Soldier Marc Hall's Freedom Rap Song Lands Him in Liberty Jail

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In the ironically named Liberty County Jail since December 11 sits Army Specialist and Iraq War veteran Marc Hall, a rap musician who had the audacity to write a song attacking the Pentagon for subjecting him to a so-called stop-loss order after he had finished his Army tour and had returned from a posting in Iraq.

Hall, whose hip-hop alias is Marc Watercus, wrote the song and sent it to the Pentagon as a protest. His commander at Ft. Stewart initially had him arrested after he went to his base commander to protest his stop-loss order. He had planned to leave the service when his contract was up on Feb. 27. The Pentagon then upped the charges, claiming that in sending his song to the Pentagon, he had “communicated a threat” to the military. In the song lyrics, Hall says he will shoot officers if he is stop-lossed.

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The Pentagon reports that since 2001 it has prevented 120,000 soldiers from leaving the service using the stop-loss policy, which critics say is being grossly misused. Originally intended to keep the military from having to withdraw active troops from the battlefield if their contracts expire while they are engaged in the field, the policy has become instead a way of compensating from low enlistment and re-enlistment rates, with stop-loss orders generally hitting soldiers who have already returned home from the wars and who, like Hall, who has a wife and child, are preparing to return to civilian life.

The ironies of Hall’s incarceration and prosecution – he is being held without bail, pending a court-martial proceeding, which could be months off – are stunning.

Liberty County, Georgia earned its name – it was originally called St. John’s Parish by the Puritan settlers who founded it – because back in the 1770s it was a hotbed of revolutionary sentiment in a colony that was largely populated by pro-British Loyalists. Two signers of the Declaration of Independence hail from the county. One, Dr. Lyman Hall, actually shares Marc Hall’s surname, and was one of the most ardent of revolutionists in America – a man who despised tyranny boldly and who and actually went to the original Continental Congress representing not Georgia, but only his own county, because of lack of support from the population of the broader colony. Hall was a primary writer of the Constitution, which he allegedly based upon a pamphlet he had been carrying with him that had been penned by John Adams.

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January 11, 2010