Army surrenders: Marc Hall free, discharge announced!
To the hundreds who wrote letters and donated
to his defense, Marc shared via phone from Kuwait, "Thank you, thank you
for all of your love and support!"
jailed for rap lyrics Is discharged
by Dahr Jamail, Truthout.
April 18, 2010
Until April 17, US Army Spc. Marc Hall sat in a military brig at Camp
Arifjan, Kuwait, facing an imminent court-martial for challenging the
military’s stop-loss policy in a song. Saturday morning, Spc. Hall
was granted a discharge by the military.
December 17, 2009, Hall was jailed for writing a song about the
personal impact of being forced to remain in the military beyond the
scope of his contract by the stop-loss policy.
Stop-loss is a
practice that allows the Army to keep soldiers active
beyond the end of
their signed contracts. According to the Pentagon,
more than 120,000
soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001,
13,000 soldiers are serving under stop-loss orders,
pledges by President Barack Obama to phase out the
song included lyrics the Army claimed were veiled threats of
was charged with five specifications in violation of Article 134
Uniform Code of Military Conduct, two of those for wrongfully
communicating a threat based on song lyrics. Article 134 is a vague rule
that outlaws anything "to the prejudice of good order and discipline."
included Hall saying he may "go Fort Hood," a reference to
shooting at Fort Hood on November 5, which prosecutors for the
claimed was a threat of violence.
"I explained to [my first
sergeant] that the hardcore rap song was a
free expression of how people
feel about the Army and its stop-loss
policy," Hall said at the time.
"I explained that the song was neither a
physical threat nor any threat
whatsoever. I told him it was just
According to Jeff
Paterson of Courage to Resist, an Oakland-based
to supporting military objectors like Hall, he
was not jailed for the
song, but was instead jailed "in retaliation for
his formal complaint of
inadequate mental health services available to
him at Fort Stewart. The
Army used an angry song that Spc. Hall, a
combat veteran of the Iraq
War suffering from post-traumatic stress,
had produced criticizing the
stop-loss policy as the pretext."
What put the 34-year-old New
York City native in the brig were,
according to Paterson, Hall’s
persistent assertions of inadequate
mental health care that culminated
in a December 7 complaint to the
Army Investigator General. Just five
days after that, Hall was charged
with violating "good order and
discipline" at Fort Stewart, Georgia,
and was shipped out of the country
for a court martial in Kuwait.