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Wednesday
May122010

Capt. Carl Bjork’s verdict—a study in trickle down policy from Washington

By Kay B. Day

Capt. Carl Bjork served with honor in Iraq.Capt. Carl Bjork came onto our radar at The US Report last year, after the government charged him with two counts of premeditated murder and other charges. The charges stemmed from accusations levied by a man named Col. Ibrahim Hamid Jaza, and a few of Hamid's fellow former Iraqi police who were detainees in prison.

The crimes allegedly occurred  in Hit during Bjork’s 2006-2007 deployment. It took the government almost three years to bring charges and then the government asked for delays.

Bjork’s trial was this week; his parents traveled to Iraq.

This week news of the verdicts trickled in—Bjork was acquitted on two charges of premeditated murder. Those charges could have led to life sentences.

Bjork, however, was convicted of two counts of  negligence in the deaths—those charges carried a max sentence of 3 years each. He was also convicted on the charge of reckless endangerment for allegedly setting a booby trap of a weapons cache, a charge that could carry a one-year sentence.

Having followed this case since its inception, I can honestly say I would not have convicted Bjork of anything.

In this morning’s email, Bjork’s sister Erica Bjork Manning responded to a message I’d sent her. I had closed  by telling her I prayed for her brother last night. And thousands of people at the Facebook support group for Bjork have done the same many times.

Erica said, “All of your prayers have born fruit.”

And she informed us about the sentences for the charges Bjork was convicted of after his military trial: “Despite having the power to jail Carl for 7 years, dishonorably discharge him and/or deduct his entire salary for as long as he’s in the service, the Panel opted to ‘reprimand’ him and take a third of his salary for one year, with no other penalty, clearly a huge victory and relief for us all.”

The government’s witnesses in the case were a man believed to be a terrorist and a liar, and an Iraqi interpreter who went missing in the US for awhile.

The whole case reads like a bizarre work of fiction—Bjork was not even present when the alleged murders took place.

By circumstance Michael Yon, arguably the best war correspondent in action at present, detailed events in Hit during the time of the alleged crimes and he even covered Col. Hamid’s background. Yon wrote his account before Bjork was charged. I came across Yon's account by chance and realized the significance for Capt. Bjork's case.

I hope to obtain more details about this case. I believe it is another example of current Washington policy to persecute members of the military for a political purpose—pandering to the Iraqi government and to the leftwingers running our country. Most Western corporate media pander to the same.

Whatever we learn, we are very glad Capt. Bjork will go free, having served with honor and having been praised by soldier after soldier for valor.

Upon learning of the initial verdict, a soldier posted  his thoughts about this trial on one of the articles I did earlier. His words carry more impact than mine:
“After sacrificing my well being and my mental stability, in Hit trying to protect the people of Iraq, I am disgusted. My immediate thought is to remove every medal from my own chest and mail them back to the Army. My stomach sits in knots, I cannot eat, I can barely think straight. I was there, in Hit with CPT Bjork. On more than one occasion, CPT Bjork came to my aid and effectively saved not only me, but my entire squad. I think of CPT Bjork as a brother, a man who shared sand, sweat and tears. He IS a true American hero, and our country is going to sit back and hardly notice as he is stripped of his dignity, his command, and his career. I support CPT Carl Bjork, and I always will. Once my brother, ALWAYS my brother.”

I’d add that Main Street will take notice though the government and leftwing media won’t. The Leftosphere prefers to focus on the wellbeing of terrorists, apparently.

And as for the government, all I can say is that Bjork's trial, like so many others, never should have happened.

Here’s a thought on lessons for politicians about war. Drop  a group of them into a hostile land and give them the same gear we give our men and women. Tell them to survive. Then bring them home and prosecute them with whimsical charges. See how long it takes those politicos to scream about their civil rights—that is if they survived the physical challenges and I seriously doubt they would.

As a parting jab at our so-called mainstream media, stop calling soldiers who receive commendations such as the Bronze Star ‘winners.’ They are ‘recipients’ as Bjork is. They earn those medals and commendations by doing a job harder than any politician will ever do, and certainly harder than those who call themselves journalists will ever do.

