WikiLeaks founder calls for UCalgary prof's arrest -

WikiLeaks founder calls for UCalgary prof’s arrest

Former Harper adviser Tom Flanagan called for Julian Assange’s assassination during TV interview


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lashed out at Stephen Harper’s former adviser and University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan on Friday after Flanagan suggested Assange should be assassinated. During an online Q&A with readers of The Guardian, Assange riposted that Flanagan should be charged with “incitement to commit murder.” Flanagan has since said the remark was “glib” and that he “never seriously intended to advocate or propose the assassination of Mr. Assange.” While conceding it is very unlikely the political science professor would be charged under Canada’s criminal code, NDP MP Joe Comartin suggested the government should repudiate Flanagan’s comments. The Conservatives have instead sought to distance themselves from Flanagan, insisting he no longer serves the prime minister. Meanwhile, Flanagan’s current employer, the University of Calgary, has said it is “not considering any disciplinary action.”

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WikiLeaks founder calls for UCalgary prof’s arrest

  1. So much for respecting one’s elders. Mr. Flanagan is a poor example of civility. When a person in a supposedly respected position in society utters such irresponsible nonsense, there should be consequences. He has cast himself a fool.

  2. University of Calgary must be thrilled with such a glibbing professor. Interesting to see U of C is supportive of professors that express opinions that are nothing less than hate-speech.

    What’s next, supporting torture too?

  3. He should be indicted for inciting murder. So should Palin. The Landover Baptist Church and a hundred other. Dictatorships gun down journalists – not democracies. It is about freedom of speech and you lot have very little of it left. You Government is in league with mafia and militarist thugs. You need to know about that before it is too late. This is your last chance to step up and reclaim your democracy before BIG BROTHER is just too big to be beaten.

  4. Flanagan is a known racist at UofC who who appears to think he is above reproach. His comment reflects UofC’s attitude towards academic integrity and small ‘l’ liberalism in general.
    What I find really unfortunate is that it took the GuardianUk to ‘break’ this story – it was ignored domestically until Canada was in the international news, and this was on CBC no less. Shame.

  5. Simon: please file a complaint with the Calgary Police department taking with you whatever evidence you have regarding Mr Tom Flanagan’s outburst. A newspaper report perhaps. If I was living in Calgary I would be doing the same. If you feel you cannot do so, please encourage someone else who is living in the same location as Tom Flanagan. To let evil win over good in the world, all we have to do is nothing. Please do this for Julian Assange. He is living out of his backpack in hiding somewhere, with Interpol trying to chase him down and throw him in a black hole like Bradley Manning. Watch this to understand perhaps why its so very important now to stand up to bigotry (be warned this is very material to a sensitive heart):

    Filing charges now will make the International news and help protect Julian from harm. Good luck.


  6. To me, the drone-strike part clearly shows he was joking. About THAT part.

    What is not clear is whether he is backpedalling about murdering Assange generally, and there are millions of FOX news, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, junkies who would even take the drone-strike part seriously. Even Palin herself.

  7. If Mr. Flanagan made those remarks in my high school he’d be dealt with harshly for uttering a death threat. If he’s still considered a Professor, it seems he now professes violence.

    Mr. Flanagan is a Prof. at U of Calgary … do they have lower standards than my inner-city Toronto high school? After this sort of intemperate outburst, why is he still employed at the university? If I did it as a teacher, I’d be fired promptly. Academic freedom at a university does not include protection of threat or incitement of threat against any person.

    He’s disgusting. Fire Flanagan, U of C, and show some ethical spine.

  8. Loose cannon Tom Flanagan with his hateful politics has done more damage to the U of C than those spineless people in admin at the uni yet realize.

  9. At this point it doesn’t smell right. The first rule is, don’t get captured. He’s supposed to know that. He had a Government invitation to stay. So why did he leave Iceland? All the leaks appear more or less US orientated. Where’s my Romanian, Russian and Algierian leaks? The recent Canadian terrorist hot spots Intel was the topper. Dams and pipelines. A two dollar gas station map shows all our gas and oil pipelines, railroad tracks, our dams are tourist sites. Eye of sight for hydro wires. I’m sure they teach that at terrorist school. If that’s the best Wikki has to offer, better watch out for National Geographic. It’s poof stuff. Sweet, puffy, some light substance. Julian as Patsy? Useful idiot? If someone’s got cool stuff to dump and they’re so psychologically motivated why go to all this trouble? Why not just dump it on a dozen newspapers un-moderated comments section? Why does anyone need Wikki? A rogue employee can post the entrance codes to the flying saucer factories on Baffin Island in a South African chat room or even right here on Macleans. I’m less convinced then I was. Distraction and disinformation and blaming the social network for something is part of this. What’s the half inch story on page 73 beside the used car auction advertisements?

  10. To the powers that be:

    Please do what is right and just regarding the issue of Tom Flanagan. If one read a transcript of the interview of Flanagan, is obvious that he isn’t joking: a reporter asks him to clarify and he reiterates his statement. For the record:

    [Commentator – Evan Solomon] “Clearly Assange is saying there are significant stuff out, Tom Flanagan.”

    [Flanagan] “Well, I think Assange should be assassinated actually (laughs) I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone, or something. There is no good coming out of this, I agree some of the stuff is titillating to read, I was quickly struck by the revelations about [inaudible]”

    [Commentator – Evan Solomon] “Tom that’s pretty harsh stuff, just for the record that’s pretty harsh stuff.”
    [Flanagan] “Well I’m feeling very manly today[…]”

    This is not the extent of Mr. Flanagan’s faux paus: according to various media outlets, he threatened a woman by email, when she sent an angry letter to him retarding the interview. According to a CTV article: “Janet Reymond sent an angry email to Tom Flanagan after he mused on a talk show that U.S. President Barack Obama should consider assassinating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for leaking sensitive documents. The initial email response from the University of Calgary political science professor was short: “Better be careful, we know where you live.” (source: Flanagan has since apologized to the lady, yet again denying wrongdoing: “I’m sorry that I did not send a more serious response to your email,” Flanagan’s most recent email to Reymond reads. “I regret that I made glib and thoughtless comments about a serious subject.” (source:

    Charitable individuals may take Mr. Flanagan at his word. It’s possible that he has a propensity towards a violent sense of humour. More realistically, however, it seems probable that he said what said what he meant, and meant what he said. Twice.

    Some may argue (perhaps from a misguided respect of the powerful) that Tom Flanagan’s status as former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper somehow excuses his actions. This could hardly be further from the truth: it is precisely the powerful who most need to be held responsible for their words and deeds. This is for both symbolic reasons (nobody is above the law) and practical reasons (the powerful have a disproportionate impact on society at large, thus deterrence is more important to instill in this group).

    To conclude, Mr. Flanagan should be fired. He must be fired. The reputation of the university depends upon it: incitement to murder and uttering threats are both illegal under Canadian criminal law. Or the U of C add tolerance of allegedly criminal faculty members to its already long list of problems?

    Thanks for your consideration,