On February 21, 2014 members of the CIA Five appealed their trespass conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Just to file an appeal, the cost was $2,525. These National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] activists are a determined bunch.
There were many reasons to continue to appeal, but some of the prominent reasons will follow. At our trial on October 22, 2013 in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, Judge Ivan Davis denied us a defense and would not allow us to enter into evidence the letter sent to CIA Director John Brennan, and presented to a CIA representative on June 29, 2013 before our arrest, seeking a meeting to end the killer drone assassination program. Davis also denied our request for additional discovery and would not permit us to argue our intent which was not criminal. After appealing our trial court conviction, we argued at an appeals hearing on February 7, 2014 that Judge T. S. Ellis should overturn our convictions. He ignored our arguments and did not seem to have read our brief. In response to our appeals brief, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Chaffin filed an insufficient legal document. For example, she claimed in her brief that my intent at the CIA was to get arrested, while at the trial she objected to any attempt to argue our intent for being at the CIA. Nevertheless, Ellis refused to overturn.
Finally, another reason to appeal Ellis’ decision would be to continue to challenge the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Besides our arrest at the CIA, we have made several overtures to the office of the U.S Attorney. For example, we filed a criminal complaint against the CIA’s blatantly illegal assassination program. The previous U.S. Attorney, Neil MacBride, failed to act on the criminal complaint. His replacement, Dana Boente, has also failed to take action.
In response to filing an appeal to the 4th Circuit, we were notified to file an informal opening brief on March 24, 2014. We will request a delay in order to seek the assistance of an attorney, and, if we are unsuccessful, we will need significant time to do extensive legal research before submitting the requested brief. Will Boente consider the worthiness of taking this matter to the Fourth Circuit, which is one step below the U.S. Supreme Court? Does he want to expend the energy and effort on a legal tangle with five pro se appellants? This remains to be seen.
We have requested a transcript from the February 7 oral arguments. Should this appeal proceed, there will be additional costs, especially if we retain an attorney. You will be kept informed of developments.
Donations are most welcome in this effort to keep the legal spotlight on the CIA’s assassination program. Should you want to contribute, send donations to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Thanks for giving this matter your attention, and let us know if you have questions.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs