"The barbarous custom of torturing who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has been proved that this way of interrogation produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
— Napoleon Bonaparte, in a 1798 letter
“Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him ... These things I know, Ubertino; I also have belonged to those groups of men who believe they can produce the truth with white-hot iron. Well, let me tell you, the white heat of truth comes from another flame.”
—Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
"Torture is for sadists and thugs. It's like getting groceries with a flamethrower: It doesn't work and it makes a mess."
— Michael Westen, Burn Notice
"You don't even get good information that way. After a point, victims admit to anything to make the pain stop."