Inspector General Probing Pentagon's Pundit Briefings

The former military officers and defense officials got briefings from the Pentagon.

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You've seen them often on TV, former military officers and defense officials analyzing the war in Iraq in a positive light. Normally, they talked with unusual authority. That's because those members of the informal defense surrogates program received insider briefings to help the media pundits better explain the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That was, however, before the New York Times suggested some shady relationships or worse between the Pentagon and TV talkers. Now, Whispers has learned, the Defense Department's inspector general is working with Congress to probe the program and allegations the Pentagon favored analysts working for military contractors or fed the talkers bad info. Some analysts say they were used, but not Jed Babbin, editor of the conservative Human Events. Babbin, who supports the war but is frequent Bush critic, says he won't cooperate with the IG. He says: "If they were trying to buy me for good coverage, they got a lousy deal."