You've got a point there - perhaps you overstated bit, but still, today's sabotage situation does seem to be a side effect from some of Google's spam prevention approaches. There is a growing market for services that will take out a competitor, and that's a sad thing. It has parallels in some tacky offline business practices, but that doesn't make it palatable.
When Google changed to saying "almost nothing a competitor can do", the writing was already on the wall. Using Google to hurt a competitor was not news to us, even then. The past flood of 302 hijackings, for instance, did not happen by accident ;) just as the proxy hijacks of more recent times were not all innocent.
The problems that others can create through massive links are another thing altogether. Imagine going back some years and hearing that someone would intentionally spend money to build lots of backlinks to their competition. That would have sounded insane!
I'm sure that this current situation is not the effect that Google wants to be creating. They may have a brilliant team, but they also have some very clever opposition.