Invoking Rule 21 - a move that has not been used for more than 25 years - the Democrats shut down television cameras in the chamber for more than two hours, cleared galleries of reporters and other onlookers, forced the removal of staff members and recording devices and stopped work on legislation.
Reid did four things. First, he put national security back into the newspapers. Second, he put national security back into the newspapers as a winning Democratic issue. Third, he won this round:
But Democrats were unapologetic, and last night claimed at least a partial victory after an agreement was thrashed out to form a bipartisan group of six senators to report on the intelligence committee's progress.
Fourth, he gets to fight again on a date certain, November 14:
The panel is due to report back by November 14, although it was not immediately clear last night what use would be made of the report.
We can talk about national security today, tomorrow, on the Sunday shows, then again leading up to, and following, the November 14 report.
Update: Mark Schmitt at TPM Cafe thinks Reid's victory is a sea change in Congressional power.