Leave the Ukraine Leaker, Fire His Supervisor

If you listen for just a second do you hear the deafening silence from the CIA, the agency that originated the Ukraine edition of the Get Trump campaign?

If the CIA considers itself subordinate to the president—and whatever it thinks, it is—it should be howling with outrage at the leak of confidential diplomatic information for political purposes. But the CIA increasingly does not consider itself subordinate to anyone. Instead, in apparent preparation for the whistleblower, it changed its procedures to confer protection on gossip mongers peddling unverified hearsay without having first-hand knowledge of the complaint.

A CIA leaker can now repeat a total lie overhead in the men’s room and the CIA will protect him as a “whistleblower.”

It’s the climate within the intelligence agencies that’s the problem. Forget the leaker. Fire his supervisor. And if it happens again, move up the chain to the next level supervisor. Playing whack-a-mole with individual leakers won’t be effective. The president should sign an executive order establishing a rebuttable presumption that the supervisor of a leaker can be assumed to have fostered a permissive climate of contempt for the constitutional authority of the elected president.

The Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and all the other “three-letter” agencies should be required to include “constitutional adherence” in the performance standards of their employees and supervisors. A supervisor who does not ensure submission to the constitutional safeguards protecting us from our own government should not be a supervisor.

And for those who were educated by the “wokerati” in our universities, Article II of the Constitution designates the elected president as the head of the executive branch. He’s the one who represents the voting public. Not the CIA. In a democratic republic, the ballot box is the source of legitimacy for power.

The Department of Justice has issued an opinion that starkly agrees with this humble author’s own assessment—that the CIA/Ukraine leaker did not disclose a “violation of law,” when his complaint resulted in the publicizing of confidential diplomatic communication for the purpose of helping his preferred candidate in the 2020 election. So now it’s time to take swift measures to safeguard future sensitive diplomatic conversations from sabotaging deep state leakers.

The solution is actually simpler than you might think: The supervisor’s privileges and status are the Achilles heel of the deep state. Some of these supervisors make upwards of $200,000 a year, plus lavish benefits and a post-retirement gig as a “consultant.” These are millionaires in the making. It’s not about the leaker. It’s about the climate that makes the leaker. The solution is to start with his boss.

We’re at a very dangerous point in our history. The intelligence community has undisguised contempt for all three constitutional branches of our government and the people who lend them legitimacy with their votes.

You’ve probably never heard of the recent scandal in which the CIA spied on the Senate. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, the agency responded to Senate condemnation for illegal spying by “breaking into the Senate computers.” Then-CIA chief John Brennan not only failed to take action against the wrongdoers, he also lied about it to Congress.

The lawlessness of the intelligence community “led the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court to publish confidential opinions condemning them for sabotaging effective enforcement of its decisions.” Nobody was punished for any of that.

Consider the example of the sad tale of Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) who was framed by federal prosecutors. The Justice Department attempted to discipline two of its prosecutors for egregious ethical violations spelled out conclusively by the same federal district judge now presiding over the Michael Flynn case. The prosecutors ended up getting off with no punishment because the supervisors passively sabotaged any attempt at justice. Why? The answer is obvious—the supervisors were protecting themselves from the consequences of presiding over the misconduct.

You can’t put a supervisor in charge of disciplining misconduct that he should have stopped or, worse, may have facilitated and encouraged. Starting with the wrongdoers and working your way up is a sure path to justice delayed until justice is denied. That’s the unmistakable lesson from the Stevens case.

It’s not the leaker who needs to be disciplined. It’s the climate at the agency that made the leaker. When a fat-cat government executive sees that his cushy fiefdom might be in danger if one of his subordinates plays vigilante with sensitive intelligence information, the climate will begin to change. There are tens of thousands of potential leakers. The supervisors are a much easier target. Fire one or two, and the whole agency will take notice.

The intelligence community has spied on, defied, and undermined all three branches of government and nobody seems to be able to stop them. The press (sometimes called the “fourth branch of government”) also seems totally compromised as they now cheerlead for the intelligence community with an enthusiasm that China must envy. What we’re doing now isn’t working and the intelligence agencies seems to be getting bolder with each administration. Leave the leaker in place. It’s his boss who needs to be held accountable. Let’s “woke” these agencies to the Constitution. It’s high time that our own government learned some basic civics.

About Adam Mill

Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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