By William Fisher
"NEW YORK, Aug 20 (IPS) - A federal court this week ruled for the first time that the U.S. government cannot freeze an organisation's assets under a terror financing law without a warrant based upon probable cause and without telling the organisation the basis for its action and a meaningful opportunity to defend itself.
If the decision of U.S. District Judge James G. Carr is upheld, it will strip the government of a key weapon in the broad counter-terrorism authority claimed by the administration of former President George W. Bush following the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001.
The ruling came Tuesday in a lawsuit originally filed in November 2008 by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio and several civil rights attorneys on behalf of KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc., a charity based in Columbus, Ohio.
Lawyers from the Obama Justice Department defended the position of their predecessors......"