Censure Tom Flanagan

Open letter to University of Calgary President Dr. Elizabeth Cannon regarding Dr. Tom Flanagan’s remarks

with 46 comments

If you are a member of the U of C community (or even if you are not) and you share our sentiment, we ask that you send a copy of this letter along with your thoughts to Dr. Cannon at president at ucalgary dot ca. You may also wish to CC the following addresses: chair at ucalgary dot ca, senate at ucalgary dot ca, jim dot dinning at senate dot ucalgary dot ca, alumni at ucalgary dot ca, eosler at ucalgary dot ca.

Update (Dec. 16) After 10 days without a response from the university, I sent a follow-up note to Dr. Cannon today.

Dear Dr. Cannon,

Ten days ago, 60 U of C alumni and 25 others including current U of C students and staff as well as supporters from across Canada and abroad sent an open letter asking the University of Calgary to respond to Dr. Tom Flanagan’s remarks advocating for the murder of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on the November 30 broadcast of the CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon (the letter and the original e-mail are attached below).

While noting that Dr. Flanagan had apologized, we asked that the University of Calgary distance itself publicly from Dr. Flanagan’s remarks (which it has done, albeit very weakly – http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/utoday/december7-2010), that it condemn Dr. Flanagan in the harshest possible terms (no progress) and that it censure Dr. Flanagan for abusing the good name of the university (no progress).

We find the university’s response to Dr. Flanagan’s remarks deeply inadequate, especially considering international press coverage which has done tremendous damage to the U of C’s reputation. Also, the U of C’s response seems incredibly weak when compared to responses from well-respected public NGOs such as International PEN, from newspaper sources including the Editorial Board of the Guardian, and from the political realm where the communications director for the Canadian Prime Minister Dmitiri Soudas found the time to condemn the remarks.

While we continue to be disappointed with the university’s position, we are deeply insulted by the absence of any response to our letter from President Cannon, her office or any other relevant body at the university. If the university does not think enough of 60-plus of its own alumni to answer a letter, then how can it expect those same alumni to stand up for the U of C within their communities or to contribute their time and resources to university endeavors?


Kris Kotarski (BA ’04, MSS ’09), on behalf of 97 signatories listed at https://censureflanagan.wordpress.com/

Update (Dec. 9) The Canadian Press reports that the Toronto woman who felt threatened after receiving an e-mail from Dr. Flanagan has received an apology. Meanwhile, in the Calgary Herald, University of Calgary Law Professor Peter Bowal writes  about the double standard on free speech at the university (where students are punished and sued by the university, while professors are not).

Update (Dec. 8): Complete silence from everyone at the university thus far. Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reports that Dr. Flanagan has threatened another person. Is threatening two people in one week a fireable offence at the University of Calgary? You may wish to e-mail the accounts below to get an answer.

Update (Dec. 6): Will keep adding signatures to the open letter if you post them or send them to kkotarski at gmail dot com.

Update (Dec. 6): The signed final version of this letter (same as below) was sent to Dr. Cannon on December 6, 2010. A copy was also sent to the University of Calgary Chancellor, the University of Calgary Senate, the University of Calgary General Faculties Council, the University of Calgary Board of Governors, and the University of Calgary Alumni Association. This page will be updated if and when we receive a reply. Please stay tuned, and thank you all again for your signatures and your support.

Update (Dec. 4) The Calgary Herald published our letter on Saturday, December 4. We will send it to Dr. Cannon with all of your signatures on Monday at noon. If you know any fellow alumni who may wish to sign our letter, please pass it along.

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon
Office of the President
Executive Suite
Administration Building, Room 100
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

CC:      Chancellor Jim Dinning
University of Calgary Senate
Chair Board of Governors Jack Perraton
University of Calgary General Faculties Council
President U of C Alumni Association Kenneth R. McKinnon

December 2, 2010 (Dated December 6 in the final note to Dr. Cannon)

Dear Dr. Cannon,

On November 30, 2010, University of Calgary Political Science Professor Dr. Tom Flanagan advocated for the political murder of Julian Assange, the founder of the international non-profit media organization Wikileaks.

