As far as the public knows, he hasn’t parachuted behind enemy lines or gone deep undercover. Still, Edward Price has done a great service to our country. Recently, the CIA agent decided to quit.

That decision makes Price one of the most honorable men in the intelligence community. He walked away from spycraft rather than succumbing to the temptation to subvert the new Trump administration. There’s bipartisan cause for celebration of his decision.

After a decade at Langley, Price fits the profile of what we all now describe as the “deep state.” He could’ve gone rogue like former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates or the shadowy conglomerate that conspired to defeat former national security adviser Mike Flynn. A former spokesman for the National Security Council, he was in a positon to weaponize the press with damaging leaks. But he didn’t.

On Monday, Price penned a somewhat overwrought and self-congratulatory Washington Post op-ed, explaining his reasoning for leaving. Here’s the flash briefing from that 862-word piece: he didn’t think he’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, he quit.

A fistful of final straws for Price came from Trump on both the campaign trail and after Inauguration Day. First, it was when candidate Trump “casually cast doubt on the high-confidence conclusion of our 17 intelligence agencies” and then routinely suggested that “the CIA couldn’t be trusted.” And finally it was when President Trump subbed the CIA director out on the National Security Council for Steve Bannon, a man “who cut his teeth as a media champion of white nationalism.”

Of course, one doesn’t need to agree with Price’s analysis. And it’s worth noting that Price served in the CIA when Ben Rhodes was rebuilding the National Security Council into a spin room. But what matters most is that he sacrificed a career rather than sabotage the administration.

He thought he couldn’t his duty and follow his conscience at the same time. So he asked to be relieved of duty.

In doing so, Price sent a signal.

From one of the CIA’s most visible posts, Price telegraphed a message to the nation’s spooks. If they dislike the administration and don’t feel they can do their duty to the country, it’s time to take off the cloak and put down the dagger.

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