Let Flanagan's remarks die - Macleans.ca

Let Flanagan’s remarks die

UCalgary prof wasn’t inciting violence, just making a really horrible joke


Already a rather controversial character in Canadian politics, Tom Flanagan got himself in hot water again this week over his remarks about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

When asked what he thought of the Wikileaks revelations in a panel interview on CBC’s Power and Politics with Evan Solomon on Monday, the University of Calgary professor and former senior advisor to the prime minister said that Assange should be assassinated, in what seemed to be an attempt at humour. Flanagan has since apologized for his remarks, saying that he never “seriously intended to advocate or propose the assassination of Mr. Assange,” he told the CBC.

Assange and his lawyer don’t seem to be taking Flanagan’s comments in jest, calling for Flanagan to be charged with incitement to commit murder.

Coming from someone with such an extensive political background, I can’t imagine what Flanagan was thinking. Joking about the assassination of a major public figure is terrible coming from anyone, but it is particularly shocking coming from someone who should be an expert in what not to say. However, considering it was obviously a bad joke and not a serious incitation to commit violence, maybe it’s time for everyone to move on.

Flanagan’s comments have since been denounced by the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, and alumni from the U of C are petitioning the university’s president, Elizabeth Cannon to take disciplinary action against Flanagan.

The letter to Cannon, penned by Kris Kotarski, a writer who contributes a bi-weekly column for the Calgary Herald, stated that Flanagan “should understand that academic freedom is not possible without political freedom, and that political freedom cannot survive in a climate where journalists and opponents of a ruling regime hear public intellectuals advocate for their assassination on the nightly news.”

Kotarski and the undersigned alumni are asking Cannon to publicly distance themselves from Flanagan’s comments, condemn him in the harshest possible terms, and censure him for hurting the university’s reputation.

A university spokesperson has stated that they’re not currently planning on reprimanding him, explaining that Flanagan was representing himself on the CBC, not the university, and has a right to his opinion. The Conservative party has also been trying to distance themselves from Flanagan, saying that he hasn’t worked for the Conservative party for years.

In the video footage of the interview, Flanagan’s comments don’t come off as if he’s seriously advocating for the swift assassination of Assange. They come off as something your conservative uncle would say in a drunken argument over an awkward family dinner. The difference is that Tom Flanagan is not your drunk, conservative uncle, he’s a prominent academic and someone who is often associated with the prime minister. He should have known better than to make a joke about assassinating the founder of WikiLeaks on the CBC.

I agree that the university should distance themselves as much as possible from Flanagan’s remarks, and make it clear to the public that they don’t condone what he said. I’m also not defending his remarks in any way. Yet to censure him for what seems like a joke gone horribly wrong seems like a bit of an overreaction.

In a couple weeks, most people will forget Flanagan’s remarks on their own. However, if the university censures him, it will make it much harder for people to let Flanagan’s remarks die, considering it would probably be a huge news story itself. That will only draw stronger connections between his assassination comment and the U of C, something those petitioning for his condemnation probably don’t want.

Related: Flanagan should quit comedy, stick to politics


Let Flanagan’s remarks die

  1. Flanagan is a vicious, sniveling coward and the history books will remember him as such.

  2. I don’t think the history books will remember him as anything. He’s a controversial but uninfluential academic who has dabbled in politics with little personal success. Let’s not overstate the impact of his comments.

  3. This article is an excellent example of the journalistic double standard propaganda we’re all so sick of. It would have a distinctly different tone if the suggested assassination came from a non white.

  4. Don’t be absurd for there has to be some real negative consequences no matter who he is, for what he said was really out of line anywhere.

  5. It is very reassuring to read a news article on the media (Maclean’s) commenting on the media (Tom Flanagan) about the media (Wikileaks). I think the news is getting too newsy.

  6. What he did was set a precedent. If he faces no consequences, then anybody else can say the same thing about any public figure and not expect to face consequences – in fact they can use the same excuse he did.

  7. Deplorable. He should be reprimanded.

    The only surprising thing here is that more politicians haven’t voiced similar opinions. I mean, let’s face it — these guys have been screwing their constituents over with complete privacy for over a hundred years. The fact that a group like WikiLeaks might expose their backroom malevolence is frightening to them.

    I hope WikiLeaks continues and reveals more corporate secrets.

  8. Dear Sarah Petz:

    University of Calgary Professor Tom Flanagan cannot be let off the hook that easily – for advocating the killing or disapearance of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Yes he has apologized, but only after he was fingered publicly by Assange.

    I watched the video of Solomon’s interview with Flanagan, and there was definately a serious tone to Flanagan’s hateful comments.

    Flanagan is part of the ruling establishemnt and the rulers and establishment have been embarrassed by the Wikileaks revelations. So the powerful establishment wants to dearly shut Assange up, because he is revealing the ugly truths about the corrupt rulers, and their stooges – and the established media, and people like Prof Flanagan (who is in bed with people like Harper).

    Liars and scoudrels are afraid of the truth. I’m not embarassed by the truth, like Hillary Clinton is. Stop persecuting Julian Assange.

    Sincerly Ray Wegner

  9. I think your article is the big joke. It was evident he wasn’t joking at all when he said it, and if anything was caught up in and scoffing at his own hubris. It’s a transparenct tactic to laugh and smile while saying the most evil of things, to enable oneself to later take the cowards way out of “only kidding”. Get serious.

  10. It strikes me as odd that the outrage over wiki leaks is nothing more than rage at being caught at something. The wrongs of the doers are apparently not supposed to be a part of the equation. Somehow it is spun so they are the victims, albeit of their own design.

    Flanagan then publicly continues to babble with the same belligerent arrogance.

    The whole point is lost on these people. Utterly lost.

  11. Unacceptable excuse. I’m pretty sure we have jails full of people who said “I didn’t really mean to.”

    Not to pursue Flanagan’s offense is to tacitly condone it, which would lead to the conclusion that the justice system offers preference to the privileged, and that Canadians accept a culture of redneck Americanism more characteristic an Appalachian coal town.

    Prosecute Flanagan to the extent of Canadian law.

  12. What a surprise — Maclean’s is taken over by The National Post, and they publish an article in defence of their old buddy Tom Flanagan. And if someone had called for Benjamin Netanyahu’s assassination, what would their response be? My money says Macleans would not be dismissive, nor be able to see it as a joke. Yes, they are that predictable.

    Flanagan is a tool, and it looks like he’s in good company at Macleans.

  13. Hmm, interesting point of view MacLeans. Ya, lets leave this issue just fade away, and then everyone can utter death threats and the law can do nothing about it! I mean, we should all get the same treatment right? Maybe everyone should start uttering death threats (jokingly of course, maybe put a smiley face emoticon after it) — because we are being told that this is not a big deal, and there is no law against it!!!!!

    Everyone panics when a school kid utters a threat on some blog somewhere about a schoolmate or his school, and this guy can do it on TV, and its “not a big deal”?

