December 21, 2010; Source: New York Times | On Tuesday, Vaughan R. Walker, a federal judge found against the U.S. government and for an Islamic charity in a wiretapping case that was a part of the warrantless surveillance practiced by the Bush Administration after 9/11.
The now defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was charged in 2004 for laundering donations to Chechnya. It was also designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The finding is not based on whether or not the group indeed laundered money. It is, instead, based on the judge’s finding that the group was wiretapped without a court order and that the administration did not have the right to operate “outside of the bounds of judicial scrutiny and in conflict with surveillance rules set by congress.”
Jon Eisenberg, a lawyer for the group said, “We brought this case to try and get a declaration from the judiciary that the executive branch is bound by the law.”—Ruth McCambridge