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Justice Department Coverup
January 26, 2002 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Justice Department Coverup Attorney General John Ashcroft was fed up with having his picture taken during events in the Great Hall in front of semi-nude statues. So he has ordered massive draperies to conceal the offending figures (cost: 8,000 bucks)
posted by matteo (40 comments total)

 
American puritanism is so pathetic.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 AM on January 26, 2002


On the left, the female figure represents the Spirit of Justice; the male on the right is the Majesty of Justice.

How ironic that the head of the Justice Department is covering these two over.
posted by ilsa at 10:10 AM on January 26, 2002


We could handle the statues in 1934. In 2002 we need to cover them.
Chilling.
posted by halcyon at 10:19 AM on January 26, 2002


Is it just me, or is John making squeezies with his hands?
posted by swift at 10:22 AM on January 26, 2002


I really can't act surprised or outraged at this guy anymore, congress knew exactly what they were getting into when they let Ashcroft through. No Teddy Kennedy fillibuster, just a barrelfull of complaints from the media and lots of self-congratulatory pats on the back about bipartisanism from the politicos. Everyone assumed that Ashcroft would put his Xtian views and values well above his job and this is another fine example of his work. Isn't it about time to fire this guy?
posted by skallas at 10:31 AM on January 26, 2002


John Ashcroft is an embarrassment to his office, his country, and to human beings with at least a single working synapse. Every time I see his flat, pasty face I'm filled with revulsion. I loathe him.

Now, when my posts cease in a week or so, would someone find me a lawyer to file a writ of habeas corpus, if we still have that right?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:38 AM on January 26, 2002


The Ancient Greeks were able to look at naked statues without giggling. This really has me pissed off (and not at the $8,000... that's just a drop in the hat), if America wants to be seen as a great society we need to start encouraging culture. Maybe we need to reenact the WPA and the Fed. Writers and Artists project. Put some art in the suburbs, revitalize the downtowns.
posted by geoff. at 10:51 AM on January 26, 2002


that privilege was cancelled silly, i'm sure you would agree that you wouldn't want the terrorists to use legal tricks like that!
posted by rhyax at 10:51 AM on January 26, 2002


Remember kids, your bathing suit area is a naughty, dirty, awful place that brings no joy to anyone, only sorrow and embarrassment. Tell your friends.
posted by mathowie at 10:58 AM on January 26, 2002


I wonder if Hitler would have considered those sculptures as "degenerate?"

Oh well, it could be worse. Stodgey victorians were so scandalized by ancient roman, greek and renaissance sculptures and paintings that they actually defaced the artwork, tacking on fig leaves.

At least draperies can come down after pig-headed prudes are hounded out of office.
posted by crunchland at 10:58 AM on January 26, 2002


Can you blame Ashcroft, though? Don't get me wrong -- I think he's an idiot too, but when photographers start lying on the floor, contorting themselves just to get a picture of his head with a breast in the background, then who's really at fault here? Everybody involved should just grow the hell up.
posted by drinkcoffee at 11:06 AM on January 26, 2002


Maybe he should just blow the statues up?
posted by harrycaul at 11:08 AM on January 26, 2002


Everytime I read about something that wacky Ashcroft has done, my first response is to laugh. I can't help it.

That laughter quickly dries up and is replaced by fear. He truly frightens me. At least with someone like Pat Buchanan, you know he's a nut and he has no power. Ashcroft is the Attorney Fucking General.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:09 AM on January 26, 2002


Ironically, they left the biggest dick right out in the open.
posted by dong_resin at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2002


$8000? how much to cover up the asshole in front?

But, I wouldn't want to say anything negative about only Johnny A, that would "only aid terrorists, for [I] erode our national unity and diminish our resolve." (JA testifying to congress in Dec 2001 on why critics of him are just as bad as the terrorists.)

This is ONE SCARY MOTHERFUCKER (and while you're at watch out for tweedle-dee: Rumsfield)
posted by victors at 11:30 AM on January 26, 2002


Hmmn, fate favors the bold when fighting terrorism. So let's "have the temerity" to propose a Justice Department event that requires Mr. A. to leave the statues undraped. What will it be? Transparency in government? A women's health care lawsuit? Any ideas?
posted by sheauga at 11:39 AM on January 26, 2002


I can't say for sure, but C. Paul Jennewein probably was the sculptor.
posted by Carol Anne at 11:39 AM on January 26, 2002


america the a-cultural. perhaps this is a new wave in art: sheet-covered-art, call it something innovative and original like 'hide Le art' movement.
posted by greyscale at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2002


i think we need to boil ashcroft in his crisco
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2002


*Stirring yellowjacket nest* For the posters who fear that we will all be rounded up and put in cages by the new A.G. Take a moment and listen to your own hyperbole. Sounds very similar to right wing radio tirades against Janet Reno. The extreme left and right are not so far apart after all. Vitriolic spleen-venting may feel good, but leaves a mess on the floor that most moderates will ignore.

I believe our system of checks and balances and the debates that follow regarding civil liberties vs. security will survive just fine. Nude statues and all.
posted by scottfree at 12:00 PM on January 26, 2002


pardon me, scottfree, if I am not so complacent and trusting of our government as you.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:04 PM on January 26, 2002


The beauty of our (U.S.) system is that we do have the checks and balances and that there is that healthy mistrust of government. That is what my confidence is in. I trust in the fact that there will be mistrust of our government and that we will keep it in check. (If that makes sense.) And we have the freedom to voice it. I was just asking people to consider listening to themselves as they voice it. Not necessarily to temper it, but to hear that it is not so different in tone of those on the opposite side of the political fence.
posted by scottfree at 12:23 PM on January 26, 2002


If Ashcroft were living in a country wracked by poverty and 3 decades of war, no doubt when he gained power he would order the statues destroyed by cannons.
posted by chaz at 12:43 PM on January 26, 2002


This guy is willing to violate the rights of hundreds of detainees, make verbal attacks on free speech as "inappropriate", but get uncomfortable over a single silver-colored tit? Somebody has some issues. Why is this man in government anyway?
posted by holycola at 1:21 PM on January 26, 2002


The beauty of the U.S. system is that it's okay to show some Deco aluminum breast, scottfree. Ashcroft is the type of person that would like to outlaw art textbooks that contain nudity. Saying "just listen to yourselves" and "everything will be okay" can only be met with just listen to yourself because everything is not okay. Please ignore the man behind the curtain.
posted by swift at 2:10 PM on January 26, 2002


Ah, we are proven correct again.

