Meaning of DENIABILITY in English

noun (Politics) Ability to deny something; especially, in the context of US politics, the extent to which a person in high office is able to deny knowledge of something which is relevant to a political scandal. Etymology: Formed by adding the noun suffix -ability to deny, giving a noun counterpart for the adjective deniable. History and Usage: Deniability is one of those potential words which the building blocks of affixation would make it possible to form at any time, and in fact it was first used in its more general sense at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The special political sense, though, dates from the political scandals of the late twentieth century in the US--first the Watergate scandal of 1972-4, and later the Iran-contra affair of 1986 (see contra). This special sense seems to have originated in CIA jargon, where it was sometimes used in the phrase plausible deniability. It was popularized at the time of the Watergate scandal by an article by Shana Alexander in Newsweek in 1973, entitled 'The Need (Not) To Know'; and indeed the whole point of this concept is the perceived need to protect the President (or another high official) from knowledge of some shady activity, so that he will be able to tell any ensuing inquiry that he knew nothing about it. The concept of 'plausible deniability' was devised by the late CIA director, Mr William Casey, by having Israeli arms brokers as middlemen. Daily Telegraph 11 July 1987, p. 6 I made a very definite decision not to ask the President so that I could insulate him from the decision and provide some future deniability...The buck stops here with me. John Poindexter quoted in Time 27 July 1987, p. 24 The government is rendering itself less competent, preparing a more thoroughgoing deniability. Marilynne Robinson Mother Country (1989), p. 182

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.