Tom Flanagan, Wikileaks, and shameful behaviour

Image of Tom Flanagan

This man shames academics everywhere.

Tom Flanagan, professor of political science at the University of Calgary, said on a national news program that Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, should be killed.  This is wrong in so many ways, I don’t even know where to start.

It sickens me to think that Flanagan enjoys the title of professor.  As a professor myself, I can tell you that his moronic behaviour is an insult to any professor who values truth and independent thought.  Professors have an obligation to maintain a level of, well, professionalism. That’s their role in society, to be the voice of reason.  I’m stunned that the University of Calgary hasn’t already sanctioned him for his pathetic remarks, and that the CAUT doesn’t seem to have published a position on this matter.  Personally, I think he should be fired.

Flanagan has apologized for his remarks, but that doesn’t matter.  As far as I’m concerned, Flanagan incited to murder.  That isn’t something you can take back with a trite apology.  If the speaker were ill-educated and lacking in discipline, then one might understand such a disgusting outburst.  But Flanagan is mature, and extremely well-educated.  That someone like that should utter such vile remarks with such a flippant air is disgusting.

Some of you might wonder if I’m a pot calling a kettle black.  After all, I have fired off a salvo or two at certain individuals who I think are contemptible, such as Stephen Harper.  But I have never even thought of suggesting that someone should be killed.  It’s one thing to call someone a moron; it’s quite another to incite others to violence.  I am thus safely light-years away from Flanagan.

Then there’s the contradictory nature of Flanagan’s intent.  He expects the right of free speech to express his bilious tripe, then argues that others are somehow not entitled to the same free speech.  All Julian Assange has done is released documents provided to him in the interests of openness and transparency.  I say, good for Assange!  Privacy is, after all, just a dark shadow in which unscrupulous persons can safely go about their business.  Flanagan, on the other hand, talks about the benefits of murder.

This is the kind of faulty logic I would expect from a teenager, not from a mature intellectual.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Flanagan has gone off the deep end.  A simple Google search will pull up all kinds of interesting stories describing Flanagan’s feeble thinking over many years.  And he has been a collaborator with Der Führer, Stephen Harper, for years.

If you are as angry as I am about this, you can sign this petition to urge the University of Calgary to expel Tom Flanagan.  There’s also a number of facebook groups for sharing information about this sorry situation.


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