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Also, he never captured Boris Badenov.


Regular viewers of Fox News (i.e., no Wonkette readers at all) are probably familiar with its frequent guest expert on intelligence and foreign policy, former CIA operative Wayne Simmons, who said that he'd worked for The Agency for 27 years and knew lots of cool spy stuff. All of which is true: He sure did say that, and he was definitely a regular on Fox. The only part that's slightly made up is the part about him being a CIA dude, ever, which would be why he was arrested Thursday after being indicted on multiple fraud charges. Dang, a completely fake expert on Fox News? That's really gonna hurt their credibility! At least he can still swap war stories with Bill O'Reilly.

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Simmons claimed on his website bio that he was recruited by the CIA in 1973 "to became part of an Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Group" and that he had led "Deep Cover Intel Ops against some of the world's most dangerous Drug Cartels and arms smugglers." Fox probably should have been a bit skeptical about the lines on his résumé where he said that he'd had personally arrested Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Pussy Galore.

He's been charged with "major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of Eastern Virginia. In addition to lying about his nonexistent spy career in background checks for security clearances, Simmons is also accused of defrauding some poor schlub out of "approximately $125,000 in connection with a bogus real estate investment." At least he diversified his fraud.

During his guest appearances on Fox, Simmons was usually identified as a "former CIA operative," "former CIA analyst," or "former CIA officer." We're guessing that Roger Ailes has assembled a special team of Fox graphics experts to change all archived videotapes to describe Simmons as a "Former CIA Wannabee."

Simmons was often given to making what CNN delicately describes as "extreme and factually dubious statements pertaining to terrorism and national security." In January of this year, he insisted that there were "at least 19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States," although he didn't need any secret pals in the intelligence community to say that -- it was already a fixture of the loony rightwing blogosphere at the time. At the very least, Simmons helped to take that myth mainstream, not that anyone takes it seriously.

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The indictment accuses Simmons of falsely claiming to have been employed by the CIA when he filled out applications for a national security clearance in 2009, when he was already working for Fox. He even received an interim clearance, which sure makes us feel confident about our Intelligence Community. And there's more!

At one point, while working for one of the government contractors on the basis of his CIA claim, Simmons was also trained on a U.S. military base in preparation for him to work with military personnel abroad, the indictment said. However Simmons never finished training and was ultimately not deployed, according to the indictment.

Didn't finish his training, huh? Wonder if that's because he had painful foot problems, a pilonidal cyst, or if he had to go work on his dad's presidential campaign?

A spokesperson for Fox News, Irena Briganti, told CNN that Simmons "was never a contributor for Fox News," and that he wasn't paid for his guest appearances. She refused to comment further, and eventually stuck her fingers in her ears and began singing "Lalalala, I can't hear you, he never worked heeeere, we don't even know him!"

Get ready for the loonosphere to spin an alternate version of the story, in which Simmons was taken down because he really was a CIA agent, but the government had to silence him because he was getting too close to the real truth about Barack Obama's secret ties to al Qaeda, the Bilderburg group, the Bavarian Illuminati, and/or the Red Lectroids.

In a related development, Fox News has hired a new commenter on intelligence and national security, former intelligence operative Dan Gerzone, who it touts as an expert on ISIS:

Jeeze, Lana, read a book.

[TPM / CNN]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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