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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Fox News guest terrorism analyst was arrested on Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on charges of falsely claiming to have been a CIA agent for decades, U.S. prosecutors said.

Wayne Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, bogusly portrayed himself as an “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1973 to 2000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Virginia’s Eastern District said in a statement.

Simmons allegedly tried to use that claim to get government security clearances and work as a defense contractor. At one point he was deployed overseas as an intelligence adviser to senior military officers, the statement said.

He faces charges of major fraud against the United States, wire fraud and making false statements to the government.

He has appeared on Fox News, a unit of 21st Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), as a guest analyst on terrorism since 2002 and has a wide presence among conservative groups, a profile on said.

Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan said Simmons had been a guest on the network and had not been paid.

The indictment said that Simmons falsely claimed on national security forms that his previous arrests and convictions were related to his CIA work and that he had held a top secret security clearance.

The indictment also alleged that Simmons defrauded a victim out of about $125,000 through a bogus real estate investment.

The profile said he worked in anti-narcotics operations and in 2004 was part of Pentagon program for military and intelligence analysts. He is co-author of the thriller The Natanz Directive.

Simmons is a contributor to the conservative publication Human Events, the profile said. He also spoke at a 2013 forum sponsored by the Citizens Committee on Benghazi probing the deaths of four Americans in Libya in 2012.

The CIA said in a statement that it was working closely with the Justice Department on the matter. It referred queries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

(This version corrects corporate parent in paragraph 5 to 21st Century Fox, instead of News Corp)

(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Will Dunham)

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing

  • Dominick Vila

    Looks like the political motivation behind the Benghazi and e-mail pseudo scandals, acknowledged by Republican leaders, is not limited to with haunts and the need destroy political opponents. It also includes the use of impersonators to brain wash gullible Republicans!

    • Independent1

      I’m a little puzzled. If the Justice Department can arrest Wayne Simmons for deceiving people by being a fraud for decades in his pretending to have worked for the CIA, why can’t they arrest Rupert Murdoch for owning a propaganda outlet that has deceived people for decades by pretending to be a News/Entertainment outlet – which it is clearly neither.

      Faux News is nothing more that a brainwashing outlet akin to what Hitler ran in Germany back in the 1930s. Faux News is one of the biggest frauds that have ever been perpetrated on the American public – very akin to the enormous fraud that Bush and Cheney perpetrated on America in leading us into a totally unnecessary war. It seems to me, that the Justice Department has more than enough evidence against Faux News to throw Rupert Murdoch and the entire Faux News organization in the clink for the next 50 years at least!!!!

      • Dominick Vila

        The chances of our Justice Department doing what the British did are slim to none. It almost seems as if the greater the crime, the less chances of prosecution. I guess Rupert and his media empire are the equivalent to the “too big to fail” banks…
        The worst part is that most of our media is like FOX.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    If you follow the history of the Clinton witch hunts, you see they go back to former President Clinton’s college days. Rove, Reed, Norquist and Starr all conspired to “get” President Clinton the minute he won his Rhodes Scholar award. How dare he? Right? After all, these were the Young Republicans whose Daddies made sure they had the top Ivy League educations. Along comes a son of a single Mom and he gets to be a Rhodes Scholar? Worse, he marries an up and coming female lawyer who struggled through law school at a time when female lawyers were few and far between. How DARE she? After all, everyone knows only the Young Republicans know the laws. And thus, the seeds of the Clinton bashing began.

    The joke is that while these Four Horseman of the GOP Apocalypse were busy looking for ways to destroy both Clintons’ careers, both Clintons were busy getting on with their lives. The worst kind of hypocrisy is the kind these four horses patoot’s possess. Gingrich, their good ole good ole boy chases more skirts than President Clinton or JFK ever could. But, he gets a pass?

    Lying is what the Republicans consider a rite of passage. The GOP men and women have refined lying to an art form.

    It’s about time the lying stopped and liars’ feet are held to the fire. If they can’t tell the absolute truth, they should be punished severely enough to remind them that truth is an essential, crucial part of being in any position in government or business.

  • John Murchison

    Lets here it for Fox (GOP) credibility.

  • Carolyn1520

    When it comes to right wingers, anything remotely related to any type of intelligence is suspect. They’re all posers. They can’t accomplish anything on their own merits. It’s all about lying, cheating and attempts at making their opponents look bad so they look better.

  • Bosda


  • Lynda Groom

    There’s the perfect example of a Faux News expert analysts.

  • MichelleRose3

    Behold, I am a soothsayer: the conservative nutcases will circle the wagons and claim that the CIA is “covering up” Simmons’ alleged “employment” in order to protect Clinton or Obama or…name a liberal target of conservative ire, it doesn’t matter. They will claim that Simmons is telling the truth and everyone else is lying. The other posters here are absolutely correct: the Republicans lie abut EVERYTHING because they know that their base watches only Fox and reads only conservative websites. The right-wing base is programmed to believe only information they receive from approved sources, rather like North Korea’s media control techniques or the Soviet Union. Since all they know are lies, the conservatives have already made up their minds and no amount of facts will convince them otherwise. Our adversaries have a huge investment in lies. They’re not going to throw that away in the light of some inconvenient truths.

  • Insinnergy

    Now if only the Psychiatry Profession would weigh in on Ablow.
    I’m fairly certain that guy is incapable of rational thought, much less diagnosing mental illness.