Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surely you're joking, Mr Flanagan

Tom Flanagan, a senior advisor and strategist to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said yesterday of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange: "I think Assange should be assassinated actually". He went on to say: "we should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something". You can, and should, watch this on YouTube.

Of course he smiled when he said it, so it was probably a joke. But he refused to retract when offered a chance, saying instead "I'm feeling very manly today". Good to know that assassination threats come naturally to men.

I may not be the only one to notice the comparison, but a certain Vikram Buddhi is in a U.S. jail for the last four years for having allegedly issued death threats to George W. Bush (and others) on a website. Because it was a posting and not an interview, we don't know if Buddhi smiled (pun unintended) while writing it. But it's no one's case that he had any intention to cause harm, and the charges appear to be only about the threats.

The question is whether the state of Canada will offer Flanagan accommodation similar to that which the US has provided to Buddhi. Or will Flanagan be pardoned because it was only a joke and he's just a regular (manly) guy....?

1 comment:

Cheeta said...

If there's something worse than Stephen Harper, it's those Manly Men around him, some of whom can (and do) take credit for making Harper what he is: Prime Minister. To the regret of many Canadians.

Tom Flanagan is one such. The sad thing is that apart from being a right-wing political activist he's an academician and a teacher, being a professor at the University of Calgary (an institution which has not exactly covered itself with glory by remaining staunchly silent about him and his suggestion).

Anyway, thanks in no small measure to the outrage felt - and expressed - by Canadians, and by others the world over, Flanagan "withdrew" his remarks. He added that it was just a "joke", he was being "glib" and shouldn't have been taken seriously.

Perhaps the fact that the Calgary police are investigating whether charges should be laid against him (death threats are, after all, a crime) had something to do with it.

Oh, Canada.