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* Harry Potter in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3559907/3/What-Would-Slytherin-Harry-Do Victimizing Viktor]]'' successfully removes Viktor Krum from the Triwizard Tournament by convincing him to make a luck potion to score a date with Hermione then having his potion sabotaged. When questioned with [[TruthSerum Veritaserum]], Harry responds that he didn't sabotage the potion nor does he know who did. However, Harry does know the potion was sabotaged and knows Blaise Zabini got someone else to do it, even if he doesn't know who.


-->-- ''Film/{{Conspiracy}}''

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-->-- ''Film/{{Conspiracy}}''
''Film/Conspiracy2001''

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* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and PlayedForLaughs in one episode of ''Series/{{NUMB3RS}}'', when Liz walks in on a planning session for an almost certainly illegal [=CalSci=] prank.


** In the ''Deep Space Nine'' episode "Way of the Warrior," the crew realize the Klingons are going to invade Cardassia on the belief the Founders have taken it over. As the Klingons and the Federation are allies, Sisko is told he can't warn the Cardassians despite how this can spark a full-scale war. Sisko has Garak (who everyone knows is a former Cardassian agent) be on hand fitting Sisko for a suit as he and the crew discuss the invasion. Sure enough, Garak is instantly on the wire to Gul Dukat, claiming his "sources" have warned him of the invasion. As Garak is known to have plenty of shady contacts, Starfleet can assume he just found out on its own as it's not like Sisko would just openly discuss this in front of a Cardassian tailor...right?

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** In the ''TOS'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekS3E2TheEnterpriseIncident The Enterprise Incident]]," Captain Kirk is tasked with obtaining the most recent version of a Romulan cloaking device for Starfleet to study. The plan to get him close to one boils down to Kirk taking the ''Enterprise'' into the Neutral Zone to get himself captured by a Romulan warship. Since violating the Neutral Zone considered an act of war, Kirk spends a few weeks very publicly acting like a lunatic. This gave the Federation room to claim that Kirk was a rogue captain who'd snapped under pressure, and any actions taken by him were absolutely ''not'' authorized by Starfleet Command if something went wrong with the plan.
** In the ''Deep Space Nine'' episode "Way of the Warrior," the crew realize the Klingons are going to invade Cardassia on the belief the Founders have taken it over. As the Klingons and the Federation are allies, Sisko is told he can't warn the Cardassians despite how this can spark a full-scale war. Sisko has Garak (who everyone knows is a former Cardassian former--and in all likelihood ''current''--Cardassian agent) be on hand fitting Sisko for a suit as he and the crew discuss the invasion. Sure enough, Garak is instantly on the wire to Gul Dukat, claiming his "sources" have warned him of the invasion. As Garak is known to have plenty of shady contacts, Starfleet can assume he just found out on its own as it's not like Sisko would just openly discuss this in front of a Cardassian tailor...right?

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* Invoked by The Question in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. He's already got a reputation of a crackpot who's a few fries short of a Happy Meal, so if he murders Lex Luther to prevent Lex [[spoiler: from provoking Superman into murdering him and going down the path of the Justice Lords]], the Justice League won't suffer a fatal blow to its reputation. [[spoiler: Though he fails since he was unaware that Luther had been turned into a backup copy of Brainiac]].

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* In ''Film/TheDeserter'', General Miles cannot US troops across the Mexican border to strike at the Apache stronghold without sparking an international incident, so he instead assembles a small squad that will be sent out in mufti to make a surgical strike, and who can be denied if caught.

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** Another example from the UsefulNotes/ColdWar: there was no spy submarine that was caught and forced to emerge, only unscheduled exercises to detect spy subs and force them to emerge that a sub from the side interested in spying on them decided to join betting a case of alcoholics (whiskey for American subs, vodka for Soviets) that they couldn't force them to emerge and lost. Nobody believed it, but considering it prevented both the start of WorldWarIII and the execution of the sub's crew as spies (why this unofficial tradition was started: Soviet sailors made the claim because they didn't want to kill the fellow sailors of the spy sub whose only fault was doing their duty to their own country) sailors on both sides would make the claim.
*** In one occasion, a Soviet submarine was caught in Italian waters and surrendered, explaining they had suffered a breakdown. There ''was'' a breakdown, but the Italian navy conveniently failed to ask why the Soviet sub was hiding in Italian waters or why they had a support ship just outside territorial waters.


->'''Longinus:''' Your scruples do you credit but, without your knowledge, his death could not have dishonoured you.
->'''Brutus:''' To the contrary, I would be twice dishonoured! A killer ''and'' a fool!

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->'''Longinus:''' -->'''Longinus:''' Your scruples do you credit but, without your knowledge, his death could not have dishonoured you.
->'''Brutus:''' -->'''Brutus:''' To the contrary, I would be twice dishonoured! A killer ''and'' a fool!

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* Rejected in ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Brutus leads the assassination plot against Julius Caesar, but is angered to find out that the conspirators tried to kill Marc Antony as well, against his express orders.
->'''Longinus:''' Your scruples do you credit but, without your knowledge, his death could not have dishonoured you.
->'''Brutus:''' To the contrary, I would be twice dishonoured! A killer ''and'' a fool!

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** In the ''Deep Space Nine'' episode "Way of the Warrior," the crew realize the Klingons are going to invade Cardassia on the belief the Founders have taken it over. As the Klingons and the Federation are allies, Sisko is told he can't warn the Cardassians despite how this can spark a full-scale war. Sisko has Garak (who everyone knows is a former Cardassian agent) be on hand fitting Sisko for a suit as he and the crew discuss the invasion. Sure enough, Garak is instantly on the wire to Gul Dukat, claiming his "sources" have warned him of the invasion. As Garak is known to have plenty of shady contacts, Starfleet can assume he just found out on its own as it's not like Sisko would just openly discuss this in front of a Cardassian tailor...right?


