You gotta give credit for Bushco trying to treat the international media the same way they do at home: let something slip, claim it was taken out of context or misunderstood and then change the entire story. Unfortunelty, there are real journalists in the international media. A fact that Bushco did not anticipate.
The NYT reports,
"...the interpreter for the interview works for Mr. Maliki’s office, not the magazine. And in an audio recording of Mr. Maliki’s interview that Der Spiegel provided to The New York Times, Mr. Maliki seemed to state a clear affinity for Mr. Obama’s position, bringing it up on his own in an answer to a general question on troop presence."
So, the "correction" that was being pushed by Washington suggested that it was a translator for the magazine who made the "unspecified" error. But it was a translator who works within the Malaki office who did the interview. The audio recording is there and Malaki clearly states,
"Obama’s remarks that — if he takes office — in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq."
And I love this part.
"Who[ever] wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq.”
Eat it Bush and McCain. For a GOP that is blaming McCain for not having a "theme" or any real strategy, this looks pretty bad for them. They tried to spin it, got caught BIG TIME and now we must wait and see how McCain will roll.