So the whistleblower went to Adam Schiff first, not the designated intelligence authorities?

Remember when intelligence leaker Ed Snowden's gentlest critics said he should have taken his complaints of intelligence abuses through established internal channels instead of stealing thousands of documents of top-secret intelligence files and then leaking them to the press?  That "mistake" — and I don't think it was one — is what drove him to seek refuge in the old Soviet Union just a few years ago.

Remember when the same was said of then-private Bradley Manning, who leaked troves of military secrets to WikiLeaks before being packed off to Leavenworth?  He should have gone through channels...

The idea is that these people shouldn't have been addressing the issues that they claimed motivated them to do their dirty betrayals the way they did, because there were plenty of internal channels to work with, and they didn't bother.

Turns out we got another one, according to a report from Sean Davis at the Federalist, citing reporting at the New York Times: the impeachment "whistleblower," who seems to have gone to congressional Democrats first, not the intelligence inspector general (IGIC) or, for that matter, two other agencies, which dismissed his secondhand complaints out of hand.  Davis writes:

An anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of ongoing Democratic efforts to impeach President Donald Trump coordinated with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and his Democratic staff prior to filing his whistleblower complaint, The New York Times reported on Wednesday afternoon. The bombshell report that the whistleblower and his Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) colleagues actively worked exclusively with congressional Democrats before filing the complaint raises serious questions about whether the complainant followed federal laws providing whistleblower protections for employees within the U.S. intelligence community.

"Before going to Congress, the C.I.A. officer had a colleague convey his accusations to the agency's top lawyer," The New York Times reported. "Concerned about how that avenue for airing his allegations was unfolding, the officer then approached a House Intelligence Committee aide, alerting him to the accusation against Mr. Trump."

The New York Times noted that the anti-Trump complainant only notified the committee's Democrats of his allegations.

"The whistle-blower's decision to offer what amounted to an early warning to the intelligence committee's Democrats is also sure to thrust Mr. Schiff even more forcefully into the center of the controversy," The New York Times wrote.

Bzzzt.  Not a whistleblower.  This is yet another leaker, a partisan one, same as Snowden and Bradley (partisan, same as one of the original reports noted), making this ongoing impeachment matter against President Trump a very different kind of story.  President Trump was right to have called this another case of a spy or traitor, because this is what it was.

It leaves the current whistleblower system's credibility now in tatters.  Why go through official channels when you've got Adam Schiff?  Who'd bother with official channels now that this leaker has gotten away with oversharing classified information with Democrats in Congress first?  Eric Felton at RealClearInvestigations has much more about the full scope of the problem here.

In this whistleblower case, the issue stinks, because it wasn't even intelligence that was involved here; it was diplomacy.  Presidents do, after all, have a right to diplomatic and secret communication with their foreign allies as a matter of state.  What's more, their counterparties do have a right to expect that these conversations will be private and not all over the front page of the New York Times.  The president of Ukraine is as much a victim of this Schiff grandstanding as is Trump, and other foreign leaders are going to take note.  Russia's President Putin is already on record saying he doesn't want his conversations with Trump leaked (which kind of suggests that maybe Trump yelled at him), and even Putin has a right to that.  If he doesn't, well, then all diplomacy can be conducted by Twitter (or through leaks and congressional grandstanding), and actual national security can go out the window.

This person didn't follow channels, but instead went to Rep. Adam Schiff, the highly partisan leftist chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, whose interest was anything but neutral or bipartisan, as the IGIC office is supposed to be.  This person didn't follow channels any more than Snowden did, but now he gets cloaked in whistleblower protections for partisan blabbings. 

The benefit that Snowden didn't have that the whistleblower does is that by using the whistleblower statute, the whole violation of national security on his part cloaks the complaint in far graver seriousness than it actually has, given that the Left has actually made it an impeachment matter.  If the whistleblower had not used those whistleblower statutes for protection, he would be busted, same as Manning, or else on the run, same as Snowden.

The failure to follow procedures though, now makes him or her a leaker, a political manipulator, a partisan operative, a person who uses secret intelligence to his own personal ends, not a whistleblower. And for that reason, this person would at a minimum be entitled to zero anonymity protections that whistleblowers get and the IGIC should be the first to toss out any merit to the allegation to save its own credibility. If he or she gets away with this, then the whole whistleblower system has no credibility.

This person ought to be in the dock now, explaining why he or she leaked classified information to unauthorized parties, and then answering questions about why he or she decided to cloak it all in whistleblower protections, a fake stunt that makes the whistleblower system into a joke, but certainly spares the leaker a stretch in Russia or Leavenworth.

This makes two aspects of this whole whistleblower imbroglio utterly built on a lie. First, we learned that the matter was not about actual intelligence, it was about a classified presidential conversation with the president of Ukraine, which a diplomacy matter, not a spy matter.

Now we see that the whistleblower had pre-coordinated a political attack involving Adam Schiff on the sitting president beung well before he or she retreated back into the whistleblower status to avoid any accountability or responsibility. President Trump is the one now left to clean up that mess.

Both premises are false. In addition, there were a string of other irregularities that Davis noted in earlier pieces, such as this one I wrote about yesterday here.

Maybe it's time to get rid of the whistleblower statutes, given how easily they are being politically abused these days and just let every deep state leftist in government leak all the spy secrets they like. Either that, or the system in place can reassert its reason for existence by hosing out all this political partisanship and go back to being a precise tool for pinpointing invisible abuses of power. It can either be one or the other, and the left can't have it both ways.