Speaking on a national CBC broadcast of Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, Dr. Flanagan said: “I think that Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think that Obama should put on a contract and maybe use a drone or something.”

When host Evan Solomon interrupted saying, “Tom, that’s pretty harsh stuff,” Dr. Flanagan replied, “Well, I’m feeling very manly today.”

He ended the segment with, “I wouldn’t feel unhappy if Assange disappeared.”

Dr. Flanagan has since apologized for his comments, telling CBC News: “I regret that I made a glib comment about a serious issue.”

He later added that: “I am glad that everyone is condemning it, and I condemn it also.”

His prompt apology is most certainly welcome, but unfortunately for the U of C’s reputation, the damage has been done. A number of the most prominent English-language news sources in the world including the Telegraph, the Nation, the Jerusalem Post, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Guardian carried Dr. Flanagan’s remarks, along with major Canadian news outlets and countless blogs.

Dr. Flanagan’s initial remarks remain relevant to the U of C community because although debate and even harsh disagreement about the Wikileaks release are not only inevitable but perfectly natural for an open and democratic society like Canada’s, we must draw a line at advocating for political murder, something that Dr. Flanagan failed to do.

Better than most, a professor of political science 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.

If this were a Russian, Chinese or Iranian intellectual calling for the murder of a regime opponent, Canadians would be appalled. Considering Canada’s proud tradition of political freedom, it is all the more offensive to hear an active member of the University of Calgary faculty and the former chief of staff and campaign manager for the sitting Canadian Prime Minister do the same.

The University of Calgary should distance itself publicly from Dr. Flanagan’s initial remarks, condemn Dr. Flanagan in the harshest possible terms, and censure him for abusing the good name of the university and for the damage this has done to the reputation of not only the school, but of the 150,000 alumni and the degrees they hold.

This should be done peacefully. After all, even though thousands of University of Calgary students, staff and faculty have disagreed with Dr. Flanagan’s opinions over the years, no one has publicly called for him to be murdered, even in jest.


Kris Kotarski
BA History & International Relations ’04
MSS Military and Strategic Studies ’09

Andrew Amey
BComm Finance ’04 (UofC)
MCP City Planning ’10 (MIT)
MSc Transportation ’10 (MIT)

Katy Anderson (student)
BA Political Science ’12
BA Religious Studies & Applied Ethics ’12

Maria Cristina Bacalso
BA Political Science ’06

Lawrence Bailey
BA International Relations ’04

Margaret (Van Tighem) Bailey
BA ’80

Bob Barnetson
BA ’94
MA ’97
PhD ’99

Chris Beauchamp
BA Political Science ’08

Blake Belding
BComm ’10

Richard Bergen
BA Economics ’04

Albert Bracci
BComm ’03

Aneel Brar
BA Political Science ’05
BSc Biology ’05

Dalmazio (Dale) Brisinda
BSc Computer Science, ’94
BSc Pure Mathematics ’98
MSc Computer Science ’98

