President Bush, speaking at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies April 10, insisted that any talk about invading Iran or planning to use nuclear bunker busting bombs was "wild speculation." As he so often does in making a point of policy, he repeated himself.
The president got off lightly compared to White House spokesman Scott McClellan. In an extended exchange with Helen Thomas, McClellan repeatedly -- 8 times -- declined to enter into "wild speculation" and cautioned reporters not to give credence to "wild speculation." The transcript of the briefing also showed that Ms. Thomas was cut off twice, getting out "wild" but not "speculation."
Without knowing the sources for Seymour Hersh's article in The New Yorker and the Washington Post's story over the weekend, it's hard to conclude just how wild and how speculative the reporting is on prospective operational plans for striking Iran. What is troubling to many is the repetition for Iran in 2006 of the assertions of "evil" lodged against Iraq in 2002-2003 accompanied by lip service to diplomacy as the proper way to resolve international disputes.
Time will tell how real, how sincere, the administration's statements are. I don't think, however, that it's"wildly speculative" to heed Shakespeare's caution: "Methinks he protests too much."