I beg to disagree. No, he did not go one or two steps up the chain of command. He knew what would happen — he would be red-flagged and stopped. His career would likely be over, with no serious discourse or change to show for it.
He went higher up the chain of command. The problem goes all the way to the President and Congress, so he went over their heads. He went, via the press, to the American people. That is exactly how representative democracy is supposed to work.