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Steve Jobs FBI files
February 9, 2012 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Please be advised that the FBI’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release regarding (STEVEN PAUL JOBS) is now available.
posted by Ad hominem (50 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Editor's Note: This document is processing. It will be viewable in the embedded viewer soon.

Is this just me, or is this post a bit premature?
posted by Dasein at 8:31 AM on February 9, 2012


Dammit. Before I even get past page 3 I am forced to stop and place an order for a PRESIDENTIAL EXPEDITE stamp.
posted by elizardbits at 8:32 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


on lack of preview - you can download the entire document at the bottom of the page.
posted by elizardbits at 8:33 AM on February 9, 2012


Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality to achieve his goals.
(emphasis mine)
posted by DU at 8:34 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Subject is known to affect a black turtleneck.
posted by jonmc at 8:35 AM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also "has no close relatives in communist-controlled countries". Good ol' rightwing-controlled America.
posted by DU at 8:36 AM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I once wrote the FBI and asked for a list of all the lists I am on. They sent me back a FOIA form.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:36 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"He 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."

heh.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:37 AM on February 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


Subject is also known to have an army of sychophants.
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


what even is that dorky fax doodle on p129
posted by elizardbits at 8:41 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also "has no close relatives in communist-controlled countries".

I was just going to ask about that -- the FBI actually still cares about communists?
posted by pracowity at 8:43 AM on February 9, 2012


I was just going to ask about that -- the FBI actually still cares about communists?

Why? Ya know any? *cracks knuckles*
posted by joe lisboa at 8:44 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Short version: He's smart, he did drugs, and some people think he's a dick.
posted by brain_drain at 8:44 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


the FBI actually still cares about communists

Probably, although that form was filled out in 1991. It wasn't so much the wariness of communism that I was remarking on as the lack of wariness of theocracies, military dictatorships, etc. There's one big checkbox and all it says is "commies". Everyone else, sure, we'll try it out.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on February 9, 2012


on lack of preview - you can download the entire document at the bottom of the page.

Yeah, that's what I'm not seeing. I think it's my browser (suck it, IE7).
posted by Dasein at 8:50 AM on February 9, 2012


I think he was teasing the interviewing agent a bit

He belonged to no organizations other than the New York Athletic Club however he had never been in the New York Athletic Club and knew nothing with regard to their membership policies.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:51 AM on February 9, 2012


Yeah, that's what I'm not seeing

try this direct PDF link
posted by Ad hominem at 8:53 AM on February 9, 2012


I feel sorry for whomever had to censor this stuff. Imagine a whole day of just creating white, black bordered polygons everywhere.

I bet there's an app for that.
posted by hanoixan at 8:53 AM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can we get the CIA and NSA files too?
posted by -harlequin- at 8:55 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Threat Level summary of the file.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:58 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for whomever had to censor this stuff. Imagine a whole day of just creating white, black bordered polygons everywhere.

I bet there's an app for that.


[something that bacronyms to SKYNET]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:59 AM on February 9, 2012


Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality to achieve his goals.

And to think I read that whole biography of him and didn't learn much more than the Feds had here.
posted by chavenet at 9:03 AM on February 9, 2012


"Seems to think different."
posted by ColdChef at 9:17 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I tried to read the file but unfortunately is heavily DRM-ed and won't display on most devices.
posted by LarryC at 9:20 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Still gathering iNtelligence."
posted by jonmc at 9:20 AM on February 9, 2012


Love the fax cover sheet on pg. 129.
posted by Jahaza at 9:43 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I continue to be tickled about an FBI report critical of someone being willing to twist the truth to forward their own ends. I guess nobody likes competition.
posted by phearlez at 9:47 AM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Others mentioned that Jobs couldn’t be trusted and that he was able to create a reality-distortion field.


This makes him sound so comic book-y villian-like.
posted by Skygazer at 10:19 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is the reason for the FBI to compile a file like this? Isn't this what the Stasi did?
posted by three blind mice at 10:30 AM on February 9, 2012


Thank goodness the FBI determined that Mr. Jobs could live within his financial means. I wonder how much time it took to research that one.

