There's something wrong with a society when those in high places of authority - our politicians in government being a good example - are given a pass or even rewarded with a promotion after lying while people trying to be truthful and responsible citizens are being penalized.

In the last month, there's been a steady stream of stories and testimonies regarding high government officials who were either blatantly lying to us and making a mockery of the public trust. The IRS, an agency feared by Americans for decades, has received much of the criticism. First, they targeted conservative groups simply for their religious or political beliefs. Then came last week's absurd video of IRS officials joking it up and acting ridiculous at a conference that cost millions of taxpayer dollars.

We heard only a few IRS officials who testified show any kind of remorse or publicly apologize for the agency's actions. It was that long ago, meanwhile, that members of conservative groups like the Tea Party and 9/12 were being called dangerous extremists by liberal Democrats like VP Joe Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Regarding the administration's response to the Benghazi scandal, which claimed the lives of four Americans, President Obama's reaction was to thumb his nose at the public and promote Susan Rice, the lightning rod in the ongoing investigation, as his new national security adviser. The former U.N. ambassador lost all credibility when she lied to the American people about the attacks against the U.S. consulate.

Rice will forever be remembered for trying to cover up the attacks of last Sept. 11 by trying to feed us a story about the attacks being spontaneous and not the work of organized terrorists. Misinterpreting the real facts is one thing, but then willfully lying to us by spreading a bogus story in order to protect the president is disgusting. The fact that Rice peddled the phony story during OBama's re-election campaign made it more disturbing.

What kind of message does this lying and gutter politics in the federal government send to our young people? Over 3.3 million seniors who make up the high school graduating class of 2013 should be trusting their authority figures as they move into the real world. What they don't need to see are the actors in government who constantly lie, play loose with the facts, or conveniently have no recollection of details once they're backed into a corner on the facts.

Another sad incident that reflects today's bizzaro world involves a senior in Princeton, N.C., who had to pay a price for being truthful. Two months ago, David Cole Withrow gained national attention when his expulsion from school prevented him from graduating with his class. An Eagle Scout and honors student, Withrow accidentally left his shotgun, which he used for skeet shooting at a weekend outing, in his locked vehicle on school grounds.

When he realized the mistake, he reportedly asked school officials if he could leave the campus to take the gun home but was denied. An administrator instead called police and Withrow was charged with a felony for bringing a weapon onto school grounds.

A spokesperson for the district said the school had no choice but to follow the mandate of the law. Many in the community, however, felt that the punishment was too severe, especially since a principal didn't have any charges filed against him after a loaded gun was found in his car two years ago.

Withrow had to finish off the final days of his high school years in an alternative school but the story has a happy ending. He received a scholarship from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Contrary to all we're seeing in Washington, it's nice to know that someone can still be recognized for telling the truth.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com [1]