Plausible deniability is the ability of people to deny knowledge of or responsibility for others’ actions. In politics and espionage, deniability refers to the ability to pass the buck. The term was coined by the CIA in the early 1960s to describe the withholding of information from senior officials.
About Plausible deniability in brief
Plausible deniability is the ability of people to deny knowledge of or responsibility for others’ actions. The term typically implies forethought, such as intentionally setting up the conditions for the plausible avoidance of responsibility for one’s future actions or knowledge. In politics and espionage, deniability refers to the ability to pass the buck and to avoid blowback by secretly arranging for an action to be taken on its behalf by a third party that is ostensibly unconnected with the major player. It is relatively easy for a government official to issue a blanket denial of an action, and it is possible to destroy or cover up evidence after the fact, that might be sufficient to avoid a criminal prosecution, for instance. But the public might well disbelieve the denial, particularly if there is strong circumstantial evidence or if the action is believed to be so unlikely that the only logical explanation is that the denial is false. The term was coined by the CIA in the early 1960s to describe the withholding of information from senior officials to protect them from repercussions if illegal or unpopular activities became public knowledge. In the Kennedy administration, it was revealed that the CIA had plotted the assassination of a number of foreign leaders, including Fidel Castro, but the president was not directly involved in such actions, so that he could deny knowing of it.
That was given the term \”Non-attribution to the United States for covert operations. \” The expression \”plausibly deniable\” was first used publicly by Central Intelligence Agency Director Allen Dulles in the 1960s, when the CIA was still in its early 20th-century heyday. The idea, on the other hand, is considerably older. For example, in the 19th century, Charles Babbage described the importance of having a few simply honest men on a committee who could be temporarily removed from the deliberations when a peculiarly delicate question arises. In political campaigns, plausible deniability enables candidates to stay clean and denounce third-party advertisements that use unethical approaches or potentially-libelous innuendo. The concept is even more important in espionage, as intelligence may come from many sources, including human sources. The exposure of information to which only a few people are privileged may directly implicate some of the people in the disclosure. It was the original purpose of the original doctrine of the CIA to mask the decisions of the president and his staff.