Mark Roberts, an Apologist for EPA Lies
by Justin A. Martell
The following is a paper I wrote several months ago. I have updated it with a new afterward that responds to the criticisms that the paper received from both Roberts and the rest of his cronies in the "debunking movement."
Here's a claim made by the man that his fellow "debunkers" call the "scourge" of the "Debunking Movement." Roberts posted the statement below on 11/5/07, in response to a fellow JREF poster mentioning the fact that New Yorkers and 9/11 Rescue Workers were told by the EPA that the air in lower Manhattan was safe to breath:
"Well, it's also completely false. No one said the air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe." - Mark Roberts, in post 11,088 as Gravy on the JREF Forum, 11/05/07 (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=3125436%26postcount=13).
Lets us examine the validity of this rather audacious statement. First, on September 12th, EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman released an internal memo which said that all EPA statements to the media needed to "be cleared with the Nation Security Council." With that established, a 2006 article written by the Union of Concerned Scientists chronicles the first of many deceitful statements made by the EPA:
"The EPA wasted little time in assuring New York residents and rescue workers that the area surrounding ground zero was safe. On September 13, 2001, just two days after the attacks, the agency issued a press release in which it explained "sampling of bulk materials and dust found generally low levels of asbestos. The levels of lead, asbestos and volatile organic compounds in air samples taken Tuesday in Brooklyn, downwind from the World Trade Center site, were not detectable or not of concern." 
There it is. The EPA told New Yorkers and rescue workers just two days after the Twin Towers were literally pulverized, that the dust which contained asbestos, concrete, Freon, lead and other heavy metals from computers, mercury from fluorescent lights, dioxins from nylon carpets and insulation, radioactive material from smoke detectors, human beings, and everything else that was in those buildings, was safe to breathe! One could argue that perhaps they were reporting the best information they had at the time. The EPA then released a second statement on September 18th. This five day period would surely have given the EPA enough time to properly analyze their data and retract any false information that they may have released. However, in this September 18th press release, EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman was quoted as saying:
"We are very encouraged that the results from our monitoring of air quality and drinking water conditions in both New York and near the Pentagon show that the public in these areas is not being exposed to excessive levels of asbestos or other harmful substances." 
It can still be argued that the EPA's data was actually showing that the dust from the collapsed buildings was not harmful. That appears not to be true, the EPA's Inspector General made a rather disturbing statement in a report titled "EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapses: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement:"
"EPA's early public statements following the collapse of the WTC towers reassured the public regarding the safety of the air outside the Ground Zero area. However, when EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was "safe" to breathe, it did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement. At that time, air monitoring data was lacking for several pollutants of concern, including particulate matter and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Furthermore, The White House Council on Environmental Quality influenced, through the collaboration process, the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones." 
In case there is any confusion as to whether or not the EPA's statements were misleading, this excerpt from EPA Whistle Blower Dr. Cate Jenkins' commentary on the report quoted above should settle it:
9/14/01...EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman is quoted by Newsweek saying that the smoke plume at the World Trade Center disaster site is “not a health problem.”
But why would they lie? Here's another excerpt from the EPA's performance report:
"Competing considerations, such as national security concerns and the desire to reopen Wall Street, also played a role in EPA's air quality statements." 
One would think that the EPA would put the concerns of people and the environment over the political concerns of the White House. However, that turns out not to be true. The EPA allowed the White House to alter their statements to the public, these alterations made the EPA's statements misleading and false. An examination of the EPA's statements that were censored by the White House also prove to be very alarming:
9/13/01 EPA DRAFT RELEASE STATEMENT:
EPA "Testing terrorized sites for environmental hazards."
9/13/01 EPA DRAFT WHITE HOUSE CHANGE:
EPA "Reassures public about environmental hazards."
9/16/01 EPA DRAFT RELEASE STATEMENT:
"Recent samples of dust on Water Street show higher levels of asbestos."
9/16/01 EPA DRAFT WHITE HOUSE CHANGE:
"New samples confirm...ambient air quality meets OSHA [Government] standards...not a cause for public concern"
In addition to that change, the white completely omitted the following statement from the 9/16 EPA Draft Release:
"Air samples raise concerns for cleanup workers and office workers near Water Street."