    We are letting them get away! WHY? Someone MUST ask Harper why this guy is not being charged. Confront him!


  14. PS

    Sarah Petz comes off as

    a) Poly Anna
    b) Apologist / Propagandist / Shill
    c) A rosy-cheeked twenty-something conciliator
    d) NOT the future of Canadian journalism

    Suggesting we simply ignore and forget about Flanagan’s outrageous public remarks is almost a irresponsible as actually making them.

  15. Only at University of Calgary. He should be fired and prosecuted.

  16. What a double standard. When David Ahenakew talked about the Jews he was reprimanded to the fullest extent. His order of Canada was taken away and was threatened by the Conservative Federal Government not to take his place back with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The Conservatives even threatened to cut off all money to the natives if they reinstated him AFTER he was acquitted. Now we have a Conservative buddy who says the same thing and everyone says it’s a joke and move on. I guess it is because Assange isn’t Jewish. Disgusting.

  17. I had Flanagan as my prof for a class a couple years back, and this sounds exactly like the sort of jokes he would make in class. In general, he’s the type of guy that makes liberal use of hyerboles in order to communicate his point. Like most proffessors, his jokes are usually not very good. But having been in the position to have actually had conversations with him, I can say his comments on CBC were complete in line with his odd sense of humor.

  18. Killing someone is never a joke.

  19. Prof. Flanagan’s views seem to echo the U.S. gut reaction party line. I suppose that’s not surprising since he is well known as a supporter/apologist for the right-wing point of view.

    What is surprising is the “blue wall” phenomenon at the U of C which washes its hands of this whole affair and chooses not to notice Flanagan’s incitement to criminal action which was not, incidentally, withdrawn for a full day. The CBC’s Evan Solomon was sensitive to the offense and offered Flanagan a chance to soften his remarks right on the spot. Flanagan, would you believe, is a professor of political science who one would expect to be endowed with insight into the power of off-handed remarks.

    Flanagan is a tenured facuty member and thus an integral part of the University of Calgary’s cultural fabric. By not censuring him or, perhaps more properly, reviewing his entitlement to tenure, the University in effect supports him, displays its insensitive character and tarnishes the reputation of all those who are or have been associated with it.

    Perhaps censure should be extended right to where the buck supposedly stops — the U of C’s President and its Chancellor.

  20. Anthony E
    10:05 AM on December 4, 2010
    This comment is hidden because you have chosen to ignore Anthony E. Show Details
    I don’t see anything wrong what Mr. Flanagan said and I fully support the idea. Time for the university folk to deal with the real world. Assange has put many lives in danger.
    Report Abuse

    With persons like you we are going right to hells in a Canada who do not want VIOLENCE!
    Maybe you should move to USA then you will see what real world is.
    Assage is doing his job.Some real big journalists are reviewing all the cables before they are realist.

  21. Disappointed in Maclean’s. Construing Flanagan’s remarks as a joke is a pretty big stretch (consider that his original comment was followed up with “I wouldn’t be unhappy if Assange disappeared”). You folks should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing this kind of hypocritical, hyper-partisan material. What happened to telling the truth, and fulfilling the role of the fourth estate (ensuring power is accountable to the people – the citizens – they work for)?

  22. “Joking about the assassination of a major public figure is terrible,,,” Terrible? That sounds terribly inept, Sarah Petz. How about despicable, vile or cowardly? The hypocrites at U Calgary say his private thoughts are his own but if Flanagan was attacking gays or women or Indians we all know what the response would have been. The government understands this sort of verbal thuggery opens the door to all kinds of ugly conduct that our country can do without. Don’t like someone? Call for his murder! Then beg off,- Just kidding! Flanagan should go. Out! For that matter the institution of tenure that coddles this parlor assassin should go too. I hope readers will join me in registering our protest to this “terrible” man’s employer.

  23. your title is just irresponsable .Hope one citizen will bring a charge on him.
    Wasn’t inciting violence???? NO just to murder a person!!!!

  24. People advocating that Flanagan be criminally charged are insane. The second political adversaries start using speech laws to prosecute their opponents for sharing views (whether tongue in cheek or not) that do not conform to their own worldviews is the day we lose something as a society that makes us exceptional.

    Seriously people. You want to throw someone in jail because he said that someone who was spilling state-secrets should be assassinated. It’s not even that radical of a proposition. What about overhearing people having a conversation in a coffee shop where this same statement is made? Would you call the police?

    I’m surprised that most people here wouldn’t rather live in a Canada where they aren’t not afraid of being thrown in jail for offering an opinion (of even a joke for that matter). There is a reason why we will never be called anything close to “the greatest generation”.

  25. Riiiight, so if people start saying they should “off” some member of Flanagan’s family in retribution for this threat, he won’t get too worried about it. Everyone knows that death threats are just a good laugh, as innocuous as bomb jokes at an airport. Just goes to prove that not all educated people are clever.

  26. if this is the type of person surrounding our govt leaders and offering advice its no wonder were all screwed up

    damn jerk

  27. “Seriously,” Jamie: Flanagan, who is someone being kept at taxpayer/government expense, is calling out in a public forum for someone’s murder, ie, he is literally inciting a capital offense. Your pathetic coffee shop analogy is as corrupt as the U of C’s own double standard. If you overheard someone calling for your own death what would you do, recite the Charter?

  28. Why is Sarah Petz/MacLean’s palliating this creep’s behaviour, taking his walk back at face value? Maybe they should should review their whole cozy relationship to the country’s universities if getting them onboard for the rating game means cutting them slack on issues like this.

  29. Let’s be real here. He wasn’t advocating it as policy. He didn’t build an argument stating why this man should be killed. It was just an off-the-cuff comment that he made in a public venue. I’m not saying that it wasn’t in poor taste, or that he shouldn’t have retracted (which he did), but I am saying that he shouldn’t be criminally prosecuted. Anyone denying that these calls for criminal prosecution are politically motivated needs to give me some of what they are taking. I bet you that if someone did a poll asking views of Flanagan before his comments and compared it those seeking criminal charges, there would be a large correlation between the two those with decidedly negative views and those wanting to throw him in jail.

