The villain has betrayed his team, or his country, or the entire human race. Now, he's been defeated... but there's just one complication. If the traitor's guilt is revealed, there will be consequences -- perhaps his friends will seek revenge, or perhaps good people will also be dragged down, or perhaps the people's confidence in the whole system will be shaken.

One solution: cover the whole thing up. Perhaps the traitor can be [[VigilanteMan punished discreetly]] or [[LeaveBehindAPistol persuaded to eliminate himself rather than be disgraced]], or perhaps the heroes just have to suck it up and accept that he's [[VillainWithGoodPublicity untouchable]], at least for now. Often, the question is rendered moot, as the villain's final struggle [[SelfDisposingVillain led to his death]]. In such cases, it is not uncommon for them [[NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead to be reported]] as [[ThePowerOfLegacy having died a hero]], often with the implication that they were killed stopping the very evil they had, in reality, unleashed. (Note that if the character really did die stopping it, it is RedemptionEqualsDeath, and while the heroes are likely to soften or hide his crimes, the motive will be different.)

Note this is also a useful plot device so "fictional" stories can [[PlausibleDeniability pretend to have really happened]], it was just "covered up".

Subtrope of InternalRetcon. Compare NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead and ThePowerOfLegacy.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* GhostInTheShell: used frequently to avoid severe political consequences.
* The second ''Manga/DeathNote'' movie ends with a coverup. [[spoiler:Light's family is led to believe that he died trying to stop Kira]].
* ''Inverted'' with the end of ''Anime/CodeGeass''. [[spoiler:The few people who were in on it/worked it out are covering up the fact that Lelouch was actually creating world peace.]]
** Played straight in episodes 19 and 20 of R2. [[spoiler:Upon being confronted with what they believe to be the evidence of Zero's betrayal of their cause, the Black Knights attempt to execute Lelouch as a traitor. So as not to tarnish Zero's image as the symbol of resistance, they cover it up by reporting that he died heroically in the battle for Tokyo.]] A curious example, in that the conspirators believe that they are covering up their victim's betrayal, the treachery they are covering up is their own, [[KangarooCourt given the circumstances]].
* Inverted in ''OnePiece''. After the supposedly-government-allied pirate Crocodile was exposed, the World Government didn't bother to cover it up. They did, however, cover up the fact that ''another'' pirate crew resolved the issue by giving credit to a Marine who had conveniently been tailing the heroes, because a rogue pirate beating a government-aligned pirate, traitor or not, would be a source of deep embarrassment. Smoker, said Marine, was less than happy about it.
** Played straight with Gecko Moria later on. Whatever his plans, they were never so public that the World Government couldn't deny it, and they were in fact more concerned about his image as a powerful pirate being tarnished when they had already lost two of their allied pirates already.
* At the end of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', [[TheDragon the Fuhrer]] was credited as having been a major force against the generals supposedly orchestrating the "alchemic experiment". In fact, [[spoiler:he had been one of the driving forces for its completion and had brought the generals into the scheme]]. However, he was far too popular with the people and the evidence against him was lacking.
* Anime/{{Patlabor}}
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patlabor:_The_Movie Patlabor: The Movie]]: The true source of the malfunctioning labors is whitewashed so the Japanese government will not be disgraced. The corporation that built the faulty labor robots has given the government massive support and money.
* In ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha A''[='=]s, [[spoiler:Admiral Graham's plan to seal the Book of Darkness away with Hayate]] is largely overlooked outside of the upper echelons of the TSAB, and he [[KarmaHoudini merely resigns]], only being officially accused of breaking into Bureau systems and interfering with the investigation. In ''Audioplay/StrikerSSoundStageX'' it is mentioned that many parts of the Jail Scaglietti incident are classified, presumably including [[spoiler:Jail's origins and connection to the Bureau, which had created him]].
* UnGo - Only reason why is Shinjuurou called "Defeated Detective"
* This happened in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' with [[spoiler:the planned coup by the Uchiha clan. Itachi [[ZeroApprovalGambit killed them without exposing their treachery in order to keep their reputation from being tarnished, and to give Sasuke a target for his anger]].]] It... didn't work out so well.
