Fascist Ashcroft spends $8,000 taxpayer bucks to censor statues

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Tuesday January 29 8:19 AM ET

$8,000 Curtains Cover Semi-Nude Statues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A cover-up at the U.S. Justice Department (news - web sites)?

A Justice Department spokeswoman said on Monday about $8,000 has been spent for curtains to conceal two Art Deco aluminum statues of semi-nude figures in the building's Great Hall.

At one end of the stage is a 1930s era female statue representing the ``Spirit of Justice.'' Though she wears a toga-style garment, one breast is exposed. At the other end of the stage, a male statue represents the ``Majesty of Justice,'' and has a cloth draped by his waist.

Justice Department spokeswoman Barbara Comstock said the decision to install the curtains was made by Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites)'s aide who handles advance work. ``It was done for TV aesthetics,'' she said.

When Ashcroft on Nov. 8 announced plans to restructure the Justice Department to focus on terrorism after the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks, photographers took pictures showing him with the towering female statue in the background.

``He did not know this was being done,'' Comstock said. ``The attorney general has more important things to do than worry about what appears in pictures.''

The statues were hidden by curtains on Nov. 20, when President Bush (news - web sites) came to the Justice Department to name the building after the assassinated former attorney general, Robert Kennedy.

Those curtains were rented. Comstock said the decision then was made to buy dark-blue curtains and install them because it would be more ``cost efficient.''

On Monday, a day with no public events in the Great Hall, the curtains, with the Justice Department emblem in the center, were placed across the stage, concealing the statues.

A former Justice Department official e-mailed a copy of an article about the statues to colleagues, adding the caption, ''homeland security?''

The most famous picture of the female statue came in the 1980s, when Attorney General Edwin Meese released the final report of his commission on pornography.

-- (beauty in @ eye. of beholder), January 29, 2002


I hope this gets a lot of publicity. I'm certainly not of the religious right, but I suspect (hope) that there will be people on the religious right who will find this ridiculous.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), January 29, 2002.

I agree Peter, even many of the Fundamentalists who think the human body is a filthy thing will probably feel this is going a bit too far. Clearly, Ashcroft has not had sex in years and is easily frustrated by the sight of a beautiful woman.

They just covered this story on the Nightly News. They couldn't find anyone who said they were ashamed or embarrased by the exposed breast on the statue, but they found several people who were appalled that Ashcroft chose to cover it up. One guy said he thought "immature" was the right word to describe it.

-- (Ashcroft@filthy.mind), January 29, 2002.

-- (the@disgraceful.statue), January 29, 2002.

To borrow the words of another, How appropriate is it that Ashcroft has now hidden the Spirit of Justice and the Majesty of Law behind a thick black veil?

-- (a_friend@here.now), January 29, 2002.

LOL! I think he is getting them ready for when Cheney goes to the Supreme Court to find out if he can continue to conceal documents. Ashcroft is afraid the statues will see the kind of so-called "justice" that is going on behind those doors!

-- (how@very.appropriate), January 29, 2002.


I don't know if I qualify as a full-blown Religious Right type, but this does indeed strike me as silly. Plus, that's a public image, paid for by our tax dollars. If I want to see it, I should be able to see it.

Why in the heck can't Ashcroft simply stand somewhere else when he holds a press shmooze, if the exposed breast on Lady Justice worries him so badly? Go figure.

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), January 29, 2002.

"Why in the heck can't Ashcroft simply stand somewhere else when he holds a press shmooze, if the exposed breast on Lady Justice worries him so badly?"

Duuuuuuuh, I guess I never thawt of that. Soooorreeee, yuck-yuck.

-- John Ashcroft (not@real.bright), January 29, 2002.


What are the damn drapes made of, spun 24 karat gold?

-- (sheeesh@freekin.guvmint), January 29, 2002.


Considering that they routinely pay $400 for a hammer, I'd say that was a bargain. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), January 29, 2002.

It can now be revealed that the real reason John Ashcroft ordered Ms. Justice's breast covered had nothing to do with modesty or protecting the children. Rather, the decision arose out of personal hurt and fury.

When the picture shown above was released to the public, Mr. Ashcroft was informed that some Democrat (or Democrats) had asked the question "which is the bigger boob?" Never again, raged Mr. Ashcroft.

-- Matt Sludge (sludge@sludge.sludge), January 30, 2002.

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