On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
Home / Resource / Factsheet / The McCain-Feinstein Amendment: Protecting National Security, Upholding American Values
November 25, 2015

The McCain-Feinstein Amendment: Protecting National Security, Upholding American Values

Codifies a single standard of effective and lawful interrogation approaches for use across the government. By mandating that national security interrogations comply with the requirements of the Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations, the McCain-Feinstein amendment provides a crucial safeguard against the use of unlawful and abusive interrogations, while providing our nation’s intelligence professionals with clear rules of the road that prevent them from being placed in legal limbo.

Requires period review of the Army Field Manual to ensure that the interrogation approaches contained within it are effective and based on best practices and the most up-to-date science. The Secretary of Defense is responsible for periodically updating the AFM, considering new approaches developed by research commissioned by the high-value detainee interrogation group (HIG)—an elite interagency interrogation, research, and training unit comprised of top defense, intelligence, and law enforcement officials.

Codifies into federal law the current Department of Defense (DOD) policy of providing notification of, and timely access to, detainees taken into custody, for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC has a unique, trusted status among governments because in exchange for access to detainees, it agrees to keep all its observations confidential, sharing them only with government officials. Some of the worst detainee abuse after 9/11 was the result of denying the ICRC access to detainees held in custody.

Has the support of our nation’s most respected and experienced generals, admirals, interrogators, and intelligence professionals, including: General Richard Cody, USA (Ret.), General Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.), General Charles Krulak, USMC (Ret.), Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.), Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr., USA (Ret.), Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.), Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.), Lieutenant General Norman R. Seip, USAF (Ret.), Vice Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Ret.), Lieutenant General Keith J. Stalder, USMC (Ret.), Rear Admiral Don Guter, JAGC, USN (Ret.), Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.), Major General J. Michael Myatt, USMC (Ret.), Major General William L. Nash, USA (Ret.), Major General Eric T. Olson, USA (Ret.), Major General Thomas J. Romig, USA (Ret.), Major General Walter L. Stewart, Jr., USA (Ret.), Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Ret.), Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.), Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.), Brigadier General Leif H. Hendrickson, USMC (Ret.), Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.), Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Ret.), Brigadier General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.), Frank Anderson, Donald Canestraro, Glenn Carle, Eric Fair, Mark Fallon, Charlton Howard, David Irvine, Steve Kleinman, Brittain Mallow, Mike Marks, Robert McFadden, Charles Mink, Joe Navarro, Torin Nelson, Carissa Pastuch, William Quinn, and Ken Robinson.

Download PDF