Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you shall allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect. If today he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, “I see no probability of the British invading us”; but he will say to you, “Be silent: I see it if you don’t.”

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Letter to William Herndon (15 Feb 1848)

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Added on 6-Aug-08 | Last updated 6-Aug-08
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