  30. You have to remember the United States is a business where the influential make billions in schemes that the ordinary people get to pay for without their consent and over their objections and more importantly against all forms of LAW. In fact the Congress should be called Congress, Inc. and the President, President, Inc. and so on because it is nothing more than a business to make them and their financial scamsters filthy rich. Basically, we have rank corruption in Washington from both parties, a fully defacto government, a war machine (which has robbed the standard of living the American people and foreign nations) and global corporations like Goldman Sachs who direct the powers of government to make themselves rich beyond all belief, and a propaganda machine to keep it all hush hush. To me, Julian Assange is a very brave man for stepping into the breach to pull back the vale on the greedy maggots who are destroying this earth while they sack its wealth in your name and mine. I absolutely LOVE the way the political elites and political hopefuls like Sarah Palin are hitting the airwaves in opposition to Free Speech and in defence of censorship as if the main duty of government and politicians are to maintain the status quo for those doing wrong or ‘on the take.’ Yes, they are coming out of the wood work like this Canadian professor who is now a back peddling embarrassment to his university and I think a majority of the Canadian people. It has become rather clear that the “truth” is nothing more than what the elites decide it is and and anything else is to be censored, ostracized or the source of said news assassinated. By the government not showing its outrage over the activities of its agents as exposed by Wikileaks, it admits that Wikileaks releases are really WHO they are and what they do when the light of day is not exposing them. However, those leaks expose just who and what these arrogant people are and that’s the cat they don’t want out of the bag, but it is too late. In fact Wikileaks needs to be renamed to “Whistle Blower Leaks” because those published releases are actually the result of scores of brave people going out of their way to expose what they see as flat wrong. I can’t wait for the CORPOATE leaks to hit the airwaves. People need to pay attention because these corporate leaks will go a long way to explain HOW they, the anointed privileged few have been screwing the people out of their possessions, homes, jobs, savings, farms, retirements, security and standard of living in the United States.

  31. I guess next time somebody denies the “holocaust” it should be considered that they are just making “a really horrible joke”….come on, Ms. Petz….you must be a true idiot!

  32. Off with Flanagan’s head! …oh just joking. While I am at it Off with Steven Harper’s head too…No repecussions for asking for people’s head on a pike anymore it seems. That makes it Open Season on heads even though it went out of fashion with Henry VIII. I know my grandchildren will definitely NOT be going to U of A if the taxpayer keeps this kind of rubbish brain on our payroll there.

  33. As a UK resident, I was quite appalled by Mr Flanagan’s remark. Was he simply mirroring what “people were thinking in private” ie..US Government? Maybe that will form the content of a future leak! Appalling comment made by a now questionably intelligent man. To call for the assassination of someone, in a public arena, is crass, and at best irresponsible. Lets hope Assange secures an “incitement to commit murder” charge on the Calgary School “learned” Professor.
    Mr Burton you state its just a laugh, like a bomb scare at the airport. Try it next time you fly, see the laugh you get!

  34. G Tryon,

    Flanagan doesn’t work for the government. He used to work for the PM, but not for some time now. He is privately employed at a university. He as on TV speaking for himself, not the university or any specific group.

    Saying that someone “should” be assassinated and actively encouraging it are two entirely different things. How many comment sections in articles have you read where there are scores of comments where people say rapists or whatever should be executed. Should the government track down these people too?

    The difference is that Flanagan stated his preference for a desired outcome, by saying that Assange “should” be assassinated. He didn’t actually advocate or incite violence. If he said that people should actively seek out this man and kill him, then an argument could be made.

  35. I am an academic in Canada. No, urging someone’s assasination is not part of our cherished academic freedom or freedom of speech. And it is certainly not a joke. Plain and simple, it is against the law. The last time I checked, Canadian law applies to everybody, even Flanagan, regardless of what some corrupted journalist thinks.

    The wikileaks case demonstrates the authoritarian and corrupted face of several states, such as the USA or the UK, and their puppet regimes in Iraq and Afhanistan, as well as the corrupted face of big corporations and companies like Amazon and Paypal.

  36. Jamie. What tosh Semantics! What Flanagan said, implied, or ment..are all the same thing. Have you heard the word Fatwa? Now im not implying this is a Fatwa”(promoting violence against an individual kind) but in the context of someone stating an intention its the same thing, just originating from a different religious wing. A remark made by an idiot on a Monday afternoon dish the dirt TV show I can forgive, but made by a Professor of a “reputable” establishment while the gathered panel all snigger knowingly, I cannot!

  37. no way should his remarks be allowed to die. this man should be arrested for inciting violence, and he should lose his job. PERIOD!!!

  38. Yet another proud day for all U of C alum.

  39. “Semantics” is what separates casual speech from calculated advocacy / incitement. I sleep well at night knowing that people won’t be criminally prosecuted for the former. Again, I’m not saying that his comments were appropriate, they were. They just are not criminal.

  40. I meant to say that his comments “weren’t” appropriate.

  41. Professor Flanagan may have only intended a silly joke; yet his remarks are reverberating around the world. There are times when leaked information is the only way to get at the truth, and it takes courage to do it. Here is an example from the Professor’s own city – Calgary

    A recent disclosure by Wiki-leaks, recounts a meeting between the former CSIS head and a US official. In it it is admitted that CSIS has been “Vigorously Harassing” Canadian residents. This is no more than I and other completely innocent victims of CSIS have been saying for years; yet CSIS has constantly denied it to Canadian Parliamentarians. Though comfortable in ostracizing me, neither have Calgary’s conservative political or business establishments had any interest in getting at the truth at least in my case. Thanks now to Wiki-leaks the truth is beginning to come out. I just wish that the professor’s colleagues had the same courage as Mr. Assange. I recently published a short article:

    “Former CSIS Chief Admits to Torture”


    Roderick Russell

  42. Jamie. I put it to you. What would happen to me if I stated on a news channel, that a member of the cabinet/Senate should be “assassinated”..and that “I wouldn’t be too unhappy if they disappeared? Indulge me, because the idea of you sleeping at night knowing you won’t get prosecuted for such comments is naieve at best. Id inherit a file as long as my arm courtesy of the CIA, M15, Mossad and just about every other shadowy institution you care to mention..or is that just my paranoid delusions of Grandeur?

  43. Ken,

    I’d still sleep well at night. Ignoring any possible nuance in context, I don’t think your hypothetical scenario is criminal. Of course there would be professional consequences (and perhaps a flagging in some intelligence circles), but you aren’t actually telling anyone to go assassinate anyone else. If you had gone on tv and said that people should find and kill someone, then yes, I’d argue that criminal prosecution would be an accurate reading of the law.

  44. I’m in agreement with a body of opinion that feels that it doesn’t matter what Flanagan meant or thought he meant. What matters is this not ONE of us could, in the course of working for University, representatively or not, get away with this kind of behaviour. Until he is disciplined, it’s the University that will suffer, even as I and many others around the world forget his name as surely as we had never heard it before.
    Act reponsibly, Calgary and show this fruitcake to the Riot Act.

  45. “…but it is particularly shocking coming from someone who should be an expert in what not to say.”

    Not what to say? I think you miss the point Sarah. Flanagan has his position as a professor at a university because he’s responsible for upholding the principles of reasoned discourse and dialogue over brute violence. He dropped the mask of civility (even sanity) when he made those comments and exposed the Mr. Hyde beneath. Even the directors of the University of Calgary don’t get it (distressingly!). Murder is not dialogue or reasoned discourse, and the very people who profess to being champions and guardians of the western tradition and “foundational values” are the very people undermining and subverting those same values, not Mr. Assange.

  46. You’ve got it about right. The public censuring that Flanagan has received has already established that calling for people’s assassination — even jokingly — is not appropriate in Canada.

