Skip to comments.Did Capitol Hill Blue Post An Article With Fabrications?
Posted on 07/08/2003 1:32:03 PM PDT by William McKinley
In this article on Capitol Hill Blue, there are the following lines:
"The report had already been discredited," said Terrance J. Wilkinson, a CIA advisor present at two White House briefings. "This point was clearly made when the President was in the room during at least two of the briefings."Serious allegations. But I notice it is a single source. Being a conservative, I value the lessons of experience, and experience has told me that single sources are to be treated with skeptism. When I see one, I want to know more about the source quoted so as to establish if I should treat that source as credible.
Bush's response was anger, Wilkinson said.
"He said that if the current operatives working for the CIA couldn't prove the story was true, then the agency had better find some who could," Wilkinson said. "He said he knew the story was true and so would the world after American troops secured the country."
So what about "Terrance J. Wilkinson"?
A Google search for "Terrance J. Wilkinson" found no results (which will change when Google picks up the Capitol Hill Blue article).
Google suggested that the name might be Terrence. But a Google search on "Terrence J. Wilkinson" also produced no hits.
Perhaps the middle initial is the problem. Alas, a Google search on "Terrence Wilkinson" CIA gave no hits, and a Google search on "Terrance Wilkinson" CIA also yielded no hits.
A Google news search on Terrence Wilkinson comes up with nothing relevant. So does a Google news search of Terrance Wilkinson.
A Google search on one of the phrases from one of the quotations comes up empty.
I would anticipate a 'CIA advisor' who attends the same briefings as the President to live somewhere near D.C. But there are no listings according to Anywho for a Terrance or Terrence Wilkinson in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia.
A Google search on "CIA Advisor" Wilkinson also comes up empty.
Perhaps Capitol Hill Blue would be better served by providing some more information about the person quoted so that others can judge his credibility. That is, if he exists.
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It is in the breaking news sidebar!
Bush Claim on Iraq Had Flawed Origin, White House Says
By DAVID E. SANGER The New York Times
WASHINGTON, July 7 The White House acknowledged for the first time today that President Bush (news - web sites) was relying on incomplete and perhaps inaccurate information from American intelligence agencies when he declared, in his State of the Union speech, that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) had tried to purchase uranium from Africa.
The White House statement appeared to undercut one of the key pieces of evidence that President Bush and his aides had cited to back their claims made prior to launching an attack against Iraq (news - web sites) in March that Mr. Hussein was "reconstituting" his nuclear weapons program. Those claims added urgency to the White House case that military action to depose Mr. Hussein needed to be taken quickly, and could not await further inspections of the country or additional resolutions at the United Nations (news - web sites).
The acknowledgment came after a day of questions and sometimes contradictory answers from White House officials about an article published on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times on Sunday by Joseph C. Wilson 4th, a former ambassador who was sent to Niger, in West Africa, last year to investigate reports of the attempted purchase. He reported back that the intelligence was likely fraudulent, a warning that White House officials say never reached them.
"There is other reporting to suggest that Iraq tried to obtain uranium from Africa," the statement said. "However, the information is not detailed or specific enough for us to be certain that attempts were in fact made."
In other words, said one senior official, "we couldn't prove it, and it might in fact be wrong."
Separately tonight, The Washington Post quoted an unidentifed senior administration official as declaring that "knowing all that we know now, the reference to Iraq's attempt to acquire uranium from Africa should not have been included in the State of the Union speech." Some administration officials have expressed similar sentiments in interviews in the past two weeks.
Asked about the statement early today, before President Bush departed for a six-day tour of Africa, Ari Fleischer (news - web sites), the White House spokesman, said, "There is zero, nada, nothing new here." He said that "we've long acknowledged" that information on the attempted purchases from Niger "did, indeed, turn out to be incorrect."
But in public, administration officials have defended the president's statement in the State of Union address that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
While Mr. Bush cited the British report, seemingly giving the account the credibility of coming from a non-American intelligence service, Britain itself relied in part on information provided by the C.I.A., American and British officials have said.
But today a report from a parliamentary committee that conducted an investigation into the British assertions also questioned the credibility of what the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) had published.
The committee went on to say that Mr. Blair's government had asserted it had other evidence of Iraqi attempts to procure uranium. But eight months later the government still had not told Parliament what that other information was.
