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Plausible Deniability is the ability for persons (informal chain of command) to deny knowledge of and responsibility for any wrongful actions by others. They are usually subordinates in an organizational hierarchy because of a lack of evidence that confirms their participation.
Plausible Deniability has existed throughout history, whose name was coined by the CIA in the early 1960s. It described the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal/unpopular activities by the CIA become public knowledge. The roots of the name go back to Harry Truman's National Security Council paper 10/2 defined as "Covert Operations" on June 18, 1948.
Plausible Deniability has legal implications. It is a legal concept that refers to the lack of evidence proving an allegation. The standard of proof in a criminal or civil case is burden of proof. It is the duty of proving a fact in dispute, presenting evidence as a case progresses, and produces evidence that has greater credibility than the opponent's. In civil proceedings, the burden of proof is by the "preponderance of evidence." The burden for criminal proceedings go "beyond a reasonable doubt." If an opponent can provide evidence of his allegations, one can plausibly deny the allegations even though it may be true.
In political campaigns, plausible deniability enables candidates to stay clean and denounce third party advertisements that use unethical approaches or potentially libelous innuendo. Some common methods of negative campaign attacks are called below-the-belt ads: using information obtained by underhanded methods, distorting a candidate's record or background, and raising wedge issues. On the contrary, above-the belt ads, no matter how bad it is perceived to be, depends on the nature of the material in the ad; anything in public records is fair game.
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Summary-In legislation, The Hughes Ryan Act of 1974 sought to put an end to plausible denial by requiring a presidential finding that each operation is important to national security. The Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980 required Congress to be notified of all "covert operations." The exception to the standard of proof in legal proceedings is common knowledge, accepted without evidence, known as judicial notice. In the game of politics, deniability refers to the ability of a powerful player/intelligence agency to pass the buck and avoid blow back by secretly arranging for an action to be taken on their behalf, by a third party ostensibly unconnected with the major player( Reader's Digest-Family Legal Guide, Politics for Dummies, 2nd Edition, Wikipedia).
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