Besides making sure everyone knows she hates abortion more than any other GOP Presidential hopeful, failed Senate candidate and unemployed golden parachutist Carly Fiorina has also tried to make a name for herself as an extreme neoconservative hawk. During this month’s Republican debate, the ex-Hewlett Packard CEO stated that the United States military not only needs to be expanded in size, but used to intimidate other countries by mobilizing divisions towards borders.
She continued with her tough chickenhawk talk in an interview with Yahoo News that was published Monday. Speaking to Michael Isikoff, Fiorina touted her national security bona fides by revealing HP’s cooperation with the National Security Agency after 9/11, pointing out that she helped the federal government collect data on millions of Americans. She also insisted that torture, and specifically waterboarding, is a necessary tactic to gather information from suspected terrorists and enemy combatants. When confronted with the Senate’s 2014 report decrying the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” Fiorina summarily dismissed it as “disingenuous” and believes waterboarding was only used a few times by interrogators.
“I believe that all of the evidence is very clear — that waterboarding was used in a very small handful of cases [and] was supervised by medical personnel in every one of those cases,” Fiorina told Yahoo News. “And I also believe that waterboarding was used when there was no other way to get information that was necessary.”
A Senate report last year portrayed waterboarding as “near drownings” that were tantamount to torture and concluded that the agency’s often brutal interrogations produced little actionable intelligence. But Fiorina rejected those conclusions, calling the report “disingenuous” and “a shame” that “undermined the morale of a whole lot of people who dedicated their lives to keeping the country safe.”
While he did not tell Fiorina the details, [then NSA director Michael] Hayden confirmed to Yahoo News last week that he needed the HP servers so the NSA could implement “Stellar Wind” — the controversial warrantless wiretapping program, including the bulk collection of American citizens’ phone records and emails, that had been secretly ordered by the Bush White House. “Carly, I need stuff and I need it now,” Hayden recalled telling Fiorina.
Fiorina acknowledged she complied with Hayden’s request, redirecting trucks of HP computer servers that were on their way to retail stores from a warehouse in Tennessee to the Washington Beltway, where they were escorted by NSA security to the gates of agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
“I felt it was my duty to help, and so we did,” Fiorina said. “They were ramping up a whole set of programs and needed a lot of data crunching capability to try and monitor a whole set of threats. …What I knew at the time was our nation had been attacked.”
After publishing the piece, Isikoff took to Twitter to highlight criticisms Fiorina has received from her comments and beliefs from Amnesty International. He also pointed out that Fiorina pushed from Jose Rodriguez to be named CIA director even though Rodriguez helped destroy videos of prisoners being waterboarded.
As chair of advisory board, Fiorina urged Jose Rodriguez, who destroyed waterboarding videos, become CIA spokesman https://t.co/0F0zz1MXhK
— Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff) September 28, 2015
In waterboarding comments, Fiorina is “completely rewriting history of what happened,” says Amnesty official. https://t.co/0F0zz1MXhK
— Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff) September 28, 2015
Also, as one would expect, many reporters and figures on the left took Fiorina to task for essentially saying she’s cool with torture and warrantless surveillance.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 28, 2015
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) September 28, 2015
Senate report: Torture isn’t an “effective” way of getting information Fiorina: Waterboarding “kept our nation safe” http://t.co/QExB3OZDNH
— Allegra Kirkland (@allegrakirkland) September 28, 2015
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) September 28, 2015
I could have guessed that Carly Fiorina is pro-torture simply by using an HP product. http://t.co/ILwyKyjCuz
— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) September 28, 2015
Fiorina rewrites torture history, says waterboarding only used “when there was no other way to get information” https://t.co/JQvcbKOTPf
— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) September 28, 2015
Eventually, we will get Fiorina ‘clarifying’ her remarks in which she’ll vilify the media, specifically Yahoo News, while at the same time highlighting her concern for the country in the face of radical Islamic terrorism. She won’t necessarily backtrack from the comments and will not apologize, but she’ll still say she wasn’t portrayed in the proper light. It is the current GOP ‘outsider’ playbook — media is bad, but I will do anything possible to keep getting media attention.