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Mr. Jobs was dishonest and had used drugs, one former co-worker said, but he was a good fit for the fed. gov't

After you die, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is required to unseal, in most cases, its records on you if someone asks for them via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. § 552) filing.  As you can imagine, this leads to some interesting revelations.

I. FBI Investigates Bomb Threat

The FBI was apparently quite familiar with Apple, Inc. (AAPL) co-founder and CEO Steven P. Jobs, who passed away in October after battling cancer.

Reportedly the agency twice crossed paths with Mr. Jobs, first during the investigation of a 1985 bomb threat extortion attempt against Mr. Jobs, and then during an extensive background check for his bid at a George H. W. Bush appointment.

The bomb threat came on Feb. 7, 1985 from a pay phone that the FBI traced to a garage at the San Francisco airport.  The man claimed to have planted three bombs inside Mr. Jobs' house.  He demanded $1M USD in unmarked, undyed bills be placed aboard a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train.  He warned that if the police became involved, a fourth explosive would go off.

BART Train
An extortionist tried to milk $1M USD from Mr. Jobs via a bomb threat.  He asked that the money be placed aboard a BART train. [Image Source: Kong/SF.Streets.Blog]

Mr. Jobs was skeptical of the claims and did not cave to the demands.  The FBI would go on to investigate the incident, dusting the phone for prints and searching Mr. Jobs residence for explosives.

II. A Presidential Appointment 

The agency would later cross paths with the tech luminary in 1991, when he interviewed for a post on the president's Export Council, during the presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush.

Like any government post on a federal level, a thorough background check was required.  

The background check interviewed 29 individuals, including friends and co-workers.  It was marked "Presidential Expedite" and "Secret", but the latter classification was crossed out at a later date, allowing the records release.  At the time Mr. Jobs had left Apple and was serving as the president of NEXT Computer, as well as CEO and chairman of Pixar.

(NEXT would later be bought by Apple, while Pixar was later purchased by The Walt Disney Comp. (DIS).)

The FBI was frustrated by its requests for information being stifled by Mr. Jobs' former employer, Apple, under the command of CEO John Sculley.  The agency writes, "[T]he Apple Computer Company has been less than cooperative, in terms of providing assistance as requested of the Legal Department"

Its findings "supported" Mr. Jobs own claims to have experimented heavily with LSD, a hallucinogen.  Sources commented "concerning past drug use on the part of Mr. Jobs" in the file.

It also noted Mr. Jobs' tendency towards dishonesty and spinning reality to his own viewpoint (the legendary "distortion field").  The agency writes, "Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals."

Ultimately this denial of reality would -- in part -- lead to Mr. Jobs' tragic demise, perhaps, as he reportedly refused treatment of his pancreatic cancer until it had reached advanced stages.  For some time Mr. Jobs persistently believed, according to biographer Walter Isaacson, that he could will away the illness with his mind -- an approach that did not work.

However, many of these individuals still recommended Mr. Jobs for the post.  One individual remarked that a person did not need honesty or integrity to be a perfect fit for the American federal government.  He subsequently recommended Mr. Jobs -- who he called "dishonest" -- "for a position of trust and confidence with the Government."

Reality Distortion
Sources said Mr. Jobs was dishonest and distorted reality to his liking.
[Image Source: Chris Wahl]

As for Mr. Jobs' professional character otherwise, his colleagues saw him as more of a creative force rather than a technical one.  One stated that while he was "not an engineer in the real sense, he understands base technology and technical jargon to the extent that he is an innovative force within the technical community, in terms of the contributions he has made."

Some noted his strong relationship with Asian suppliers and retailers (whom he would deal with in his pending appointment), commenting, "[Mr. Jobs] understood the Japanese culture and had a great deal of contact in dealing with companies in the Orient."

Opinions on Mr. Jobs' professionalism varied wildly with some calling him harsh and abrasive, while another opined that he "treated people fairly and was considerate of others problems and needs."

The file notes several past or pending lawsuits against Mr. Jobs -- which include a suit from a female employee Mr. Jobs encouraged to come to NEXT from Apple and then fired shortly thereafter; an U.S. Security and Exchange Commission trading violation investigation; a class action shareholder lawsuit over Apple Lisa; and a settled 1985 case over Mr. Jobs taking employees and technical information from Apple when he left the firm that year.

Despite the concerns about Mr. Jobs' dishonesty and drug experimentation, President Bush apparently felt him a good fit for the job and appointed him anyways.  The FBI agreed with the decision, stating that there was no compelling reason to ban him from the post, based on their findings.

The full case file can be viewed here, courtesy of Wired.

