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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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I have always said that when I screw up I admit up and boy, I screwed up big time. Thanks for the Freepers who first brought this to my attention. I should have listened earlier.

Doug

1 posted on 07/09/2003 4:04:00 PM PDT by Doug Thompson
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To: All
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender comes up and says "Hey pal, what will it be?"

The horse orders a beer.

A few minutes later, John Kerry walks in and sits at the bar. The bartender walks up and says "Hey pal, cheer up. Why the long face?"

I'll stop if you guys will donate and get us over our fundraising goal

2 posted on 07/09/2003 4:06:31 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Doug Thompson
Wow!
3 posted on 07/09/2003 4:07:53 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Support Free Republic
You are shameless....
4 posted on 07/09/2003 4:08:31 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Doug Thompson
Doug, my estimation of you has just skyrocketed. I am sorry for being skeptical of your integrity. Jim Robinson was right- you are one of the good guys.
5 posted on 07/09/2003 4:10:12 PM PDT by William McKinley (From you, I get opinions. From you, I get the story.)
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To: Doug Thompson
Good for you Doug!
6 posted on 07/09/2003 4:10:24 PM PDT by cmsgop (Has anyone seen my Schwab ?)
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To: Doug Thompson; hchutch; Dog Gone
Is the media using the info from this con man to push the Iraqi uranium story?
7 posted on 07/09/2003 4:10:52 PM PDT by Dog
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To: PhiKapMom; Ragtime Cowgirl
"You can trust him, he's one of the good guys," one chief of staff told me.

Where have we heard that before? Seems like only yesterday. ;-)

8 posted on 07/09/2003 4:11:52 PM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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To: Doug Thompson
It takes a big man, Doug. Good for you.
9 posted on 07/09/2003 4:12:11 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: PhiKapMom; Miss Marple; Howlin; justshe; DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet
FYI...........
10 posted on 07/09/2003 4:12:40 PM PDT by deport (On a hot day don't kick a cow chip...... only democrat enablers..)
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To: Doug Thompson
"White House admits Bush wrong about Iraqi nukes."

Now that you have cried in your soup for all of us, where is the giant humongous headline to correct any wrongs that may have occured because you got took?

FIX IT!

11 posted on 07/09/2003 4:13:32 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1 (POW/MIA - Bring 'em home, or send us back! Semper Fi)
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To: Doug Thompson
That was a BIG apology, done in a VERY public way, as was befitting.

Like someone wise once told me, it's the kind a big MAN would make.

You, sir, have every reason to be proud of your own integrity. And WE now have every reason to trust you, in the future.

I have no doubt but that your stories and sources will now be among the most meticulously sourced and documented in the media.

12 posted on 07/09/2003 4:13:34 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: William McKinley
Nice work.


13 posted on 07/09/2003 4:14:30 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: Doug Thompson
Thank you for being a stand-up guy.
14 posted on 07/09/2003 4:15:12 PM PDT by B Knotts
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To: CheneyChick; vikingchick; Victoria Delsoul; WIMom; kmiller1k; mhking; rdb3; Travis McGee; Shermy; ..
((((((growl)))))


15 posted on 07/09/2003 4:15:16 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: cmsgop
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."

Someone just went to a whole lot of trouble here...to cause Bush and the White House grief..

16 posted on 07/09/2003 4:15:27 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Doug Thompson
Doug, I'm impressed and pleased. You are a great man with great honor.
17 posted on 07/09/2003 4:15:37 PM PDT by mhking
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To: Mo1; rwfromkansas; section9; Diddle E. Squat
bump
18 posted on 07/09/2003 4:16:38 PM PDT by deport (On a hot day don't kick a cow chip...... only democrat enablers..)
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To: Doug Thompson
Mr. Thompson, I posted this to my blog:
I will leave it up to Mr. Thompson if I should take down my posts to this blog which express skepticism. His call. I was wrong about him. If he wants them down, I will take them down. If he would rather my incorrect impressions remain up so all can see that I was wrong (albeit, with this apology), I will do that instead.

I am very happy to have been wrong about him.

Let me know which it will be. I will leave them up or take them down, at your discretion.

Also, you have email. I sent it to you before seeing this, alerting you to your article appearing in an overseas paper without the change you made to the article yesterday. My skepticism probably shined through in its tone, and I am sorry for it as well.

19 posted on 07/09/2003 4:17:17 PM PDT by William McKinley (From you, I get opinions. From you, I get the story.)
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To: Doug Thompson

20 posted on 07/09/2003 4:17:32 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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