Lt. Col. Chris Simmons was on the Babalu Radio Hour last night, and the first thing that his interview made clear is that he doesn’t like the way his credentials and job history are being discussed.
“There has been some confusion caused intentionally by a small cabal of misguided but enthusiastic others,” he said, who are trying to “cast aspersions.”
He doesn’t like the word “former,” but that’s what I was told when I called a Defense Intelligence Agency spokesman: “former employee.” It turns out he worked there until last December. He is now an Army reservist, on active duty, working as an intelligence officer. He says his “area of specialty is counterintelligence,” although from the way he phrased his answer, it sounds like he’s not assigned to counterintelligence duties now. From the bio on his website, it seems he spent eight years working on
It would never occur to me to question whether Simmons has spent a career in intelligence; that’s obviously the case. (His interview includes lots of interesting nuggets, about
His status in the government arouses curiosity because it has been reported about a dozen different ways in news articles, and because – as would occur to most intelligence professionals – it is rare in our country that anyone in our government who does not exercise prosecutorial power, would step out to accuse Americans of specific crimes.
Which Simmons did again last night, with gusto.
So here’s the deal: “I welcome the opportunity,” Simmons says, to back up his charges, which he says are based on a professor’s articles, and by his talks with former Cuban intelligence operatives. If people feel then have been defamed, they can “take me to civil court, sue me for defamation, and I will parade my evidence in front of the world.”
He “can’t speak for” the Justice Department, Simmons says, but he does exactly that: “And the court case will go from civil case to a criminal case very quickly, and the people accused will find themselves being charged by the government” for espionage, working as an unregistered foreign agent, or tax evasion if they were paid by the Cuban government and did not declare that income.
“You don’t have to believe me,” Simmons says. “If you don’t believe me, take me to court and make me prove it.” Until then, he will presumably keep his notes of conversations with Cuban defectors to himself. Meanwhile, we should defer to his judgment, because according to Simmons, “when it comes to intelligence issues those areas are best left to counterintelligence officers.”
How is this anything other than a smear campaign carried out by a uniformed officer of our military?
[Discussion of Simmons’ appearance on A Mano Limpia last week is here.]