Everyday the Bush Gang does something to prove those of us that warned about them, correctamundo.

Fonzie flashback, whoops..
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:30 PM on January 26, 2002


How soon before you'll realize
that all their words are alibis
and all their lies a cruel disquise
to cloak their grasping enterprise
and force us all to patronize
the guilded gods they moralize
your trust of course is only vain
you can't maintain in their domain
if you start to complain they'll only arraign
their holy campaign is to enchain our lives
in misery and pain.
posted by Mack Twain at 4:20 PM on January 26, 2002


scottfree: who checked hoover?
posted by victors at 4:31 PM on January 26, 2002


You know, out here in Nebraska, our state capitol (the official page seems to be inaccessible right now) is a huge Art Deco building which is fondly called "The Penis of the Prairie"--and there are naked statues of both sexes carved on the outside, and probably some inside, too, and they are spending millions and millions of dollars to restore it--they just took off most of the outside scaffolding, and it looks glorious. Especially when the sun is setting, and the last light of the day reflects off the limestone in such a way that it looks like it's on fire. Breathtaking.

My point, anyhow, is that Nebraska is an incredibly conservative state, with a very conservative governor in office, and everyone is proud of our building and is (mostly) willing to spend the money to make sure that it lasts much longer than the two prior capitol buildings did. When I took the tour of the building, the guide took great delight in showing us all the art inside and telling us what it meant. The interior art isn't finished, yet, and its completion is an ongoing project. It strikes me as very, very sad that Ashcroft is so uptight that he can't appreciate the beauty of the statues--despite photographers' shenanigans.

I wonder if they were in a neo-Classical style, if he'd have such a problem with them.
posted by eilatan at 10:35 PM on January 26, 2002


Maybe Clyde Tolson? Note that at least Hoover had classical statues of nude men in his garden.
posted by scottfree at 11:27 PM on January 26, 2002


The Ancient Greeks were able to look at naked statues without giggling.

Actually, the Greeks were able to look at outright naked people without (we assume) giggling; the original Olympic athletes competed au naturel.
posted by johnnyace at 12:14 AM on January 27, 2002


I wonder if Hitler would have considered those sculptures as "degenerate?"

That's it...I'm invoking Godwin's Law
posted by milnak at 12:21 AM on January 27, 2002


I wonder if they were in a neo-Classical style, if he'd have such a problem with them.

Do you actually think he could tell the difference?
posted by Dirjy at 2:48 PM on January 27, 2002


I want to laugh, and yet I cannot, because to laugh would only be a sad attempt to save my sanity. Can someone stop Oliver Cromwell already?
posted by solistrato at 7:53 AM on January 29, 2002


Looks like it didn't happen that way at all actually.

But then again, why deal with facts when we can fling wild accusations.
posted by revbrian at 8:00 AM on January 29, 2002


Oh, you guys just don't get it. The reason he had them placed behind curtains is so they wouldn't be distracting in photographs. It says so in the article. They are distracting, look at the picture. He never says anything about the fact that they're nude or immoral or anything. Stop a second to think before you start calling anybody a nazi. How would you like to be photographed giving an important speech with a giant art deco woman as the backdrop? Nude or fully clothed? Dosen't matter. It's distracting. I can totally see his point. This isn't a censorship or morality issue. There are hundreds of better reasons to hate that evil bastard that this.
posted by andrewzipp at 8:08 AM on January 29, 2002


Ironically, they left the biggest dick right out in the open.

Absolutely perfect statement.

How would you like to be photographed giving an important speech with a giant art deco woman as the backdrop? Nude or fully clothed?

I personally liked the farcical element it added to his press conferences.
posted by adampsyche at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2002


Can you blame Ashcroft, though? Don't get me wrong -- I think he's an idiot too, but when photographers start lying on the floor, contorting themselves just to get a picture of his head with a breast in the background, then who's really at fault here? Everybody involved should just grow the hell up.

I was thinking the same thing. I have this great AP photo of Bush—that I cut out of the Washington Post—where the eagle's wings on the crest behind him make it look like he has donkey ears. :) Wish I could find the photo to share.
posted by terrapin at 8:33 AM on January 29, 2002


Revbrian: let us foam. It's fun this way. ;)
posted by solistrato at 9:07 AM on January 29, 2002


Can you blame Ashcroft, though? Don't get me wrong -- I think he's an idiot too, but when photographers start lying on the floor, contorting themselves just to get a picture of his head with a breast in the background, then who's really at fault here? Everybody involved should just grow the hell up.
This is absolutely my reaction also. We are culturally immature about nudity (& other things...); hiding it & fetishizing it are basically the same thing.

How would you like to be photographed giving an important speech with a giant art deco woman as the backdrop?
one hopes you're capable of keeping the attention of those gathered over a statue that's been around for 70 years. I doubt many people even notice the left breast trick those photographers think is so funny - unless you're aware that's the only bit of "dirty" nudity in the hall, it simply looks like one of the statues is in the background.
posted by mdn at 9:15 AM on January 29, 2002


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