David Caplan
MBA ’99
LLB ’99

Mary Chan
BA English ’01

Jaro Cooper
MBA ’99

Theo de Raadt
BSc Computer Science ’92

Almoonir Dewji
BSc Engineering ’86

Kelly Dowdell, MA
BA Latin American Studies ’02

Ayan Egeh
BA International Relations
BA Political Science

Doreen E. Eustace
BEd ’89
MEd ’99

Angela Ferguson
BA International Relations ’09

Christina Fry (student)
MA Religious Studies ’12

Tony Grimes
BSc Environmental Science ’01

Aaron Hofman (Student)
BA Philosophy ’11

Graeme Howland
BComm ’04

Illana Huckell
BA Religious Studies ’09

Salma Hussain
LLB ’07
BA English Literature ’02

Sarah Megan Hope
BA Psychology ’02

Ashley Humphreys
BFA Drama ’05

Darcy Ippolito
BSc Geography ’06

Valerie Jobson
BSc Biology ’80
BA History ’87
MA History ’90

Sheena Johnson
BSc Actuarial Science ’03
MED Environmental Design ’08

Susan Aileen Kent
BA Honours ’67

Mary Kosta
MA ’86

Steven Kimler
BSc Computer Science ’10

Sara Klimes
BA Law & Society ’06

Nicole Kobie
BA Political Science ’03

Mary Kosta
MA ’86

Jeff Kubik
BA Communications ’05

Joël Laforest
BA Religious Studies ’08

Josh Lavoie
BA Economics 07

Kallen Law
BA English ’10

Kristian Leach
BA English ’06

John Leung Chung-Yin
BA Political Science & Historical Studies ’06

Andrea Llewellyn (student)
BA Development Studies ’11

Kat Lord (student)
BA Political Science ’11

Natalie Lucyk
BCS Communications Studies ’10
BEd Elementary Education ’12

Lindsay Luhnau
BA Political Science ’04
MEd ’11

Dr. Tom Lynch
PhD ’07

Jeannette Mandrusiak (staff member)
University of Calgary

Nitin Manerikar
BSc ’90

Nayden Markatchev
MSc Computer Science ’08

Kendra Marks
BA Honours Religious Studies ’08
MA Religious Studies ’11

Tim Marks
MA French ’92

Andrew McIntyre
BA Political Science ’05

Dr. Nadine Moneta
U of C Family Medicine Postgraduate Program ’03

Dan Pagan
BA Greek & Roman Studies ’11
BA Law & Society ’11

Dr. Robert G. Petry
MSc Mathematics ’98

Barbara Pietrzykowski
BSc General Math ’08
BSW ’11

Corinna Ramsay
MA English & Political Science ’04

Anup Raniga
BSc Mathematics 07

Richard Rawnsley
BComm ’07

Sarah Rich-Zendel
MA Interdisciplinary Graduate Program ’11
BA International Indigenous Studies ’07

Ændrew Rininsland
BA Communications Studies ’10

Andrew D F Ross
BA Philosophy ’04

Vladimir Sedach
BSc Pure Mathematics ’07

Angel Seguin
BED Environmental Design ’03

Darlene Seto
BA International Relations ’09

Amir Sharar
BSc Computer Science ’08

Sherri Shergill
BA Communications ’08
BA English ’08

Amitpal Singh (student)
BA Political Science ’12

Natalie Sit
BA Communications ’05

Ryan Slifka
BA English ’08

Dr. Craig Snyder PhD
BA Political Science ’87

David Sol
BA Communications ’04

Michael Soron
BA Political Science ’07

Tyler Soron (student)
BA Science, Technology & Society ’12

Matt Stambaugh
BA Political Science ’03

Erin Welk
BA Honours Geography ’04

Others (non U of Calgary) who offered their support:

Dr. Pierre H. Vachon (Ph.D. Cell Biology)
Associate Professor
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
University of Sherbrooke

Gary Kinsman
Professor of Sociology
Laurentian University

Michael Keefer
School of English and Theatre Studies
University of Guelph

Saima Siddiqui
Political Science
Memorial University

Wayne Borean
Political Commentator

Evan Price
BComm Finance ’12
Dalhousie University

Yvonne Fukada

Michael Spacek
PhD Candidate
Carleton University

Blythe Butler
BComm ’00
University of Alberta

Peter Belsten
Musician UK

Gillian Wallace
PhD Religious Studies ’95
University of Ottawa

Laurent (Jeff) Dubois
BA Political Science ’76
University of Alberta

Patricia H. Kaye
BEd ’72
MEd ’81
University of Alberta

J. Lievisse Adriaanse
The Netherlands

Bob Beck
Computing Science
University of Alberta

Tom Johnston
HBA York university
BEd Lakehead University
Orillia, Ontario

Dr. Robert C Dickson
Calgary, AB

Cathy O’Donoughue
St. Johns Fl

Timothy Schwinghamer
Plant Science PhD student, McGill University

Michael Spacek
PhD Candidate, Carleton University

Alan Aveley

Laurel L. Russwurm

Kevin Sheerstone


Written by kotarski

December 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

46 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kris Kotarski and Kris Kotarski, Carola K. Carola K said: R @MikeSoron @kotarski Open letter 2 Uni of Calgary President Dr. E. Cannon regarding Flanagan’s remarks http://bit.ly/g528QH #wikileaks […]

