Senators Concerned about “Secret” Patriot Act Program

The NYT’s Charlie Savage has an interesting report that begins:

For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under thePatriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public — or even others in Congress — knew about it.

On Thursday, two of those senators —Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado — went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained.