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BREAKING: Conned big time "CIA Witness" to White House Lying about Intel story found to be FRAUD
Capitol Hill Blue ^ | July 9, 2003 | Doug Thompson

Posted on 07/09/2003 4:04:00 PM PDT by Doug Thompson

Damn, I hate it when I've been had and I've been had big time.

In 1982, while I was working for Congressman Manuel Lujan of New Mexico, a man came up to a me during a gathering in Albuquerque and introduced himself as Terrance J. Wilkinson. He said he was a security consultant and gave me a business card with his name and just a Los Angeles phone number.

A few weeks later, he called my Washington office and asked to meet for lunch. He seemed to know a lot about the nuclear labs in New Mexico and said he had conducted "security profiles" for both Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs. Lujan served on the committee with oversight on both labs and he offered his services if we ever needed briefings.

We already had nuclear experts on the committee, on loan from the Department of Energy, and we never used Wilkinson for briefings but we kept in touch over the years. He said he had served in Vietnam with Army Special Force, worked for Air America, later for the FBI and as a consultant for the CIA. He said he had helped other Republican members of Congress I called some friends in other GOP offices and they said yes, they knew Terry Wilkinson.

"You can trust him, he's one of the good guys," one chief of staff told me. When I left politics and returned to journalism, Wilkinson became a willing, but always unnamed, source.

Over the last couple of years, Wilkinson served as either a primary or secondary source on a number of stories that have appeared in Capitol Hill Blue regarding intelligence activities. In early stories, I collaborated his information with at least one more source. His information usually proved accurate and, over time, I came to depend on him as a source without additional backup.

On Tuesday, we ran a story headlined "White House admits Bush wrong about Iraqi nukes." For the first time, Wilkinsson said he was willing to go on the record and told a story about being present, as a CIA contract consultant, at two briefings with Bush. He said he was retired now and was fed up and wanted to go public.

"He (Bush) 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 in our story. "He said he knew the story was true and so would the world after American troops secured the country."

After the story ran, we received a number of emails or phone calls that (1) either claimed Wilkinson was lying or (2) doubted his existence. I quickly dismissed the claims. After all, I had known this guy for 20+ years and had no doubt about his credibility. Some people wanted to talk to him, so I forwarded those requests on to him via email. He didn't answer my emails, which I found odd. I should have listened to a bell that should have been going off in my ear.

Today, a White House source I know and trust said visitor logs don't have any record of anyone named Terrance J. Wilkinson ever being present at a meeting with the President. Then a CIA source I trust said the agency had no record of a contract consultant with that name. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever heard of this guy," my source said.

I tried calling Terry's phone number. I got a recorded message from a wireless phone provider saying the number was no longer in service. I tried a second phone number I had for him. Same result.

Then a friend from the Hill called.

"You've been had," she said. "I know about this guy. He's been around for years, claiming to have been in Special Forces, with the CIA, with NSA. He hasn't worked for any of them and his name is not Terrance Wilkinson."

Both of his phone numbers have Los Angeles area codes but an identity check through Know-X today revealed no record of anyone named Terrance J. Wilkinson ever having lived in LA or surrounding communities.

His email address turns out to be a blind forward to a free email service where anyone can sign up and get an email account. Because it was not one of the usual "free" services like Hotmail, Yahoo or such, I did not recognize it as one (although you'd think that someone like me would have known better).

The bottom line is that someone has been running a con on me for 20 some years and I fell for it like a little old lady in a pigeon drop scheme. I've spent the last two hours going through the database of Capitol Hill Blue stories and removing any that were based on information from Wilkinson (or whoever he is). I've also removed his name, quotes and claims from Tuesday's story about the White House and the uranium claims.

Erasing the stories doesn't erase the fact that we ran articles containing informattion that, given the source, were most likely inaccurate. And it doesn't erase the sad fact that my own arrogance allowed me to be conned.

It will be a long time (and perhaps never) before I trust someone else who comes forward and offers inside information. The next one who does had better be prepared to produce a birth certificate, a driver's license and his grandmother's maiden name.

Any news publication exists on the trust of its readers. Because I depended on a source that was not credible, I violated the trust that the readers of Capitol Hill Blue placed in me.

I was wrong. I am sorry.

© Copyright 2003 by Capitol Hill Blue


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: 20yearsofsuckerhood; admiralboorda; afoolandhissources; andstillnonames; apology; batboy; beatitdoug; bush; capitalhillblue; capitolhillbs; ccrm; chb; chump; cia; correction; corrrection; debkaneedsdoug; dougthompson; fraud; gocheckcaponesvault; hoax; inaccuracies; iraq; itsalongroadbackdoug; keywordsgohere; laughingstock; leavefrdoug; lies; longwalkshortpier; loseyourdayjob; lostcredibility; makesthenytlookgood; marcash; markash; meaculpa; media; mediabias; nosoupforyou; notreadyforprimetime; rankamateurmistake; retraction; ruinedpermanently; salonishiring; scoop; suuuuuucker; terrancejwilkinson; terrancewilkinson; thescoopthatwasnt; tookthedougforawalk; truthout; uranium; whosthefraud; wilkerson; wilkinson; wilkinsonsbitch; wmd; yourestilllyingdoug; youvebeenowneddoug
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Oh my!
21 posted on 07/09/2003 4:17:40 PM PDT by CounterCounterCulture (No animals were killed or harmed while making this tagline)
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To: Doug Thompson
Doug, I take back everything I thought about you.

There are a LOT of hucksters out there, trading on the Special Forces/SEAL/CIA mystique. You weren't the first to get rolled, and a lot of folks will get rolled after you.
22 posted on 07/09/2003 4:18:52 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: Dog
You have FR Mail
23 posted on 07/09/2003 4:19:20 PM PDT by MJY1288
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To: William McKinley
William good job......the story here is who went to all this trouble to accuse the President of lieing..
24 posted on 07/09/2003 4:19:54 PM PDT by Dog
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To: hchutch
Ping. Doug Thompson got slow-rolled, and 'fesses up.
25 posted on 07/09/2003 4:20:24 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: Doug Thompson
The question now is, who is this guy, and where is he now?
26 posted on 07/09/2003 4:21:00 PM PDT by adam_az
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To: Doug Thompson
NO KIDDING....

Thanks..... Thanks alot!

Hope you have a better rest of the week!

27 posted on 07/09/2003 4:21:15 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog (Of all the gin joints in all the world.....)
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To: MJY1288
FR mail back at you...
28 posted on 07/09/2003 4:21:27 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Doug Thompson
I think Dem plants have gone from the "unnamed source" to the "non-existent, fictional, but named source." Thanks for admitting you were had.

But you probably weren't the only one. I think it's a really clever technique, and you probably weren't the sole journalistic victim.
29 posted on 07/09/2003 4:21:50 PM PDT by livius
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To: adam_az
Agreed..
30 posted on 07/09/2003 4:22:04 PM PDT by Dog
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To: adam_az
>The question now is, who is this guy, and where is he now?

and also why did he suddenly want his name (or alias) to be released when he must've known his fraud will be found out then.
31 posted on 07/09/2003 4:23:27 PM PDT by Humbug (i haven't the foggiest idea what to type here)
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To: Doug Thompson
So, since you helped push a bogus line, fix the mess you caused, if you can.Why not use your brainpower to find out just who this turd was and who he worked for all these years.
32 posted on 07/09/2003 4:23:39 PM PDT by habs4ever
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: adam_az
It would be nice to know if this guy was used as a source for the uranium story by other members of the media..
34 posted on 07/09/2003 4:23:45 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Travis McGee; Squantos; Lion's Cub; Alamo-Girl
fyi
35 posted on 07/09/2003 4:23:48 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Doug Thompson
It happens to the best of us. Takes courage to admit it.
36 posted on 07/09/2003 4:24:00 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Call out the vice squad! Someone's mounting a disk drive!)
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To: Doug Thompson
Alright....surely your Hill friend knows who he is if he knows his name is not Terry Wilkinson. Sue his ass.



37 posted on 07/09/2003 4:24:01 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write 'damnation' with your fingers." C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: Sabertooth; Doug Thompson
Thanks for the ping and thanks to Doug Thompson for the explanation and apology. I wonder who this Wilkinson guy is, a DNC operative or what?
38 posted on 07/09/2003 4:24:21 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Dog
I am in awe that Mr. Thompson so quickly worked to set the record straight.

It is hard to avoid the trap of letting anger get to you. He admitted yesterday that he wrote in anger. In doing, he left an opening for an unscrupulous person to exploit.

There was something very important once- a major story that Capitol Hill Blue broke. Someone pointed it out yesterday.

Writers and broadcasters friendly to the Democratic cause have already been provided talking points... Capitol Hill Blue obtained a copy of the talking points... The talking points outline a strategy to raise public doubts of the President’s real intentions, including: ...--Claiming the Bush administration has “manufactured” evidence against Saddam Hussein and used that evidence to encourage Britain and other allies to join the American fight against Iraq;"
There.

This now is the big story.

Let's find the S.O.B.

39 posted on 07/09/2003 4:24:23 PM PDT by William McKinley (From you, I get opinions. From you, I get the story.)
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To: Doug Thompson
FWIW, you have my greatest respect, Sir.
40 posted on 07/09/2003 4:24:40 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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