Hip Hop Protest Soldier Discharged

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Marc Hall

Army Specialist Marc Hall will not undergo a court martial trial, and instead has been released from his military service. Hall, a.k.a. hip hop artist Marc Watercus, was arrested in December after he refused to be sent back to Iraq and produced a rap song with inflammatory lyrics to protest the Army’s “stop-loss” policy.

His trial was delayed for several months as the military moved the venue again and again—from Fort Stewart, Georgia, to a military base in Kuwait and then to Iraq. Relocating proceedings to the Middle East was seen by Hall’s supporters as a way to keep his attorney and others from participating in his defense. But the Army decided ultimately to drop the trial once Hall’s lawyer, David Gespass, made arrangements for himself and a medical specialist to travel to Iraq.
Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist, an Oakland-based organization that supports conscientious objectors, said Hall was not jailed for the song, but because of his outspoken complaints about inadequate mental health services at Fort Stewart. Hall, who experienced combat during his previous tour in Iraq, reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Patterson claimed Hall had a strong chance of winning his case once it became apparent his attorney and an independent medical evaluator could attend the court martial.
Although he avoided criminal charges, Hall will lose all military benefits as a veteran because of his misconduct discharge.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Rapping Soldier Dismissed for Threats (by Lara Jakes, Associated Press)
Army Imprisons Iraq Vet for Hip Hop Song (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Leave a comment