How this Fake, Phony, False Fraud Appeared on FOX (a number of times)
Wayne Simmons presented himself as a national security expert and was a part of the conservative media push for a congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack that was pushed by him as a member of Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) “Citizens' Commission” on Benghazi. That was all part of the conservative media’s ultimately successful push to get House Republicans to set up a panel to investigate the Benghazi attack. In that capacity, Simmons appeared on FOX and falsely claimed that the Obama administration had decided “to not rescue our former CIA operatives and our military” in Libya. One big problem here, folks: Simmons has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.
Background: In an April 29 press release the Department of Justice noted that Simmons “falsely claimed he spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency” and had pleaded guilty “to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.”
More from that DOJ announcement:
(1) There are no records or any other evidence that Simmons was ever employed by or worked with the CIA;
(2) Simmons never applied for or was granted a security clearance by the CIA;
(3) Simmons admitted in order to obtain the senior intelligence advisor position, he lied about work he had done a year earlier as a team leader on the Human Terrain Systems program;
(4) Simmons admitted to making similar false statements in 2009 in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain work with the State Department’s Worldwide Protective Service).
(5) 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).
(6) 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 essence, his fraud cost the government money, could have put American lives at risk, and it was overall an insult to the real men and women of the intelligence community who provide tireless service to this country.
Simmons was a frequent guest on Fox News, appearing on the network dozens of times purporting to be a former CIA operative. In those appearances, Simmons regularly criticized Democrats on foreign policy and national security issues.
In one instance, he said, “If the Democrats come into power in the United States and re-employ their vision of defense for this country, we will have 911's unabated.”
When Simmons was first arrested for the fraud charges, AIM scrubbed references to his role from its website.
Fox News acknowledged that he had appeared on the network as a “national security and terrorism expert,” but said he “was never employed by the channel and was never paid by Fox.”
Related: “The Human Terrain System (HTS)” that Simmons was part of for a short period of time:
HTS was an Army support program which employed personnel from the social science disciplines, such as: anthropology, sociology, political science, regional studies, and linguistics – to provide military commanders and staff with an understanding of the local population (i.e. the "human terrain") in the regions in which they are deployed.
The concept for HTS was first developed in a paper by Montgomery McFate and Andrea Jackson in 2005. That paper proposed a pilot version of the project as a response to “identified gaps in U.S. military commanders and staffs understanding of the local population and culture” such as that which had become particularly visible during the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was subsequently launched as a proof-of-concept program, run by the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) (in February 2007). Five HTS teams were deployed between Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2007, HTS had grown from a program with five deployed teams and a $20 million two-year budget to one with 31 deployed teams and a $150 million annual budget, and it became a permanent Army program in 2010.
HTS was surrounded by controversy from the time it started even all the while it initially received a lot of positive coverage in the media. However, it quickly became the subject of heavy criticism – particularly not only from anthropologists, but from journalists, military officials, HTS personnel, and former HTS personnel.
Most notably, on October 31, 2007, the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) published a statement opposing HTS as an “unacceptable application of anthropological expertise” that conflicted with AAA Code of Ethics.
Following the publication of a report on HTS by the Commission on Engagement of Anthropology with the U.S. Security and Intelligence Services (CEAUSSIC) in 2009, the AAA released a further statement of disapproval, which they re-iterated in 2012 after rumors that the controversy had died down. The program then evolved into a mechanism for supporting security force assistance.
The program and all its operations were terminated September 30 2014. Now Simmons faces a lot time in prison.