„And it's the damage that we do
And never know
It's the words that we don't say
That scare me so.“

Accidents Will Happen
Song lyrics, Armed Forces (1979)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update May 22, 2020. History
Elvis Costello photo
Elvis Costello46
English singer-songwriter 1954

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„Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or vice versa.“

—  Donald Rumsfeld U.S. Secretary of Defense 1932

Department of Defense news briefing (12 February 2002)
Variant:
Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that's basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.
:It sounds like a riddle. It isn't a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter.
:There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist. And yet almost always, when we make our threat assessments, when we look at the world, we end up basing it on the first two pieces of that puzzle, rather than all three.
:* Extending on his earlier comments in a press conference at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium (6 June 2002) http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2002/s020606g.htm
2000s

Napoleon I of France photo

„I don't know why, but the little bastard scares me.“

—  Napoleon I of France French general, First Consul and later Emperor of the French 1769 - 1821

Laura Harrington http://www.laura-harrington.com/index4.html, in N http://www.pilgrimtheatre.org/performances/N/default.htm, portraying a comment by one of his generals when he showed up to command the army of Italy.
About

Emil M. Cioran photo
Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„I want to deal with one or two of these mighty precious values that we've left behind, that if we're to go forward and to make this a better world, we must rediscover. The first is this—the first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws. I'm not so sure we all believe that. We never doubt that there are physical laws of the universe that we must obey. We never doubt that. And so we just don't jump out of airplanes or jump off of high buildings for the fun of it—we don't do that. Because we unconsciously know that there is a final law of gravitation, and if you disobey it you'll suffer the consequences—we know that. Even if we don't know it in its Newtonian formulation, we know it intuitively, and so we just don't jump off the highest building in Detroit for the fun of it—we don't do that. Because we know that there is a law of gravitation which is final in the universe. (Lord) If we disobey it we'll suffer the consequences. But I'm not so sure if we know that there are moral laws just as abiding as the physical law. I'm not so sure about that. I'm not so sure if we really believe that there is a law of love in this universe, and that if you disobey it you'll suffer the consequences.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

1950s, Rediscovering Lost Values (1954)

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„We are what we say only so long as our words are iron.“

—  David Gemmell, book The King Beyond the Gate

Source: Drenai series, The King Beyond the Gate, Ch. 19
Context: A man makes mistakes, but he lives by them. Foolish it may be on occassion. But in the main it is the only way to live. We are what we say only so long as our words are iron.

„Your headlights don't scare me.“

—  Ilona Andrews American husband-and-wife novelist duo

Source: Magic Bleeds

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„How do we know? I don't know.“

—  Stansfield Turner former United States Navy admiral and former Director of Central Intelligence and President of the Naval War College 1923 - 2018

Interview with Sacha Baron Cohen (as Ali G), on Da Ali G Show
2000s

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