Federal judge tosses wiretap suit

July 3, 2008 at 12:30 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, July 3 (UPI) -- A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging U.S. President George Bush acted illegally when he ordered phones tapped to sniff out suspected terrorists.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco said an Islamic charity on the government's terrorist list could not use a classified document -- a memo mistakenly released that indicated the group and its lawyers were wiretapped -- to show it was harmed by the warrantless eavesdropping, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

The attorney for the now-defunct organization -- al-Haramain Islamic Foundation -- said the charity isn't giving up.

"We will now be marshaling all the non-classified evidence we have to make our case," attorney Jon Eisenberg said. "We believe we can make a solid showing." He has 30 days from Wednesday to file a new lawsuit based on non-classified information.

Other suits challenging the eavesdropping program have all been dismissed on grounds plaintiffs suspecting their calls had been tapped couldn't prove it.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on legislation that would require dismissal of suits alleging telecommunication companies shared customer records, and phone and e-mail networks with federal agents.

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