Politics

Allen West Claim of Security Clearance Higher Than the President's Deemed "Silly"

The question Allen West was fielding at the Pompano Civic Association on September 21 was about the tax lien that had been placed against him. But the retired lieutenant colonel went another way, launching into a soliloquy about his government secret security clearance.

"I still retain a secret security clearance," West explained. "And I tell you, if you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background."

The idea that West could know the secrets of Area 51 before President Obama may sound a bit preposterous. And according to PolitiFact, that's because it is.

PolitiFact Florida, the independent truth-o-meter for politicians, asked experts to review West's claim, and in the end, PolitiFact gave West the group's toughest rating: "pants on fire."

One expert quoted by PolitiFact, John Pike of the director of globalsecurity.org, gave this assessment: "This is a silly statement," Pike said. "The only clearance the president needs is the mandate of the people."

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton