The intrigue and subterfuge surrounding whistleblower, Julian Assange is not about to go away soon. In fact, latest revelations coming out of Iceland have heightened the drama.
Ögmundur Jonasson, a former minister in the frostbitten country who currently serves as a member of the Icelandic Parliament has revealed that the US sought his help in framing Julian Assange under a cover of technical assistance.
He said US authorities told him in June 2011 that hackers were trying to destroy software systems in the country.
The authorities said there was an ‘imminent attack’ on Iceland’s government databases and that the FBI would send agents to investigate.
Jonasson said he was immediately skeptical of the FBI’s intentions.
‘I was suspicious,’ he said. ‘Well aware that a helping hand might easily become a manipulating hand!’
He said it was only when a ‘planeload’ of FBI agents arrived in August that he realized the true reason for their visit.
The former minister claims the FBI was seeking Iceland’s ‘cooperation in what I understood as an operation set up to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks’.
Jonasson said he immediately told the FBI agents to leave the country.
‘Since they had not been authorized by the Icelandic authorities to carry out police work in Iceland, and since a crack-down on WikiLeaks was no on my agenda, I ordered that all cooperation with them be promptly terminated,’ he said.
‘I also made it clear they should cease all activities in Iceland immediately.’
Jonasson said he also made it clear that when it came to picking a side, he was Team Assange.
‘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 former minister said he believes its ‘very important’ that whistleblowers are protected, saying: ‘We owe a lot to Edward Snowden. We owe a lot to Assange. We owe a lot to WikiLeaks’.
‘I look at what [Assange] stands for and that is where I side with him; his endeavors to open the secret world of the military and of power-politics’.