I was surprised by some of the info about Lisa's mom. She said that she'd taken to raising Lisa under an assumed name, for fear of ransom-related kidnappings. Yikes, what a worry to have when you weren't even getting child support, as I understand it. (Not that child support would erase the risk, but it would allow you to perhaps pay for a bodyguard.)
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:31 AM on February 9, 2012


I bet the FBI has a far more massive and truly paranoid file on Richard Stallman.
posted by bukvich at 10:35 AM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


> What is the reason for the FBI to compile a file like this? Isn't this what the Stasi did?
posted by three blind mice at 1:30 PM on February 9 [+] [!]


From http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/steve-jobs-fbi-file/: The background check for an appointment to the president’s Export Council, under former President George H. W. Bush, included interviews with friends and colleagues to make sure there was nothing in Jobs’ background that would open him to blackmail.
posted by xorry at 10:36 AM on February 9, 2012


Ha-- tax dollars at work
posted by Doubleosix at 10:36 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hilarious. Now I want to do a FOIA on myself, because I'm pretty sure the records on one particular point are SUPER EXTRA HILARIOUS. I was applying for (and got) an internship with the State Department overseas, and they sent some ex-DEA agent guy to do my security clearance interview. During the interview, after learning I lived in an apartment with 3 guys, I had to endure watching this 60+ year old guy try to come up with a polite way to ask me if I was -- and I am not kidding -- sleeping with ALL of them.

Umm, yeah, dude. It's on the chore roster, on the fridge.

Jeebus but our government is good at asking stupid shit.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


@bitter-girl

so....were you?
posted by stormpooper at 10:54 AM on February 9, 2012


Only Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I had the football team booked for Tuesdays and OH MY EFFING GOD, STORMTROOPER, NO.

But man, was it fun to watch him squirm as he tried to ask the question, I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:58 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bet there's an app for that.

iRedact.
posted by LordSludge at 11:11 AM on February 9, 2012


I bet the FBI has a far more massive and truly paranoid file on Richard Stallman.

They should just ask to use his.

Jeebus but our government is good at asking stupid shit.

I've participated in several of those clearance related conversations. I'm sort of torn about it. So much of it seems stupid but on the other hand it's a textbook example of classic investigation - you just keep asking questions and listening to the same old boring questions till you hear that 0.1% that's odd or contradictory.

I think the way it's applied is far more crappy than the process itself. It's perfectly reasonable to try to figure out if someone is portraying themselves and their life in a different way than it really is. It's that contradiction that reveals if someone is vulnerable to blackmail or if they're living outside their means - if someone had paid better attention to Aimes or Hanssen's excessive spending they would have gotten away with it for a shorter period of time.

Unfortunately it seems like once you're in the door the scrutiny changes. And the fact that the process reveals so much means the stodgy can keep everyone but their fellow stodgy folks out of the jobs, resulting in an insanely not-diverse force. I also wonder whether it has the accidental result of driving more repressed folks into jobs, meaning you get more folks who will snap/act-out later.
posted by phearlez at 11:53 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality to achieve his goals.

Wikipedia on Jobs' infamous reality distortion field.
posted by JHarris at 12:00 PM on February 9, 2012


you just keep asking questions and listening to the same old boring questions till you hear that 0.1% that's odd or contradictory

Gotcha on that, and I agree -- but what I really don't understand is how my sex life is relevant to my internship. Let's say I WAS doing all my roommates (oh god...the thought of that...they were like brothers to me...gaaah).

Hey, I was over the age of 18, adorable, paying my rent on time and had access to protection. So? What, you worried about hot honeypot action? Worried I'm going to sell out my country for some hawt German sausage? (I interned for our Munich consulate) It just smacks of what we'd today call slut-shaming...but at the time I just attributed it to Retired DEA Agent = Perv.

