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Capitol Hill Blue reports Bush instability

Boston Guy
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I just saw this item at Atkol and followed the link to "Capitol Hill Blue", a news website run by "a grouchy old ex-newspaperman." The FAQ (http://www.capitolhillblue.com/faq.asp) starts off this way:


Who, or what, is Capitol Hill Blue?


Musings, brain drain and rantings started by a grouchy old ex-newspaperman named Doug Thompson in October 1994. That makes us the oldest surviving news site on the Internet. But dont' take our word for it. Go to Google and see if you can find anything older. Bet ya can't.


Sometimes he is joined, more or less, by a ragtag cast of current and ex-newspaper men and women who wander in and out of here like homeless children. Some still work for news organizations and use Capitol Hill Blue as an outlet for the stories their outfits don't have the guts to publish. Others are retired, but can't give up the Muse.


Nobody here draws a salary. We couldn't afford to pay salaries anyway. All money, if we ever get around to making any, will go back into the product. Or maybe we'll send out for pizza. But it couldn't be any bigger than a medium.[/ol]


But they're running an article that claims that George Bush is demonstrating increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings and that his aids are privately expressing growing concern over his state of mind. This is literally hard to believe, even for someone like myself who doesn't care for this administration. I don't like George Bush's policies and I don't care to see him reelected. But even though I often question his judgment, I have never once questioned his sanity or stability.


That having been said, I am old enough to well remember another Republican administration that considered itself under siege and maintained a list of enemies. So I'm unsure how to react to this article.


It's possible that it's a bunch of hooey. It's also possible that it represents accurate reporting by a bunch of old newspapermen and is material that the mainstream press doesn't really want to publish. I don't know.


I'd be interested in how others here see it. I also wonder if any of you are familiar with Capitol Hill Blue. They claim to be the Internet's oldnest news website. If that's true, has anyone followed it for a long period of time? If yes, do they have a good track record? Is what they report reliable? Or is it more of a crackpot site?


Here's the link:





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The f* words attributed to Bush remind me, again, of James Wolcott's article in the July 2004 Vanity Fair.


>>According to conservative columnist Tucker Carlson, Karen Hughes also lied on Bush's behalf. Lied without hesitation.


In 1999, Carlson profiled Bush for Talk magazine and recorded that the candidate flung the f-word around in conversation. Sacrebleu! A born-again Christian who never lets you forget it, Bush was unhappy with the disclosure, but most readers probably assumed that's how Texas he-men talk between tobacco spits. "The micro-controversy probably would have disappeared within a few days had it not been for Karen Hughes, Bush's chief press aide," Carlson recalled for his 2003 book, "Politicians, Partisans and Parasites." "Hughes began telling people, including several friends of mine, that the quotes were false. I'd made them up, she said. Invented them, probably to get publicity for myself." Untrue, wrote Carlson, and doubly untrue, since Hughes had been present during one of the interviews where Bush let fly the f-word. "He said it several times in a very loud voice."


Carlson called Hughes to demand that she stop slandering him, only to run smack into her distortion field. Hughes insisted that she hadn't bad-mouthed him. He wrote:


>Moreover, Hughes claimed not to remember a single instance of Bush using foul language, ever, at any time. 'The governor does not recall using that language,' Hughes said robotically, over and over. 'I've never heard him talk that way.


I wish I'd tape-recorded the call. Hughes's half of the conversation would have made a fascinating case study for an abnormal-psychology textbook. The average person is incapable of lying with a straight face to someone who knows he's lying. It's too embarrassing, the charade is too obvious. There's no one to fool. Karen Hughes can do it without flinching. It doesn't seem to bother her at all. Which is either the mark of exceptional discipline or a mental condition. Maybe both.< <<

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> I also wonder if

>any of you are familiar with Capitol Hill Blue. They claim to

>be the Internet's oldest news website. If that's true, has

>anyone followed it for a long period of time? If yes, do they

>have a good track record? Is what they report reliable? Or

>is it more of a crackpot site?


A message from Capitol Hill Blue. . .

Conned big time


Jul 9, 2003, 18:05


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 checked 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, Wilkinson 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.


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 information that, given the source, was probably 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'm sorry.


© Copyright 2004 Capitol Hill Blue

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Regardless of the sources that Capitol Hill Blue has relied upon, I found the the report to be completely believable. Let's face it, if I were Bush these days, I'd be desperately insane too. He is simply a stupid man caught up and drowning in his own stupid decisions. One doesn't need an "inside source" to realize that.


La Trix

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This article gives me much more faith in the credibility of Capitol Blue. Any editor who spends this much time and effort retracting a story and pulling old stories that might have been based on bad information gets my respect.


Which then, of course, makes me more than a little worried about what the heck is going on in the White House.



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  • 2 months later...

Capitol Hill Blue reports its own unreliability


After a shakeup at the Capitol Hill Blue website, this story has been retracted:


Bush’s Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides: This June 4, 2004, story – written by former CHB Editor Teresa Hampton – quotes unnamed sources as saying the President’s mood swings and erratic behavior has White House aides worried. The story, as written, did not quote a single named source and Hampton, when queried, could not provide sufficient background on her sources. I checked with other White House reporters I know and they said they tried to confirm the story through their own sources and could not. Based on that, the story could not comply with publication standards set by Capitol Hill Blue's new fact-check system which went into effect on September 1, 2004. The story has been killed.




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