P.S. to so-called mainstream media: you should hang your collective heads in shame.

 [Ed. note: Capt. Bjork had to pay for his civilian defense. You may donate to his defense fund at Support Carl Bjork to help him cover the debt.]

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Reader Comments (8)

I served with Carl in his most recent duty assignment in bagdad. He was sent to our unit while awaiting his seemingly neverending wait for trial. Carl is a true professional. Even admidst the undergoing stress he must've been experiencing the past 4 years, he never once let it interfere with his mission. Many soldiers who surrounded him daily only knew the details of his story from what is posted on blogging/media sites. He was placed in the unit as sort of an outsider, but inevidably became surrounded by friends & lifelong supporters; myself included. Although I am certain the anxiety & frustration had to have built up in him over time, his character and personality did not allow any negativity to show through. He always took care of everyone else before himself. He is a true american hero and a warrior. He has been a friend, a comrad, and a brother in arms to me. I'm ecstatic to hear the good news but I wish his family did not have to suffer. Carl, I miss you bro and I wish there were more soldiers with your heart and dedication serving this nation. It's a shame your case wasn't thrown out, but this too shall pass. Good luck in your future, I'll see you on the high side.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSgt awbrey pepple

Sgt. Pepple, thanks so much. I've never received as many letters from supporters as those received in support of Capt. Bjork and the Navy SEALs charged in an unrelated case.

This will pass for Capt. Bjork, but it won't pass for this blogger. Members of the military need someone to tell their stories honestly when situations like this occur. I am now tracking any and all stories available when a member of our military is charged with a serious crime. best, KBD

May 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterKay B. Day, Editor

I am relieved to know that this honorable member of our military will not have to serve any time. HOWEVER, I am more than outraged that he was charged & still even more that it wasn't dismissed.
*A note to those who bring such stupid charges* We will not quit, we will not fail nor will we look the other way. Never again will you operate under the cloak of invisibilty, no more will Americans follow you blindly at your tainted words. You no longer have our trust & we see what your intent is ... we will research you, make your actions public, we expose the corruptions and we WILL have the back of our American soldiers! Every American has been paid to do this ... we were paid with with the freedom of our children, friends & ourselves and we know what the word LOYALTY means. We will shine light upon your every move - leave our soldiers ALONE!

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRhiannon Waits

You got that right, Rhia. Lotta eyes gonna be on some elite media right about now.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKay B. Day

@ Rhia - You go, girl! We've got their six and we will NEVER stop. This news is bittersweet - partial victory is still an incredible disservice to Cpt. Bjork. Thank you, sir, for your honorable service to our country.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSEAL Mom

<I> "As a parting jab at our so-called mainstream media, stop calling soldiers who receive commendations such as the Bronze Star ‘winners.’ "</I>

I corrected someone a couple of months back for saying that. That really p's me off. It shows the mentality of the one saying it. In their world - life is a contest with only winners & loser. They can not grasp the meaning :‘recipients’ within their vocabulary.

So give em H3LL Kay ... teach this breed of media what it means! Teach them how to report facts instead of not letting the truth get in the way of a good story!

I encourage EVERYONE to grab a light and help us shine it on these situations. SPEAK UP! I know we CAN make a difference we are joined together!

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRhiannon Waits

Thanks for this update on this hero.
Can't help but notice that we PAY FOR LAWYERS for criminals who "can't afford" them, but make these heroes PAY FOR THE EXPENSES OF THEIR OWN DEFENSE???WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE???

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNed Chipley

Military members do have military attorneys available. However, given the current hold political correctness has on the military, many military personnel not only will pay but have to pay for a civilian attorney to ensure they are properly and earnestly represented in the judicial process. Personnel going before a medical board hire civilian attorneys. In a court martial involving a war zone their career and lives are not the only thing on the line. They are also defending their values, their honor, their dignity, and their family name.

It takes a great and honorable person who serves in today's military environment while adhering to the oath they took, using the tools they are given, and do all this within the parameters set by politicians who say they care when few of them actually do. Thank you to all who keep the oath while serving, defending those who cannot, those who will not, and those in the trenches beside you. Blessings and prayers

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJo Johns
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