    To belabour this will not really benefit anyone. Sounds to me like some other U of C profs might have an ax to grind with the former Conservative advisor.

    Now, if only people in the U.S. would stop calling for the murder of Julian Assange…

  47. ….has anyone else noticed there’s more focus Assanges personal life in the north American media than the contents of the cables and the exposure of brutal American foreign policy ?? Thank god for the internet.

  48. Just imagine if Prof. Flanagan were of another ethnicity – charges of terrorism would ensue. As a neoCon who slipped and said what he meant, he enjoys impunity. If he is remembered, it will be for his career as an opponent of Aboriginal rights.

  49. Sarah Petz you must be young and/or naive. I would love to see what would happen to you if you went on TV and stated that Harper needs to be assassinated.

    This whole flanagan/Assange thing clearly demonstrates that we are not all equal, and that those in “higher places” (cough) can recite “It was a joke” and walk away.

    I’m glad this is all happening. It’s time to open up governments and expose the filth that lies within. We need our eyes opened to it all. Assange isn’t putting anyone in danger the US and other agencies already do on a daily basis.

    I just hope he’s left the good stuff to the end. If he’s clever he can use it to set himself free.

    As for flanagan (I refuse to cap his name) if the UofC wishes to support him then I guess our corporate donations can go somewhere else. And we wonder why Canada is so screwed up.

    The bottom line: if you don’t want anyone to discover your dirty little secrets, don’t do them in the first place. Learned that around Grade 3.

  50. When a crowd is ready to lynch you cannot shout kill and claim later that it was only a joke.

  51. The hair splitting by some is unbelievable. He didn’t “seriously” advocate murder, Mr.Flanagan was just expressing a personal view.

    I guess Tom left the party too soon as he apparently didn’t receive the advanced “how to keep your big dumb reform party mouth shut in public” course that the rest of his colleagues have seem to.

    Dear Mr.Flanagan, former and current reform party members, please stop embarrassing our nation.

  52. This is plain bull****. Go phone the office of the Prime Minister and say then tell them that you think someone should assassinate him and that you would even like to see it happen. Then when you’re being interrogated in some underground torture chamber by the CSIS, tell them it was all a joke. That’ll sort everything out real quick you might even get a letter of formal apology.

  53. Oh, is that right… it was only a joke! I would suggest that Mr. Flanagan keep his mouth shut. Personally, I can’t wait for the next release of documents. It’s about time that Big Brother State was exposed.

  54. If Flanagan was seriously advocating the death of Mr. Assange I would suggest the police pick him up right away. However, it was obviously a joke in very poor tast by any reasonable person’s standards.

    I find it ironic that Assange is so concerned about a questionable choice of words from an obscure person from a relatively obscure part of the world and the potential impact on his own person. He seems to have no concern about the potential severe impact these leaked sensitive documents may have on the lives of others around the globe.

    Apparently Assange is the arbitor of the appropriate application of free speech.

  55. Flanagan is a person who’s every word is measured. He understood perfectly well what he was saying and the nature of Solomon’s forum. This was not intended as a bad joke.He just wants to add his two cents worth to the character assasination.Charge the bastard.

  56. The comments by Mr. Flanagan are not simply inappropriate, they are highly offensive. Whether he intended it or not, his comments were criminally offensive and should be treated as such. Why anyone bothers trying to defend such poor judgment stretches the imagination beyond limits. He was given opportunity in the interview to restate, or explain, what he was saying. Instead, he just went deeper, becoming yet more offensive. This episode is a shame on Canada and a serious blow to the credibility of the University of Calgary.

  57. If Flanagan’s “every word is measured” one would think he would have measured his ability to influence people to actually carry out his suggestion and come to the conclusion it’s a useless endeavour.

  58. HAHA. “criminally offensive”. “Sir. Your words have offended me to the point of criminality.”

  59. “every word is measured”. I was making a bad joke.

  60. Remember the last time this joke was told? Salman Rushdie had to spend years in hiding and the British gov’t millions of dollars protecting him. How hilarious!

  61. Yes Flanagan and the Ayatolla are definitely on the same page. Get a grip. I love that kind of hysterical hyperbole. Call him a “war criminal” next to make the cliche complete.

  62. Oh, I see. Advocating murder isn’t criminal? When the cops break the law it’s not a crime because they’re cops, right? Ever heard of the rule of law? For the record, genius, everyone who recommends murder over debate is on the same page as the Ayatollah, and Stalin, and Dick Cheney.

  63. And if there are war crimes to be uncovered, who do you think is more likely to uncover them, Wikileaks or the re-branded Reformers?

  64. “UCalgary prof wasn’t inciting violence, just making a really horrible joke”

    I think Mr. Flanagan should find another lame excuse. Jokes are supposed to be funny; what is supposed to be funny in killing someone?

    If he has not already done so, I think Mr. Flanagan should at lease have the courtesy to apologize. I hope he is a better professor than a joker.

  65. I expect his classes will be empty next semester and thus his position will be trminated as “redundant”. It is what such a set of loose lips deserves. Let him eat cake! (sorry, cookies….where does alberta find these people???)

  66. Does anyone else see the irony in one of Stephen Harper’s bootlicks issuing what amounts to a Fatwa? At some level all extremists are alike.

  67. Mr Flanagan should be charged. We all should be proud that the conspiratorial government activities (anywhere, not just the USA)are being exposed. All this backroom bull going on is destroying our humanity. Interference in other countries and trying to influence the affairs of others and ordering secret killings is criminal. Mr Flanagan should be advocating this instead of trying to be just like the hypocrates being exposed. He is just a drunken old man caught up in his pittiful inadequacies trying to be funny. What does he have to hide, eh?

  68. Oh please, haven’t you people got something better to do with your lives, or more pressing good you can do for the world. This Flanagan story is so trivial and you people come in here to what, preach, pontificat and whatever. Get over it.

  69. Mr Flanagan’s remarks are criminal, his apology was not sincere. If this kind of person is allowed to continue teaching at Calgary University – it says a lot about the school. I think ombudsman needs to have a serious look at the school.

  70. It’s not difficult for someone with the intelligence to get a PhD, to salt one’s call for murder with a patent joke about predator missiles, and then back-pedal later:

    ‘Hey, get a life, eh, I was “obviously” joking!”

    It’s called a loophole-clause in other contexts.

    In any event, elsewhere, it’s entertaining to see CIA-sycophantic columnists showing their true colours: Just the revelation that China has privately capitulated to eventual re-unification of Korea? That’s worth the price of admission right there.

    Stop pretending; this goes beyond journalism: this is watching the back-room machinations of history on a scale the world has never seen before, and probably will never see again.

  71. I watched this on tv and Mr. Flanagan repeated himself after Evan Solomon questioned his words of wisdom, and or sanity.
    Mr. Flanagan, senior advisor to the prime minister spokesperson.
    “every word is measured”, you speak for the people who voted for you.
    Leave comedy to the comedians.
    An assassination is “to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack, often for political reasons.”
    An additional definition is “the act of deliberately killing someone especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons.”