  2. As a man it is shameful to desire murder of another. He is quite a disappointment to us all and should be summarily dismissed.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Gabe Boisvert

    Gabe Boisvert

    December 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

  3. Kallen Law
    BA English ’10

    Kallen Law

    December 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  4. Since when does an “I regret” erase the whole deed? When it’s a former Prime Ministerial advisor? Is that what this comes down to?

    Dr. Flanagan uttered the words. He needs to be held accountable for what he says; if he doesn’t see the need to resign from influencing young minds then I suggest his place of employment terminate that influence.

    Conservatives are always big on other people accepting responsibility for their actions but they never seem to think they have to. That goes for Conservative people and Conservative institutions.

    Susan Moralis

    December 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  5. Please add me to the list.

    Wayne Borean
    Political Commentator


    December 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

  6. Steven Kimler
    BSc Computer Science ’10

    Steven Kimler

    December 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

  7. Add me to the list. Such conduct on the part of Dr. Flanagan is shameful and casts a dark cloud over all Canadian academicians. Free speech is free speech – but expressing regrets aside, calling for the assassination of someone nevertheless constitutes a serious crime under the rule of Canadian law.

    Dr. Pierre H. Vachon (Ph.D. Cell Biology)
    Associate Professor
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
    University of Sherbrooke

    Pierre H. Vachon

    December 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  8. Politicians and political strategists in Alberta are all to quick to condemn people they disagree with.
    Tom Flanagan – kill Julian Assange
    Fred Horne – Raj Sherman is mentally unstable
    Dr. John O’Connor, Dr. David Schindler, Peter Lee and Kevin Timoney have all been disparaged or discredited by government in response to their claims that the tar sands cause cancer due to the contaminated water and wildlife in and adjacent to the Athabaska River downstream from Fort McMurray.
    Tom Flanagan and Mike Huckabee have power and influence over individuals who have guns and the inclination to carry out an assassination.
    In my opinion Mr. Assange is being persecuted for his efforts to provide us with the tools to hold governments accountable.

    Doug Sephton

    December 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    • The writer above is all too quick to condemn all politicians and political strategists in Alberta for the comments of a minority that have been picked up by an Eastern-oriented media always eager to play the small-minded Albertans tune.

      Judith Hazlett

      December 5, 2010 at 7:37 am

      • Threaten death or bodily harm

        Under the Criminal Code, it is an offence to knowingly utter or convey a threat to cause death or bodily harm to any person. It is also an offence to threaten to burn, destroy or damage property or threaten to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that belongs to a person.

        This is Canada wide,not just in the east.


        December 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      • Easterners may have additional grievances to address (“let them freeze in the dark”), but westerners have legitimate concerns regarding abuse of political influence when the governing party cannot be held to account for their policies. They use the power invested in them through one-party politics to destroy or dicount dissent. It may be true that the government didn’t get elected by a majority of people in Alberta, but they do exercise their majority in the legislature and therefore in the province. If Albertans continue to elect this government, they must be prepared to deal with criticism which is now coming from the U.S. and Europe as well as the rest of Canada.

        Doug Sephton

        December 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm

  9. While I applaud the efforts of writing this email I have to say my piece. Having worked for over a year in the alumni department for this souless shell of a university I know that the administration and especially the office of the president will not only ignore these letters but will disdainfully disregard such earnest input. If anything Dr. Flanagan’s remarks are grounds for premotion at the UofC. Best form of protest is to not donate and inform the UofC of the reasons why you will not contribute. Send comments to alumni@ucalgary.ca and the advancement department.


    December 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    • What exactly is “premotion”??


