WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House Office of Administration is not required to turn over records about a trove of possibly missing emails, a federal judge in Washington ruled Monday.
A ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly says the agency does not have "substantial independent authority" so is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, the White House does not have to disclose documents relating to its troubled e-mail system. That system developed problems which may have caused millions of White House emails to be unaccounted for.
The watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington–known as CREW– had sued under the Freedom of Information Act. The group expressed disappointment in the ruling and said it is appealing the decision.
"The Bush administration is using the legal system to prevent the American people from discovering the truth about the millions of missing White House e-mails," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.
In January, the White House said it cannot rule out that it may have lost certain e-mails. The possibly lost e-mails are from a period in which the United States decided to go to war with Iraq, White House officials leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson and the Justice Department started a criminal investigation into who leaked the information.
The White House has denied any evidence, including e-mails, have been destroyed.
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama may be running neck-and-neck with Sen. John McCain in many recent polls but a new survey suggests a majority of Americans think he’s got a far bigger advantage over his fall opponent.
In a new Gallup survey, Obama leads McCain by eleven percentage points – 52 percent to McCain’s 41 percent – on the question of who Americans believe will win the White House this November. Seventy-six percent of Democrats believe Obama will win while 67 percent of Republicans believe McCain will keep the presidency in their party.
Although both men enjoy support from independent voters, more independents believe Obama will beat McCain with 50 percent of the critical group believing Obama will take the White House and 41 percent believing McCain will.
Obama is also winning the perception race among older Americans, even though McCain polls better with that demographic. Fifty-five percent of Americans aged 55 and older believe Obama will win while, just 36 percent in that group believe McCain will be victorious. Among Americans aged 35 to 54, the perception race is tighter; 52 percent of that group believe Obama will win and 43 percent believe McCain will.
Although younger Americans have supported Obama throughout the Democratic primary season, the group is essentially split over who they think will win the White House. Forty-eight percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 believe Obama will win while 45 percent of the group believe McCain will win.
Men are also nearly equally divided on who they believe will win the general election; 50 percent believe Obama will win while 44 percent of men believe McCain will be the next president. With women, Obama enjoys a wide lead in the perception race. Fifty-four of women believe Obama will win the White House and 38 percent believe McCain will win.
The poll was conducted June 9-12 and consisted of telephone interviews of 822 adults nationally, aged 18 or older. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
(CNN) - For rogue nations pursuing nuclear weapons, the huge hurdle - and therefore the saving grace of the rest of the world - has been the challenge to build a device that can be mounted atop a missile. Plans that had been peddled by the infamous A.Q. Khan network - while potentially devastating in their destructive power - by and large had been thought to be rather primitive in their construction and unwieldy in their delivery capability.
Now, however, comes word from former UN weapons inspector David Albright that the Khan network had plans for an advanced weapons system that might fit onto the sort of missiles possessed by North Korea and Iran.
Albright told me this morning that the blueprints were "Quite advanced. Basically designs from Pakistan's nuclear arsenal". And, says Albright, the type of designs Pakistan insisted Khan did not take from that nation's nuclear arsenal.
(CNN) - As Barack Obama took to the trail in Michigan on Monday, the state's Republican party released a web ad needling him over his decision not to campaign in Michigan during the Democratic primary season - a line of attack Hillary Clinton warned of throughout her own presidential bid.
"Why did you boycott Michigan for so long?," the web ad asks. "You stiffed our voters."
The nearly two-minute long video proceeds to highlight Obama's "bitter" comments from a San Francisco fundraiser earlier this year.
"You insulted our way of life," the ad says, displaying assorted images of hunters and churchgoers.
A blog post on the Michigan GOP's Web site said the ad was created "to remind Michigan voters that when they wanted to hear from Barack Obama, he took every opportunity to thumb his nose at them."
In her push to have the disputed Michigan and Florida delegations seated in full, Clinton regularly argued that in a general election, Republicans would hammer Obama for his reluctance to do the same.
"If the Democrats send a message that we don't care about your votes, I'm sure John McCain and the Republicans would be happy to have them," Clinton said at a campaign stop in Detroit in March. "In fact, the Republicans will argue that Michigan and Florida voters shouldn't trust the Democrats to look out for them when we wont even listen to you."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The debate between John McCain and Barack Obama over the war in Iraq boils down to a few critical differences.
In a nutshell, McCain says the military surge in Iraq finally is working and insists Obama was totally wrong to oppose it. He says Obama also has been wrong in not visiting Iraq in more than two years and in not sitting down with Gen. David Petraeus, the outgoing U.S. military commander in Iraq, for a private briefing.
Obama says McCain’s judgment is flawed because he was among those who voted to authorize the war back in 2002 and pushed for the invasion. Obama, an Illinois state senator at the time, opposed the war from the start. Obama also says McCain doesn’t discuss the approximately $10 billion a month that the U.S. is spending on the war – money, Obama says, could be better spent here at home.
McCain says the U.S. can win in Iraq and return home with honor if it keeps troops there. Obama says that that the only way the Iraqis themselves will step up to the plate is to give them a timetable for a troop withdrawal.
The polls show the state of the economy is the most pressing issue for most voters right now. I have no doubt about that. Still, what happens over the next five months on the ground in Iraq will have an enormous impact on the presidential election. I have no doubt about that either.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas
CNN Washington Bureau
LA Times: Women voters lining up behind Obama
Marilyn Authenreith, a mother of two in North Carolina, felt strongly about supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. But once the former first lady quit the race, Authenreith switched allegiance to Barack Obama, mainly because she thinks that he - unlike Republican John McCain - will push for universal healthcare.
Washington Times: 'Maverick' McCain bedevils Democrats
Sen. John McCain's reputation as a maverick who regularly bucks the conservative wing of his party will be a formidable obstacle for Sen. Barack Obama as he seeks to persuade moderates to vote for him in November.
CNN: Analysis: Age an issue in the 2008 campaign?
Is Sen. John McCain too old to be president? Listen to some Democrats, and you'll think the 71-year-old Arizona senator is a man lost in a perpetual fog. He is "confused" and has "lost his bearings" or is "out of touch." Listen to the McCain campaign, and you'll be convinced that Democrats are using those terms to exploit concerns that the presumptive Republican nominee is too old to effectively serve as president.
NY Times: Obama the Delegator Picks When to Take Reins
In the months leading up to Senator Barack Obama’s big loss in the Pennsylvania primary, he was a detached manager: around, but not meddling. Rarely on early-morning conference calls with his senior advisers, he delegated most decisions to others and did not immerse himself in all of the nuts and bolts of running for president.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. John McCain has no public events.
* Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Michigan, holding two “Change that Works for You” rallies.