[There was a video here]
In the midst of an incoherent and incorrect rant on the recent history of mobile technology, failed technology executive Carly Fiorina recounted an apparently true story about how she helped the NSA after 9/11. Actually, it turns out that story may have been classified.
“Soon after 9/11,” Fiorina said during Tuesday’s debate, “I got a phone call from the NSA. They needed help. I gave them help. I stopped a truck load of equipment andI had it turned around. It was escorted by the NSA into headquarters.”
The moral of this story was that the government doesn’t rely on private businesses enough. “We need the private sector’s help because government is not inovating,” Fiorina said. “Technology is running ahead by leaps and bound. The private sector will help, just as I helped after 9/11.”
Fiorina’s relationship with the U.S. intelligence community dates back to the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, when she got an urgent phone call from then NSA director Michael Hayden asking her to quickly provide his agency with HP computer servers for expanded surveillance.
While he did not tell Fiorina the details, 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.
Last month, Motherboard reported on leaked NSA documents that seemed to indicate this exchange was still under classification, and that the HP computers were put to use in the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program, codenamed STELLARWIND. “We asked for computers, we got them,” Hayden said. “Were some of them used for STELLARWIND? Yes.”
Later in the debate, in response to a question about whether tech companies should be forced to cooperate with government investigations seeking private information, Fiorina said, “They do not need to be forced. They need to be asked. I was asked, and I complied happily.”