Life’s divine questions are wrenching.
Does heaven exist? Does hell? Are we alone in the universe? What came first: the chicken or the egg? Is there life on Mars?!
Can the wretched phenomena known as “stolen valor” be not just military, but paramilitary as well?
Well, for this post, yes. Yes it does.
Enter: Wayne Simmons (not to be confused with Wayne Somers, i.e. Wayne Simien).
For years, Simmons appeared on television and propped himself up as a “former CIA operative” (and “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” to be exact). He claimed to a long and fruitful career within the U.S. intelligence community, taking part in missions that centered on drug cartels and terrorism from 1973 all the way up to 2000.
Only, no. He never did. He’s been lying the whole time.
This from the New York Daily News:
Wayne Simmons, 62, was arrested Thursday and charged with false statements, major fraud against the U.S. and wire frauds, the Washington Post reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
His career history might not be his only alleged lie — in his appearances on the station, Simmons also used his supposed CIA chops to smear GOP rivals and spread questionable claims about Muslim militants in America.
After Simmons’ bust, the network said it had limited dealings with him.
“He was a guest only and had never been paid” for any appearances, a Fox News spokeswoman told the Daily News.
But hark! Here is making an appearance on the Rupert Murdoch-owned station back in 2007:
According to the FBI, who investigated Simmons and ultimately slapped the cuffs on him, not only did the bogus agent get his face on television, he got rich off the scheme. Allegedly, he used his “resume” to nab lucrative government contracts, get out of arrests and convictions for other crimes and sold novels — “The Natanz Detective” — claiming he was who he wasn’t on the dust jacket.
Oh, and he also spread fear-mongering nonsense for Fox News where he’s been appearing since 2002. In early 2015 he said, on the air, that there are “at least 19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States”, an alarming claim that isn’t supported by one single fact anywhere.
Go ahead. Try and find it. It doesn’t exist.
Here’s the icing on the cake, again, from the New York Daily News:
The Annapolis, Md. resident is also charged with scamming someone out of $125,000 for a bogus real estate deal, and then using the cash for his own expenses, the FBI said.