dirty tricks

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dirty tricks

Undercover or clandestine operations and deceitful stratagems in politics and espionage. For example, This campaign has been dominated by the dirty tricks of both sides. The adjective dirty here is used in the sense of "unethical" or "unfair." The term originally was applied to covert intelligence operations carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose planning directorate was nicknamed "department of dirty tricks." It later was extended to underhanded activity intended to undermine political opponents and commercial rivals. [1940s]
See also: dirty, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
They shouldn't be tarred with the same brush as dirty tricksters any more than the printer who cranks out your church bulletin shouldn't be put on the same level with the sleaze ball who produces child pornography.
I shudder to think what kind of society we're creating when we have the filthy rich unwilling to hire dirty tricksters and insisting on doing it themselves.
That is a considerable consolation prize to the American people, who have - thanks largely to Republican dirty tricksters - had to vote not once but twice for this student council prankster from Hot Springs.