Don't-talk radio: A conservative radio host--voted Man of the Year by his Republican county in 1988, Army Commendation Medal winner, and a Speakers' Bureau member touting Reagan's SDI--gets yanked from his primetime spot on a Phoenix radio station. Why? "The answer lies hidden in the oil-and-water incompatibility of these two seemingly disconnected phrases: 'Criticizing Bush' and 'Clear Channel.' The other part of the answer: he opposed the war in Iraq.

Criticism within the ranks: A new report by the Army War College blasts Bush for the Iraq war and a "global war on terror" that's unsustainable. Among the criticisms: with troops spread so thin "the Army is at its breaking point"; the anti-terrorism campaign "is strategically unfocused, promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate U.S. military resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security"; and that the war on Iraq was "a war-of-choice distraction from the war of necessity against al Qaeda."

The Price of Loyalty indeed: CNN reports that, in the Administration's investigation of who leaked the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame to the press, it's "likely that no charges will be filed when the investigation winds down." Yet, when former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill tells 60 Minutes that Bush sought war with Iraq long before the pretense of 9/11 arose, the Administration nimbly launches a punitive investigation into whether O'Neill leaked documents marked "secret." It seems the creaky wheels of bureaucracy just got some selective oiling. Update 9/13: as Josh Marshall writes, it took one day for the adminstration to launch its investigation into O'Neill but 74 days from the outing of Valerie Plame in the newspaper to the announcement of an investigation.

Year of the Fake: Naomi Klein writes that 2003 "was the year when fakeness ruled: fake rationales for war, a fake President dressed as a fake soldier declaring a fake end to combat and then holding up a fake turkey. An action movie star became governor and the government started making its own action movies, casting real soldiers like Jessica Lynch as fake combat heroes and dressing up embedded journalists as fake soldiers. Saddam Hussein even got a part in the big show : He played himself being captured by American troops. This is the fake of the year, if you believe the Sunday Herald in Scotland, as well as several other news agencies, which reported that he was actually captured by a Kurdish special forces unit."

Not fake: 495 US soldiers have been killed so far in Iraq. In Afghanistan, the US death toll just broke 100.

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