Think Progress reports that the Bush administration have been playing politics with Iraq withdrawal plans, pressuring Maliki to delay an agreed withdrawal date by a year because the White House was concerned that Maliki’s endorsement of a 2010 time line would damage Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign. The revelation came in an al-Iraqiya interview with Maliki last week:
MALIKI: Actually, the final date was really the end of 2010 and the period between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 was for withdrawing the remaining troops from all of Iraq, but they [the Bush administration] asked for a change [in date] due to political circumstances related to the domestic situation [in the US] so it will not be said to the end of 2010 followed by one year for withdrawal but the end of 2011 as a final date. Agreement has been reached on this issue. They are willing to respond positively because they, too, are facing a critical situation.
Matt Duss asks : "What did McCain know about this, and when did he know it?"
Maybe we could ask Iran/Contra liar and current Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy, Elliot Abrams. Apparently, Abrams is regularly briefing the McCain campaign — McCain's favorite lobbyist for Georgia, Randy Scheunemann, appears to be the main contact — and has told friends and colleagues that he is confident that he will get a top post in a McCain administration.