As Julian Assange continues to remain isolated inside the Ecuadorian Embassy during this Christmas season, it is now more important than ever to realize just what he is truly up against. Iceland’s Former Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, has made it remarkably clear how even from the start Julian Assange never had much of a chance to escape the snare of the authorities as he reveals how the FBI tried to frame Assange in Iceland many years ago.
We have read how Julian Assange has recently made public the statements put forward to Swedish prosecutors which reveal his innocence with regard to rape allegations stemming from 2010. We have also learned that is was, by and large, not the woman in question who wanted to bring Julian up on these charges, but the Swedish authorities.
This makes perfect sense, especially in light of Ögmundur Jónasson’s claims which show that the government of the United States was exceedingly keen to ensnare Julian Assange in order to stop his involvement with WikiLeaks and to end the organization altogether. So keen were they, in fact, that Iceland’s Former Minister of the Interior told Katoikos, the EU news analysis website, that he refused point blank to help them trap Julian Assange.
The story behind the FBI’s visit to Iceland comes in June 2011. Jónasson describes how the FBI originally contacted the government of Iceland on the basis that hackers were trying to infiltrate and destroy software systems.
“US authorities made some approaches to us indicating they had knowledge of hackers wanting to destroy software systems in Iceland. I was a minister at the time. They offered help. I was suspicious, well aware that a helping hand might easily become a manipulating hand! Later in the summer, in August, they sent a planeload of FBI agents to Iceland seeking our cooperation in what I understood as an operation set up to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.”
Keep in mind that the FBI were only meant to be in Iceland to investigate government software systems, not Julian Assange or WikiLeaks. Fortunately, Iceland is a country that understands values likes integrity. They jail top bankers who hurt the country’s citizens, while other countries give bankers a handsome payout for their efforts with taxpayers essentially footing the bill after the ensuing devastation.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 9, 2016
Ögmundur Jónasson is an intelligent man and knew a game when he saw one. He also knew that the FBI had no claim on Julian Assange, nor the authority in Iceland to arrest him on any grounds.
“Since they had not been authorised by the Icelandic authorities to carry out police work in Iceland and since a crack-down on WikiLeaks was not on my agenda, to say the least, I ordered that all cooperation with them be promptly terminated and I also made it clear that they should cease all activities in Iceland immediately.”
Jónasson then promptly booted the FBI out of Iceland. But he believes that they traveled to Denmark after this to try to find other ways to trap Julian Assange.
“It was also made clear to them that they were to leave the country. They were unable to get permission to operate in Iceland as police agents, but I believe they went to other countries, at least to Denmark. I also made it clear at the time that if I had to take sides with either WikiLeaks or the FBI or CIA, I would have no difficulty in choosing: I would be on the side of WikiLeaks.”
The beauty of Iceland is that not only did they try to protect Julian Assange, but they also believe that whistleblowers “could be seen as public service.” Whistleblowers keep people honest, after all. If those in authority are able to run rampant over the people they are actually meant to be protecting, how does that help anybody in the end? If nobody is watching the government, how can we trust them and hold them accountable?
Ögmundur Jónasson explains that while he doesn’t have a personal relationship with Assange, having met him only once in Iceland, he admires his work and respects him.
“I look at what he stands for and that is where I side with him; his endeavours to open the secret world of the military and of power-politics.”
Now that Iceland’s former Minister of the Interior has confirmed that the FBI were trying to entrap Julian Assange years ago, that should cast more than a few doubts as to the validity of the original rape allegations leveled against him by the authorities. After all, Sweden wouldn’t be beyond doing the work of the United States government, would they? As this is most likely the case, shouldn’t Julian Assange be released for Christmas?
[Featured Image by Sang Tan/AP Images]