#ThrowbackThursday: John Ashcroft Covers the Spirit of Justice Statue’s Nudity, 2002

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Spirit of Justice statue, 2002 (Medieval POC Tumblr)

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Spirit of Justice statue, 2002 (Medieval POC Tumblr)

So this became weirdly relevant again: In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft put up drapes (that cost $8,000) on the Spirit of Justice statue housed in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Why? Ostensibly to make a better backdrop for television. What Ashcroft didn’t mention was that his head was generally centered in between Lady Justice’s nude breasts. Better backdrop, my ass.

Just yesterday, Rome’s Capitoline Museum covered up classical nude statues before a press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani occurred. There seems to be some confusion as to who and why this happened: Though the Iranian embassy asked that the statues be covered, neither Italy’s Culture Minister Dario Franceschini nor Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had been aware of the request.

An investigation into the matter is currently underway.

 

“Federal Agents Gone Wild:” The Department of Justice Has a Prostitute Problem

DEA chief Michele Leonhart (Girls Just Wanna Have Guns)

DEA chief Michele Leonhart (Girls Just Wanna Have Guns)

Yesterday, Michele Leonhart announced that she’d resign from her post as chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in early May. This comes after reports surfaced that some male employees were enjoying sex parties with prostitutes which were paid for by drug cartels in Colombia. And it had been going on for years. Conflict of interest much?

Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder had to issue a department-wide memo for Department of Justice employees, reminding them that they are not allowed to solicit prostitutes under any circumstance. His point was that any employee who does this opens up himself, and the agency, to potential blackmail, extortion and leaking private information. (Seems like common sense to me.) I bet he never thought he’d have to write this kind of memo.

I tried to find if there were any other instances of this happening (since it was apparently uncovered during a routine Inspector General report), but couldn’t find anything. All stats I could find were more related to prostitution stats that the DOJ itself had reported on.

It’ll be interesting to watch how this all plays out, and what (if any) further punishments the DOJ partying employees will receive. (So far, employees who’ve confessed have only been suspended, but only up to a week-and-a-half.) It’s one thing to indulge in sex parties off the clock, but it’s another thing entirely to blur professional lines against those you’re supposed to be against (though I’m sure that was part of the appeal).