"Before you jump in with those heaping scorn on the New York Times for using a leak to reveal the secret Treasury program to search financial transactions for terrorist activities, know this: The Treasury Department expected it to leak. When the program was developed in 2003, a press plan was included. The goal: Get out front with the spin that there are safeguards to prevent snooping on private accounts, that it is legal, and that there are big benefits to it. "These three elements needed to be in the first-day story," says an insider. The plan worked. When the Times told Treasury it was running the story, top Treasury aides were OK'd to talk to the Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, which presented the three points. "It was a textbook case of very good PR management," says the insider."
"Bush expresses amazement that it will take some leaders as many as eight hours to fly home — about the same time it will take Air Force One with Bush aboard to return to Washington.
"You eight hours? Me, too. Russia's a big country and you're a big country," Bush said, at one point telling a waiter he wanted Diet Coke. "Takes him eight hours to fly home. "
"But what Iran has done, in the last week, is manage to make the impending US attack on them into an Israeli-US attack. Which is going to have a radically different reception in the ME and the world as a whole. Whereas before the inordinate response in Lebanon, Putin was entertaining a grand bargain, now he's backing away from our "holy war." The more Iran can portray any military strike at it as a holy war, the less successful that strike will be."
Meanwhile, Iran now looks like a mediator. Israel can negotiate with Iran/Syria/Hezbollah/Hamas together. Or it can look like the aggressor (which, to some degree, it does in its extensive civilian attacks). But any further violence will look exactly like a US-Isreali attack on Islam (as the Neocons would like it to look). Which adds whole new levels of instability into any attempt to respond to Iran. It basically turns the entire Middle East into Iraq.
If you look at this from the perspective of Iranian mullahs having decided a US attack was inevitable, they've played this brilliantly.