Assange as the Stainless Steel Rat

J.A. Terranson measl at
Mon Jan 3 22:38:29 PST 2011

Julian Assange: The Stainless Steel Rat by Mattokunobaka

Going through news stories this morning, I found one that had caught my 
eye: .Julian Assange to Appear in Court to Appeal. , located at . Having an interest in 
the case against Mr Assange, and especially the behavior of the United 
States towards him, I proceeded to read the report, when a certain passage 
suddenly leapt out at me.

.Meanwhile a dating site profile from 2007, supposedly created by Assange, 
had prompted by some lively online debate. The profile on the OKCupid site 
featured pictures of Assange, though gave the name Harry Harrison . who 
described himself as a .passionate and often pig- headed activist 
intellectual. who sought to change the world. He concluded: .Write to me 
if you are brave.. (emphasis mine).

I went to the site named and saved a screenshot of the page, located at

(NOTE: as of 1.30pm today, OKCupid has removed the page from public view, 
requiring registration to view the page.)

While I was looking over the page, however, it suddenly hit me.I had a 
major key to his personality and the way his thought processes work. Quite 
simple, actually.

I.ll refrain from commenting on the case itself at this time, but I can 
clear up one little mystery: the nom de guerre or username on the OKCupid 
site. If the site is confirmed as his, as is likely, the pseudonym .Harry 
Harrison. is entirely reasonable and to be expected, because it confirms 
that Assange is a fan of science fiction. And it.s a key to the mind of 
Julian Assange.

The author Harry Harrison wrote a series of science fiction novels about a 
character named James Bolivar deGriz, alias .Slippery Jim., or .The 
Stainless Steel Rat.. The original novel was written in 1961; the last was 
published this year. I have the first five or so novels in my personal 
library, and great favorites of mine.

deGriz lived in a future which had no crime, no wrongdoing, and was 
ultimately dull and boring. He refused to be a part of such a boring 
utopia. Thus he decided to give police something to do, and entertain the 
people, by performing fantastic feats of theft and other nonviolent 
crimes, while making the police look like fools. He was wanted by law 
enforcement across numerous solar systems, as well as by planetary 
governments, some with a price on his head.

(Sound familiar so far?)

Eventually, he was captured by (and joined) a supersecret intelligence 
organization, which solved difficult problems concerning societies on 
different worlds. Subsequent novels followed those assignments and 

One sees from this admittedly sketchy description of the novels (by 
memory, I admit) that Julian Assange and Wikileaks serve as the .Stainless 
Steel Rat. of the present. His .crimes., if any, have been virtually 
nonviolent, leading .law enforcement. (including the CIA) on a merry 
chase, while he transmits secret documents from corporations and 
governments around the world. He has done this successfully for some years 

It.s evident that he identified intensely with the character of Slippery 
Jim deGriz from his first reading. Using the alias .Harry Harrison. is 
therefore a tribute to the writer he idolizes. I don.t believe Harrison 
himself is aware of this, but the connection seems very clear to me. And 
yet, as a globetrotter, it.s possible that Julian Assange might have met 
Harry Harrison, even in disguise.

It.s also apparent to me that he not only determined to be our .Stainless 
Steel Rat., but that.knowing he couldn.t do it alone.Wikileaks was built 
around the concept.

Assange, as a hacker, shows the independent, .antisocial. and anarchist 
nature of deGriz, although his actions ultimately benefit society. 
Wikileaks (and Assange) have repeatedly thwarted past efforts to contain 
or stop them. They have repeatedly angered corporations and governments by 
disseminating information revealing corruption, lies or otherwise 
embarrassing material. Assange, although an Australian citizen, has no 
.home. as such, moving from place to place. His support team are 
volunteers from diverse places. His equipment, funds and supplementary 
resources are likewise scattered. He has supporters across the world, much 
like some citizens of the fictional future who idolized James Bolivar 

Harrison.s deGriz was a master of disguise, and loved thumbing his nose at 
the cops, performing feats literally under their very eyes. Yesterday, I 
found this story: Assange attended US embassy party in Iceland at,people,news,julian-assange-attended-us-embassy-party-in-iceland?DCMP=NLC-daily, 
dated December 13, 2010. It.s worth quoting at length.

By December 2009, Assange had received the US embassy cables, the Iraq war 
logs, a video of US helicopter pilots mowing down innocent Iraqis, and 
documents relating to the Afghanistan war, all of which were subsequently 
published on WikiLeaks.

Although he had already upset the US, Assange was the toast of Iceland at 
the time of the party, having published a secret report relating to the 
2008 collapse of the country.s banks on WikiLeaks.

It was against this background that Assange apparently thought it would be 
amusing to go into the lion.s den. On the day of the ambassador.s 
reception, he didn.t even bother to wait for Jonsdottir before heading 
over to the US embassy.

Jonsdottir explains: .The irony was that I went to collect him from his 
guesthouse and couldn.t find him, so just went back to work and didn.t 
even go myself.

.I found out later he.d just decided to go on his own and got in by saying 
he was my guest. He said he.d spent a long time talking to Mr Watson..

And, at this time, he was already being sought out by the government of 
the United States.

It would appear that the pattern holds. Assange.s boldness and behavior in 
this instance would mirror exactly the behavior of the deGriz of science 

This analysis is only partial and, as I stated, sketchy. I do believe 
there are enough parallels that it offers an important insight into the 
mind and personality of Julian Assange.

It.s doubtful that the United States government would be aware of such 
important connections to understanding their .enemy.. Often political 
appointees, or even those of the traditional hierarchy, are ignorant of 
the subjects they are supposed to deal with. And events of the past ten 
years have confirmed that they do not understand whom fighting 
very well, even now.

Such was the case with Michael D Brown, of Hurricane Katrina infamy 
(.Heckuva job, Brownie.), who was appointed head of FEMA under President 
Bush. He had no qualifications and no experience in Emergency Management. 
Prior to his assignment, he had been a Commissioner for the International 
Arabian Horse Association.

I also remember reading a story some time later about a man assigned to 
head counterterrorism in the FBI. He admitted he knew nothing about Islam, 
and said something to the extent that it .wasn.t needed. for the job.

It.d seem to me that it.s difficult to fight something you don.t 
understand. Sun Tzu realized this some thousands of years ago when he 
wrote .The Art Of War..

If this pattern has continued into the Obama Administration, then, I 
highly doubt made the connection described above. Imagination 
is not a quality associated with politics, in my opinion. Only fans of 
science fiction.probably the older ones.would even be aware of Harry 
Harrison.s novels, as I am.

If I am correct, I believe these are important clues to his personality of 
Julian Assange and the nature of Wikileaks itself.

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