      December 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

      • There is such thing as premotion…which makes some sense in this context; but maybe he meant ‘promotion’?

        Great idea for protesting though.


        December 9, 2010 at 9:34 am

  10. Christina Fry
    MA Religious Studies, ’12

    Christina Fry

    December 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm

  11. I lol’d at this:
    “Considering Canada’s proud tradition of political freedom…..”

    A remark like this actually epitomizes a different proud Canadian tradition: talking a big game about Canada’s political freedoms but disregarding them when ideology, values, and emotion conflict.

    If we actually HAVE and BELIEVE IN political freedom to the extent in which we hallucinate, wouldn’t we, as much as Flanagan’s remarks are be preposterous, and I would concur grievous, consider Flanagan’s rights as defined in sec.2 of Charter to be of above ALL other consideration, including institutional reputation?

    In fact, have you considered that dismissing, censuring, and “condemning (Professor) Flanagan in the harshest terms” (LO-fucking-L! that’ll show him!) for stating something in the public realm while representing merely himself could reflect much more poorly on a University than if nothing were to be done? Did you weigh in that the UC could actually achieve something for the first time in several years: do something MORE oppressive than criminalizing the annual Dead-Fetus-and-War-Dead-Poster-Splicing-Collective exhibit?

    Political freedom also applies to ideologues, y’know…..maybe Flanagan could get his homeboy in P-Hill to expand our constitutional liberties?


    December 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm

  12. Andrew McIntyre
    BA Political Science ’05

    Andrew McIntyre

    December 4, 2010 at 8:27 am

  13. While Mr. Flanagan routinely tarnishes the image of the University of Calgary with his squirrelly views, calling for the assassination of a journalist crosses the line. It is my expectation that that University of Calgary will censure Flanagan in a meaningful and public way that indicates our abhorrence of his views. While presumably (and unfortunately) tenured, Flanagan should be removed from any position of authority within the university structure. If the U of C is prepared to go after students like the Pridgen brothers to the supreme court for complaining about professorial incompetence, I, as an alumni, should expect no less zeal in its rectification of Flanagan’s considerably more egregious conduct. Requiring a public apology of Flanagan is obviously insufficient. Thank-you for your petition which I heartily sign. Mercifully I did not study political science at the University of Calgary. What must those degrees be worth if Flanagan is a prominent instructor here?

    Dr. Robert G. Petry
    MSc Mathematics 1998

    Robert G. Petry

    December 4, 2010 at 8:35 am

    • Whoops! Sorry about that folks. I guess I meant to say “I, as an alumnus, …” My apologies. Scientists have things to worry about in addition to their English 😉

      Robert G. Petry

      December 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

  14. I urge the University of Calgary to censure Professor Flanagan and remove him from any position of authority he may have.

    Valerie Jobson

    BSc Biology 1980
    BA History 1987
    MA History 1990

    Valerie Jobson

    December 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

  15. I am also appauled over Dr. Flanagan avocation for the political murder of Julian Assange. I did a googlesearch and found your page.
    I am glad that the initiative to remove Dr. Flanagan from duty is taking place and I am fanatically supporting it. Your initiative brought a big sigh of relief. To find out that i am not the only one concerned unrefreshing issue. What Dr. Flanagan said has startled me terribly and not only me, in Europe there is a big internet debate going on about what Dr. Flanagan has said.
    It worries me that after the false accusations spindocored by the Swedish about rape, Dr. Flanagan made the witch hunt complete, when he virtually placed a price on the head of Mr. Assange. I want to recite here the right for freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom for the use of internet. Without western Ayatollah’s censuring our western freedoms we’ve fought for and acquired.
    So here’s my pledge, don’t shoot the messenger Mr. Assange and set an example to remover Dr. Flanagan from office. Please pick up the fight for Mr. Assange, because we are supposed to live in a free world.

    Kind regards,

    Dan Bekkering
    The Netherlands

    Dan Bekkering

    December 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

  16. Tom Flanagan must be censured and shunned. Inciting murder is never acceptable. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ~Dr. Martin Luther King.