* In the later manga chapters of ElfenLied, it is revealed that the Japanese government at last tumbled to the fact that something was not right with Chief Kakuzawa and his Diclonius Research Institute, and began a venture called Saseba to monitor his activities, eventually infiltrating and turning operatives inside the Institute. While part of this was done to stop Kakuzawa (and he needed stopping), the bigger part of the effort was to keep quiet that Japan had ever sponsored this madman. Given what Kouta relates in the very final chapter, their success in covering up is left unclear.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Invisible Man's decision to sell out humanity to aliens was covered up in ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. "Covered up" means Hyde raped him to death.
* ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'': Even though she was TheMole, the Titans gave Terra a hero's funeral and kept her betrayal of the team a secret after her death.
* ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', even if it is a ''little'' more complicated...
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fic]]
* In ''FanFic/DirtySympathy'' this is why [[spoiler: Edgeworth]] won't extradite Klavier and Apollo back to the U.S. All their cases would be put into question, endangering innocents like Wocky Kitaki and Vera Misham. Their convictions could overturned, which could allow [[spoiler: Kristoph]] his freedom since his initial conviction is dependent on a crime he didn't commit and Phoenix would lose his creditability and the progress he made.
* In ''Fanfic/FrozenHearts'', this is [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]] with regards to [[spoiler:Prince Hans]]; who is confined, away from the public eye, while [[spoiler:his parents]] weigh how to punish [[spoiler:him]] for [[spoiler:his]] crimes, as a result of not wanting word to get out before [[spoiler:his]] punishment is decided. [[spoiler:The King and Queen of the Southern Isles]] ultimately go public regarding [[spoiler:his]] wrongdoing, though.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/AngelsAndDemons'', Ventresca immolates himself due to guilt over his misdeeds, but his official cause of death is that he died of injuries due to crash-landing on the ground.
* In ''Film/TheRock'', a threat by a much-decorated Marine General to use chemical weapons against San Francisco was covered up, helped by the fact that the General threatened to launch the gas if the FBI alerted the media.
* In ''Film/XXxStateOfTheUnion'', the Secretary of Defence plotted to overthrow the government and kill the President, but was given a hero's funeral for rescuing the President because of just how massive an embarrassment that would have been. It certainly helped that the Secretary had every witness murdered, leaving only the people that would cover for him.
* Adcox in ''Film/{{Backdraft}}''.
* ''Film/TheBlueMax'': General Count von Klugermann whitewashes or covers-ups Bruno Stachel's crimes because Germany needs a war hero since revolution is becoming more likely. Otto Heidemann is outraged at these cover-ups, but agrees to stay silent since the military and political leadership agree with Klugermann. Heidemann knows that very few officers will take his side if confronted with political pressure. [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060177/quotes]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Max]]
* ''Film/{{Telefon}}'': Grigori Bortsov is sent to kill [[RenegadeRussian Nikolai Dalchimsky]] so the KGB will not have to reveal the fact it failed to shut down a network of sleeper agents. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telefon_(film)]]
* ''Film/{{Assassination}}'': The mastermind behind the assassination attempts on the First Lady is a [[spoiler: high-ranking White House official]]. His death is reported as a medical condition to avoid a scandal. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_(1987_film)]]
* The ending of the Jet Li movie ''Film/{{Hero}}'' indicates that the would-be assassin was killed as a traitor, but buried as a hero.
* ''Film/LAConfidential'': Once in the movie, twice in the book. Ed has to cover up [[spoiler: Dudley's identity as the BigBad]], but his father did it back in the day [[spoiler: by helping Dieterling frame Atherton for the murders his son committed]].
* The ending of ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. With [[spoiler: Harvey Dent/Two-Face]] dead on the ground, Batman willingly allows the madman's crimes to be blamed on himself so Gotham won't lose an inspirational example.
* At the end of ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', M orders the coverup of the death of [[CorruptCorporateExecutive media baron Elliot Carver]] as a "boating accident", a bit of karmic irony considering his mass-media manipulation based plan. (What had actually happened is that [[Film/JamesBond Bond]] killed Carver [[HoistByHisOwnPetard with his giant drill]] after foiling his attempt at WarForFunAndProfit.)