Remember when intelligence leaker Ed Snowden's gentlest critics said he should have taken his complaints of intelligence abuses through established internal channels instead of stealing thousands of documents of top-secret intelligence files and then leaking them to the press?  That "mistake" — and I don't think it was one — is what drove him to seek refuge in the old Soviet Union just a few years ago.

Remember when the same was said of then-private Bradley Manning, who leaked troves of military secrets to WikiLeaks before being packed off to Leavenworth?  He should have gone through channels...

The idea is that these people shouldn't have been addressing the issues that they claimed motivated them to do their dirty betrayals the way they did, because there were plenty of internal channels to work with, and they didn't bother.

Turns out we got another one, according to a report from Sean Davis at the Federalist, citing reporting at the New York Times: the impeachment "whistleblower," who seems to have gone to congressional Democrats first, not the intelligence inspector general (IGIC) or, for that matter, two other agencies, which dismissed his secondhand complaints out of hand.  Davis writes:

An anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of ongoing Democratic efforts to impeach President Donald Trump coordinated with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and his Democratic staff prior to filing his whistleblower complaint, The New York Times reported on Wednesday afternoon. The bombshell report that the whistleblower and his Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) colleagues actively worked exclusively with congressional Democrats before filing the complaint raises serious questions about whether the complainant followed federal laws providing whistleblower protections for employees within the U.S. intelligence community.

"Before going to Congress, the C.I.A. officer had a colleague convey his accusations to the agency's top lawyer," The New York Times reported. "Concerned about how that avenue for airing his allegations was unfolding, the officer then approached a House Intelligence Committee aide, alerting him to the accusation against Mr. Trump."

The New York Times noted that the anti-Trump complainant only notified the committee's Democrats of his allegations.

"The whistle-blower's decision to offer what amounted to an early warning to the intelligence committee's Democrats is also sure to thrust Mr. Schiff even more forcefully into the center of the controversy," The New York Times wrote.

Bzzzt.  Not a whistleblower.  This is yet another leaker, a partisan one, same as Snowden and Bradley (partisan, same as one of the original reports noted), making this ongoing impeachment matter against President Trump a very different kind of story.  President Trump was right to have called this another case of a spy or traitor, because this is what it was.

It leaves the current whistleblower system's credibility now in tatters.  Why go through official channels when you've got Adam Schiff?  Who'd bother with official channels now that this leaker has gotten away with oversharing classified information with Democrats in Congress first?  Eric Felton at RealClearInvestigations has much more about the full scope of the problem here.

In this whistleblower case, the issue stinks, because it wasn't even intelligence that was involved here; it was diplomacy.  Presidents do, after all, have a right to diplomatic and secret communication with their foreign allies as a matter of state.  What's more, their counterparties do have a right to expect that these conversations will be private and not all over the front page of the New York Times.  The president of Ukraine is as much a victim of this Schiff grandstanding as is Trump, and other foreign leaders are going to take note.  Russia's President Putin is already on record saying he doesn't want his conversations with Trump leaked (which kind of suggests that maybe Trump yelled at him), and even Putin has a right to that.  If he doesn't, well, then all diplomacy can be conducted by Twitter (or through leaks and congressional grandstanding), and actual national security can go out the window.

This person didn't follow channels, but instead went to Rep. Adam Schiff, the highly partisan leftist chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, whose interest was anything but neutral or bipartisan, as the IGIC office is supposed to be.  This person didn't follow channels any more than Snowden did, but now he gets cloaked in whistleblower protections for partisan blabbings. 

The benefit that Snowden didn't have that the whistleblower does is that by using the whistleblower statute, the whole violation of national security on his part cloaks the complaint in far graver seriousness than it actually has, given that the Left has actually made it an impeachment matter.  If the whistleblower had not used those whistleblower statutes for protection, he would be busted, same as Manning, or else on the run, same as Snowden.

The failure to follow procedures though, now makes him or her a leaker, a political manipulator, a partisan operative, a person who uses secret intelligence to his own personal ends, not a whistleblower. And for that reason, this person would at a minimum be entitled to zero anonymity protections that whistleblowers get and the IGIC should be the first to toss out any merit to the allegation to save its own credibility. If he or she gets away with this, then the whole whistleblower system has no credibility.

This person ought to be in the dock now, explaining why he or she leaked classified information to unauthorized parties, and then answering questions about why he or she decided to cloak it all in whistleblower protections, a fake stunt that makes the whistleblower system into a joke, but certainly spares the leaker a stretch in Russia or Leavenworth.

This makes two aspects of this whole whistleblower imbroglio utterly built on a lie. First, we learned that the matter was not about actual intelligence, it was about a classified presidential conversation with the president of Ukraine, which a diplomacy matter, not a spy matter.

Now we see that the whistleblower had pre-coordinated a political attack involving Adam Schiff on the sitting president beung well before he or she retreated back into the whistleblower status to avoid any accountability or responsibility. President Trump is the one now left to clean up that mess.

Both premises are false. In addition, there were a string of other irregularities that Davis noted in earlier pieces, such as this one I wrote about yesterday here.

Maybe it's time to get rid of the whistleblower statutes, given how easily they are being politically abused these days and just let every deep state leftist in government leak all the spy secrets they like. Either that, or the system in place can reassert its reason for existence by hosing out all this political partisanship and go back to being a precise tool for pinpointing invisible abuses of power. It can either be one or the other, and the left can't have it both ways.