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David Race Bannon: The spy who never was
David Race Bannon, who claims to have worked for Interpol as a hit man, was arrested for criminal impersonation - after for years possibly serving as an expert witness in courts and on news channels
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
by Robert Duncan
Call him the spy who never came in from the cold - or better yet, the spy who never was.
David Race Bannon, 42, of Charlotte, North Carolina, claims to have worked for Interpol as a hit man, was arrested Friday, Jan. 27, in Boulder, Colo. for criminal impersonation. Various websites (including a cached version of his website) claim that Bannon has served as an expert witness in U.S. federal appellate court, and appeared on the Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel, A&E, The History Channel, TechTV and National Public Radio.
Jefferson County district attorney spokesman Carl Blesch said in a statement that Bannon didn't resist his arrest Friday at a Boulder restaurant. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Bannon was in Colorado "meeting with a group that was sponsoring his planned appearance today in Boulder." That same article said CBI agents described Bannon as "'dumbfounded' when he was taken into custody." Bannon is scheduled for his first district court appearance on Feb. 2. Bond was set at $5,000. Bannon is the author of "Race Against Evil -- The Secret Missions of the Interpol Agent Who Tracked the World's Most Sinister Criminals.''
A press statement for Bannon's "Race Against Evil" book, claims that "at age 18, the American youth is recruited by Interpol after he is caught in a deadly riot in South Korea. Over the next 15 years, Bannon is trained to work in the darkest regions of humanity, to deny societal inhibitors against killing and embrace the agency's role as deliverer of grim justice to evildoers beyond the reach of the law. His missions take him from investigating the bombing of KAL 858 and infiltrating prisons in Korea to the disappearance of London's most notorious child pornographer and searching out terrorists and criminals in the United States."
It appears even Bannon's name is in question.
"The former David Wayne Dilley changed his name to Bannon in Spokane, Washington, in 1990, choosing the name because of the character Race Bannon in the classic Hanna-Barbera adventure cartoon 'Jonny Quest,'" according to the Mainichi Daily News. Despite the similarity between Bannon's name and that of a cartoon character from Johnny Quest - specifically the trusty friend of Dr. Quest is called Race Bannon - his book has received support from some fringe groups. "I wish more people would bring this tragic occurance to light. As a mother and a youth leader, I had no idea how much of this was going on in the world. I knew about child abduction and child abuse and have tryed educating parents and teens about safety," reads one reviewer, while another at the same website wrote "This is a fascinating, hair-raising, sometimes hilarious and sometimes tragic account of the brave men and women who went behind the lines in child sex slavery rings." Both those reviewers were anonymous.
But as far back as 2004 Interpol has been saying that Bannon's history is fiction.
Working in collaboration with the U.S. National Central Bureau of Interpol, the Interpol General Secretariat (Lyon, France), and other Interpol member countries, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said Bannon's credentials are bogus and his efforts to profit from the deception to be illegal. He is charged with criminal impersonation, computer crime and attempted theft. "Interpol's General Secretariat in Lyon has no record of David Race Bannon having been employed and no knowledge of individuals mentioned in Mr. Bannon's book. Interpol exists to facilitate the exchange of information between the world's law enforcement agencies and to provide analysis of criminal data and other services. Accordingly, the claims in Mr. Bannon's book can only be seen as deceptive and irresponsible fantasy,'' the Interpol General Secretariat said in a 2004 statement.
Using his alleged background as an Interpol agent and expert in human trafficking, Bannon is compensated for speaking engagements and subject-matter training courses. The Colorado Department of Public Safety confirmed that Bannon had solicited fees in excess of $3,000 for a two-day training course on human trafficking. It is reported that the affidavit also calls into question Bannon's doctorate from a Korean university.
As well as being an alternative radio personality, one website claims that Bannon holds a "Doctorate degree in Asian History form Seoul National University, a Masterís degree in Computer Science, and he is fluent in Korean and Japanese. He has published several books on political and military history of the region, as well as a martial arts encyclopedia and computer text books. Bannon has appeared on the Discovery Channel, A & E, and The History Channel. He has also spoken on International security at world conferences from Berlin to Tokyo to Washington."
There has been no explanation regarding how Bannon could have fooled people, including possibly members of Interpol - if they were indeed members of the organization. In April 2003 the Kungfu magazine interviewed Bannon along with somebody identified as Interpol Commissioner Jacques Defferre, and who was said at that time to be Bannon's retired superior at Interpol. That interview was said to have been granted so the two ex-spies could explain "their motives for working in Archangel (the operation Bannon names in his book). Sitting in a coffee shop in Charlotte, NC, the two plainly described how the underground kiddie porn industry is used to fund terrorist cells, and of the vast international networks of kidnappers and pornographers who continue to earn 'billions of dollars' working above the law."
Other websites, including an Amazon reviewer who says he is an former intelligence officer and goes by the name of Geoffrey Ries claims, that Jacques Defferre was a French-born spy, to whom Interpol gave the code name Archie, "who died this year (2003) at age 67 in Marseilles, France. Protean in his exploits, Defferre served as a commissioner in Interpol. During the Vietnam War, Jacques Defferre set up Interpol's spy operations in Asia and coordinated the exchange of intelligence between France and South Korea."
Last edited by Sam Browning; 2/01/2006 5:36pm at .
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