Tuesday, November 13, 2007


This declared indifference, but as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of torture, I can not but hate.

I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of torture itself.

I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world — enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites — causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty—criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.

- Abraham Lincoln on slavery, Peoria, 1854; substituting the word "torture" for "slavery."

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