"We hold these absurdities to be self-evident..."
-- Anonymous, contemporary
"The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States."
-- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
"My most important job… is to protect America."
-- George W. Bush, March 20, 2006
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 18th century
"…The term 'torture' means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession…"
-- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, February 4, 1985
"[Interrogation must include] injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions—in order to constitute torture."
-- Alberto Gonzales, August 1, 2002
"Detainees held in Afghanistan by American troops have been routinely tortured and humiliated as part of the interrogation process… Five detainees have died in custody, three of them in suspicious circumstances, and survivors have told stories of beatings, strippings, hoodings and sleep deprivation."
-- Guardian Unlimited, June 23, 2004
"[E]vidence came to light that the U.S. administration had sanctioned interrogation techniques that violated the U.N. Convention against Torture.''
-- Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan, May, 2005
"Anything we do to [counter terrorism] is within the law. We do not torture."
-- George W. Bush, November, 2005
"Amnesty International castigated the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay as a failure Wednesday, calling it 'the gulag of our time' in the human rights group's harshest rebuke yet of American detention policies."
-- Associated Press, May 26,
"…we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law…"
-- George W. Bush, June 26, 2005
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
-- Voltaire, 18th century
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld dismissed suggestions that 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are engaged in a guerrilla war or bogged down in a Vietnam-like "quagmire."
-- The Washington Post, July 1, 2003
"The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Dick Cheney, June 20, 2005
"It is unfortunate that we are in civil war,"
-- Iyad Allawi, former interim Prime Minister, March, 2006
"Because collecting foreign intelligence information without a warrant does not violate the Fourth Amendment and because the Terrorist Surveillance Program is lawful, there appears to be no legal barrier against introducing this evidence in a criminal prosecution."
-- Department of Justice spokesman, March 24, 2006
"I also appreciate your strong commitment to democracy, itself: rule of law, and freedom to worship, freedom of the press, the ability for governments to be transparent, and governments to have checks and balances so that we deal with the rule of law, not the rule of man."
-- George W. Bush, November 27, 2005, to President Torrijos of Panama
"[T]he Administration has seized the power of Congress to make the laws, they have seized the power of the judiciary to interpret the laws, and they execute them as well. They have consolidated within themselves all of the powers of the government."
-- Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory, March 25, 2006
"We seek the end of tyranny in our world."
-- George W. Bush, January 31, 2006
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it."
-- Mark Twain, 19th century
"'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'…To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink."
-- George Orwell, 1949