Source: FBI [via Wired]

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That article title hurt my brains...
By quiksilvr on 2/13/2012 11:52:38 AM , Rating: 5
Steve Jobs Given Bush Sr.-Era Post Despite LSD Use, Reality Distortion


RE: That article title hurt my brains...
By quiksilvr on 2/13/2012 12:03:25 PM , Rating: 5
How about:

Steve Jobs Given Government Job in Bush Sr. Era Despite LSD Use and Claims of Magic Use

By The Raven on 2/13/2012 1:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
How about:

Steve Jobs' Job Offer After Using LSD and Smoking Bush, Bush Sr. Era Report Reports.

RE: That article title hurt my brains...
By Helbore on 2/13/2012 12:16:02 PM , Rating: 5
I think it should read;

"Article title written post LSD use."

By CharonPDX on 2/13/2012 5:00:01 PM , Rating: 5

By kattanna on 2/13/2012 12:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
the fact that there is yet another article about jobs hurts my brain

By GotThumbs on 2/13/2012 12:17:05 PM , Rating: 5
Nice to see some looking through clear lenses when it comes to Jobs. He ripped off Woz for his fair share of $5,000 back in 1979.

Just read about Steve Jobs Breakout Wozniak. Thats the REAL Steve jobs.

Wouldn't have trusted the man when He was alive...don't worship him when He's gone.

By queuetrip on 2/13/2012 12:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
I would certainly allow myself to be ripped off to the tune of 5000 dollars if and only if I can work at apple and get/be worth TWO BILLION dollars like the woz is worth...

By sprockkets on 2/13/2012 8:35:55 PM , Rating: 5
If he scammed woz out of a small amount, why would you trust him to keep his end of the bargain when the amount went up in the billions?

By kleinma on 2/13/2012 1:05:37 PM , Rating: 4
He would be worth more if he didn't feel like he needed to give up a lot of his Apple stock to fellow employees because Jobs was too much of a dick to make sure they were taken care of properly. Anyone who thinks Jobs was a "good" person has not read the biography on him. The guy was a total toolbox, despite his contributions to the tech world.

By inperfectdarkness on 2/14/2012 9:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
I wish I could give you a 6.

Suckers FTW
By Motoman on 2/13/2012 3:50:24 PM , Rating: 3
Steve Jobs was, by far, the greatest con artist of the modern age. P.T. Barnum would have been awed.

Never before in human history has anyone manipulated the masses through pure BS and parlor tricks than this guy. No one else truly suckered the suckers so well that they still don't think they got suckered.

This guy was, well and truly, an evil genius.

RE: Suckers FTW
By Tony Swash on 2/14/2012 9:27:43 AM , Rating: 1
"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men."
       -- George Eliot

RE: Suckers FTW
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: Suckers FTW
By Lord 666 on 2/14/2012 11:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
Al is on the Board of Directors at AAPL

RE: Suckers FTW
By thurston2 on 2/15/2012 5:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Funny you should call them evil, they were just being capitalists.

By cpeter38 on 2/13/2012 11:55:10 AM , Rating: 5


Just like most other politicians
By tallcool1 on 2/13/2012 12:11:56 PM , Rating: 5
Mr. Jobs' tendency towards dishonesty and spinning reality to his own viewpoint (the legendary "distortion field"). The agency writes, "Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals."
Sounds like a typical politician to me...
no different than "most" of the people in office.

By Beenthere on 2/13/2012 6:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Bama and company can find a means to send Steve a paycheck every week for $100,000 as a Cyber Czar of some sort or another. :(

Steve Jobs is NOT dead!
By US56 on 2/14/2012 12:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
He has moved on to his next assignment. He was the advance agent of an alien race intent on taking over the planet in a peaceful but methodical manner after an earlier, embarrassing failure:

So what.?
By Hollif50 on 2/14/2012 9:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
There must of been some reason why GHWB wanted Jobs for a government position. So he had his own sense of reality... So he bent the truth to serve his own purposes.... So he was abrasive... You can have any (or all) of these personality traits and never have used a drug in your life. Congress comes to mind as an example of an institution full of these kinds of people. If there were a litmus strip you could apply to a person to show whether he/she had ever ingested an illegal drug; you'd disqualify half the adult population.

By thurston2 on 2/15/2012 5:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Would his LSD use matter?

Jason Mick at it again.
By highlander2107 on 2/13/2012 9:31:28 PM , Rating: 1
After reading the first few paragraphs I thought to myself, "This seems like a slimy hitjob. Jason Mick?" Ding Ding Ding.

Where you been, Jason
By Phynaz on 2/13/12, Rating: 0
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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