In October 2015, a frequent Fox News guest named Wayne Simmons was charged with fraud for misrepresenting himself as a former CIA operative and using this fake biography to try to obtain work as a defense contractor. (Simmons, who appeared on Fox at least 76 times, also identified himself as a national-security veteran on TV, as you can see above.) Simmons subsequently argued in a highly entertaining New York Times Magazine article that the reason there’s no record of his work for the CIA is that it had simply been too top-secret to document. The Times mag article presented a number of reasons to be skeptical of this claim, and it now appears that Simmons has given up the fight, at least legally, and pleaded guilty to a number of crimes. From a Department of Justice press release:
“Wayne Simmons is a convicted felon with no military or intelligence experience,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Simmons admitted he attempted to con his way into a position where he would have been called on to give real intelligence advice in a war zone.”
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Simmons admitted he defrauded the government in 2008 when he obtained work as a team leader in the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain Systems program, and again in 2010 when he was deployed to Afghanistan as a senior intelligence advisor on the International Security Assistance Force’s Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team. Simmons admitted making false statements about his financial and criminal history, and admitted that there are no records or any other evidence that he was ever employed by or worked with the CIA, or ever applied for or was granted a security clearance by that agency.
Simmons also pleaded guilty to a weapons charge and a fraud charge related to a real estate scheme. His sentence will be determined by a judge.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto, on whose show Simmons often appeared, apologized for failing to more carefully research Simmons’ background after his October arrest.
Here is my favorite Wayne Simmons Fox quote; it’s about how we could defeat ISIS in a single week if we put Wayne Simmons in charge of planning “sorties.”
Sadly, we have the—we have the capability. We could end this in a week. And that’s not an exaggeration. That’s not hyperbole.
We could run a number of sorties, thousands of sorties, locate, identify and absolutely decimate ISIS, ISIL, I.S., whatever you want to call them. They would all be dead.