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Carly Fiorina defends CIA torture during Bush-era, calls for more transparency

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Carly Fiorina appears on CNN's "New Day" on June 17, 2015.

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said in a new interview that the interrogation technique of waterboarding employed by the United States in the early days of the war on terror was appropriate.

The former tech executive made the comments in an interview with Yahoo News about the relationship her former company, Hewlett-Packard, had with the National Security Agency while she was CEO.

“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.”

Waterboarding is an aggressive technique, slammed by critics as torture, that simulates drowning. It was used by the U.S. under the George W. Bush administration to interrogate detainees.

A Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year decried the program of enhanced interrogation — describing in graphic detail how brutal the practices were and how little critical, time-sensitive information it actually produced.

As for working with the NSA as the chief of HP to support the U.S. surveillance program, Fiorina said she felt it was her “duty.”

“One of the things that I advised the NSA and CIA to do is to be as transparent as possible about as much as possible — because transparency reassures people,” Fiorina told Yahoo News. “Intelligence agencies that engage in covert activity need to be very creative about how they can be transparent while not jeopardizing our personnel and sources and methods.”