Wikileaks’ release of US Embassy cables is hitting some Canadians harder than others. On November 30, Tom Flanagan, a political and strategic adviser to Prime Minister Harper, said, on national television, no less, “I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think President Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.” And he chuckled. But he wasn’t chuckling at the end of the clip when he said,
“I wouldn’t be unhappy if Assange disappeared.”
I suspect he didn’t laugh because “disappearing” people who are dissidents is a long-time practice in places where dictatorships exist. Disagree with the government and you might find yourself dead. I suspect Flanagan would like to see a lot of Canadian dissidents disappeared. And I suspect he said this for two reasons:
- To instill fear into those who would dare to share information they find within the leaked cables.
- To encourage an assassination attempt on Assange.
What kind of person would do such a thing? Noam Chomsky said that the WikiLeaks Cables reveal “a profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership.” Though he was speaking about the American political leadership, I think the above statements by Flanagan prove Chomsky’s assertion to be true for Canada as well.
In publicizing the leaks Assange is unraveling the thread of Empire, weakening the structures of power. Tom Flanagan knows that and doesn’t like it one bit.