Army plans to Extradite Stop Loss Rapper away from Public Scrutiny

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This is a follow-up of an earlier report posted on VT in Army Jails Soldier for Singing Against Stop-Loss Policy.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has sent us the following media release on the U.S. military plans to extradite Stop-Lossed Iraq War Vet to Iraq for Court Martial over his rap song protesting Stop Loss.

The Obama administration came into office promising to curtail then cease with the disdainful policy of Stop Loss, but that remains to be seen given Obama’s SURGE into Afghanistan.

To quote Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about his disdain for Stop Loss. The New York Times reported that some 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss in its various forms since 2001, Army officials said Wednesday, a practice that Mr. Gates said had amounted to “breaking faith” with those in uniform.

Angry, darn right Specialist Marc Hall was angry letting both the Pentagon and mainstream media know it. It is not like he has something to hide like the Major gone wrong at Fort Hood that no one in the Army chain of command caught the warning signs, this young man put it all out front. Was his intent in even sending the message to the Pentagon anger at being Stop Lossed, threat to FRAG fellow troops, I doubt it.

Was Hall threatening to wipe out Iraqis in his anger once force to deploy,  maybe who knows, but when I listened to the lyrics it told me that this young man (and I can’t stand rap music) was sending a message of anger and what could happen when WE break faith with too many of our troops and a 500 dollar Congressional bribe just is not enough to risk one’s life for.

Specialist Hall would have been granted the 500 bounty to willingly be Stop Lossed, but he told the Pentagon where they could put their bribe. This is not about a Soldier threatening his fellow Soldiers COME ON NOW, this is about STOP LOSS – PERIOD!

Watch the video yourselves, it has already appeared on every mainstream media outlet across the nation for angry voters to see. Does this warrant sending a young enlisted man to Iraq or Afghanistan to get him out of the public eye so he doesn’t have a fair trial. I don’t think so. Heck might as well send him to Guantanamo Bay for trail for it is about the same sense of Justice.

Let us pray that mainstream media follows Specialist Hall and the Army to Iraq, so the Pentagon can show American voters it has nothing to hide or be embarrassed about when it makes the President and Secretary Gates out to be liars on Stop Loss.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News

US military plans to extradite stop-lossed Iraq war vet to Iraq for court martial over protest rap song

IVAW LOGOIraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) had this to say about Stop Loss as other Veteran Service Organizations remain silent either in support of their hawkish Republican or Democratic party base.

Fort Stewart, Ga. – The US military plans to extradite a stop-lossed Iraq war veteran to Iraq “within a few days” to face a court martial for allegedly threatening military officers in a protest rap song he made.

Spc. Marc Hall has been jailed in the Liberty County Jail near Fort Stewart, Ga., since Dec. 11 because he wrote a song called “Stop Loss” about the practice of involuntarily extending military members’ contracts.

“It is our belief that the Army would violate its own regulations by deploying Marc and it would certainly violate his right to due process by making it far more difficult to get witnesses. It appears the Army doesn’t believe it can get a conviction in a fair and public trial. We will do whatever we can to insure he remain in the United States,” said Hall’s civilian attorney, David Gespass.

Gespass claims the Army’s attempts to deploy Hall violate Army Regulations 600-8-105 and the Army’s conscientious objector regulations. Hall applied for a conscientious objector discharge Monday. The military’s move would also separate Hall from both his civilian legal team and military defender.

“The Army seeks to disappear Marc and the politically charged issues involved here, including: the unfair stop-loss policy, the boundary of free speech and art by soldiers, and the continuing Iraq occupation. The actual charges are overblown if not frivolous, so I’m not surprised the Army wants to avoid having a public trial,” explained Jeff Paterson, executive director of Courage to Resist.

An Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) member, Hall served 14 months in Iraq. He was scheduled to end his military contract on Feb. 27 but received a stop loss order that he would have to stay on active-duty to re-deploy to Iraq with his unit.

“Marc served his tour of duty to Iraq honorably,” said Brenda McElveen, Hall’s mother. “To his dismay, he was told that he would be deployed again. When Marc voiced his concerns over this matter, his concerns fell on deaf ears. To let his frustration be known, Marc wrote and released the song. Marc is not now nor has he ever been violent.”

Using stop loss orders, the US military has stopped about 185,000 soldiers from leaving the military since 2001. An additional 13,000 troops are now serving under stop-loss orders. President Obama said he thinks the practice should be stopped.

Hall, 34, was charged Dec. 17 with five specifications in violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct, including “wrongfully threatening acts of violence against members of his unit.” His arrest came about a month after 13 people were killed in a shooting incident at Fort Hood, Texas. Hall, whose hiphop name is Marc Watercus, mailed a copy of his “Stop Loss” song to the Pentagon.

Based at Fort Stewart, Hall said the song was a “free expression of how people feel about the Army and its stop-loss policy” not a threat. “My first sergeant said he actually liked the song and that he did not take it as a threat,” Hall added.

A South Carolina native, Hall wanted to leave the military to spend more time with his wife and child.

Hall’s song: http://marcwatercus.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/stoploss.mp3

A copy of the US Army’s press release about transferring Hall to Iraq is available on request.

IVAW is a national organization of veterans and active-duty service members who have served since September 11, 2001 – including those who took part in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. IVAW also is dedicated to fighting for adequate physical and mental healthcare, full benefits, and other support for returning veterans.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.IVAW.ORG

Selena Coppa

Media Team Leader

Iraq Veterans Against the War

(347) 985-6039

armysergeant@ivaw.org

http://activedutypatriot.blogspot.com

MEDIA INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE:

Jason Hurd, IVAW Organizer, is in regular contact with Marc Hall. jehurd@gmail.com , 1-678-896-3821
Brenda McElveen, Marc Hall’s mother, 1-843-206-3439
– Chantelle Bateman, IVAW Field Organizing Team. chantellebateman@ivaw.org , 1-202-758-7818
David Gespass, Hall’s civilian attorney, 1-205-323-5966
Jeff Paterson, the founder and director of the soldier advocacy group Courage to Resist, jp@jeffpaterson.net , 1-415-279-9697
LTC Eric Bloom in Iraq, US Army Public Affairs, eric.bloom@mnd-b.army.mil

For progressive Veteran and Military  Family organizations who fought to force the administration and Secretary of Defense Gates to admit the evil that Stop Loss is and NOW think the battle is over, this confirms that we have not yet begun the fight to STOP the STOP LOSS.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for mainstream VSOs of party politicians to take a STAND on Stop Loss again, they still think bribing our troops will keep they silent and content.

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.