Interrogation of Detainees: Requirements of the Detainee Treatment Act [Updated January 23, 2009] [open pdf - 196KB]
From the Summary: "U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects captured in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other locations has been a subject of long-standing debate, including whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture (CAT). [...]. Among other things, the [Detainee Treatment Act (DTA)] contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DoD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the 'cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.' These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the 'McCain Amendment.' This report discusses provisions of the DTA concerning standards for the interrogation and treatment of detainees. This report also discusses the application of the DTA by the DoD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual, particularly in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. In addition, the report discusses the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) (P.L. 109-366), which contains provisions that reference or amend the DTA. It also discusses the Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama that generally instructs all U.S. agencies to comply with Army Field Manual requirements when interrogating persons captured in an armed conflict."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33655