Near the end of his appearance last week on A Mano Limpia on
Why? Because these men were top targets of Cuban intelligence.
Never mind Posada’s background or the fact that the Bush Administration itself calls him a terrorist.
Never mind that Alvarez pleaded guilty after machine guns, a silencer, a grenade launcher, and other weapons were found stored on property he owns in Broward County. (He entered the plea, the Herald reported, after a mean-spirited judge rejected a “proposal to include Cuban Americans from
No, we got played because Simmons accuses an FBI informer in the case of being a double agent, and because
If Fidel’s for it, I’m against it. With that mindset, Simmons is going to do very well in
He’s certainly doing well on A Mano Limpia, where host Oscar Haza treated him with the journalistic gentleness we only see when Randy Alonso meets his comandante en jefe. It was less an interview than a chat where the host mainly nudges the guest from one topic to another – guided in this case by the notes from which Simmons read. The program, with a bad voice-over translation, is linked at Penultimos Dias.
In this hour, Simmons smilingly accuses four people of serving as agents of influence for
Simmons is a U.S. Army officer. The Defense Intelligence Agency refers to him as a “former employee.” In his spare time he and a collection of former Cuban intelligence officers work at an organization he founded. His bio makes it appear that he worked on
Simmons made his accusations, he said, based on his conversations with former Cuban intelligence officers. Haza, to his credit, did ask if these Cubans might be lying; Simmons said there’s “no possibility” of that. Well, that settles that!
Simmons spoke at most length about Alberto Coll, who was convicted in 2005 of lying on
When Coll faced charges related to that travel violation, rumors abounded that he was being investigated for espionage. Haza asked if Simmons had anything to do with the Coll investigation. Simmons said he would “rather not say.” Haza politely left it at that.
But Simmons insisted that there was more to Coll’s story, even though the prosecutor in the case said on the record to journalist Ann Louise Bardach, that “we recognized this was not the crime of the century, and that’s why we recommended the lowest possible punishment – something we never do.”
Simmons’ Cuban sources tell him that Coll met twice in
In fact, Simmons never said what Coll actually did as an agent of influence. He said – surprise – that Coll spoke to his superiors after his
Similarly, while at the Pentagon, Coll was in a position to “counsel and inform” the Cuban government about
You get the idea.
Simmons charges that Gillian Gunn Clissold is a Cuban agent, again without evidence. He identifies her as a
Simmons worked in a smear of the Cuban American National Foundation – a long-standing, pro-embargo organization that now favors expanded travel to
Simmons is writing a book with a
I wish him well in that pursuit, but he is showing himself now to be a mediocre smear artist. He portrays himself as an expert on one of the world’s top intelligence services, a service that operates in a language he can’t speak. Simmons trades on his government experience, and on the uniform he wears, to level grave charges against American citizens. He offers no evidence but his own judgment, and conversations he has supposedly had with former Cuban officials. His assertions make for good television in the 305 area code, but they are not backed by anyone in government who has the courage to speak in public.
More important, it doesn’t inspire confidence that our government put a person such as this up against one of the world’s top intelligence services. Watch the program and judge for yourself, but this example jumped out at me. Simmons noted that Coll has the same alma mater, the
By my count, there are 20,356 students enrolled now at the
[Update: A reader asked, with good reason, why I discussed only three of the four people whom Lt. Col. Simmons accused of being Cuban agents of influence, omitting Marifeli Perez-Stable. I meant nothing by the omission. Her views on