While Mr. Bush quoted the British report, his statement was apparently primarily based on American intelligence a classified "National Intelligence Estimate" published in October of last year that also identified two other countries, Congo and Somalia, where Iraq had sought the material, in addition to Niger.
But many analysts did not believe those reports at the time, and were shocked to hear the president make such a flat, declarative statement.
Asked about the accuracy of the president's statement this morning, Mr. Fleischer said, "We see nothing that would dissuade us from the president's broader statement." But when pressed, he said he would clarify the issue later today.
Tonight, after Air Force One had departed, White House officials issued a statement in Mr. Fleischer's name that made clear that they no longer stood behind Mr. Bush's statement.
How Mr. Bush's statement made it into last January's State of the Union address is still unclear. No one involved in drafting the speech will say who put the phrase in, or whether it was drawn from the classified intelligence estimate.
That document contained a footnote in a separate section of the report, on another subject noting that State Department experts were doubtful of the claims that Mr. Hussein had sought uranium.
If the intelligence was true, it would have buttressed statements by Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) that Saddam Hussein was actively seeking a nuclear weapon, and could build one in a year or less if he obtained enough nuclear material.
In early March, before the invasion of Iraq began, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismissed the uranium reports about Niger, noting that they were based on forged documents.
In an interview late last month, a senior administration official said that the news of the fraud was not brought to the attention of the White House until after Mr. Bush had spoken.
But even then, White House officials made no effort to correct the president's remarks. Indeed, as recently as a few weeks ago they were arguing that Mr. Bush had quite deliberately avoided mentioning Niger, and noted that he had spoken more generally about efforts to obtain "yellowcake," the substance from which uranium is extracted, from African nations.
Tonight's statement, though, calls even those reports into question. In interviews in recent days, a number of administration officials have conceded that Mr. Bush never should have made the claims, given the weakness of the case. One senior official said that the uranium purchases were "only one small part" of a broader effort to reconstitute the nuclear program, and that Mr. Bush probably should have dwelled on others.
White House officials would not say, however, how the statement was approved. They have suggested that the Central Intelligence Agency (news - web sites) approved the wording, though the C.I.A. has said none of its senior leaders had reviewed it. Other key members of the administration said the information was discounted early on, and that by the time the president delivered the State of the Union address, there were widespread questions about the quality of the intelligence.
"We only found that out later," said one official involved in the speech.
In fact, the White House admitted that the information was wrong, but they didn't "admit...Bush lied."
If they are desperate enough in their hatred of Bush to tell an such a childish and obvious lie, why wouldn't they invent a source to say something they can't find a real source to say?
They did not.
Terrance J. Wilkinson is a very credible source. He is a top-notch CIA advisor, said Greg Packer, 38, of Huntington.
It could be hugh. It could even be series...VEY SERIES!
I bet Packer is in any photo of the guy that comes out.
Is the core issue here the possibly apocryphal CIA advisor and the Capitol Blue article, or the use of faulty information by the administration to justify the liberation of Iraq?
It appears that the issue of the use of some faulty information has been established. The Presidents spokesman confirmed this fact.
This issue of this thread is clearly the journalistic integrity of Capitol Hill Blue.
The core issue here is the possibly apocryphal CIA advisor and the Capitol Blue article.
Interesting. Thanks for the ping and the post. Let's put it on the bump lists too!
Thanks for the ping.
Yes, this has happened before. Somewhere on this forum, and I don't know how to find it now, there is another article from Capitol Hill Blue that tripped my crap detector in the same way. I don't even remember what it was about, but it quoted some "Republican organizer" by name, and another figure that I can't recall. I went out and tried to find other things these people might have said, so as to get an idea of where they were on the political spectrum. There was no evidence that either one existed. And these were supposedly big-shot figures who had been around a while. Neither of them had left any tracks whatsoever, either on the web (via Google) or in a Lexis-Nexis search. I concluded they were bogus.
Within a week or two they did it again. The next time they came up with one of these sources saying something that had the ring of crap to it, I was already suspicious from the first one, and so hunted that guy down too. Once again, every indication was that the person had been fabricated.
This is many months ago now, but it was around the time that Capitol Hill Blue was sold, if anyone wants to try to hunt those threads down.
Nice work BTW.
CHB appears to be adding more hash for reporters to throw Bush off his stride during Q & A's in Africa.