Former Attorney General John Ashcroft, in an entirely under-reported November interview, claimed that he makes the best decisions "when I have a lot of morphine in my system."
In a conversation with Fora TV, Ashcroft was confronted with a question about a March 2004 incident, in which the former AG was visited by his would-be successor as he lay sedated in a hospital bed.
Ashcroft was asked by Gonzales to re-authorize a controversial domestic spying program, over the objections of Ashcroft's deputy, James Comey. He refused to reverse the Justice Department's decision, sparking a power struggle which saw the White House re-authorize its own program without the approval of the Justice Department.
In the interview, Ashcroft did not deny the sequence of events, but called the tale a "heated dispute," and refused to confirm any further details.
That's when he said, "So, I think the system worked. And I'm glad that it did. It may not prove a whole lot about a lot of things. It may just prove that when I have a lot of morphine in my system, I make the right decisions."
Referring to the morphine drip call button many hospitals give to patients in enormous pain, Ashcroft added: "Maybe I should have kept one of those at my desk throughout my administration. Make better decisions."