I HATE TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO

This is the most controversial section — which ended up on the cutting room floor — of the “I Invaded the White House Press Corps” article I wrote in July, 2005. Rolling Stone wouldn’t touch it with a 379-foot pole, and, sadly, even good ol’ Salon.com wouldn’t run the article until I took out this part, below, which everyone considered to be inflammatory and scurrilous.
Judge for yourself, here on the fourth anniversary of the War On Iraq, and bemoan the state of journalism today. Hey, it’s not like nobody was trying:

I started sniffing around, collecting what I could find on the Valerie Plame exposure, and there was one compelling path through the thing which my connected friends all supported, most of which I knitted together from online articles by Daniel Forbes and Ahmed Amr and loose talk around town. I have yet to see all these dots connected in any major publication:
Judith Miller, the Weapons of Mass Destruction expert for the New York Times, had ties to two neocon groups: the Middle East Forum and the Pentagon’s Office of Special Projects (OSP), which was created by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.
Why did the OSP exist ? Because the CIA thinks too much for itself, and the administration didn’t trust them to come up with the goods on WMD’s. The OSP was created to be an alternative CIA – one more helpful to the Administration’s goal of declaring war on Iraq.
From a 2002 article on National Review Online by Max Singer:
“Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz all know from their personal contact with Chalabi — and their own checks of his background — that the State/CIA view of him as a small-time exile opportunist of shady character is wrong. They believe, on the contrary, that Chalabi is a man who has the character, vision, and strength needed to become an outstanding leader who can help move the Arab world away from the path of anti-American and backward-looking tyranny and toward a path of struggle toward modernity and democracy.”
This leads us to a torrent of acronyms (and in DC, the more acronyms you know, the more important you seem):
Judith Miller got her WMD information from Chalabi and the INC, and printed it in (later discredited articles) in the New York Times; the OSP then used Miller’s articles as evidence that Iraq had WMD’s. The OSP supported the WMD findings of the INC and vice-versa. They were all rolling around in bed together, and they basically just invented the whole thing. Miller is now in jail impersonating a principled journalist to prevent her whole klatsch of big pals from being exposed to charges of “policy fixing.”
Shazam. In that version, suddenly the world makes sense. There is a totally different mindset about these things within the Beltway that I’ve never heard expressed outside of it: for example, it is common knowledge that the spookier conservative think tanks, like AEI, are blatant propaganda machines that speciously call themselves “think tanks” (hence sounding classy and legit), but whose real purpose is to manufacture quotable, sound-byte justifications for wack shit the Administration is already doing on the sly, like the arms race against China.
Wheels within wheels.
But that side of the game will never be brought up in the James S. Brady Briefing Room; neither will anyone ask, “What color is Jenna’s favorite thong?”
The Press Room is not the place for straight-shooting Q & A, and everyone there has bashed their heads against Scott’s wall o’ teflon enough times to realize that nothing about that dynamic is going to change anytime soon.