A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
In regards to honesty, this too is of ancient origin. Certainly the Ten Commandments are a guide. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Exodus 20:16. Truth is often relative to the individual. Reciprocally lying might be morally wrong, but is not necessarily punishable. When a lie acts to deliberately hinder the right of another, then such an act deserves a remedy --- for it is “against” another as the commandment reads.
As well, when one lie occurs, it is common that such a lie is followed by many others:
He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
Thomas Jefferson (1785)
It is a commonly understood concept that when a person tells one lie, that they must continue to tell lie after lie to cover up their original lie. It veritably becomes an ever circling ring of lies. Moreover, said Justice Butler, “A deceit is more than a lie [as it] is coupled with some dealing [which causes] injury.”
Silence also is clearly a form of deceit in certain circumstance. “Silence can only be equated with fraud where there is a legal or moral duty to speak, or where an inquiry left unanswered would be intentionally misleading.” U.S. v. Tweel, 550 F.2d 297, 299. If a person were involved in deceit and they were to deflect a correction of illicit behavior by silence or a lie in the matter and continued in their corruption, it must needs be interpreted as an act to swindle the rights of another.
In Ezekiel, God is additionally clear about how if dishonesty is used to exploit and hinder the freedom of another it is wrong:
In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.
Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.
And as hindering rights is like unto death, dishonesty to hinder such rights leaves blood on one’s hands. When they extort others, holding their freedoms for a ransom, when they use dishonesty to cheat the natural rights from people, such acts cry for retribution, they cry for a remedy.
Part Five -- The Right to Freedom from Conspiracy