If I go drinking and driving with my friends and we get into an accident that kills someone in my car, is it proper that my friends should stick up for me and claim the accident wasn't my fault? Am I somehow not responsible because my drunken friend chose to get into the car with us?
I don't see how one could have a clean conscience about lying to Starfleet and one's family and friends, smearing one's (now dead) friend's name, lying to his obviously grieving father...
I accept that there may be times when it's a Starfleet officer's job to lie. In this particular case? Not for a minute, and it was horribly cowardly of Wesley's friends to ask him to do so rather than face up to the consequences of their own arrogance. For what they're trying to do, they deserve to be betrayed.
Not that Starfleet learned anything about breeding cadets who think they're superior to other cadets. Red Squad pretty much proves my point.
I'll give Locarno some points for owning up to his role in the situation, but it smacks of, "it's only illegal if you get caught."