Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WikiLeaks and Stieg Larsson's "Girl" Books

As I read Forbes Magazines' cover article on Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks, my mind kept flashing back to moments in the Millennium Trilogy books ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" books by Stieg Larsson). This wasn't the first time I had sensed parallels. All along, the WikiLeaks reminded me of these books.

The main character, Lisbeth Salander (the girl), is an extraordinary computer hacker. She works with other hackers and is able to uncover all sorts of information, some of which is very much akin to what we've seen in the WikiLeaks (and may see in the future). The other main character, Mikael Blomkvist, is an investigative journalist who uses information he unearths himself and also from Salander to bring corporate and government malfeasance to light. Sound familiar? (There's much more to the books than this, however.)

Over the course of the books, Blomkvist is smeared in a libel suit in Sweden and jailed. Salander is also tried for violent crimes and is portrayed in the press as an anarchist, trouble maker, lesbian punk rocker. This all reminds me of the rape charges being brought (in Sweden) against Assange. The only place the parallels fall down is that Blomkvist is anti-Nazi, and supposedly Nazi sympathizers work for WikiLeaks. (Who knows?)

If you haven't paid attention to the WikiLeaks, you should. Try reading them and about them in the New York Times. And read the Forbes interview and article . Make up your own mind. Are the leaks doing good, or are they harmful?

Also read the Millennium series, whose author, Larsson, died of a sudden heart attack at midlife before the novels were even published. Kinda makes me wonder what he knew and what else he might have written.

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