    Stephan Harper’s, senior spokesperson.

  72. I’m with max333.

    And not with sophomoric Ms. Petz (“Yet to censure him for what seems like a joke gone horribly wrong seems like a bit of an overreaction.”).

    We live by rule of law … or we do not.

    Prof.Flanagan did, or did not (in Canadian law) incite murder; at the beginning of his remarks, and a second time after he had had time to reflect. What happens next (or doesn’t) will speak volumes about the state of Canadian justice.

  73. Double standard if I was to say “Go kill a prominent Jew” (which I’m not saying, my grandfather on my fathers side was a Jew, and I don’t want a CSIS file, I,m just saying as a example and harbor no ill will toward any group) there would be a big uproar heard around the world.

    So Flanagan gets a pass because of what reason, a lot of people respect what WikiLeaks is doing. So should there be outrage or is this really how it is when your a Neo Con in this country your above the fray and your own Rule of Law.

  74. What a world of double standards we live in. CNN correspondent gets fired for making an statement that she was sad to see Hizbollah leader passed away, and a university Prof gets supported after calling for assassination of a public figure. Excuse? It was a joke. The joke is on you.

  75. Look up definition for Red Neck an you will see a picture of Flanagan. Right wing wackco’s, given enough rope, eventually hang themselves. Hope he’s removed from appearing on “Power and Politics” with Evan Solomon. Flanagan with his ‘common sense atttiude’ makes me sick.


  76. I really don’t see that you can legitimately call it a joke. Go watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqtIafdoH_g

    It was VERY obvious that the facilitator of the discussion was taking Mr. Flanagan seriously right then and there, saying quote “Well I gotta say, Tom Flanagan calling for that, that’s some pretty strong stuff.” Obviously someone else in the discussion didn’t get the joke. Anyone with a modicrum of intelligence would’ve picked up on the fact that their joke wasn’t being taken as one. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if Mr. Flanagan had thought he was being misinterpreted he would’ve had the sense to rectify that situation then and there.

    If I made a satirical comment with that sort of content behind it, and someone clearly took it seriously, I wouldn’t just sit there and let it be mischaracterized.

    The fact that he thinks he can pretend it was all just a joke, and apparently convince so many people, is the real joke.

  77. The best part is Mr. Flanagan’s association of manliness with hiring someone to carry out an assassination or better yet dropping a bomb from an unmanned aircraft.

  78. This is what the Canadian Criminal Code says about uttering threats.

    264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat

    (a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;

    (b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or

    (c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.


    (2) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) is guilty of

    (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

    Is Flanagan one of the “protected ones”? You know like the guy that got off killing a bicyclist or the guy that ‘got a break’ on his cocaine charges. Canada has two classes of people. You an I and then the protected ones. The ones that can do whatever they want. The ones that will compel our whole system to bend over backwards.

    George W. Bush comes to town and is protected by the police. John Boncore tries to serve papers on GWB and the police arrest the poor Indian, beat him, charge him with obstruction of justice and then the courts convict him! You need to come to grips with it Canada, our legal system is corrupt to its very core.

    The police don’t know their oathes of office. Our government officials commit treason by ceding national sovereignty absent an overwhelming military force and the courts convict poor people and let the rich walk free.

    Unless some of you sleep walking navel gazing debt slaves wake up and smell the fascism, it will get much worse.

  79. January 1946), as quoted in Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (1984) by James Bentley, p. 177

    English Translation

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

  80. It’s not a joke, not even a bad one. Advocation of killing is a serious matter. Even the host gave him 2 chances to withdraw, but his ego just didn’t let him. Another tenured, academically lazy U.S. sycophant. Does he think that Assange as an Australian citizens should be tried for treason in the U.S. as well? What if Assange was a Canadian? Treason or assination Tom come on tell us.

  81. Sack Tom Flanagan NOW.

    There was an ease of company between Australians and Canadian. We always thought we were the sane ones – together.

    But Tom Flanagan will be a name ever remembered in this country as a traiter to that freindship.

    Sack him. Boycott him.

    He is a stain on the reputation of all Canadians.

  82. Simon: I totally agree with you.

    I might not agree with what Assange is doing, and in fact, I understand that what he’s done has the potential of hurting diplomatic ties between countries. However, if we tolerate murder threats on television towards the maintainer of a website today (the textbook definition of a “messenger”), we will soon tolerate the same towards blog authors, book authors, opposition figures, etc.

    Mr. Flanagen can claim that calling for someone to be killed is in good fun as much as he wants. However, the laws in this country seems to value life much more than that, and Mr. Assange has every right (and to some extent the responsibility if he doesn’t want to become a martyr) to ask Flanagen to defend himself in front of a jury.

  83. Holy people take it easy, no body mentions that Assange through his leaks have put sources in Afghanistan in Danger and probably got people killed. Is he then responsible for those deaths I and be charged in Afghan court, of course not. I find it interesting that the fact that he is a fugitive, INTERPOL is looking for Asange on charges of RAPE and Molestation of two women. So lets be realistic here and drop the partisan retoric.

    What Flanaggan said makes him look like a REDNECK jack@#$ but nothing more he is not Criminal just stupid. Now please drop you partisan nonesense and look at things logically.

  84. I watched the show it was a tongue in cheek remark.Are we Canadians so stupid that we lost any sense of humor? The remark is used in every day language when some one finds disdain they just may say without a bit of thought or malice . “They should kill the bastard” Get a life watchers of CBC the dummy who is releasing all this confidential documents could be the cause of many deaths .Go after him not Flanagan .As for the media (left) he has not been an adviser to Harper for many years so why try and make this a federal case

  85. Sarah Petz feels that we’re all being too hard on poor ol’ Tom. But if Sarah somehow got on the wrong side of Mr. Flanagan, and he called for her murder, how forgiving do you suppose she’d be?

    It is utterly astounding to me that there have been no charges laid. Since a crime has so obviously, and so publicly, been committed, it’s up to a judge to determine the intent of Tom’s remarks. The mandate under the law to the RCMP is clear, they must press charges.

    As for Julian Assange putting diplomats at risk, that’s the same argument used by the Harper government to try (and by all appearances succeeding) and cover up the Afghan prisoner torture affair. But that wasn’t Julian Assange risking people’s lives; it was supposedly our own parliament . Governments will claim that other people viewing their documents can hurt people, governments that are currently involved in killing people. In fact, those are usually the governments who make those claims.

  86. There was nothing tongue in cheek about it.

    It was good old fashioned salem witch hunt blood lust.

    murders are often committed in such moments of madness and he was definately trying to incite murder.

    That is the truth I learnt watching and listening to him.

    The guy is a disgrace.

    No different than some mullah calling for the death of Samen Rushtie.

