Even as he was being sentenced to Crowbar Motel, Wayne Simmons kept insisting to the judge that he was really a super-duper secret agent. This Ain’t Hell has the report, linked below:
(I’m not sure how we pulled that embed off… it just happened? Blogging with WordPress is like being Homer Simpson: “Life is a bunch of things that just happen.” Pardon the digression).
TAH’s story was based on one at the Washington Post, about which, more in a moment.
Meanwhile, TAH bagged not one, but two phony vets in relation to the Republican National Convention, a phonyish Woman Marine who was actually going to speak (she was dropped when exposed), and a phony Vietnam hero photogenically holding up a flag.
So why did the Post, which normally cares not a whit about phonies (they routinely tonguebathe phony Vietnam vets Richard Blumenthal and Tom Harkin, phony Indian Elizabeth Warren, and phony black Shaun King), suddenly get interested in a phony? Not just because it was a good news story (or they’d write about the others, yes?). Perhaps because among Simmons’s fraud victims was the Post’s arch-rival Fox News, which fell for the clown’s clown act utterly. The Post’s Rachel Weiner:
Wayne Simmons was a professional football player, a drug trafficker, a nightclub doorman, a Fox News guest analyst and an intelligence adviser in Afghanistan.
What Simmons, 62, was not, according to all available evidence, was a CIA agent. In federal court in Virginia on Friday, just before he was sentenced to 33 months in prison, he apologized for lying about his security clearance, his criminal history and his finances.
Wait, what? Criminal history?
Authorities first began investigating Simmons in the fall of 2013 when a woman he had a romantic relationship with came to the FBI saying he had taken her money in a real estate scam. The probe ended up going much deeper.
Authorities excavated Simmons’s life and career, starting with his claim that he was recruited to the CIA out of the Navy in 1973.
In fact, according to prosecutors, Simmons was discharged from the Navy for medical reasons just a couple of weeks after he enlisted. And former CIA officials told the government that they did not recruit agents out of basic training.
Simmons went on to briefly work on a pipeline in Alaska and then played football for several years with the semi-pro Baltimore Eagles and the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints.
Again, his career was cut short by medical problems, according to the records provided by the government.
Each of the missions Simmons claims to have then undertaken on behalf of the CIA was, according to a long court filing from prosecutors, merely the scheming of a petty criminal.
The Post article is replete with details about this guy’s scheming, always crooked, always self-serving, and always resolutely small-time. He seems to have been a hard-core narcissistic knucklehead who couldn’t stop playing Baron Munchhausen. Example:
Defense officials told investigators that a 1996 operation to “recover a very special alloy or object, most likely a Picosatellite,” simply never happened. Finally, Simmons’s Grasonville, Md., CIA safe house was, in the government’s assessment, just a dilapidated vacation home.
It just gets deeper and deeper. Read The Whole Thing™, because we’re only showing you a few highlights.
After starting at Fox, Simmons became part of a group of military veterans cultivated by the Defense Department under Donald H. Rumsfeld. He traveled to Guantanamo Bay with the group. Former Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld, told prosecutors that there was no vetting done to be in the program, because it required no security clearance.
Rumsfeld later wrote a letter supporting Simmons’s effort to have his wife buried at Arlington National Cemetery, according to prosecutors.
Eh. Why do these politicians think their buddies and their buddies’ wives need to pollute our national reliquary? No, just because it took you two weeks to medical out of Navy basic, and just because of the rich fantasy life you’ve lived since then, doesn’t mean you’re a hero outside of your own mind.
And as we often say, Stolen Valor is never an “only” crime. True for Simmons as for so many others:
Simmons pleaded guilty in April to major fraud against the United States, wire fraud and being a felon in possession of a firearm. His prior record includes firearms, assault and gambling offenses, prosecutors said.
Two years and nine months to reflect on all those crimes is not going to be enough. We need sentencing reform, something like 10-20-Life.