As a result of these manipulations, by the year 2006, 70% of those who assisted in the clean-up at Ground Zero had developed respiratory problems. More people will die post 9/11 from illnesses related to the air quality than on 9/11 itself. The White House manipulated the EPA's statements so that they assured people that the air was safe to breath, which was known not to be true. Just in case you don't see where I'm going with this I will provide for you the definition of the word "lie:"
1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression. 
Essentially the White House ordered the EPA to lie and the EPA caved in. It is stunning that a man like Mark Roberts, who claims to be on the side of evidence and research, could proclaim that no one lied about the air quality at Ground Zero. Why would he do this? Shouldn't this be an aspect of 9/11 that both "Truthers" and "Debunkers" could confront? Apparently not for Mark Roberts, who claims that the 9/11 Truth Movement has an agenda, while ignoring the fact that he has an agenda of his own which is proving that no American government officials participated in any deceitful or unscrupulous behavior in regard to 9/11. No one lied about the air quality at Ground Zero, Mark? Interesting...I thought I was the "fantasist."
In the aftermath of the release of this article, Roberts tried to make himself look better by telling me I was wrong because no one released a statement saying that the air at Ground Zero, specifically, was "safe to breathe." For a man who prides himself on his critical thinking skills, it would appear as though he has a serious problem comprehending point logic. Here is an excerpt from a conversation I had with 9/11 First Responder and founder of the FealGood Foundation, John Feal (Feal was severely injured after working clean-up at Ground Zero for just five days and no leads an organization dedicated to helping the ailing first responders. For more information on him and his efforts visit www.fealgoodfoundation.com or http://visibility911.com/jongold/?p=296):
Martell: So after the EPA made these statements, was the general attitude just "well they said the air was safe so we don't need to worry about wearing anything?"
The EPA made blanketed statements about Lower Manhattan as a whole, which includes Ground Zero. The rescue workers working at the site looked to the EPA press releases for information about the dust that they were breathing in. Those EPA press releases contained false and misleading information that downplayed the danger of the toxic dust. As a result, the rescue workers did not proceed with the caution that they should have (there's also evidence that had they even wanted to wear the proper protective gear, they would not have been able to because it wasn't even made available to them). Because of their misleading press releases the EPA did not have to deal with concerned rescue workers, thus making the clean up process and the re-opening of Wall Street go much faster than it would had their statements been accurate.
I'd also like to post a question that I sent to Mark Roberts via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 1/31/2008:
The 9/11 Truth Movement was originally started by several courageous 9/11 victims family members who had real questions about what happened to their loved ones on 9/11. I'm sure you're aware that these family members, who were responsible for the creation and oversight of the 9/11 Commission have released statements in which the called the report "utterly hollow" and questioned the "entire veracity" of the report? Ultimately, the 9/11 Commission's Family Steering Committee said that 70% of their questions were not answered (as I'm sure you know.)
Mark, do you think the families of 9/11 deserve to have their questions answered about the 9/11 attacks? If you think they had their questions answered then why are they still asking questions, and why is their a list of unanswered questions on the 9/11 Family Steering Committee website, and what is this report on those unanswered questions by the families? Several of your fellow "debunkers" have suggested that the number of family members that question the 9/11 Commission Report is small. That's true, they number 4, but they are the 4 that got the other families motivated to ask for an investigation the Bush Administration clearly didn't want. They are the 4 that monitored the commission, that, along with the 9/11 family steering committee, gave the 9/11 commission 100's of well researched questions, that worked alongside the staffers of the 9/11 Commission, etc... etc... They know what it is they're talking about Mark, no matter how many of them there are.
You have made it your mission to suppress efforts to have their questions answered. In your words, "people who stand up for the truth don't do that."
As of today, 2/10/08, Roberts has not answered whether he thinks the family members deserve to have their questions answered. Does this, coupled with trying to make excuses for the lies of the EPA, sound like the actions of someone who is actually committed to the "truth" about 9/11?
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