As for Jobs, I love the fact they keep bringing up the fact that whoever got interviewed about him didn't think he was a very nice person. Last I checked, being nice wasn't a prerequisite for being trustworthy when it comes to serving in a capacity like the one for which he was being considered. Hell, in Bush Senior's White House you'd've thought Cheney et al would've WANTED a giant ass...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:42 PM on February 9, 2012


Can we get the CIA and NSA files too?

I have it from an insider that the CIA was able to distill Jobs' reality distortion field into a secret weapon and they are now testing it on all the Republican presidential candidates.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:44 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"[Blank] concluded the interview by stating that even though he does not consider Mr. Jobs to be a friend, he (Mr. Jobs) possesses the qualities to assume a high level political position. It was [blank]'s opinion that honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position."
posted by azarbayejani at 12:44 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why do they have to redact names like Chrisann Brennan's, when her identity has been known to millions for decades? She's been portrayed in a television movie and had the depth of her relationship with Jobs probed by a best-selling book...her name isn't some critical secret.
posted by trackofalljades at 1:55 PM on February 9, 2012


I suspect they ask about your sex life in that circumstance because they want to know if you're saying something different to the world than what you're saying to the investigator or what's different than reality. So in theory they wouldn't care if you were playing bedroom roulette with your roommies... so long as it's not something that you're trying to hide and therefor something that can be used against you.

When I was working with people with TS/SCIs and considered for projects where I'd be asked to apply myself there was one rule: don't ever lie. Don't like about what you have done, taken, where you have been, what you know about others. You might be denied your clearance if you reveal you did coke six years ago. You WILL be denied your clearance if you don't reveal it and they find out.

The reasoning is that if someone produces that photo of you snorting up half of Bolivia back at the Tri-Delt event, you're going to be motivated to do what they ask to keep it secret. You don't want to be fired, have the social stigma, disappoint mommy, whatever. Theory goes the same way about your living situation. I presume the investigator asked everyone else what the nature of your relationship was with your roommates. In theory he'd never care unless someone said something other than that you were roommates.

Now, do I think it actually does get used as (or at least results in, accidentally) slut-shaming and other sorts of punishment for deviating from a certain narrow moral standard? Absolutely. But the basic principle is supposed to just be to determine that someone doesn't have weak points that can be used to compromise them against the US.
posted by phearlez at 2:11 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


trackofalljades: "Why do they have to redact names like Chrisann Brennan's"

It's a Privacy Act issue. Basically, they'll redact the names of anyone covered by the Act who is mentioned in the record but hasn't expressly consented to the disclosure of the record.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:24 PM on February 9, 2012


I love so many parts of this.

It was assigned to someone on squad A-1!

The White House ordered a Full Field Investigation LEVEL III!

Are you a male born after December 31, 1969?

I love Jobs' signature.
posted by oxford blue at 5:16 PM on February 9, 2012


I was really disappointed that they were finally able to determine he really had been born on February 4, 1955. I was hoping for a birther scandal.
posted by gingerest at 6:34 PM on February 9, 2012


re: phearlez- Agree. I've gone through a few of those interviews (for other people) and it was all casual and "let's check these things off the list" and then BAM!, the interviewer is starting straight into my soul and asking "based on your knowledge of X, would you recommend them for a position of trust and authority in the Federal Government?"

It is one of the things the Feds do really well.
posted by gjc at 8:46 PM on February 9, 2012


I wasn't aware, but I find it amusing that the unit charged with doing background checks for the FBI is called the SPIN unit.
posted by simen at 12:38 AM on February 10, 2012


Gotcha on that, and I agree -- but what I really don't understand is how my sex life is relevant to my internship. Let's say I WAS doing all my roommates (oh god...the thought of that...they were like brothers to me...gaaah).

Hey, I was over the age of 18, adorable, paying my rent on time and had access to protection. So? What, you worried about hot honeypot action?


The reason is, because depending on the politically appointed position you are going to take, those acts if made public, could be used against you if you did not want the information released to the public.

Even if you didn't care if they were released, the administration surely would because in case you didn't realize it, there is a healthy constituency who finds anything nudity related aberrant and would vote accordingly when the time came. The U.S. isn't Italy after all.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 4:02 AM on February 10, 2012


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