Yesterday’s Capital Hill Blue story with dramatic quotes of Bush demanding lies about Iraq has now been retracted. Apparently there is no “Terrance J. Wilkinson” and there never really was. However Doug Thomson, the publisher of Capital Hill Blue, claims that he knew someone who used that identity for nearly twenty 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.

But immediately after going on the record for the very first time — coincidentally with a dramatic insider quote exposing Bush — Terry’s phone and email stopped working. And then…

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.”

(Why is it always GOP good guys who end up as the deceptive assholes?)

So since someone was apparently using an elaborate fake identity to pass along “inside” knowledge, it’s fair to call this a conspiracy of some kind. Taking it to the next level, who would possibly benefit when a negative source about Bush is dramatically proven fake? And what better way to make a story seem outlandish than to add a dash of spooky charade?

Follow-ups about the Talented Mr. Wilkinson would be fascinating — for example does the GOP chief of staff who called him a good guy still exist? What about this person on the Hill who “knows” him? It’s fun to wonder what was important enough to allegedly blow a twenty-year cover identity, even if it is just with a small-time website. It’s also fun to wonder if there are other “inside sources” out there who are actually sleepers, waiting for the right story to explode like journalism suicide bombers. Maybe Wilkinson will even resurface next week claiming that “They” are after him for revealing the truth. Very cinematic.

But I suspect any other information revealed about “Terry” would be just as circuitous and weird. Almost as weird as having your dad run the CIA. So as colorful as all the red herrings might prove to be, it’s probably best to let Terrance J. Wilkinson fade away into the shadows of the bogus intelligence community. The Bush posse has done plenty on their own.