An American friend wondered if I planned to write about recent words of Fraser Institute ‘Senior Fellow’ Tom Flanagan. The University of Calgary professor, Harper advisor and right wing activist spoke with CBC’s Evan Solomon the day after WikiLeaks‘ November document dump. Talking about the WikiLeaks founder, Flanagan said:
“Well, I think [Julian] Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something. . . . I wouldn’t feel not-happy if Assange disappeared.”
When Soloman challenged his call for bloodshed, Flanagan said, “Well, I’m feeling very manly today.” That reminded me of a Glenn Greenwald comment almost four years ago:
“The underlying premise of the modern conservative movement is that the entire Democratic party consists of a bunch of fags and dykes who are both too effeminate and too masculine to properly lead the nation.”
A long-time University of Calgary political science professor, Flanagan was raised in Illinois and, according to Sourcewatch:
“moved to Canada in the early 1960s, where he reportedly found it amusing that one could still vote for socialists. Since then, he seems to have concentrated on combating anything he sees as liberal or socialistic in his adopted country; the public broadcaster, CBC; universal public health care; multiculturalism; and also the special rights afforded to First Nations people.”
Toronto Star columnist Gillian Steward called Flanagan:
“. . . one of the neo-conservative gurus who shepherded a much younger, and more ideological, Stephen Harper into federal politics.”
Political philosopher Shadia Drury called Flanagan a “radical populist hiding behind a cloak of rhetorical moderation.” Donald Gutstein wrote in The Tyee that Flanagan was one of Stephen Harper’s neo-con advisors influenced by:
“disturbing teachings of Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who spawned the neoconservative movement. Strauss, who died in 1973, believed in the inherent inequality of humanity. Most people, he famously taught, are too stupid to make informed decisions about their political affairs. Elite philosophers must decide on affairs of state for us.”
Elite philosophers and experts like Tom Flanagan and associates, no doubt. We will see more of those people when Fox News North begins daily emissions in 2011.
Robert Scheer says the value of Assange’s work is proven by the fact that The New York Times and other leading newspapers have led daily with important news stories based on his WikiLeaks releases. Scheer says Australian Julian Assange is targeted by American politicians and allies because he dared:
“. . . let the public in on the depths of official deceit—a deceit that they hide behind in making their claims of protecting national security. Claims mocked by released cables that show that our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan are deeply corrupt and anti-democratic, and that al-Qaida continues to find its base of support not in those countries but rather in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the very nations we arm and protect. The notion that the official tissue of lies enhances our security is rejected by the growing strength of radical Islam in the region, as evidenced by the success of Iran, the main beneficiary of our invasion of Iraq, as the leaked cables make clear.
At this point, I can only wonder if Assange’s Scandinavian ordeal was designed by someone working in McLean, Virginia. It would not be the first time that a person’s reputation was targeted for destruction. This is from the book The Lawless State by Morton Halperin and others about a man now universally praised:
All of the arbitrary power and lawless tactics that had accumulated . . . over the years were marshaled to destroy [Martin Luther] King’s reputation and the movement he led. The FBI relied on its vague authority to investigate “subversives” to spy on King and SCLC; its vague authority to conduct warrantless wiretapping and microphonic surveillance to tap and bug him; its secrecy to conduct covert operations against him. The campaign began with his rise to leadership and grew more vicious as he reached the height of his power; it continued even after his assassination in 1968.