* By the end of ''Film/IronMan'', the government has concocted a story to cover up most of the final battle, including that TreacherousAdvisor Obidiah Stane disappeared in a plane crash whose wreckage was never found. It's doubtful that their TreacheryCoverUp story ever got a chance to play out, though, since [[spoiler: Tony completely breaks their script at the press conference and outs himself as Iron Man]].
* In the film ''Film/TheArtOfWar'', WesleySnipes's character is set up for the murder of the Chinese ambassador in the middle of US-China trade talks. After finding out that [[spoiler:a UN Liason/Covert Mission Control]] who was involved in the talks is the mastermind, he reveals the truth to the [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triads]]. She is murdered by a member of the Triads and is lauded as a hero, who gave her life to ensure the success of US-China trade relations. Of course, this also serves as a big "fuck you" to her, as she was secretly working on sabotaging the talks.
* ''TheManWhoShotLibertyValance'' ended on an inversion. The reporters chose to cover up the fact the protagonist, a famous Senator and Vice-Presidential prospect, confessed that he did not kill the eponymous outlaw which made him a legendary figure.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/SevenDaysInMay'', the President decided that what had happened must never become public knowledge, in order to preserve the idea that a MilitaryCoup against the United States government is simply unthinkable.
* Creator/JohnRingo: used in the Literature/PaladinOfShadows Series. Information on a rape/sex slave ring used by politicians from multiple nations is entrusted to the Kildar since public exposure will topple several governments.
* ''Literature/JamesBond''
** The death of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chiffre Le Chiffre]] in ''Literature/CasinoRoyale'' is published as a suicide to focus attention on his trade union. Destroying the communist supported labor union and the French communist party is more important than confronting the Soviet Union. The Soviet assassin who kills Le Chiffre says that the publication of his gambling and embezzlement has undermined communist prestige in the NATO nations.
** When Drax's habit of cheating at cards is found out in ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'', James Bond is put against him to teach him a lesson instead of causing a scandal out of it, as it could jeopardize the Moonraker project.
* Creator/CliveCussler: Many of the villains have massive influence and wealth; the VigilanteMan man only stops them.
* This happens in the Discworld novel ''Literature/{{Pyramids}}''. Teppic, the current Pharaoh of Djelibeybi, always believed his was a noble lineage. However, in a prophetic dream, when he meets the founder of the nation, he finds [[spoiler:the founder was a camel thief who was running away from guards]]. Suffice it to say, he never tells anyone this, even Ptraci who eventually [[spoiler:becomes Pharaoh in his stead]]
* U.S.S. Seawolf: The president of the United States prevents his son, Linus Clark from being court martialed for negligence. Despite the official story, many in the military know the truth and lose all trust in the current administration. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.S._Seawolf_(novel)]]
* ''Literature/JackRyan'':
** ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'': The defection of the Red October is covered up so the American military maintains a strategic advantage.
** ''The Cardinal of the Kremlin'': The defection of [[spoiler: Nikolay Borissovich Gerasimov]] is covered up by the American and Soviet governments to avoid political problems with an arms control treaty. Several Soviet characters state that the court-martial of 'Cardinal' might not be possible since he is a war hero.
* Prince Serg in Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''[[Literature/VorkosiganSaga Shards of Honor]]''.
* In HBeamPiper's story [[http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/1/8/8/1/18814/18814.htm "The Mercenaries"]], the leader of a freelance scientific research team executes a traitor in their midst. The death is passed off as a suicide to protect the team (and incidentally assures that the deceased will be remembered for his genuine scientific contributions). It's understood that the ''real'' story will be read between the lines... thereby protecting the team's reputation for trustworthiness and ability to take out its own trash.
* Creator/DavidWeber frequently uses this trope.
** ''Literature/PathOfTheFury'' (''Literature/InFuryBorn''): Alicia Dierdre [=DeVries=] of the Imperial Cadre “drop commando” unit resigns after [[spoiler: Wadislaw Watts]] is allowed to escape a court martial in exchange for his assistance in destroying a Rishathan espionage network. Nobody in the imperial government wants a court martial since it will humiliate the Cadre. Later averted when the Terran Emperor tells [=DeVries=] that [[spoiler: Fleet Admiral Subrahmanyan Treadwell, Vice Admiral Amos Brinkman]], and the rest of the secessionist conspirators will be court-martialed.