    He called for a Fatwah on Julian Assange.

    Julian is the bravest journalist to ever walk the face of the earth.

    Sack Flanagan NOW>

  87. Sarah Petz has a poor understanding of the law in Canada. In this country people are encouraged to blow the whistle on inappropriate things. We have laws protecting that in fact along with government spending to encourage it. So the very basis of what Wikileaks is doing should be protected by law.

    Now writing a column to excuse Flanagan’s remarks is disturbing. The guy was given several opportunities on air by Soloman to correct his statement. He clearly chose not to do so. Your actually supporting hatred like this by providing an ‘out’ for people that do it. If we agree with you that he was only joking then everyone has license to call for killing people and then simply say they were joking if they get called on what they said.

    Please Sarah, say that you aren’t so naive to stand up for this type of behaviour.

  88. “considering it was obviously a bad joke and not a serious incitation to commit violence, maybe it’s time for everyone to move on….to censure him for what seems like a joke gone horribly wrong seems like a bit of an overreaction.”

    I’d like to see you apply the same standard across the board. I’m not sure you or your magazine would be so forgiving if a left-wing professor called for the assassination, purely as a “joke”, of a right-wing figure like Karl Rove or Glenn Beck, or even Anne Coulter.

  89. Tom Flanagan must go.

    Tom Flanagan is a Professor of hate.

    He and the ayatollah Khomeni are one and the same.

    Tom Flanagan is a stain on the reputation of all Canadians.

    Tom Flanagan is not able to lead students anywhere except to hell.

    Sack Tom Flanagan NOW.

  90. Sack him.

    He is a disgrace.

  91. Timmydity in the face of hate is no way to react to vileness of Tom Flanagan.

    What parent would want their child to interact with a man who calls for the murder of a journalist standing up for free speech.

    Tom Flanagan is a boild which must be squeezed out of education lest the puss filled mind he possesses acts as a contagion throughout your entire campus.

    The students and teachers of your great institution need to be rid of him and his ilk.

    Turn your back on him.

  92. To all you students and teachers I say to you boycott Flanagan.

    Do not fear standing up and voicing your rejection of the micreant Tom Flanagan.

    He has called for the murder of a journalist.

    That is a hate crime of the first order.

  93. I would urge the University of Calgary to censure Professor Flanagan and remove him from any position of authority, influence, or otherwise. I would also urge thoughtful and circumspect students to boycott his lectures. His statements are deplorable and indefensible.

    We need more people like Mr. Julian Assange who are willing to speak truth to power, and encourage the free flow of information which directly affects public policy decisions. If we value freedom of information, transparency, openness, and democracy, we ought to praise not condemn such efforts.

    “Information is the currency of democracy.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” — Patrick Henry

    “Nothing so diminishes democracy as secrecy.” — Ramsey Clark

    “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    “A government by secrecy benefits no one. It injures the people it seeks to serve; it damages its own integrity and operation. It breeds distrust, dampens the fervor of its citizens and mocks their loyalty.” — Russell Long

    “When the state constitution grants each citizen an “inalienable right” to “privacy,” it’s talking about individuals seeking safety from an overreaching government, not an elected official trying to evade the oversight of constituents. It’s the difference between seeking protection from tyranny and seeking protection from democracy.” — Jon Mendelson

    “The basic purpose of FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society, needed to check against corruption and to hold the governors accountable to the governed.” — United States Supreme Court in NLRB v. Robbins Tire Co., 437 U.S. 214, 242 (1978)

    “The overarching purpose of access to information legislation … is to facilitate democracy. It does so in two related ways. It helps to ensure first, that citizens have the information required to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, and secondly, that politicians and bureaucrats remain accountable to the citizenry.” — Gerard LaForest, former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, in Dagg vs. Canada (1997)

  94. Well maybe then, Flanagan should push for the release of Mark David Chapman and also write honorary speeches for the assassinators of JFK. As George Bernard Shaw remarked ‘Assassination is the extreme form of censorship”, so perhaps Flanagan was referring to censoring Assange in a metaphorical sense? Despite speculations on his comments, either way, the man seems unfit to be teaching at an educational institution and should perhaps take up the role as head of a radical right-wing bully gang somewhere … at least then he can preach assassination when and where-ever he pleases.

  95. Go for him as hard as you can because he is a disgrace.

    He is a boil filled with hate.

    How can he be trusted with leading students anywhere but to hell.

    His words were no joke.

    Tom Flanagan issued a fatwah on a decent man standing up for all of us living under tyranny unleashed by bush.

    We have had our rights stripped from us by Flanagan and his bully gang of neo-conservatives.

    He is without question unfit to interact with student or any other decent folk.

    Sack him now.

    Boycott his classes.

    He is a stain on the reputation of all Canadians.

    And every time an apologist seeks to defend turn your back to them.

  96. Students revolt !!!!

    Sack Tom Flanagan NOW.

    Sack him for calling for the assassination of the best journalist the world has ever known – Julian Assange.



  97. Vancouver attorney files complaint against Tom Flanagan to see him Charged With Encitement to Murder:


  98. To Kris and gar and T in Toronto and other apologists for Tom Flanagan who claim Wikileaks has put lives in danger I say this: name three. Name three people whose lives have been put at risk by Wikileaks’ release of documents. I certainly haven’t heard of anyone being killed because of the publication of these documents. Flanagan and his ilk are pissed off by the lack of control they and their interests have over Wikileaks, nothing more than that. Unless they are dimwits who believe their own inflated rhetoric.

  99. No he was not joking …
    west has been sending assassinators every where to kill others who work for other’s interests …

    they just fail to mention that this is the same as terrorism …
    but when we do it, it is sacred.

  100. Ms. Petz, I take it from this article that you would support the defense of “just kidding” for jokes about bombs in airports as well.

  101. Try saying your neighbour should be assassinated and see what happens if said neighbour finds out. I think he retracted his statement because he knew it to be illegal to incite to violence let alone murder.

  102. Corporatism has become America’s new high religion and as a result broad societal disintegration is now everywhere. Truly to the average “broke” right wing leaning american voter, the Republican party has played the role of Judas, but instead of betraying “the one” they have betrayed millions in the name of abject greed for the privileged high priests of wealth.

    The motto, “Hear what we say, and not as we do” should be the new Republican party slogan for neo-conservatism. This corporation profit party has become the most dangerous threat to world peace and prosperity since WW-II.

    The Canadian people would be WISE to never let down on questioning authority like has happened here in the United States. The U.S. is now the World’s poster child for what will happen to your standard of living if you allow the millionaires, billionaires and religion to align themselves to a prominent political party. They will surely exploit you for every penny of profit they can possibly extract regardless of the social consequences.

