Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Fort Hood Murders Were Not Just "Workplace Violence"

National Review, the publication which has long served as the conservative movement's flagship, has created (through an online petition -- a petition which urges Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to recognize the painfully plain fact that jihadist Nidal Hassan's murder of 14 people (there was an unborn child killed in the shootings that is not usually figured in the tally) was a crime involving terrorism and mass murder, not merely an act of "workplace violence."

I applaud National Review for their efforts and I encourage you to zip over and sign.  

Unless, that is, you would like to do something I believe is even more effective. And that would be to write your own letter.

As regular visitors to Vital Signs Blog know, we believe that personal advocacy is by far the strongest. The direct letter. The phone call. The visit to your Congressman's office.

In conversations with politicians and business leaders over more than three decades, we have learned that the power of direct advocacy remains very effective. Indeed, in an era where citizens have tended to retreat from their civic responsibilities, your letter or phone call stands out all the more.

And online petitions? Well, I'm just not a big fan. On the one hand, I think they're too easy to discount by the people that receive them. They know they can be faked and artificially padded. They know that just signing an e-mail petition doesn't take any effort and therefore it doesn't indicate much of a citizen's passion or dedication.

But the second reason I generally dislike online petitions is that nowadays they are designed (primarily, if not even exclusively) to promote the petition's creator. You sign the online petition and, though it may not have any effect on the person it is eventually sent to, it's certainly going to have an effect on in you're likely to start receiving a lot of fundraising letters, e-mails and phone calls from the petition's creator and, sometimes, from companies and organizations that have bought the original e-mail list.

So, it's better in every way, to write your own letters, make your own phone calls, stop by your Congressman's office, ask to see the manager of the store to decry or applaud a particular practice, and so on.

For goodness sakes, even if time doesn't allow these things, type up your own e-mail note.

Our convictions on this point are reflected in Vital Signs Ministries long tradition of hosting letter-writing parties, in conducting field trips to politicians, in promoting effective letter writing techniques (for example, see this article), and in urging direct action here on Vital Signs Blog where we give, in addition to the facts of the case, contact information and sometimes even sample letters.

But enough about the process of protest -- let's get back to the issue at hand; namely, the cruel farce being enacted by the Obama administration in treating Hassan's jihad murders as mere "workplace violence."

The online petition that National Review encourages you to sign is right here. But again, my suggestion is that you look at the issues they raise in their petition and relay those to Secretary Hagel (and President Obama) in a personal letter.

I print the online petition below but you might also take a look at this Vital Signs Blog post from 2009. (Yes, that's how long this miscarriage of justice has been strung along!) They will give you more than enough for your own letter. And the contact info?

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone number for comments: (202) 456-1111
Web contact form

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
Department of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
Phone Number: (703) 571-3343
Web contact form  

To: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

The Administration has designated the Ft. Hood massacre as workplace violence, and not what it was: an Act of Terror. By not designating this event as such an act, it disrespects the lives of the 13 who lost their lives that day, and dozens more who were injured and those helped their fellow soldiers.

Furthermore, Nidal Hassan will not be tried as an enemy combatant, but instead will be court-martialed.

Finally, without an Act of Terror designation, those wounded in defense of our nation will not receive a Purple Heart.

This is outrageous and I call on you to change the official designation now before the trial for Nidal Hassan proceeds any further.