Clizbe Exposed Fake Fox News “CIA Officer” in 2013
By Kent Clizbe December 5, 2013
Oct. 15, 2015, Note: This article was written in late 2013, more than two years ago. During the course of my vetting Wayne Simmons, I met, spoke with, corresponded with, and shared the results of my vetting with Fox News, other media figures, high-level CIA retirees, the Benghazi group Simmons was closely associated with, and many others. No one was interested in printing this story then.
The “conservative” media has huge problems. Wayne Simmons is a great poster boy for those problems.
I knew it within three minutes of meeting him: Wayne Simmons was a fraud. My friend introduced us because “you’re both former CIA.” Simmons was Fox News’ go-to-guy for commentary on intelligence and counter-terrorism. My friend, a military veteran applying his experience in media and writing, was excited about being associated with Simmons, a “CIA officer.”
Talking to me, Simmons adopted an attitude of brotherhood. He mentioned “his operations against drug cartels,” and going undercover to get drug dealers. He told me, “Yeah, that’s how we have to live our lives,” referring to secrecy and compartmentation.
Real CIA operations officers can immediately categorize a colleague, as in any bureaucracy or highly structured organization. A couple of butt-sniffing questions, and you put the guy in a box: When did you go to the farm? Where were you homebased? Where was your first tour? Did you do the war zone? When did you retire? Were you management? What were your targets? Did you know _____?
Takes less than five minutes of conversation to have a clear assessment of your new friend. And it takes the same length of time to determine if your new friend is a fraud. Nothing Simmons talked about rang true. Nothing.
Simmons, who has appeared regularly on Fox News as an expert on intelligence, human intelligence, espionage, terrorism, counter-terrorism, Islamic extremism and other issues, has never been a CIA officer. But he made that claim directly and indirectly, dozens of times in various media — internet, television, radio — in the last ten years.
On his own website, Flashman-like, he described his mythical CIA career:
“He was recruited by the CIA in 1973 while in the U.S. Navy. He became part of an Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Group where he spent 8 of his 27 year career working against Narco Terrorists. Simmons spearheaded Deep Cover Intel Ops against some of the world’s most dangerous Drug Cartels from Central and South America and the Middle East. In addition to working against Narco terrorists he ran Special Operations against Arms Smugglers, Counterfeiters, Cyber-terrorists and Industrial and Economic Espionage. His Deep Cover Intelligence Operations helped lead to the seizures of marijuana, cocaine and heroin with a combined value of over $1 Billion Dollars.”
After my first meeting with Simmons in 2010, I began a vetting operation that culminated this week [Dec. 2013] in his admission that he was not a CIA officer, and had never been.
Earlier this week [Dec. 2013], Simmons, in a note to a retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service officer, agreed to “never personally hold myself out as CIA again.”
It is sad to see someone fraudulently profit from false claims of experience, connections, and professional expertise. Actual CIA operations officers were denied opportunities to apply their experience and expertise, when Simmons fraudulently pretended to be one of them. And Simmons profited professionally and personally from his ruse.
Since Obama ran for president, I’ve urged conservatives to focus on vetting — both our opponents, and our own candidates. We deserve a higher standard from conservative media. We, rightly, criticize Politically Correct Progressive media for their fraudulent claims and attacks. By featuring a fraud in its commentating line-up, a prominent conservative network let us down.
Let’s pop the pimple, admit our mistakes, and move on. I hope that Simmons is able to find his place without false claims. While it may be painful to admit the truth, at least he did [in 2013, an admission which he then retracted]. One can only hope he’ll sleep easier now.
Postscript: This article was never published in 2013 because Simmons, when shown a pre-publication copy for his comments, called all his “conservative” protectors to circle their wagons around him. A host of high-level military and CIA retirees (see the Benghazi Committee roster) made clear that they would allow no criticisms of their fake “covert operator,” Simmons. Not one “conservative” media outlet wanted anything to do with breaking this story — in 2013. See the damage done when the truth finally outed in 2015.
Kent Clizbe is an actual former CIA case officer. Specialized in counterterrorism, Islamic extremism, Southeast Asia, and vetting.