Regret is not enough!

Yesterday, Tom Flanagan, a buddy of Prime Minister Harper’s called for the assassination of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.  You can read the regina mom’s opinion on that over here.

Today, the University of Calgary professor, Flanagan says he has regrets regarding his remarks.  “I regret that I made a glib comment about a serious issue,” he said.

Note that he does not apologize for the statement, which still would not be enough to make up for his call for execution of or his allusion to “disappearing” Assange.  Words have power.

As a writer, I am learning something about the power of words.  I try to use their power for good.  Surely, Flanagan, a former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Harper and a university professor, knows something about the power of words to manipulate thinking and control behavior. It’s the kind of thing an abuser does.  You know, the “honeymoon” period, after the abuse.

And, as he no doubt knew they would, his “regrets” today give his abusive words from yesterday yet another day to play in the minds of Canadians.  Of course, our media will not dig deeply into this, but forgive him his bad judgement.  And play it all out.



What has my country come to?

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:

  1. To instill fear into those who would dare to share information they find within the leaked cables.
  2. 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.