in the alternate scenarios such as asking the audience questions like, “why [had] the American management not take appropriate action.. [after] the first hijacking?”19 Henshall and Morgan then expand on rhetorical questions, utilizing the doubt in these questions to explain the strange developments of 9/11. In terms of story plot, the book lacked any real direction and contextualization. The beginning of the book talked about the background story of the 9/11 attacks and suddenly the next chapter digressed on the War on Terror, which was an awkward transition of plot direction. Regarding contextualization, the book failed to connect the attacks to its time period. Henshall and Morgan failed to explain the connections between 9/11 and its economic, social, and political consequence.
After the end of the Cold War, a new danger threatened the liberty of America. One rooted in the teachings of radical Islam, terrorism established itself as the root of America’s growing fear. The book, 9.11 Revealed. Challenging the facts behind the War on Terror, reflects the changes that came to America as a result of the burgeoning threat of radical-islamic terror. Delving into the 9/11 attacks, this book details how America transformed its international policy by improving its homeland security and strengthening its border security. America also developed a stronger sense of patriotism, and established a secure presence in the Middle East as “10,000 troops were sent to Afghanistan to pursue Osama Bin Laden.”20 The attacks changed the way Americans felt about their safety. Prior to 9/11 many people were aware of terrorism, but never realized that it could directly affect Americans in their country. This book explains how Americans became more cautious and defensive against this threat as united patriotic sentiment was blossoming. Digital technology played a big part in this political and social spread of terrorist awareness. According to the book, mass news outlets, television channels, and radios were covering the 9/11 attacks, alerting everyone that terrorism had reached the Western world. The mass coverage of the digital technologies, in part, helped spread this patriotic sentiment and helped to better connect the world of terrorist dangers.
9.11 Revealed. Challenging the facts behind the War on Terror is an interesting book that spins off the typical subjective story plot, and rather takes on the role of an objective read that details the 9/11 developments as how it was. Every single chapter in this book is riddled with evidence ranging from scientific facts to first-hand accounts. Thus, readers will be engaged to investigate new ideas and unanswered questions. Henshall and Morgan are not disclaiming the official story of 9/11. They are, however, approaching the 9/11 attacks with a more realistic outlook on things as “demands are getting ever louder for a[n]... inquiry into 9/11 that is fully independent of the Washington establishment.”21
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 Gearon, Review By Eamonn. “Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan, ‘9/11 Revealed’. Peace News. 2017
Gearon, Review By Eamonn. “Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan, ‘9/11 Revealed’. Peace News. 2017
“9.11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts Behind the War on Terror Paperback–August 11, 2005.” 9.11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts Behind the War on Terror: Rowland Morgan, Ian Henshall: 9781845291402: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2017.
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