The FBI’s file on Steve Jobs

Apparently George H. W. Bush considered Steve Jobs for an appointment to his Export Council in 1991. As CBS reports, the FBI compiled a report on his eligibility, which was released yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI was a bit hesitant to recommend him, perhaps because Jobs kept officials waiting for weeks to meet with him. Or maybe it was the rampant ’70s drug use. Or the illegitimate daughter that he ignored for a decade. The best line is from a co-worker who states that Jobs was “a deceptive individual who is not completely forthright and honest,” with “a tendency to distort reality in order to achieve his goals.” To his credit, another Apple employee later adds that “…honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position.” Sounds about right for politics. Despite the backhanded compliments, every single interviewee recommended Jobs for the job. Good thing they didn’t judge him by his high school GPA, which was apparently a dismal 2.65.

Turns out that Steve did serve on Bush’s council, though I doubt Jobs knew that much about exports at the time. NeXT was hardly an international hit, and even their factories were still in Silicon Valley. I suspect that his Top Secret security clearance from 1988, when he worked on U.S. satellite programs, might have made him a more appealing candidate.

If you’d like to read the document for yourself, take a look at the FBI’s site.

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