On September 11, 2001, the United States learned a tragic lesson -– our shores could no longer keep us safe and our government failed to uncover the murderous plan of terrorists bent on killing innocent Americans.

Since then, we have worked to create an early warning system to alert us to attacks here at home, against our troops in the field or against our allies.

Good intelligence –- the information about our enemies and their intentions –- is necessary for our early warning system to work.

Some of the most important intelligence we have gotten since the attacks on 9/11 was through interrogation of terrorists.

While interrogation of terrorists is essential to good intelligence gathering, there are restrictions our intelligence professionals must abide to.

Our great country must always uphold American values, even in wartime, and even against the terrorists bent on destroying our way life.

Already, America abides by the restrictions in both treaty and law -– from using torture, cruel, degrading or inhuman techniques.

Unfortunately, some in Congress want to capitalize on headlines to score political points with their fringe groups by making the restrictions we impose on intelligence professionals unworkable.

And unworkable is the right way to describe proposals limiting interrogation techniques to those listed in the publicly available U.S. Army’s Field Manual.

I have a number of problems with this ill-thought-out proposal.  As I pointed out on the floor of the Senate last night, the Army Field Manual can be changed at any time by the Secretary of the Army -– without Congressional approval. I think this sets a dangerous precedent of ceding our legislative authority and responsibility to the bureaucracy. Americans elected us to make the tough decisions –- not shuck off our responsibilities to someone else.

Also, I’m afraid that proponents of this proposal failed to consider the different missions and priorities of the military, FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies –- all who depend on interrogations for intelligence critical to our national security.  A one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t meet our nation’s needs in a post-9/11 world.

What I most worry about, however, is that proposals limiting interrogation techniques to the Army Field Manual play right into our enemies’ hands. Anyone with a computer can look up this widely available manual online. And one thing we have learned is that the enemy –- terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda –- are very sophisticated with technology. We know for a fact that al-Qaeda is training their terrorists to resist the 19 techniques allowed in the manual.

So why would we broadcast to the enemy how to resist our intelligence operators?

Why would we choose to handcuff our terror-fighters and risk the loss of intelligence that could stop another tragic attack on American soil?

The good news is that I have offered a responsible alternative to this flawed proposal. Just last night, I introduced a bill that would ban harsh interrogation techniques -– like waterboarding.

My bill –- the Limitations on Interrogation Techniques Act –- outlaws the use of specific techniques that are prohibited under the U.S. Army’s Field Manual.

My bill puts the legislative responsibility back where it belongs –- on Congress. Under my bill, Congress can state clearly that certain harsh interrogation techniques will not be permissible.

This is the right way forward to keep our intelligence professionals in the business of terror-fighting while ensuring American values are upheld.