By Judi McLeod
Canada Free Press
Back in December 11, 2016 most folk were too busy celebrating the stunning presidential victory of Donald J. Trump, or already exploring devious ways to get him impeached. Few paid any attention to the revelation of Robert Mueller’s alleged attempts to have the Icelandic government help him frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks via the FBI.
In August of 2011, Mueller sent a planeload of eight FBI agents on a purported mission to Iceland to sabotage Assange and WikiLeaks.
Not much notice was paid when former Icelandic Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jonasson caught them redhanded before sending them packing.
Jonasson revealed that U.S. authorities first told him in June 2011 that there was an ‘imminent attack’ on Iceland’s government databases; that they were sending the FBI to the rescue.
But he claims that when the FBI arrived in August, the FBI ‘sought Iceland’s cooperation to frame Assange and WikiLeaks’ in a mission that was part of a ‘wide-ranging investigation’ into Assange and WikiLeaks’.
Savvy to their real intention that had nothing to do with saving government database cyber attacks, Jonasson’s response was to have the FBI kicked out of Iceland.
The story was widely reported on in 2013, but Jonasson made no attempt of the U.S. trying to frame Assange until he became a whistleblower last December, making it the biggest “if only” story of all time.
“If only” Jonasson had come forward in 2011, would Robert Mueller have ever been appointed as Special Counsel and get to empanel a Grand Jury to probe the Russia/Trump non-stop mainstream media allegations?
“The authorities said there was an ‘imminent attack’ on Iceland’s government databases and that the FBI would send agents to investigate. (Anneta Konstantinides For Dailymail.com, Dec. 11, 2016)
Jonasson said he was immediately skeptical of the FBI’s intentions.
I was suspicious,’ he told Katoikos. Well aware that a helping hand might easily become a manipulating hand!
Jonasson said it was only when a ‘planeload’ of FBI agents arrived in August that he realized the true reason for their visit. (DailyMail)
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 not 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.
Despite the fact that this happened five years ago, and was heavily reported about in 2013, this appears to be the first time Jonasson has publicly claimed the US was trying to ‘frame’ Assange.
When the story first broke, Jonasson told the New York Times that ‘eight or nine’ FBI agents had arrived to gather material on WikiLeaks.
The former minister said he had asked the agents to leave because ‘they had misrepresented the purpose of their visit’.
Jonasson said he made it clear he was ‘on the side’ of WikiLeaks and Assange and has several times raised the issue of giving Edward Snowden asylum in Iceland.
In fact, it later became known that the FBI’s Iceland operation was part of a ‘wide-ranging investigation’ into WikiLeaks and Assange for releasing hundreds of thousands of military documents in 2010.
WikiLeaks itself provided information about the incident, claiming the FBI had sent agents to interrogate an 18-year-old Icelandic citizen.
The individual had allegedly worked as a volunteer for WikiLeaks and had visited Assange that summer.
That same citizen later deceived a Canadian volunteer who wanted to raise funds for ‘WikiLeaks merchandise’, having them send the money to his personal bank account rather than the organization.
WikiLeaks makes no mention of the FBI trying to frame the organization or Assange, and Jonasson offered no evidence to support his new claims.
The former minister said he believes it’s ‘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.
Assange is currently at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he is avoiding extradition to Sweden on rape and molestation charges.”
The FBI would likely use Jonasson’s sitting on the story between 2011 and 2016 against his credibility.
But a Wikipedia entry proves that the FBI was investigating WikiLeaks:
After WikiLeaks released the Manning material, US authorities began investigating WikiLeaks and Assange personally with a view to prosecuting them under the Espionage Act of 1917. In November 2010 US Attorney-General Eric Holder said there was “an active, ongoing criminal investigation” into WikiLeaks. It emerged from legal documents leaked over the ensuing months that Assange and others were being investigated by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia. An email from an employee of intelligence consultancy Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor) leaked in 2012 said, “We have a sealed indictment on Assange.” The US government denies the existence of such an indictment.
In December 2011 prosecutors in the Chelsea Manning case revealed the existence of chat logs between Manning and an alleged WikiLeaks interlocutor they claimed to be Assange; he denied this, dismissing the alleged connection as “absolute nonsense”. The logs were presented as evidence during Manning’s court-martial in June–July 2013. The prosecution argued that they showed WikiLeaks helping Manning reverse-engineer a password, but evidence that the interlocutor was Assange was circumstantial, and Manning insisted she acted alone.
Assange was being examined separately by “several government agencies” in addition to the grand jury, most notably the FBI. Court documents published in May 2014 suggest that Assange was still under “active and ongoing” investigation at that time.
Moreover, some Snowden documents published in 2014 show that the United States government put Assange on the “2010 Manhunting Timeline”, and in the same period they urged their allies to open criminal investigations into the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. In the same documents there was a proposal by the NSA to designate WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor”, thus increasing the surveillance against it.
On 26 January 2015, WikiLeaks revealed that three members of the organisation received notice that “Google had handed over all their emails and metadata to the United States government”. In the notifications, there was the list of possible charges that originated the warrant to Google and that the secret grand jury intends to use against WikiLeaks and likely Assange too. They were espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage, theft or conversion of property belonging to the United States government, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and general conspiracy. They carry up to a minimum of 45 years in prison, if they amount to one charge per these five types; otherwise, even more years could be added.
The United States investigation confirmed its ongoing proceedings against WikiLeaks in a 15 December 2015 court submission.
Robert Mueller was FBI Director in 2011 when the planeload of FBI agents was sent to Iceland, one year before the second election of Barack Hussein Obama as POTUS.
What information was a Mueller-led FBI trying to keep from coming into public view?
This is a question that leans heavily on his role as ‘Special Counsel’.