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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Did Allen West have a clearance that even the president cannot obtain? PolitiFact Florida says Pants on Fire



During a candidate forum sponsored by the Pompano, Fla., Civic Association on Sept. 21, 2010, Allen West -- a retired Army lieutenant colonel running as the Republican nominee against Democratic Rep. Ron Klein -- made a rather striking claim.

According to a video made by a Democratic Party operative who trails West at all of his appearances, the candidate told the audience, "I had a Top Secret/Security Compartmented Information classification, that is the highest you can have in the United States Army. You don’t get a security classification like that if you have financial issues like that. I still retain a Secret security clearance. 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."

PolitiFact Florida looked at several interpretations of West's comment and concluded that it earned the lowest rating, Pants on Fire. Here's the full story.

Shripal Shah, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, offered a one-word reply to West's claim: “Really?”

[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:31pm]


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