On Thursday, a man named Wayne Simmons was arrested by the FBI for what the agency called “major fraud” — lying about having worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for nearly 30 years, and then using that lie to obtain government security clearances.
Before his arrest, though, Simmons was a frequent contributor on Fox News, which billed him as a “former CIA operative.” And as might be expected, he used his claimed experience to make provocative assertions about U.S. national security policy, particularly America’s vulnerability to terrorism.
In light of his indictment, ThinkProgress reviewed his appearances on Fox News. Simmons was regularly featured on the network since at least 2002, so there were a lot to choose from.
When he said “boy king” Obama inspires terrorism
A little more than a year after the 2008 presidential election, Simmons told Fox News that president Obama — who he called the “boy king” — was directly responsible for a number of recent acts of terrorism.
“Since the coronation of the boy king 15 months ago, it is again not an accident that every third world despot — every third world despot — from Venezuela through Cuba to North Korea, virtually anyone in the Middle East that decides they want to take a shot at the United States and our Allies is doing just that,” Simmons said . “These guys now that are staring to come out of the woodwork are emboldened. They recognize, as do the third world nations [and] the dictators, that there will be no repercussions from the Obama administration.”
When he said Democrats would cause “9-1-1s unabated”
Speaking on The O’Reilly Factor in 2005, Simmons defended then-President George W. Bush’s decision to go into Iraq, and said Democratic-controlled government would cause “9-1-1s unabated.”
This, he said, was “not an opinion — this will absolutely be proven to be fact.”
“If the Democrats come into power in the United States and re-employ their vision of defense for this country, we will have 9-1-1s unabated,” Simmons said. “That’s not maybe. We know what took place in the past. And I still don’t understand exactly what it is that the Americans expect President Bush to do any different than he’s already done, Bill.”
When he said the missing Malaysian airliner was a “state-sponsored attack”
In an interview on Brian Kilmeade’s radio show last year, Simmons breathlessly described his theory for why Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared over the South China Sea: A “state-sponsored” attack, carried out by “guys like me.”
“This had to have been, in my opinion, a state sponsored … very sophisticated attack on this airplane, and it had to be done by guys like me, from the intelligence agency, an intelligence agency, or with a really heavy intelligence background to pull this off,” he said. “This was very, very meticulously planned, and it was pulled off.”
When he said America will be attacked because of “pathological liar” Nancy Pelosi
Employing another “guys like me” reference, Simmons in 2009 said that CIA operatives might abandon their posts because of then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whom he called a “pathological liar.”
“The Speaker of the House is a pathological liar and her attacks on the CIA, the release of the CIA memos has so sent a chill through the CIA to guys like me,” he said. ” I can assure you that we are not going to go the extra mile ever in this climate to secure information and intelligence that’s going to protect the United States, so understand that … this has directly affected the National Security of the United States.”
When he claimed to have personally witnessed a narco-terrorist cut someone’s tongue off
Simmons appeared on the O’Reilly Factor in 2003 to discuss the interrogation of Saddam Hussein. He argued that the United States should be relatively unrestrained in their interrogation, including the use of “chemicals” and “mind-altering drugs.”
His justification was that he had personally witnessed much more extreme tactics employed by narco-terrorists. “I have been involved in or been — not involved in, been in the rooms when narco terrorist interrogations were taking place. And they are brutal. You don’t want to watch someone get their eyes cut out, have their tongues cut out,” Simmons said.
When he claimed he had a plan to destroy ISIS in one week
Appearing on Fox News in March, he asserted that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was actually running the country. But she didn’t know how to defeat ISIS. For Simmons, the solution was very simple.
“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 designate absolutely decimate ISIS, ISIL, I.S., whatever you want to call them. They would all be dead,” he said.
When he criticized the FBI for being bad at background checks
He may be regretting this one now, but in 2007, Simmons criticized the FBI for allowing a security breach that resembles the situation he is currently in, for not properly vetting their staff.
At the time of his criticism, the agency had hired a woman who faked a marriage to win U.S. citizenship, and then used that citizenship to get a job at the FBI. When employed by the agency, the woman then used an FBI computer to search for information about her relatives.
“Somewhere along the line of course Douglas, someone, whoever was responsible for the background check at the FBI really, really fell down,” Simmons said on Fox News, as he himself was being described as a “former CIA officer.”