The more we learn about Trump’s Ukraine call, the more we find out just how many people were either in on the wrongdoing, the coverup, or both. But, even in this case where the acts were repugnant enough to be obvious and dangerous enough to be concealed, no one warned Americans until a sole whistler blew the case wide open. So why did he do it? Based on the research he’s done for a forthcoming book, Carl Elliott shares some insights in The Atlantic: Why They Blow the Whistle. “They don’t make complex moral arguments. They don’t appeal to foundational principles. They don’t cite legal statutes or verses from the Bible … Fred Alford, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, has interviewed dozens of whistle-blowers, many in science and engineering. ‘The average whistle-blower of my experience is a fifty-five-year-old nuclear engineer working behind the counter at Radio Shack,’ Alford writes. ‘Divorced and in debt to his lawyers, he lives in a two-room rented apartment. He has no retirement plan and few prospects for advancement.’ Whistle-blower protection laws are intended to prevent decent people from being fired for doing the right thing, but no law can really mitigate the psychological devastation that comes from blowing the whistle. Most whistle-blowers find themselves exiled from the communities that gave their lives meaning. Whistle-blowers know this and they speak out anyway.”

+ The NYT’s David Enrich on a source who whistles to a different tune. Me and My Whistle-Blower. “His drug use has sent him reeling between manias and stupors. He has a maddening habit of leaping to outrageous conclusions and then bending facts to fit far-fetched theories. He fantasizes about seeing his story told by Hollywood, and I sometimes wonder whether he’s manipulating me to achieve that ambition. He can be impatient, erratic and abusive.” (I don’t know about whistle-blowing, but this guy was made for Twitter…)