Saturday, December 13, 2008


Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski at



Contact: Max Obuszewski [410] 366-1637 or mobuszewski at



WHO: The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore was formed for individuals willing to engage in nonviolent civil resistance to first prevent and later to protest the war in Iraq. It is affiliated with several national peace groups, including the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] and United For Peace & Justice. 

NCNR organized a theatrical event on March 12 inside the gallery of the U.S. Senate.  Three members of the Baltimore Pledge, Maria Allwine, Ellen Barfield and Max Obuszewski, joined with Tim Chadwick, Joy First, Judith Kelly, Art Landis, Linda LeTendre, Manijeh Saba and Eve Tetaz as the Ghosts of the Iraq War. 

Many of the ten stood up individually, while wearing a We Will Not Be Silent tee shirt and gauze over the head, and stated "I am a ghost from the Iraq War.  While I died needlessly, I am here to demand an end to the funding of the war so that others do not have to die."  All were removed, arrested and charged with unlawful conduct, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. Nine of the defendants were pro se with Ann Wilcox acting as an attorney advisor.  Tetaz was represented by Jack Baringer.  Judge Robert Morin presided in a jury trial from October 20 through October 24.


WHAT:  The jury found Allwine, First, Kelly, Landis and LeTendre not guilty.  After the verdict, the others argued a motion to dismiss as the defense did not receive all of the discovery material until the prosecution rested its case.  In response, Judge Morin ruled that the government must bring in a witness who could explain how Obuszewski’s private email promoting a gallery action wound up in the U.S. Capitol Police Intelligence Report for March 12, 2008.


On November 7, U.S. Capitol Police intelligence analyst Eric Orsini testified he obtained the email and the alleged source from the web site Protest.Net, but the government failed to provide any proof.  Judge Morin tried to find a page on Protest.Net for March 12, but could not locate any archives.  Obuszewski took the witness stand and explained that someone obtained his private email and then covered it up by indicating the source was a Common Dreams URL.  The URL was actually for a press release sent out by the activist about a legal proceeding in May 2007, and had nothing to do with the Ghosts of the Iraq War.  However, Judge Morin accepted Orsini’s testimony, despite the lack of evidence, and disregarded Obuszewski’s arguments.  In turn, he upheld the convictions.


Since that hearing, the defense did research on and contacted the administrators of the web site.  There are archives, and the email does not appear on March 12 or any other date on  It could be argued that if someone unknown placed the purloined email on, it could later have been deleted.  However, the intelligence report for March 12 contained a notice for another protest Stop Loss Congress.  This notice is still listed in the archives for on March 12.  However, the Stop Loss Congress protest was posted widely on the Internet.   


So another motion for dismissal was submitted, and, if permitted, Obuszewski will argue there is no evidence that his email appeared on  Since there is reasonable doubt, the convictions should be overturned.  If the judge rejects the latest motion for dismissal, Barfield, Chadwick, Obuszewski, Saba and Tetaz will be sentenced.  They face a maximum six months imprisonment and/or a $500 fine.


WHEN:  Monday, December 15, 2008 at 9:30 AM


WHERE:  Courtroom 312 in Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001


WHY:  It is unclear why Judge Robert Morin accepted testimony, without evidence, from a witness who claimed he remembered something he did between 5 and 6 AM on March 12, 2008 when he produced the U.S. Capitol Police Intelligence Report.  Since the evidentiary hearing on November 7, the defense was able to do significant research on the web site Protest.Net.  It remains unclear if the judge will allow the defense to revisit this matter.


As Obuszewski is one of the 53 activists listed as terrorists by the Maryland State Police, it is suspected that some police or government agency obtained his email illegally.  He does not believe it was ever posted on  Orsini testified that he was always in contact with other police agencies that frequently provided the Capitol police with “intelligence.”


All ten defendants, long-time peace activists, have worked for years to try to convince their legislators that the Iraq War is an unqualified mess, a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars and an unmitigated disaster for the people of Iraq and the soldiers sent to fight.  As the Ghosts of the Iraq War, they tried to call for an end to war funding.  While they failed, and some were convicted of unlawful conduct, they will continue their efforts to bring an end to the Iraq War. 



"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


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