Skip to comments.BREAKING: Conned big time "CIA Witness" to White House Lying about Intel story found to be FRAUD
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
This question comes up over and over again: can a ruling that strikes down a law (Lawrence v. Texas, for instance) actually be reversed?
You have entered into that special category with your admission. In an era of victimhood, it takes a real man to accept blame and apologize.
And you call yourself a Marine! SHIT!
Re: Wilkinson's ID
Just tuck the factoid of the spelling of honorable v. honourable in the back of our minds. Those who are American schooled do not spell it this way. Points in the direction that T.J. Wilkinson may not be an American or at least not native born or schooled. Just a little factoid in this mystery.
'Bay & Nicko....you guys might want to read this.
No he isn't .. but then he never claimed to be .. at least he was honest about that.
I can't pin point it .. but my gut tells me there is some more going on that we haven't figured out yet
He wasn't even honest about that.
Doug Thompson claimed to be an impartial reporter. In fact, he was an inveterate Bush basher, as his columns from earlier in the year reveal.
There's a lot more here than meets the eye. Thompson's "story" started to move, and people started to pick it up. Unfortunately for Doug, FR people started looking into the column and highlighted its similarities with earlier works. Once the heat was on about his sourcing and the origins of the mysterious Mr. Wilkenson, Thompson jumped off this bandwagon like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Now comes time to connect the dots. Why did Pitt, managing editor of truthout, lift this story without permission and peddle it to Japan Today? Pitt is, after all, a prominent member of the CHB rant section. Would he have done this without Doug's permission? Color me skeptical.
I was willing to believe Doug's retraction at first. Now, I'm not so sure. Something here doesn't pass the elephant feces test.
Be Seeing You,
Click here could you please explain what I may have missed?
One of you wrote:
"If I am not mistaken, Cap(Casper Weinberger), said that the guy who ran the editorial in the NYT was not asked by the VP to look into the uranium story."
Guys,I think the importance of the Niger-uranium story is political, and how the Democrats will use, are already using it, against Bush,starting with the Senate hearings. They are laying the groundwork for a full frontal attack on President Bush's honesty, integrity, legacy. (I'm not over stating. VP Cheney will be their conduit.)
Last night on Hardball: Jay Rockefeller is convinced Vice President Cheney is the one who sent Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate the uranium sale. Rockefeller's point was that Cheney sent Wilson, hence Cheney knew the story was bogus, hence Cheney was responsible for the bogus intelligence being included in Bush's State of the Union speech.
Chris Mathews seemed to agree. But David Gergen said: 'No, It wasn't the Vice President. It was the CIA who sent Wilson to Africa to investigate whether or not Iraq had bought uranium from Niger. Mathews and Rockefeller continued to argue their point, so Gergen picked up a copy of the NYT, and read a partwhich should have won the argument, but Rockefeller and Mathews would not bend. Gergen even reminded them that Wilson had worked for the CIA before, that it was logical the CIA would have asked for his help in verification.
Wilson will figure prominently in the Democrat efforts to discredit President Bush. Rush.com is keeping tabs, and here's excellent Wilson background.
Here's more interesting information to add to the mix, from MSNBC: http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters07-09-083034.asp?reg=MIDEAST
...."...U.S. government sources said Italy's intelligence service had circulated reports about the Niger documents -- not the documents themselves -- to other Western intelligence services in early 2002, and that was apparently how the British and U.S. intelligence services learned of them. ..."
And from that same article, the following, which I think addresses what will become one of the Democrats' biggest question: Who sent Wilson to Niger, and isn't that person responsible for the bogus Niger-uranium claim in President Bush's State of the Union?
" From referenced MSNBC article: "....Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson disclosed he had travelled to Africa in 2002 to investigate the report. He said on Sunday he had reported back to the CIA that it was highly doubtful any such transaction had ever taken place.
Last night on Hardball, the guests couldn't agree on who sponsored Wilson's Niger trip. I want us to remember Caspar Weinberger is already on the front lines for Bush/Cheney. I want us to remember that David Gergen politely, but resolutely argued it was the CIA that sent Wilson to Niger. I want us to remember how this position dovetails with the above MSNBC column.
I mean, why would Joseph Wilson had reported back to the CIA, if Cheney were the one who sent him on the mission?? And really, why in the hell would Dick Cheney have sent Clinton operative Joseph Wilson on a cloak and dagger mission? That doesn't even pass the make sense test.
I don't often use replies as a notepad for myself but this subject, (thanks to the media hyperventilating to prove Bush lied in his SofUspeech), is going to be the Democrats weapon of choice to use against Bush in 2004 election. It's all they got, and they are already running with it.
Chris Mathews is salivating. He's chosen his line of attack to use against Bush, no doubt in consultation with Democrats. It will be that Democrat senators, and the American people weren't convinced we should attack Iraq until Bush claimed Saddam had bought uranium from Niger to build nukes. In other words, this Bush lie in the State of the Union speech is what caused us to go to war with Iraq.
This (the quoted statement below) was named a partnership.
"Capitol Hill Blue is a pioneer in web-based journalism," said partnership spokesman William J. Lowrey. "We intend to honor that tradition and improve upon it."
Who is William J. Lowrey?
Who was CHB sold to? What is your current status with CHB? Why (if) did you sell CHB? And to whom, exactly?
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