Fox News is widely known for peddling in mistruths and outright falsehoods, but the latest development in the cable news network’s long-running Benghazi obsession has tittered over into “can’t make it up” territory. A frequent conservative commentator on the right wing network, Wayne Simmons, was formally arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury for major crimes against the United States including fraud, and making false statements to the government.
He claimed, falsely, that he had a long career with the Central Intelligence Agency – and wire fraud. Because of Mr. Simmons claimed experience with the CIA, Fox News informally appointed him as the network’s go-to expert on Benghazi matters. Indeed, he was at the forefront of the circus calling for the Benghazi Select Committee – which had already been admitted by multiple congressional Republicans to be a naked political exercise for the 2016 Presidential campaign, rather than a legitimate fact-finding mission.
Mr. Simmons was one of the signatures on the March 5, 2014 letter that included several prominent activists urging House Speaker John Boehner to form this now-defamed committee. Boehner followed through on their recommendation only two months later. It almost seems criminally erroneous that a false committee soaking up taxpayer money was championed by a fraud making fake claims and who was promoted exclusively and extensively by Fox News. Wayne Simmons’ past as a member of the CIA made him the Fox News authority on everything Benghazi. And while Fox predictably did not fact-check his background (fact-checking isn’t exactly their forte), the FBI did. Turns out, Mr. Simmons never worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. He’d been lying about being a spy the whole time … big surprise. I don’t think real spy’s ever gloat about being a spy. Because that would blow their cover, right?
Anyway, Wayne Simmons might have gotten a little carried away with his fantasy career history. Recently he used those false claims of spy-hood and all the Fox News endorsements to attempt to access government security clearances. Of course, he didn’t actually manage to do this because he was nowhere near authorized and was subsequently investigated, and charged with major fraud.
Fox News, the network that promoted, supported, and allowed this eccentric deceiver so much undue attention has yet to comment on their little mistake. But that’s alright. I think everyone has about heard enough from Fox News to last a lifetime.