The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana) 1964-current, January 20, 2015, Image 5

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I Editorials 5 CIA Cy Burchenal Assistant Editorials Editor INTERROGATION The Central Intelligence Agency is plagued by a troubling history of torture. Historically the agency has flirted with this practice, and gone far to stop these practices from reaching public knowledge, even destroying videotapes of these actions in 2005. Recently, five hundred pages of a six thousand page report detailing CIA prisoner abuse were released to the public by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report details events that transpired between 2001 and 2006. It is a well-known fact that the CIA uses borderline torture tactics, but the agency is in trouble now because they may have performed acts of actual torture, as defined by the US. The fallout fmm this report is still developing, but some high calibre officials are already locked in debate. Issues regarding the CIA are interesting because they are truly non-parti- san, because the CIA is run by soldiers and analysts, not politicians. Some issues regarding the CIA, however, become partisan. The report was compiled by a bipartisan committee, and the most vehement diction has been used by Republicans against other Republicans. Democrats want to declassify the report, while Republicans want it to maintain classified. The strongest critic of the CIA's use of these tactics is, understandably, Arizona Senator John McCain. McCain suffered brutal torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese Army as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam war. McCain is among the few Republicans who believes that the report should be made public. On the other side of the debate, but not the party line, is former Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney defends the use of these tactics on the grounds that they provide vital information, and are ·a necessary evil. Cheney was Vice President during the Bush administration, and was very active in the militariza- tion of the CIA following 9/11. The Democrats believe that the report should be declassified in its entirety. The CIA did, and currently does, employ a set of \enhanced interrogation tactics': The US has to use these tactics, and call them such, because international law prohibits torture of soldiers. The CIA performs these interrogation in secret \black sites\ around the world. 2001~- To work around the UN convention that bans torture, the US uses two juvenile loopholes. Firstly, the United States, being a respectable world power, needs to maintain a facade of obeying international law. The US is a signatory on a UN resolution that prohibits torture tactics. This resolution was ratified by most member states, but not the US. The US is us- ing an outdated resolution, but by obeying that resolution not breaking international law. Secondly, the US never, and has never, applied these tactics to soldiers; they interrogate \fighters\ and \militants': The US is allowed to do this because it has never officially referred to them as soldiers. If you keep these \fighters\ in the grey area, between civilian and soldier, then you don't have to give them the rights of either, and can do whatever you want with them. The tactics that the CIA employs, waterboarding being the house special, are considered torture by the UN. In 2008 Christopher Hitchens wrote an article for Vanity Fair about waterboarding, and whether or not it was torture. To write the article Hitchens subjected himself to water- boarding at the hands of professionals trained to perform waterboarding on US soldiers as a form of stress testing. Seeing as the title of the article is \Believe Me, It's Torture': a detail of his opinion is not needed. Hitchens article isn't important just because of his opinion, or even the fact that he subjected himself to waterboarding, but because of what he did during the ordeal and in the weeks after it. During the process Hitchens said his safeword and released the clamp he was holding to show his forfeit. He had no memory whatsoever of doing this. He acted without thinking, said things that he knew would get his tormentors to stop without remembering. He claimed that before the interrogation he was not an anxious person, but in the weeks following would wake at night with the feeling of drowning. This proves that these tactics are ineffective at producing the truth, and are needlessly harmful to those who undergo them; physically, emotionally, and psychologically. The CIA is torturing prisoners at secret prisons around the world that exist outside of both the law and the sight of the public. • Editorials Editor sweeping the European Union, gaining widespread popular- ity in its admittedly impractical application . The \right individuals from their past mistakes, and limiting informa- tion availability. 'The right to essentially censor the past is not the best method of protecting privacy. The creation murderer filed for the links to information about this case to be removed . His rights were valued, and now links will NOT show up as Google search results. The father of mur- der victim Anderson says her killer has no right to be for- gotten after a link to a website article about the pedofile was removed by Google. \It's appalling;' he said, \the murderer of my daughter should not have the right to be forgotten:' to be forgotten\ refers to the recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, offering individuals the civil right to control and delete personal information about themselves in the hands of others. While present- ing itself as an innocent protection of privacy in a growing technological age, the right to be forgotten has yielded unforeseen consequences, looming over the United States in the possibility of similar legislation. This new legislation brings up the age-old debate between personal privacy and public safety. While considering the \right to be forgotten\ in its implementation in the EU, as well as its possibility in the United States, it becomes extremely important to keep siUety in mind . The public's right to knowledge trumps the individual's \right to be forgotten:' Legislation that allows individuals to delete search links from Google, hiding information from searchers, impedes on the first amendment that glues the rest of our liberties together . Individuals have a rightful interest in the workings and operation of their community. Accordingly, it is in the individual's interest to learn of and correct undesirable events and situations. The \right to be of a right to prohibit speech about oneself hinders public safety and information availability. Furthermore, Leader- ship entails responsibility and accountability. The very notion of government imposing limitations on free speech rights is creepy. The rules associated with such a regime would be nightmarish, and would undoubtedly set off a stampede of politicians and other powerful people trying to sanitize their pasts. We can look to the example already set by French president Franc;:ois Holland, who used European legislation to hide public information about his personal affair as well as remove political mistakes from databases to gain reelection. When looking to elect leaders to positions of power, backround examination is extremely important. A leader should be held responsible as well as accountable, and the public deserves access to information. Much more importantly, however, the \right to be for- gotten\ undermines public safety by inherently prioritizing criminal privacy over general safety. Rochdale schoolgirl Lesley Anderson was kidnapped off the street near her home and brutally assaulted and murdered. Following the European court ruling challenging online material, Lesley's Under examination, European usage of the \right to be forgotten'' has already proven itself a detriment to safety and public knowledge. If we look to action taken by European citizens after the court ruling, we see that 12,000 requests were made to Google on the first day. Close analysis reveals that on the first day alone after the ruling, a vast majority of the requests made were to remove links related to criminal activity. A breakdown reveals that 20% of the requests were to hide violent crime convictions, and 12% hiding child pornography convictions. The \right to be forgotten\ essentially hides important knowledge for the public, impeding on citizen safety. No rights are absolute, and in a world of fast technologi- cal advancement, a clash between the right to privacy and the freedom of expression has emerged. Neither of these can be absolutely guaranteed, but access to important in- formation is necessary to uphold the absolute fundamental of safety in society. • •

The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana), 20 Jan. 2015, located at <>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.