* The ''entire point'' of Runners in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''. A MegaCorp needs something of questionable legality done, so they send a mid-level employee to hire some "deniable assets" (in other words, Shadowrunners). Said employee always uses the name "Mr. (or Mrs.) Johnson" and bears no obvious connection to his or her employer. Should the runners be caught, the corporation can wash their hands of it, as there's no visible sign of them doing the hiring. (At least, not ''immediately'' visible - any good Runner team will have hacked into the Johnson's commlink and picked up the details during negotiations.)

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* The ''entire point'' entire point of Runners in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''. A MegaCorp needs something of questionable legality done, so they send a mid-level employee to hire some "deniable assets" (in other words, Shadowrunners). Said employee always uses the name "Mr. (or Mrs.) Johnson" and bears no obvious connection to his or her employer. Should the runners be caught, the corporation can wash their hands of it, as there's no visible sign of them doing the hiring. (At least, not ''immediately'' immediately visible - any good Runner team will have hacked into the Johnson's commlink and picked up the details during negotiations.)



* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', after Shepard becomes a Spectre, which allows them to serve as JudgeJuryAndExecutioner, [[BigGood Admiral Hackett]] will repeatedly contact them about helping the [[TheFederation Systems Alliance]] clean up things that that the Alliance have been involved with that aren't ''entirely'' legal. These things include: Supporting a drug lord with arms (Mission: TrojanHorse Assassination), sending reconnaissance probes that will detonate with nuclear force if found (Mission: Recover/Destroy probe), and doing illegal AI research (Mission: Destroy).
** Cerberus' official stance on anything that makes them look bad to Shepard (usually [[PlayingWithSyringes highly unethical projects]] that [[GoneHorriblyWrong backfired horribly]]) is to declare them "Rogue Cells". The center that trained/created Jack at least is explicitly said to be hiding ''something'' from the Illusive Man aware that he wouldn't approve of it, but we never learn exactly what.

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* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', after ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** After
Shepard becomes a Spectre, which allows them to serve as JudgeJuryAndExecutioner, [[BigGood Admiral Hackett]] will repeatedly contact them about helping the [[TheFederation Systems Alliance]] clean up things that that the Alliance have been involved with that aren't ''entirely'' legal. These things include: Supporting a drug lord with arms (Mission: TrojanHorse Assassination), sending reconnaissance probes that will detonate with nuclear force if found (Mission: Recover/Destroy probe), and doing illegal AI research (Mission: Destroy).
** Cerberus' official stance on anything that makes them look bad to Shepard (usually [[PlayingWithSyringes highly unethical projects]] that [[GoneHorriblyWrong backfired horribly]]) is to declare them "Rogue Cells". The center that trained/created Jack at least is explicitly said to be hiding ''something'' something from the Illusive Man aware that he wouldn't approve of it, but we never learn exactly what.






* Although the aliens in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' do have a ''(very'' loosely enforced) "hands-off" policy regarding Earth because it's a "nature preserve," the main reason that Generictown has not been swamped by the press and other curiosity-seekers seems to be an overwhelming, near-universal WeirdnessCensor among most of the people in town.

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* Although the aliens in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' do have a ''(very'' (very loosely enforced) "hands-off" policy regarding Earth because it's a "nature preserve," the main reason that Generictown has not been swamped by the press and other curiosity-seekers seems to be an overwhelming, near-universal WeirdnessCensor among most of the people in town.


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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Graven Hunter Files'' a high ranking vampire sends vampire hunter protagonist Sye after some rogue vampires, given that no one would believe that a vampire of all people would hire a vampire hunter.
[[/folder]]

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* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', during FirstContact with humanity the Centauri claimed they were a galaxy-spanning empire and [[HumanAliens the fact they pretty much look identical]] was due Earth being a LostColony of theirs. Later Earth confronted the Centauri with the fact they weren't a galaxy-spanning empire and evidence that Earth is not a lost colony... Only to be replied that the first claim was mere propaganda not intended to be taken seriously, [[WorldOfHam with such wild claims being perfectly normal for the Centauri]], and that the first contact ship ''mistook them for another system'' due the Centauri using to control the space around Earth. Both sides know the Centauri lied at first contact, but as the "explanation" is believable they feign believing it to not ruin the good relationship that was established in the meantime.

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** At a Congressional hearing, Waller is asked about the difference of the Squad and Task Force X. At the time, the Task Force also included Checkmate who were still secret. Waller covered by claiming it was the same thing and "it's easier to get funding for something called a Task Force than a Suicide Squad."

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* ''Series/{{Succession}}'': Tom runs into this when a key member of his staff retires and reveals that he's been covering up extremely illegal activities by the company. Tom has to choose whether to learn about the activities so he can keep them covered up, or to avoid learning about them so he has plausible deniability when they come to light. He ultimately chooses to learn about them.


** Human ships used in ''Stargate'' are so large that, when in Earth orbit, they would be clearly visible to the naked eye and resolvable with amateur-grade telescopes. No conspiracy would be able to cover up an object in the sky only outshone by the Moon and Sun. Or a gigaton nuke detonating in space. Then again, the blinding flash is really the least of your worries when a nuke goes off that close to the magnetic field....
*** The largest human ship is 200m long, in high orbit and no solar panels to reflect light. You won't see it. The closest in RL is ISS with its solar panels to reflect light and ISS is visible 2-5 minutes a day if you know where to look.

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