|The imprisoned soldier, Iraq war veteran and hip-hip artist Marc Hall (real name: Marc Watercus) avoided a scheduled General Court Martial in Iraq for producing an angry anti-‘Stop-loss’ rap song. Instead, he was discharged immediately.
In December 2009, the U.S. Army jailed 34-year-old Specialist Marc Watercus, because he had produced a song criticizing the U.S. military extensions of deployed soldiers’ service periods. Iraq war veteran Marc Hall, who suffers from post traumatic stress, was angry about being forced back to war. He had recorded a rap song in his home in New York and emailed it to the Pentagon, U.S. Defense Department. On 26 February 2010, he was deported to Kuwait, after having been imprisoned for two and a half months in prison at Fort Stewart in the U.S.
Marc Hall’s civilian attorney, David Gespass, who is president of the National Lawyers Guild, believes that the case raises serious questions about free speech and artistic freedom. He explained: “While I’m gratified that the Army finally decided to discharge Marc, I’m appalled at the disregard it has shown for Marc’s wellbeing and fundamental rights for nine months. Whatever lip service the Army gives to its concern for its soldiers, its only real concern is insuring they risk their lives without questioning why. Marc’s greatest transgression was asking that question.”.
David Gespass believes it would have been difficult for the military prosecutor to prove that Hall’s rap song represented a real threat to U.S. officers.
According to the Pentagon 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001, and 13,000 are currently serving under stop-loss orders.
Couragetoresist.org – 21 May 2010:
‘Marc Hall: “I’m so happy to be free!” ‘