** ''Literature/HonorHarrington''
*** Many of the genetic slavery incidents are [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Let%27s_Dance! ignored]] or [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Catherine_Montaigne whitewashed]] due to political considerations. The high-level criminals escape while the low-level criminals are convicted.
*** Several of the people in the [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/High_Ridge_government High Ridge government]] escape a trial since the [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Grantville_government Grantville government]] cannot afford to risk accusations of a political vendetta, allowing [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Michael_Janvier Michael Janvier]] and [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Reginald_Houseman Reginald Houseman]] to avoid significant penalties for their malfeasance.
**** From [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/A_Rising_Thunder]] Michael Janvier was convicted and sentenced to prison for bribery, vote-buying, perjury, extortion and obstruction of justice.
*** The [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/North_Hollow_files North Hollow files]] are destroyed rather than published since publication would result in political chaos and 33% of the information is a forgery.
*** [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Court-martial_of_Pavel_Young Pavel Young]] avoids the death penalty due to political influence.
*** After [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Arnold_Giancola Arnold Giancola]] and [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Yves_Grosclaude Yves Grosclaude]] are killed in air car accidents, Eloise Pritchart refuses to cover up the public revelation of diplomatic forgery in the long term. Nevertheless, she orders a short-term cover up until reliable evidence can be obtained. The primary problems are obtaining legal evidence and avoiding accusations of the government arranging [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident convenient]] [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch accidents]] for the main suspects.
*** After [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Operation_Hassan Operation Hassan]] causes chaos in the Manticorian and Grayson governments, only the Masadan and Grayson ([[spoiler: Samuel Mueller]]) conspirators are convicted. Haven is not accused because the only credible witness, [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Randal_Donizetti Randal Donizetti]], is killed to ensure secrecy.
*** [[spoiler: [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Samuel_Mueller Samuel Mueller]]]] is not held responsible for his collaboration with [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/William_Fitzclarence William Allen Hillman Fitzclarence]] because of weak evidence. Later he becomes the leader of the political opposition and any accusation against him would only allow [[spoiler: Mueller]] to accuse the Grayson government of a political vendetta.
*** After it is revealed that Havenite agents assassinated [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Roger_III_Winton Roger III Winton]], Elizabeth Adrienne Samantha Annette Winton is forced to cover up the [[http://honorverse.wikia.com/wiki/Queen%27s_Gambit assassination]] since a trial would result in massive [[WitchHunt witch-hunts]], an anti-Haven [[RedScare “Red Scare”]] or a [[ThisMeansWar declaration of war]]. One of the conspirators has [[EvenEvilHasStandards standards]] and confesses her role. She participated out of [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-intentioned idealism]]; she is not a traitor to the state.
* At the end of Creator/DanAbnett's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Blood Pact'', Gaunt is assured that [[spoiler:Rime's]] death at Rawne's hands is being passed off as an honorable death in battle. [[spoiler:He's glad not to have the Inquisition breathing down his neck for killing an Inquisitor.]]
* The final fate of [[spoiler: the Camerlengo]] in ''AngelsAndDemons''.
* In Literature/StarTrekMereAnarchy, the capital of planet Mestiko is named vosTraal in honour of a native leader, Traal. According to the history books, Traal sacrificed himself to save the planet. What those books leave out is that this was in fact a HeelFaceTurn and he was originally a traitor, allied with the Klingons. Only when he realized that the Klingons cared nothing for his people and would gladly sacrifice his tribe did he turn on them. In order to keep the troubled planet united, this is obscured from history in favour of an entirely heroic portrait.
* Twisted a bit in the ''{{Elenium}}''. The person who's been blackmailed into trying to murder Sparhawk for half a book [[CyanidePill takes poison]] before confessing, and expects to be outed as a traitor. Instead, Sparhawk and Kurik arrange matters so everyone will think one of the besieging army shot him.
* A lot of things that Literature/JackReacher gets involved in wind up with him killing the bad guy and walking away in the sunset with someone else getting credit for what he did, or no explanation at all.
