Is Hip-Hop A Crime? Army Imprisoned Soldier Over Lyrical ‘Threats’

Stephen C. Webster,* The Raw Story, January 10, 2010

The United States Army certainly believes it can be, and that’s just what landed Spc. Marc Hall, of Fort Stewart, Georgia, behind bars on December 11, 2009.

The Army’s reason: Hall’s track “Stop Loss” was determined to contain “threats” against fellow soldiers.

Under the name “Marc Watercus,” Hall rhymed:

Like Obama says somebody be held responsible

But some of you all gonna be held in the hospitals, whenever possible

I’m gonna round up all eventually, easily, walk right up peacefully

And surprise them all

Yes, yes y’all, up against the wall, turn around

I got a m*****f****** magazine with 30 rounds, on a three round burst

Ready to fire down, spray and watch the bodies all hit the floor

I bet you don’t stop-loss nobody no more,

in your next lifetime of course

Hall is in an Arlington, Virginia jail after being charged with a violation of Article 134, which governs “all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital,” according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Another count accuses him of distributing ‘original songs wrongfully threatening acts of violence against members of his unit,'” military publication Stars and Stripes added. {snip}

“Hall planned to leave the military at the end of his contract on February 27, before his commander, Captain Cross at Fort Stewart, moved to have him incarcerated for the song,” Dahr Jamail wrote on the political blog t r u t h o u t. “The military currently intends to keep Hall in pre-trial confinement until he is court-martialed, which is expected to be several months from now.”

{snip}

Klimaski [James Klimaski, Hall’s attorney] also claimed his client “[understands] the Army’s concerns, particularly in light of the shooting at Fort Hood in November, but stressed [Hall] was merely exercising his right to freedom of speech,” according to Georgia newspaper The Coastal Courrier.

{snip}

Hall and his supporters have raised a Web site to promote his advocacy against the stop-loss policy [“the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date” –Wikipedia]. AWOL soldier support group Courage to Resist is raising funds for Hall’s legal defense and activist group Iraq Veterans Against the War is also urging its members to support Hall with calls and letters of protest against his imprisonment.

{snip}

* Editor’s Note: The author of this story is not be confused with American Renaissance’s assistant editor of the same name.

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