Mark Udall: I tried to expose NSA program

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) says he “did everything short of leaking classified information” to bring attention to the National Security Administration's seizure of Americans' phone records.

“I did everything in my power to bring attention” to the program, he told the Denver Post.

Udall alluded to the program’s existence earlier this year as Congress debated reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on the Senate floor, tying up a vote on reauthorizing the law for several days. During the debate, Feinstein and Chambliss, among others, angrily defended the program, saying it would be necessary to continue effective counterterrorism operations.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last year, Udall and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said, “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of . . . these secret court opinions. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows.

In an interview with the Plum Line, Udall's cousin, Sen. Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, said it was hard to even have a public evaluation or debate over the surveillance because we know so little about it. But he called the blanket order "deeply disturbing."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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