* ''The Fourth Protocol''. TheChessmaster head of British Intelligence covers up a FalseFlagOperation involving a government minister because it makes more sense to FeedTheMole. On discovering a Soviet plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on British soil, he covers that up as well in an unspoken agreement with his KGB opposite number (in exchange for information to end the plot), because exposure of the plan could heat up the ColdWar and invite Soviet retaliation.
* This is deconstructed in {{Serpico}}. The protagonist is regularly told that the NYPD can and should "clean its own laundry", but its method of doing so is just to transfer a DirtyCop to another unit, where he often continues his activities with other corrupt police in that unit. It's only when Serpico goes public that something is done.
* In ''House Divided'', a rogue operation reveals that the general in charge of the [[spoiler:Joint Chiefs of Staff]] has been murdering enemies, both domestic and foreign, for years. The administration covers this up and makes an excuse for his resignation, helped when the wounded villain is found to have terminal cancer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/SeaQuestDSV''
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Games_(seaQuest_DSV) “Games”]]: Rubin Zellar says he was sentenced to a remote prison since none of his clients wanted to be exposed for collaborating with him. It is later discovered that at least 91% of the evidence against him was destroyed; the remaining was labeled top-secret.
** “Good Soldiers”: the [=SeaQuest=] is sent to destroy evidence of illegal medical experiments conducted by the [[spoiler: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Earth_Oceans_Organization]] United Earth Oceans Organization]]. In addition to the fact that the enemies of the [[spoiler: UEO]] would gain a propaganda victory; the people involved in the illegal experiments are seen as heroes and or have become high ranking members of the organization.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Section_31 Section 31]] is able to remain hidden since those in the United Federation of Planets either: do not believe Section 31 exists, lack evidence, are working for them, or realize that exposure will undermine the government. Those that do oppose them, such as the [[http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Kirk_cabal Kirk cabal]], lack the power and evidence to do anything useful. [[http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Section_31]]
** The [[spoiler: [[http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Tezwa]] Tezwa]] incident and [[spoiler: [[http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Min_Zife]] Min Zife’s]] involvement are covered up to avoid war.
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Worf's father is made a scapegoat for treason actually committed by Duras' father, because the Klingon government does not dare offend Duras' powerful family.
** In the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Dax", such a coverup is the reason Dax symbiont is charged with treason. [[spoiler: It was the actual traitor who got killed]].
* ''Series/BabylonFive''
** Jha’dur states she will escape a trial since none of the major intergalactic nation-states wants her to expose their collaboration with the Dilgar or they want her immortality drug.
** In several episodes, the Drazi government refuses to help since they do not want to be humiliated or lose an advantage.
* ''SpaceAboveAndBeyond'': The Chig War starts due to political-industrial deceptions. Nevertheless, there is no proof other than rumors.
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Ariel," Jayne, about to be ThrownOutTheAirlock by Mal for betraying Simon and River to the Alliance, pleads with Mal -- not for his life (he already tried that and failed), but for Mal to make up a story to conceal his guilt. This convinced Mal to give him another chance.
-->'''Jayne:''' What are you gonna tell the others?\\
'''Mal:''' About what?\\
'''Jayne:''' About why I'm dead.\\
'''Mal:''' Haven't much thought about that.\\
'''Jayne:''' Make something up. Don't tell 'em what I did.
** Unfortunately for Jayne, the cover-up itself doesn't last long, at least in regards to the ones he betrayed. Those darned PsychicPowers....
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}''. In one episode a drug dealer dies after rough handling by a CID officer, and even the victim's mother doesn't want an inquiry. Sam Tyler uncovers a tape of the incident and gives it to apparently by-the-book Superintendent Rathbone, only to see Rathbone destroy the tape in front of him as "the matter has been handled internally" (with the guilty officer's demotion) and he's not going to bring the police department "crashing down" over this matter. Tyler says bitterly that men like Rathbone should be "surgically removed" -- of course, coming from 2006, Tyler knows all too well that corruption can't be eliminated without destroying public faith in the police.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', when Time Lord Presidential candidate Chancellor Goth was revealed to have assassinated the President to further the Master's scheme, [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Borusa]] ordered that his YouHaveFailedMe death be explained as dying heroically fighting the Master.
* Percy from the 2010 show ''Series/{{Nikita}}'' uses this to his advantage. The reason Government officials have not shut down Percy and Division long ago is that Percy has numerous "black boxes" (black portable hard drives) that contain all of the government's dirty secrets on them, hidden, and they can be activated to be shown to the public if Percy so chooses, and if he is killed, which is why he is untouchable and is the reason why Nikita can't just easily infiltrate and kill him
* In ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', John Scott's betrayal is covered up to prevent scandal touching the FBI. Which is rather a good thing as it later transpires [[spoiler: that he wasn't a traitor at all, but deep undercover.]]
* [[Series/{{Castle}} Team Castle]] agrees to cover up [[spoiler:Captain Montgomery's]] shameful past because of his years spent as TheAtoner. Plus, [[NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead he's dead.]]
* On ''SonsOfAnarchy'' SAMCRO does this all the time. They need to present an unified front to both their allies and enemies so all disputes and betrayals are handled internally and a cover story is presented to the outside world. From the beginning a major plot element is the fact that if the truth about John Teller's death ever came out, it would be impossible to cover up and it would destroy the club.
** In the show's backstory, the Sons were once involved in a bloody gang war with the Mayans. One of their associates betrayed them and was killed for it. He was buried in an unmarked grave with some dead Mayans and his family was told that he was abducted and murdered by the Mayans. The truth only comes out when the bodies are discovered years later.
** When two prominent members of the Belfast chapter betray SAMCRO to the IRA, they are both killed. One of them is publicly denounced as a traitor but the other is given a hero's funeral and his part in the betrayal covered up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The HorusHeresy of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is unknown to the vast majority of the Imperium's population-including the fact that fully half of the [[SuperSoldier Adeptus Astartes]] Legions went rogue and joined Chaos. The fact that the main basis for Imperial canon was written ''by'' one of the traitor Legions' primarchs is not only ignored, but anyone who says as much is asking for Inquisitorial attention.
** That [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on the edition and writer]], mind. It's also noted, in-universe even, that Imperial doctrine is repeatedly contradictory, and the only people who accept it without questioning any part of it are the particularly pious and [[DumbMuscle ogryns]].
** Half of the Dark Angels chapter turned ''after'' the Heresy. The remaining loyalist Dark Angels are so utterly ashamed and obsessive over their Fallen "brethren" that [[HonourBeforeReason they will go to incredible lengths]] to keep the existence of the Fallen hidden from Imperial authorities while secretly hunting them down personally, including abandoning allies and entire battlefields to go chasing after rumours of sighted Fallen. In an [[{{Irony}} ironic]] twist, it is implied that the Inquisition, the Grey Knights and presumably other Imperial branches of authority and government ''are already aware of the Fallen and don't care'', rendering their whole mission utterly pointless, and in fact, the numerous atrocities they commit in it's name and their unreliable nature are alienating the rest of the Imperium. Whoops.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Happens in ''VideoGame/SuikodenI''; [[spoiler:[[TheMole Sanchez]]]] is exposed at a vital point for the rebellion, and the game's strategist orders that [[spoiler: his]] treachery be concealed (with the rest of the cast forcing [[spoiler: him]] to play [[spoiler: his role]]) because the knowledge of a high-ranking traitor would undermine confidence. Even after the game's end, [[spoiler: he]] is eventually secretly 'pardoned' (but exiled to a single city and never genuinely forgiven) because the revelation that one of the heroes of the revolution was a traitor would be dangerous for the stability of the new republic. [[spoiler: However, the fact that he's a high ranking character with no Star of Destiny who constantly offers the main character alcohol should have been a give away if you were paying attention from the beginning.]]
* Happens at one part during ''MetalGearSolid3'', and staying true to the series premise, is much more twisted than usual: ('''extra big spoiler''') [[spoiler:to get a spy close to BigBad Volgin, the Boss is given the mission to pose as a defector and gaining Volgins trust by bringing him two "stolen" nuclear bombs as a gift. But apparently nobody had thought that Volgin would use them against a KGB facility. To cover up that the US government practically gave the nukes to Volgin, Naked Snake is given the mission to kill her, so that nobody will ever suspect that her defection was fake. Being loyal to her country to the end, she accepts death by the hands of her former pupil and best friend. Snake learns about it only after he had killed her.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', the heroes of the first game keep the truth about [[spoiler: [[WellIntentionedExtremist Mithos]], Martel, and [[PathOfInspiration the Church]]]] secret, because frankly, the world doesn't need that kind of disillusionment.