    Wikileaks should be a warning shot about the dangers of political corruption that will visit a town near you if you ever let down your collective guard. Notwithstanding the destructions caused by corrupt financial institutions, another example would be Monsanto Corporation’s deadly GMO seeds that are now infecting your Canadian food supply. Many of you may not be aware, but since 1996, this agricultural threat has quietly become in my opinion the most dangerous health threatening ticking time bomb any society has ever faced and it’s quiet Trojan horse like introduction onto Canadian farms should be setting off alarm bells to anyone who can mentally connect 2 dots.

    GMO seeds in my opinion should be classified as a dangerous controlled substance in Canada and out right banned. Here is good information on the subject: http://cosmiccpa.com/votecherylwolfe/?p=151

  103. I am positive that Flanagan was speaking “tongue in cheek”. It is no doubt in poor taste but that does not make him a criminal.
    Assange has committed criminal acts in submitting “classified” documents on the “net”. They are and need to be classified for a reason.
    Radical governments around the world use such inconsiderate publications to encite war and other stupid acts agains others.
    Theft is a crime. Stealing Classified docets is “theft”.
    It should however, bring to light the unworthiness and incompetence of our computer age. Nothing is secure nor private anymore.
    Hackers are monopolizing on everything that is “none of their business.”

  104. Somehow for the Cons, an apology is all you need to get a clean slate…just as Tom’s remarks for some aren’t criminal, drones dropping missles on people’s homes in far away lands are equally not criminal–they are remote controlled spokesmen for corruption and the absence of law…but wait, 9/11 changed everything

  105. You just don’t get it Capt. Wikileaks is a transparency activist for “whistle blowers.” Thank GOD that some government workers have a conscience and won’t drink the coolaid of corrupt governments. If we are to maintain any vistages of freedom, it will be due to the brave people who have risked life and limb exposing corruption and wrong doing. This is FREEDOM in action at its purest form.

    BRAVO Assange and the thousands of hero’s who know right from wrong and acted on their moral compass. Had the THUGS on trail at Nuremburg decided to not participate in government crimes, they may have lived to a ripe old age.

    Moral to the story: Wrong doing when exposed, does not make the person who exposed it WRONG or in need of being murdered, on the contrary, they need to be protected by law and it appears from governments as well.

  106. Stop defending him people! He is a well educated University Professor that went on National television to express his viewpoint, which by the way was suggesting that Assange be killed.
    Why do we need to discuss this anymore, does his retraction of his original statement make it any less believable that he meant what he said?
    Isn’t it part of the damage control game to retract and apologize?, so how do you people that are defending him (a complete stranger) so sure that he doesn’t actually believe what he said? How would you feel if he said what he said about your brother, your father, or your son or daughter!

    He needs to be SEVERELY and PUBLICLY reprimanded!!

  107. The great Canadian mad.Those of you who got your knickers in a knot are obviously the same who think Omar Khadr is an innocent child who was influenced by his Daddy.We Canadians can not save the world and pursue someone who really was tongue in cheek. Do none of you realize the harm this dumb Aussie can do to international relations?The guy is a nut case! When your neighbors wall is burning it becomes your business.Flanagan is probably right

  108. Flanagan is a University Professor, a former aide to the Prime Minister and being interviewed on CBC television which is seen around the world. His statements are NOT a joke, they are criminal and it is my belief that he should be charged. A joke has a story and a punch line. Calling for the assassination of another human ‘actually’ on national television has got to be a crime and should have been dealt with swiftly and strongly, or we are about to see either more of these types of unpleasant issues or worse, the actual assassination of innocent people.
    Arrest Flanagan and put the arrest on national television.

  109. So the traitor to the world thinks that the professors remarks are damaging, to bad he can’t hear mine he would crawl into a hole with his taliban friends and never come our. As I am sure he and his people were paid by them to do this.

  110. To capt cb, gar and mikey.
    Each of you in your own way is an idiot. You waste peoples time by writing unthoughtful comments generated by a barely functioning brain. Why would anyone object to information that proves conclusively that our government and others like it, condone laying and duplicity as a normal coarse of international action.
    Denial of service attacks, shutting down web sites, cutting off of operating funds, etc. only insures interest and eventual dispersal of all those not so secrete files.
    Get real all.

  111. Incitement to murder.

    Fox News junkies would not hear it any other way.

  112. I really think that mr. Flanagan should be persecuted for for incitation to murder mr. Assange. Let the court decide if he was serious about murdering a journalist or not.

    The fact that mr. Flanagan is a university professor and former PM advisor doesnèt give him the right to incite a murder even if he was not serious. no excuse what so ever.
    Mr. Assange should go ahead and press charges and Canadian judicial system must fight this horrible practices and behaviours.

  113. It may have been intended as a joke but it was hardly harmless. Similar sentiments have been coming from conservatives south of the border. Many a serious threat is uttered in a jocular Sopranoesque way to provide cover.

  114. Last night gar claimed Assange was putting people’s lives in danger. Now he’s softened his position to ‘harming international relations.’ When I challenged you earlier to name three people whose lives were put in danger by Wikileaks you stayed silent, gar. Can you explain the harm to international relations that is now your strawman? The corrupt gov’t of Hamid Karzai will be miffed at the US? Garsh, uncle Jed, now how will Halliburton and the Cambridge Group pad their profits? Nas-s-sty Wikileaks. It’s exposing the precioussss.

  115. Things become interesting when having to play the game by the same rules eh Mr. Flanagan? What a simply mean spirited, un Christian thing you’ve said. You put into question the moral character of the academic and political elite.

  116. Assange should be found and returned to Sweden where he can face those rape charges. Hatred for America and doing things to harm that great democracy should not give anyone a get out of jail free card for rape.

    The activist who launched a police complaint against Mr. Flanagan should be charged with wasting police time.

    Diplomats are there to provide honest opinion on the events and people they encounter. If that honesty is compromised by fear that the likes of Assange with leak your views then such opinions may be less blunt and honest and our leaders will be less well informed. We will all pay a price for that. Once he has served any time for rape, find some deep dark dungeon with no internet and send him there for the remainder of his natural life. Far better than executing him.

  117. Listen up — Julian Assange isn’t nor was he a journalist. Where do you people find this sh**?

  118. If prominant corporate kingpin say Ben Bernanke came to give a speech in Toronto & I made a statement about how someone should shoot him what would happen? I would be investigated, maybe tried & convicted of uttering threats. Oh, but I was only joking! However, in our corporate run nation a prominant politician says something absurd it is “brushed off”. I also find it utterly disgusting that almost all political leaders are clearly against Mr. Assange yet he has the support of most people. It is clear that democracy is long dead in the world, lets face it we live in an economic oligarchy. Politicians like this are why I do not vote & the arguement of “if you do not vote you have no say” has no merit anymore for if you do vote you still have no say.

  119. “Assange has committed criminal acts in submitting “classified” documents on the “net”. They are and need to be classified for a reason.”

    So did the NY Times.

  120. Hey Wageslave – America is a GREAT DEMOCRACY? Really? Does mass social injustices at the hands of the Priests of mega wealth make it a GREAT DEMOCRACY or is it the rank corruption and unconstitutional actions of the government itself? Perhaps it is the molecular war going on inside a head as a result of all the GMO foods you consume. Certainly that is a good excuse for a bad opinion.

    Look I just want to make sure I understand the facts about the United Fakes of America because I can’t find social justice, equal rights or even one nation under God, but I do find a government not flush with deviants and propagandists who will stop at nothing from stealing from orphans, widows, the old or medically challenged.

    Maybe you meant that Great Democracies are built on the mass destruction of the middle class, exportation of 10 million jobs to Asia, and the greatest mass transfer of wealth from TRUE WAGESLAVES to the millionaires and billionaires who rig the financial markets?

    Look if all was right in the U.S.A, Mr. Assange would not be our embarrassment and instead we would be reading how everyone thinks America is a Great Democracy and he could hide here from the big bad ugly world!

  121. Take it from this perspective: what if it were you or who had said it, relative unknowns in the world with no known world wide exposure or influence or even a wide audience-,…say-,…like on a blog for instance or YouTube video.

    In light of the fact that Mr.Flanagan is in fact a person with known political influence and involved with public policy, he should be prosecuted to the full extent that the law allows, not limited to inciting hatred or a full blown charge of uttering threats.

    There are people with even lesser public reknown and influence, in fact: virtual nobodys, who have been brought to bear the full brunt and reach of the law for uttering words with far less lethal connotations.
    Mind you; as far as I know, so far only in the context of a civil proceeding , not criminal, but just the same, for the person who feels wronged, the outcome for the perpetrator is ugly and costly.

    In a world where in one part of the world air traffic controllers are forced to work upon pain of injury , death or imprisonment for refusing to work, thereby negating the right to strike, this is clearly a world where one cannot say or do anything one wants without fear of repercussion, at least as far as Spain is concerened.
    Saying this is a correct punishment for Mr.Assange (proviso that he has broken laws in the first place) is concurrent with the one bullet one sentence attributed to drug traffickers in red China.

  122. Sack Tom Flanagan. He is a stain on the reputation of all Canadians.

    Here you will find the truth about the allegations levelled at the journalist Julian Assange:


    Democracies do not gun down journalists in the street – the Russians do that.

    Julian Assange is the greatest journalist to ever walk the face of the earth.

    Sack Tom Flanagan.

    Sack him NOW !!!

  123. if alex hundert, et. al. can be charged with conspiracy to commit mischief, imprisoned for months on end with ludicrous bail conditions, and subjected to the full power of the state for, presumably, simply talking (in privacy) about breaking some windows at toronto g20 then perhaps mr. flanagan should be charged in the same vein for couselling actual violence against another human being. this would simply be an equitable distribution of “justice”, no? having actually watched the video of mr. flanagan’s tirade and reading what apologists are claiming as retraction i am rather disgusted, i must admit. our criminal code has a section dealing with counselling crimes, this should apply and mr. flanagan’s remarks should be taken as seriously as possible, given his stature as advisor to the PM. let a jury decide whether or not he was joking and allow the intervening years before trial act as punishment in the same way that our justice system is currently punishing the activists who would have an end to our unwinnable and immoral wars.

  124. I saw Flanagan’s interview. I recognized that chuckle. It wasn’t humour. His was the same chuckle unconsciously elicited from me when I watch Tarantino’s Deathproof, when Kurt Russell announces to Rose McGowan that she’ll be scared sooner rather than later.

    It’s not a funny scene; he’s abducting her & she’s about to die, yet I laugh uncomfortably in an I-can’t-believe-he-said-that way.

    Exactly the way Flanagan laughed as he said Assange should be assassinated. He knew he was being extreme, but he was serious. He even ended his soliloquey ON POINT by saying, with a straight face, that he “wouldn’t feel unhappy if Assange disappeared.”

  125. At first it looks like a joke; but it was glaringly obvious that
    Evan Solomon is desperately trying to give Flanagan the chance to recant.

    I don’t care who he was representing on the interview; bad joke or not, this is not someone who should be teaching our young people.

  126. Capt. CB wrote:

    “Assange has committed criminal acts in submitting “classified” documents on the “net”. They are and need to be classified for a reason.”

    It’s not clear to me that Assange committed a criminal act–he didn’t steal the documents himself, only reported on them. I’m not sure that he could be charged criminally any more than the New York times or any of the news agencies who also reported on this story could.

    From what I’ve read about most of these documents, probably 99% of them shouldn’t have been classified in the first place. Democratic governments shouldn’t be keeping secrets from the general population.

  127. Make Flanagan ambassador!
    With his skills to express himself he will defenitely help Canada (not).
    It is dangerous if people even think that way (Flanagan even speaks out).

  128. If, as some of the commentators to this post are claiming, Tom Flanagan was just making a joke, then let him be charged with incitement to murder, and defend himself in an open court. If there is merit to the claim that he acted without mens rea, the truth will prevail in court. Otherwise, anyone can threaten and encourage threats against anyone else with impunity, and this is surely not a joke.

  129. Assassination is not a joking matter because sadly the U.S. as the preeminent superpower has increasingly turned into a totalitarian corporatist regime that has caused a lot of misery throughout the world.

    Saying you’re in agreement with the murder of someone who does not share your narrow view or because they won’t bow down and subject themselves to an all consuming corporate tyranny is not an act of an intellectual but rather that of a rouge.

    I mean if the destiny of man is simply to become slaves of the filthy rich secret society types, then why even bother? I am glad that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has shown more courage than 300 million so-called FREE Americans, who we all know are not.

    The world is facing a divide between greedy capitalist brutes that have been hatched from corruption and the vast majority of good people who want to employ their hearts, minds and souls to build a better more socially kinder civilization and it looks like we still have many years to go.

  130. Shameful – even criminal – conduct on the part of Tom Flanagan and disgraceful, too, is the stance of the University of Calgary.

  131. Looks very like Rupert Murdoch supports Julian Assange.

    Australian PM Julia Gillard is about to be stripped of her office.

    The Australian Attorney General is finished.

    And in the following link you can read for yourselves Julian Assange’s letter to the Australian people published a hour ago by Murdoch’s “The Australian Newspaper.


  132. Face it, Flanagan had deep-driven need to use this prominent stage for asserting a macho image to compensate for his small penis.

  133. Ps. Mikey. With us or against us eh? Crawl back into your ignorant pastel coloured padded cell, that has FOX news playing 24/7.

  134. revealed today: America is NOT a democracy.

    Wikileaks cables show the subsequent governments are lying and bodyscans dot the rest to show the naked truth.

  135. Sorry Sarah, call me stupid, but what part of:

    “I think Assange should be assassinated, actually”. Flanagan said…that he “wouldn’t be unhappy” if Assange “disappeared.”

    is in the slightest bit funny? And how? Substitute “Sarah Petz” for “Assange” in the above quote. Is it now less or more funny? How would you feel had it been your name that little man had used instead, Sarah?