Police investigate Flanagan over assassination remarks - Macleans.ca
 

Police investigate Flanagan over assassination remarks

After several complaints a file will be forwarded to the Crown prosecutor’s office


 

The University of Calgary may not think Tom Flanagan’s remarks about assassinating Wikileaks founder Julian Assange warrant punishment, but Calgary police just might.

According to the Sun chain, police are referring the case to the Crown’s office, where a decision on whether to pursue criminal charges against Flanagan will be made. “Due to a number of calls we have received regarding this matter, the Calgary Police Services will be gathering all facts and compiling a package that will be forwarded to the Crown prosecutor’s office for review,” a police spokesman said in a statement.

When appearing on CBC’s Power and Politics last week, Flanagan said the American government “should put out a contract [on Assange] and maybe use a drone or something.” Although he later retracted those comments, several University of Calgary alumni have been petitioning the university to reprimand the political science professor, and former aid to Stephen Harper. The U of C has said it will not be pursuing disciplinary action.


 
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Police investigate Flanagan over assassination remarks

  1. I think he is about to learn that we are Canadians not Americans! Hope he and other “wannabe empirists” get the message about freedom of speech and free press and hate speech, as well as the publics right to know when they’ve been lied to. Maybe wikileaks might have stopped BUsh in his tracks on Iraq if they had been around and 60,000 Iraqi civilians would still be alive!

  2. The lesson is this: Do not ever question your government. They will shut you down. Wikileaks may have questionable methods, but what they are doing is incredibly important, and the majority of the world is not listening.

  3. Just this week, a judge in Montreal gave a 1 year probation sentence for “death threats” that looks much more like bitching within a soccer club (it’s in French, I found no coverage in English):
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/Montreal/2010/12/03/005-csmn-nakhla-probation.shtm

    Since judges are willing to apply the law for such a dumb threat on a voicemail, clearly Flanagan should face justice for the clear threat he made on public television declining the offer to soften his comment :
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bqtIafdoH_g

    Will he still feel “manly” in court ?

    The legal basis is article 464 of the Canadian Criminal Code
    http://lois.justice.gc.ca/fra/C-46/20101206/page-9.html?rp2=SEARCH&rp3=SI&rp1=464&rp4=all&rp9=cs&rp10=L&rp13=50#codese:464

    464
    Except where otherwise expressly provided by law, the following provisions apply in respect of persons who counsel other persons to commit offences, namely,
    (a) every one who counsels another person to commit an indictable offence is, if the offence is not committed, guilty of an indictable offence and liable to the same punishment to which a person who attempts to commit that offence is liable; and
    (b) every one who counsels another person to commit an offence punishable on summary conviction is, if the offence is not committed, guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. Previous Fragment with Hit464; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 60.

  4. (link error in my previous message, please replace with this one)

    Just this week, a judge in Montreal gave a 1 year probation sentence for “death threats” that looks much more like bitching within a soccer club (it’s in French, I found no coverage in English):
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/Montreal/2010/12/03/005-csmn-nakhla-probation.shtml

    Since judges are willing to apply the law for such a dumb threat on a voicemail, clearly Flanagan should face justice for the clear threat he made on public television declining the offer to soften his comment :
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bqtIafdoH_g

    Will he still feel “manly” in court ?

    The legal basis is article 464 of the Canadian Criminal Code
    http://lois.justice.gc.ca/fra/C-46/20101206/page-9.html?rp2=SEARCH&rp3=SI&rp1=464&rp4=all&rp9=cs&rp10=L&rp13=50#codese:464

    464
    Except where otherwise expressly provided by law, the following provisions apply in respect of persons who counsel other persons to commit offences, namely,
    (a) every one who counsels another person to commit an indictable offence is, if the offence is not committed, guilty of an indictable offence and liable to the same punishment to which a person who attempts to commit that offence is liable; and
    (b) every one who counsels another person to commit an offence punishable on summary conviction is, if the offence is not committed, guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. Previous Fragment with Hit464; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 60.

  5. Concerned

    The real issue is that there is always an unstable element of society that may take up Tom Flanagan’s advice to murder Julian Assange to gain notoriety. The news has reported instances in the past where people were influenced by entertainment and news, which caused some crazy people to commit terrible acts like school ground shootings or “Charles Manson-type” murders. So while Flanagan might not be directly responsible, it is quite possible that what he has already said could incite someone to comit the act. There have been countless news articles that have spawned off the original Flanagan news story worldwide, so the message could become a Canadian Jihad targeted at Assange. This would be far different than the joke that Flanagan may have intended. From what I understand Section 464 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to “counsel another person to commit an indictable offence”, regardless of whether the offence in question is committed. We now need to see if this law will be enforced by the Canadian government as an example that it must be seriously. A peaceful society should never have someone joking about harming another. I believe also this sort of death threat would also come under the legal detail of the Stalking Laws. Also in some countries it is a crime to broadcast a personal threat using a public network (telephone, Internet, radio). Also it should be noted that just because the person issuing the threat is insulated by the technical media, that does not make the threat any less real than if it was made face-to-face. This point is often an overlooked legal area. People like Flanagan need to be reined in to cut down on creating hate crimes.

    Regardless of our political orientation and beliefs about Julian Assange’s publishing and freedom of speech actions citizens and government officials must be careful not to throw oil on the fire and stir public hatred.

  6. Look if calling for the extermination of Osama bin Laden is not a crime, then calling for similar justice for Julian Assange is no different! He is no less a terrorist than Bin Laden!!!

  7. to “concern” :

    Flanagan’s comment was not meant for some crazy guy who would kill Assange, even if that’s still possible, but rather for governmental organizations using sophisticated equipment for the purpose he describes.

    Art 464a of the Canadian Criminal code is a perfect fit, as he did not threaten to kill Assange himself but rather suggested the way he would like services to kill him (“with a drone or something”). Since this targeted assassination technique have been used by Israelis to get rid of political opponents, it could be construed as a Canadian support for such action.

    This is not really a Canadian jihad (holly war) against Assange as you suggest, it’s more like the fatwa (Islamic order, in this case to kill) issued against British author Salman Rushdie for writing “The Satanic Verses”.

    In both cases it’s a radical authority figure (Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini for Rushdie / Tom Flanagan, former Harper advisor for Assange) calling for the assassination of a foreign citizen who’s main “crime” is to publish something they strongly disagree with.

    It will be interesting to see how the case unfolds and if University of Calgary students can keep his feet to the fire as someone with so little judgment should be anything but a political science professor !

    However, if that’s the “normal” way those people behave behind closed doors, then Wikileak’s work is even more important.

  8. Hopefully he will feel manly with his manly cellmates.