    December 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  17. Add me to the non-UofC list!
    Gillian Wallace
    Ph.D. Religious Studies 1995
    University of Ottawa

    Gillian Wallace

    December 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm

  18. Deplorable! I 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.

    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 free speech, freedom of information, transparency, openness, and democracy, we ought to praise not condemn such efforts.

    Dalmazio (Dale) Brisinda
    B.Sc. Computer Science, ’94
    B.Sc. Pure Mathematics ’98
    M.Sc. Computer Science ’98
    University of Calgary

    “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)

    Dalmazio Brisinda

    December 5, 2010 at 12:27 am

  19. When the deed is done, and Assange is lying in a pool of blood, what then?
    Will Tom Flanagan still be teaching our children at the UofC?
    What is Pres. Cannon waiting for?

    Geoffrey Pounder

    December 5, 2010 at 11:35 am

  20. A difference of opinion and informed debate on the WikiLeaks affair is certainly in order, but personal threats have no place in this discussion. Certainly a senior political advisor and professor of political science should show better judgment.
    It appears that Dr. Flanagan’s views on free speech and government transparency are increasingly at odds with those of the general public.

    I congratulate you Kris and others that took the time to write this letter.

    Andrew Amey
    BComm, Finance, 2004 (UofC)
    MCP, City Planning, 2010 (MIT)
    MSc, Transportation, 2010 (MIT)

    Andrew Amey

    December 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

  21. Sheena Johnson
    Actuarial science 2003
    Master of environmental design 2008

    Sheena Johnson

    December 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

  22. Is there absolutely no consequences for Conservatives that declare fatwas/suggest killing another person or are consequences just for non-Conservatives, non-Christian, non-whites?

    Susan Moralis

    December 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

  23. Margaret {Van Tighem} Bailey

    BA 1980

    U of C

    Margaret {Van Tighem} Bailey

    December 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

  24. KK: Just received the ok to share this note:

    Hi Kris,

    I would like to commend you and your colleagues for requesting the U of C to discipline Tom Flanagan for his remarks.

    One has to wonder what kind of a society we are becoming when an institution like the University of Calgary refuses to discipline a faulty member for making the statements that Tom Flanagan made on national television.

    When David Ahenakew made his remark about the holocaust, he was publicly discredited and his Order of Canada was revoked. At the time, Ahenakew also claimed that his remark was an “off the cuff” statement. However, when he made his remark, he was not speaking on national television, nor did he hold a PhD or been entrusted in teaching others, as is the case with Flanagan.

    Furthermore, when Evan Solomon gave Flanagan the opportunity to retract his comment, Flanagan only went on to say the he was “felling very manly”. Really!!! So when one human calls for the assassination of another, that is manly behaviour? This coming from a University professor.

    Finally, if Flanagan is such a man, then perhaps it would be best if he assassinates Assange. Only a coward would ask someone else to do the job. Then he could personally experience what it is like to take the life of another human being.

    Shame on you Mr. Flanagan and shame on the U of C. This man should no longer be welcome in the teaching profession any more that Mr. Ahenakew deserved to keep his Order of Canada.


    Larry J. Samoil
    Nanoose Bay, BC


    December 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm

  25. I would also like to go on record as being in support of this letter.

    Mary Kosta
    MA, University of Calgary, 1986

    Mary Kosta

    December 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  26. Matthew S. Adams,
    Student, Computer Science

    Matthew S. Adams

    December 7, 2010 at 7:02 am

  27. I personally called into the City of Calgary Police, to add my name to any list they may be keeping. The thoughtlessness of a person in this positions – who apparently advises our Prime Minister? He knows he is on public display, and says what? Is murder so easy to stomach Mr Flanagan? Watching too many movies? A person of influence and education should receive the full-extent of the law on this one.

    Wouldn’t you think Mr. Flanagan would want to support someone who has provided a platform for those who want to bring truth to light? Isn’t that a commendable practice?

