Remember how Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki endorsed Obama’s plan for U.S. withdrawal from the country? And then remember how the endorsement suddenly became a question of “translation”? Well, it ends up that it wasn’t a botched translation at all, and that Maliki’s office personally reviewed the final interview before it was published.

Crooks and Liars:

We already knew that the Maliki “clarification” came only after pressure from the White House & CENTCOM, and that that “clarification” largely just reaffirmed his point that Obama’s time frame is more in line with the views of the Iraqi government. We also already knew that the original translation was done by Maliki’s official translator, not Der Spiegel. Well, now TNR is reporting that Maliki’s office personally reviewed the translation and signed off on it.

But it turns out that Maliki actually got a copy of the interview before it was printed and had the option to make any changes. A writer at Der Spiegel sent us this tidbit of info:

“The reason the magazine scores so many high level interviews is that the editors agree to allow the subjects to “authorize” the interviews before they go to press. It wasn’t just a slip of the tongue, in other words: Maliki not only endorsed Obama’s plans for withdrawing from Iraq, but his office then explicitly approved the endorsement before it was printed. The denials, then, were doubly facetious. Spiegel couldn’t say so, though, without revealing its embarrassing authorization policy.”

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