tl;dr- Technical honesty is pacifism for cold wars.
I thought of a good way to explain this. People who believe it’s good to deceive people while being “technically” honest are like pacifists who believe you shouldn’t hurt a person under any circumstance but are totally fine with putting them in a prison cell without food or water until they die (“I didn’t kill them, it was natural causes”). Another example would be people who don’t believe in capital punishment, but will put Tommy Robinson in a Muslim cell with the expectation that he’ll be killed extrajudicially. In the same way, telling your spies and intelligence agents while fighting a cold war that everything they say must be technically true, or at least some sort of pun like Koanic’s “grim humor” exception, imposes an extreme cognitive burden on people who are engaged in constant deception.
“Are you a spy?”
“Umm…” *internal Talmudism intensifies*
“…no…(ish)” whispers to self: “if by “spy” you mean the original sense of one who watches stealthily when I’m obviously right here in front of you, and if you meant otherwise I certainly can’t be held responsible for the misunderstanding, no jury would convict me…”
“Yeah, no, you’re a spy. Welcome to your new life in the torture chamber!”
That’s like requiring your soldiers to only hit enemies with bankshots and not *directly* shoot anybody. You can see this attitude particularly in the crowd which says “free speech doesn’t mean free from consequences”, effectively meaning unprincipled exceptions have become the rule. But because large-scale action requires large-scale communication, you can’t fight a war based on unprincipled exceptions (which is anti-communication). This would be like an army of pacifists where the rule of engagement is that bullets may only strike the enemy “accidentally”. Incidentally, this is what Muslims actually believe because “Inshallah” leads, logically, to the spray-and-pray style of shooting. When Muslims take aim this is an unprincipled exception to their beliefs.
The common sense answer really does work here. God says he hates lies, but he also says he hates violence. But more than either of those, I think he hates when technical fidelity is used to mask de facto infidelity. So I believe we should use the same rules of engagement for deception and violence.