** In the original game, Lloyd and the party remain quiet about [[spoiler:Governor General Dorr]] collaborating with the Desians by [[spoiler:enabling the people of Palmacosta to be taken to the ranch so that he can get his wife turned back to normal]], so that the city can get through the crisis while trusting its leadership. Lloyd gets [[WhatTheHellHero a significant across-the-board drop]] in the party's RelationshipValues if you decide to say that you're not OK with this. [[spoiler:Palmacosta ultimately gets destroyed at the end of Disc One]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}'', if you side with James, the hero covers up the fact that the prophet Mithras [[spoiler:was the omnicidical demon Marduk in another form]].
* Happens a lot in the Franchise/ResidentEvil universe post destruction of Raccoon City, mostly due to Umbrella covering their asses after the disaster. They're caught by ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' though.
* VideoGame/StarcraftI Alexei Stukov's death counts as this, after being killed by Samir Duran with orders from Admiral DuGalle, Stukov's death was told to the public as "a hero's death during the final valiant assault on Char".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the circumstances of [[spoiler: Lord Shojo's death at Miko's hands]] are concealed from the people of Azure City in order to prevent morale from being more seriously damaged than it already is. This may well contribute to the WeAREStrugglingTogether situation later on as rumors circulate about the circumstances of his death.
* [[DominicDeegan Donovan Deegan]] hid from his wife the fact that their friend Karnak had tried to MurderTheHypotenuse (namely, him) just before his HeroicSacrifice.
* Inverted very early on in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''. Silas Merlot, in a fit of temper, reveals that Dr. Beetle has been hiding a Hive Engine (a piece of poorly-understood technology containing highly dangerous organisms which can turn their victims into {{Sycophantic Servant}}s) for his own research, which Baron Wulfenbach has expressly forbidden, because of the danger. Fearing the Baron's harsh punishments, Beetle panics and tries to bomb the Baron, but the gambit backfires and obliterates Beetle instead. Merlot gets about halfway through the first sentence of trying to conspire with the Baron to hide Beetle's death when the Baron declares his undying hatred for traitors, and he holds Merlot and his theatrics directly responsible for what just happened. He then declares that Merlot's punishment is that ''he'' is now in charge of Beetleburg...[[CruelMercy after the much-beloved Dr. Beetle is given a hero's funeral and the full details of his death, Merlot's involvement included, have been released to the public.]]
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the public is not informed that [[spoiler:Armsmaster]] is actually under house arrest for [[spoiler:violating the truce during the Leviathan attack]].
** The trope also gets played with: [[spoiler:Alexandria's]] true crimes are are covered up with a ''different'' set of crimes, because [[spoiler:she was a renowned hero, and the government wanted to avoid people being dispirited by her death, but couldn't afford to expose her true actions.]]
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Done in ''TheSimpsons'' concerning Jebidiah Springfield (posthumously).
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_AK-47_and_M16 The United State military refused to admit that the M16 was malfunctioning]] until Congress overrode them and ordered improvements to the rifle.
* When the Nazis suspected Erwin Rommel knew about a plot to assassinate Hitler, they offered to ignore it if he would commit suicide, or according to other sources, be shot privately. This was because he was such a hero the Nazis feared public accusations would be harmful to morale. Faced with the potential consequences for his family, he agreed, either killing himself by poison or being quietly shot by the SS.
* Anthony Blunt, one of the Cambridge Five (a group of KGB moles in Britain's intelligence services) wasn't charged after he agreed a plea bargain and named agents he'd recruited. He was in charge of the Queen's portraits and got a knighthood. Subverted as he was then outed in 1979 and stripped of said knighthood.
* Wikileaks put [[DefiedTrope defiance of this trope]] as their mission statement. An ArchiveBinge through it is one of the faster way to lose faith on fellow humans.
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