Settle in, folks.  This one‘s a doozy:

The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.

John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits  over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his lies were a “crime of massive proportion” that were “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.

Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales.

“With the help of his therapist,” wrote attorney John Kern, “Mr. Beale has come to recognize that, beyond the motive of greed, his theft and deception were animated by a highly self-destructive and dysfunctional need to engage in excessively reckless, risky behavior.” Kern also said Beale was driven “to manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives … that are fueled by his insecurities.

In other words… he’s a liberal.

Also important:

Beyond Beale’s individual fate, his case raises larger questions about how he was able to get away with his admitted fraud for so long, according to federal and congressional investigators. Two new reports by the EPA inspector general’s office conclude that top officials at the agency “enabled” Bealeby failing to verify any of his phony cover stories about CIA work, and failing to check on hundreds of thousands of dollars paid him in undeserved bonuses and travel expenses — including first-class trips to London where he stayed at five-star hotels and racked up thousands in bills for limos and taxis.

So he’s a liberal… who works for the government.  

I honestly don’t know whether to buy this man a drink or spit on him.  Sure I hate the thought of anyone cheating us taxpayers, but you have to admit — this guy has flair.  It reminds me of that scene in “The Dark Knight” where the joker explains that Gotham “deserves a better class of criminal.”  Maybe that’s how Beale felt about Washington and decided to shake things up a bit…

At times, it seems Beale was just looking for ridiculous ways to abuse power purely for sport:

[Beale] also claimed to be suffering from malaria that he got while serving in Vietnam. According to his lawyer’s filing, he didn’t have malaria and never served in Vietnam. He told the story to EPA officials so he could get special handicap parking at a garage near EPA headquarters.

What’s worse, as Allahpundit also points out, Beale was this close to getting away with it (emphasis mine):

Despite an internal investigation and looming prison sentence, some of Beale’s more slow-witted pals at the EPA — who are crafting America’s environmental policy as I write this — apparently still believe that he’s a spy and is simply choosing to “take one for the team” by accepting jail time in order to preserve the secrecy of CIA operations in the field. Don’t underestimate a fool’s willingness to protect his ego by willingly continuing to be fooled. And the punchline is, if Beale hadn’t pushed his greed to an even more absurd length, he’d probably have gotten away with it. He threw a big retirement party for himself aboard a yacht in September 2011; six months later, his boss discovered that he was still on the payroll and the resulting probe uncovered that … he wasn’t officially retired. He was still collecting checks. Apparently, for whatever reason, the guy decided to stop using his CIA nonsense as an excuse not to show up to work and just … fake-retired instead. If he’d quit while he was ahead and retired in 2011 for real, there never would have been an investigation. Although I guess you could look at it the opposite way too: If he’d only concocted a story that was closer to his field of expertise, he could have carried on forever. Had he told them he was hard at work perfecting the ultimate computer model of global warming at his secret home laboratory but that it just wasn’t ready for anyone to see it, they’d probably have given him a raise. As it is, some true-believing moron who worked with him at the EPA is going to end up visiting Langley some day and stenciling an extra star on the wall of honor, Carrie-Mathison-style.

Read the whole bizarre story here.

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