From the Wall Street Journal:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation just made public its background check on the Apple co-founder. The agency assembled the investigation in 1991 because Jobs was being considered for a presidential appointment by George H.W. Bush to the President’s Export Council.
That position, which doesn’t require a Senate confirmation, serves as the national advisory committee on international trade. The Wall Street Journal/FINS.com requested the file through the Freedom of Information Act.
The background check showed Jobs would have brought a, well, different perspective to the executive branch. Full article
The entire U.S. media infrastructure is scouring the files now, posting stuff as they find it. Some early entries:
John Cook of Gawker has an interesting take:
I've read the files from a lot of background FBI investigations; it's pretty rare in my experience that this much derogatory information gets dredged up. Often the agents only interview employers and people who are suggested by the candidate. It's obviously unclear who these quoted folks are, but if they were among the people Jobs referred the agents to, then he didn't know his friends very well.
In Jobs' defense, many of the people interviewed attested to his upstanding moral character. And even those who savaged him still recommended him for the appointment, which he didn't get. As one put it: "[H]e believed the Appointee has what it takes to assume a high level political position within the Government, which in his opinion, honesty and integrity are not prerequisites to assume such a position."
Cook also notes Jobs had a top-secret security clearance from 1988 to 1990.
Seems like a good time to resurrect our own Peter Jon Shuler's interview with Dan Kottke, sometimes referred to as Apple Employee No. 12, who knew Jobs in college and in the very earliest days of Apple, before the company was even incorporated.