    Allan Jones

    December 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm

  28. Please add me as well. A relevant comment by Clay Shirky:

    “The Unites States is – or should be – subject to the rule of law, which makes the extra-judicial pursuit of Wikileaks especially nauseating. (Calls for Julian’s assassination are even more nauseating.)”


    His comments apply to Canada and Dr. Flanagan as well.

    Tony Grimes,
    BSc, Environmental Science (2001)


    December 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  29. I support this letter
    MA Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, U of C, 2011
    BA International Indigenous Studies, U of C, 2007

    Sarah Rich-Zendel

    December 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

  30. I do not support this mindless letter.

    Peter Andreasen

    BA Hon. University of Calgary, 2009

    Peter Andreasen

    December 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  31. I just wanted to inform you of this recent publication in Calgary Herald:



    December 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  32. Please add my name to the letter as well.

    Kelly Dowdell, MA

    BA ’02 Latin American Studies

    Kelly Dowdell

    December 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

  33. BSC General Math ’08
    BSW ’11

    Barbara Pietrzykowski

    December 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm

  34. BA International Relations
    BA Political Science


    December 9, 2010 at 1:37 am

  35. Any response from the President’s office or University yet?


    December 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

  36. My parents have always with love and compassion told me how Canadian soldiers liberated them from the evil of Nazi Germany. Is it time we return the favor ?


    December 10, 2010 at 5:12 am

  37. From the editor of the U of C student newspaper “The Gauntlet” on Professor Flanagan comments and the U of C lack of leadership.


    In my opinion dismissal is the wrong action, but a free society should welcome and embrace a wide variety of constructive opinions (as long as they don’t advocate murder)


    December 10, 2010 at 8:02 am

  38. An important clarification to my previous post (re. Gauntlet letter): It is a letter To the editor, not a letter From the editor. My apologies.


    December 10, 2010 at 8:33 am

  39. Below is reproduced an email which I sent to the President of University of Calgary , on 9th Dec 2010, and the reply I received, on 15th Dec 2010, re Tom Flanagan`s remarks on assassinating Julian Assange, and what can only be interpreted as a veiled threat he made to a woman, “Be careful, we know where you live.”

    I leave you all to form your own opinion.


    to president@ucalgary.ca
    date 9 December 2010 13:19
    subject Disgraceful – Prof Tom Flanagan

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I`m sure you are aware of Tom Flanagan`s remarks, made recently on the CBC show, that Julian Assange should be assassinated, but what of the seemingly veiled threat that he made to a lady named Ms Janet Reymond.

    Why do you continue to employ Prof Flanagan, and have you stopped to consider the effect his words will have on the good name of the University, which appears to condone his behaviour?

    Are you afraid to stand up to this man for fear that there may be further calls for a contract to be taken out against university staff , or is it that you agree with Prof Flanagan and share his views on having people silenced for voicing their legitimate concerns?

    No doubt, Prof Flanagan will be spreading his poison amongst his students and you have a duty to protect them from this, although, from all (media) accounts, you are unwilling to do this.

    Your failure to protect your students from such extremist views has already tarnished the university`s good name worldwide, and can only get worse unless you act decisively!




    date 15 December 2010 17:22
    subject RE: Disgraceful – Prof Tom Flanagan
    mailed-by ucalgary.ca

    hide details 17:22 (8 hours ago)


    Thank you for your email regarding Dr. Tom Flanagan. Your message has been
    noted by the university.

    The University of Calgary would like to state that the opinions expressed by
    Dr. Tom Flanagan were made as an individual. Dr. Flanagan spoke on a matter
    unrelated to the university, and his comments, for which Dr. Flanagan has
    expressed regret, do not represent the views of the University of Calgary.

    There have been calls for the university to censure Dr. Flanagan. The
    University of Calgary will not comment on this, as any decisions relating to
    disciplinary action against a member of the University’s faculty, staff or
    student are confidential.

    University Relations

    Jim Tilt

    December 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm

  40. I invite you all to join this growing coalition


    Tiberius Brastaviceanu

    December 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

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