Saturday, February 13, 2010



By Kevin Stoda, Germany (but off the US military bases there)

“A soldier put his anger at being sent back to Iraq in a rap song. The military, however, did not think it was fun or creative.” So, the young soldier, Mark Hall, was arrested and his free speech banned.

Why did the military leaders get so mad? Why did they overreact and put a creative rapper and soldier, Mark Hall, in jail?

“Stop-Loss” is a policy of shanghaiing American soldier from one month to 14 month over the term of his contract. It is similar to impressment, a form of soldier slavery or kidnapping by which America and England got into the War of 1812. At that time, Americans were being kidnapped by the British and forced to fight in the wars against Napoleon, i.e. against the American sailor or soldier’s will. [This kidnapping and involuntary military service was know as Impressment—i.e. the British “impressed” the young man to join their war effort.]

I think Stop-Loss should be considered Impressment in the United States and banned by the courts, however, I do not have much faith in the Supreme Court right now to handle cases fairly. What do you think?

Admittedly, violence is advocated in the song, but many rap songs due that and are still played on military radio stations and barracks—even in Iraq. So, it sounds like a lot of drivel has been made into a dangerous flood of anger against Mark Hall, who had already served a term of duty in Iraq before he wrote the “Stop-Loss” rap.

Some of the threats included phrases, like “"Like Obama said, somebody be held responsible. But some of y'all gonna be held in the hospitals." I would call such phrases rather innocuous—even after the Ft. Hood massacre of last autumn.

By the way, that soldier who created the worst shooting massacre on a US military base in over a hundred years also wanted to not be sent to Iraq. I would say the military and Obama’s DOD oversight committee do not get the rappers message: “Stop sending him to Iraq.” No wonder Mark Hall sent the recording to the Pentagon to be heard after he made it. His speech needed to be heard by the powers-that-be. [They have had their hands over their ears for years.]

The case in defense of Mark Hall is the First Amendment. However, the spiteful military is now sending Mark Hall to Iraq to have the court martial take place out of sight of the U.S. media.

What a cover up of a musical challenge to IMPRESSMENT AMERICAN STYLE 2010!!!

In Germany my access to Mark Hall’s entire rap song has been blocked due to government censorship.

Veterans all over the USA are outraged, here is one statement from a headline piece from VETERANS TODAY website:
“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.”
Another author at the same site had written a month back:
“Military service members do not completely give up their rights to free speech, particularly not when they are doing so artistically while off duty, as was the case with Hall. He is charged under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which covers "all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline" and "all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces." The military is claiming that he ‘communicated a threat’ with his song. Hall mailed a copy of the song to the Pentagon after the Army unilaterally extended his contract for a second Iraq deployment. 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. 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.”
One can download the song by Hall at this link.
Now, as a Christian, I don’t condone the foul-mouthed threats in Hall’s text but as long as the free speech of other rappers are protected Hall deserves that protection—and no Kangeroo Court that continues with the illegal Stop-Loss procedures—it is destroying the morale of American troops and citizens.



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