And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine:

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Don’t Doubt the Proof

David Kay, a former U.N. chief nuclear weapons inspector now on the hunt in Iraq for proof of weapons of mass destruction (search), has a cautionary note for those who believe the administration cooked the books on Iraqi intelligence. Kay says his team will assemble "a substantial body of evidence before six months... You cannot believe how many cases we have of documents and equipment stored in private residences."

Bad News For China?

The head of the U.N. Environmental Program says China (search) needs to stay relatively poor, for the sake of the planet. Klaus Toepfer says China will invite ecological catastrophe if it pursues all-out prosperity because the globe doesn't have enough resources to slake the consumerist desires of its 1.3 billion people. Toepher, apparently unaware of economic research indicating that societies pollute less as they become more affluent, says of his keep-China-poor views: "this is the rationality of economics."

Serious Offense

The Washington Times has retracted a letter to the editor published in yesterday's paper. The screed hammered the State Department (search), fuming that "it has become an unchangeable given that most career bureaucrats are liberal" who are wedded to "a self-defeating reliance on doing things the same old way." The e-mailed letter came from the account of Stephan Minikes, ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The only problem, the letter was a hoax, and the real Stephan Minikes has disavowed it vehemently. Times editor Wesley Pruden has assigned a computer security expert to the task of finding the perpetrator. Pruden says, "There is no offense more serious at any newspaper. We will make life as miserable as we can for the jerk who did it."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report