Regular Fox News viewers will recognize the mug of Wayne Simmons, a guest since 2002 on shows like Your World with Neil Cavuto and Fox and Friends. He’s also a member of the “Citizens Commission on Benghazi.” Simmons claimed to have a lengthy history with the CIA, and one would expect that a 27-year stint with the agency would qualify him as a terrorism expert.
Unfortunately, Simmons may have faked his entire career because he was arrested on Thursday and charged with a number of offenses. Simmons will face a grand jury, and the allegations are serious. The situation is so dire that the feds could have jeopardized national security through Simmons’ very presence. How did this happen? No one knows for sure, but here’s the lowdown on Simmons’ charges:
“Simmons is accused of falsely claiming that he worked as an ‘outside paramilitary special operations officer’ for the CIA from 1973 to 2000. On Fox, this was often shortened to ‘former CIA operative.’ He was also indicted for using that false claim to gain government security clearances and an assignment as a defense contractor, where he advised senior military personnel overseas.”
Simmons’ website states that he “spearheaded Deep Cover Intel Ops against some of the world’s most dangerous Drug Cartels and arms smugglers from Central and South America and the Middle East.” These claims (and his TV notoriety) led to more contracting assignments on behalf of the U.S. military. Simmons received an “interim secret security clearance” from the U.S., and he then worked as a “Human Terrain System Team Leader.” He could face 35 years behind bars if convicted on these fraud charges.
Fox News sent out an obligatory PR statement via Irena Briganti, who told CNN Simmons “was never a contributor for Fox News.” That is, Fox News never paid Simmons for his appearances. Yet Simmons surely profited from his association with the cable news network because his appearances over the years led to a greater “expert” status. Somehow, Simmons managed to fool both Fox News and (worse) the federal government, which allowed him to continue the ruse without proper vetting.