WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday he'd be willing to go to Congress to fight for continued use of interrogation methods that the Obama administration has declared illegal torture.
"Certainly," Cheney told CBS' "Face the Nation," when asked whether he'd be willing to make a trip to Capitol Hill. "I've made it very clear that I feel very strongly that what we did here was exactly the right thing to do."
When asked whether he'd be willing to testify under oath, Cheney responded, "I'd have to see what the circumstances are and what kind of precedent we were setting. But certainly I wouldn't be out here today if I didn't feel comfortable talking about what we're doing publicly."
Program host Bob Schieffer said the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, recently told him he would want Cheney to testify under oath.
The former vice president has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration, particularly on the issue of interrogations. He has repeatedly criticized President Obama's decision to release four memos from the Bush presidency that discuss tactics such as waterboarding.
Cheney said he has called for the release of two other memos "that I personally know of, written by the CIA, that lay out the successes of those policies and point out in considerable detail all of - all that we were able to achieve by virtue of those policies."
Many lawmakers, including some Republicans such as Sen. John McCain, have applauded Obama's decision to end the use of certain interrogation methods. McCain - a former prisoner of war and Obama's rival for the presidency last year - is among those who say the United States makes itself vulnerable to more harm by using torture.
Torture rarely elicits good information from a prisoner, McCain says. Its use hurts the U.S. image, and may encourage its enemies to torture Americans.
Cheney said he's been outspoken because "I think the issues that are at stake here are so important." The Obama administration, he said, has "moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a follow-on terrorist attack like 9/11."
Looking back on the decisions the Bush administration made in the years following 9/11, Cheney said he has "no regrets. I think it was absolutely the right thing to do. I'm convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives."
In fact, he argued, "20 or 30 years from now, you'll be able to look back on this and say this is one of the great success stories of American intelligence."