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$8,000 Was Spent by
the U.S. Justice Department For a Drapery To Cover A
Female Statue with an Exposed Breast-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor This eRumor says it is an
open letter written by poet Claire Braz-Valentine
to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft regarding the decision to cover
a female statue with an exposed breast at the justice
department. The letter criticizes Ashcroft for being concerned
about the breast when there are more important issues to pay
The letter was written by poet,
playwright, and journalist Claire Braz-Valentine, according to her
The widely-publicized event of blue draperies being installed in
front of the statue is true as well.
The statue is one of two that stand at the end of the Great Hall in
the Justice Department, which is commonly used for news conferences
and announcements. One of statues is known as "The
Majesty of Justice" and is a male figure. The other is
called "The Spirit of Justice" and is the female
figure. They are both art-deco pieces cast in aluminum.
The female figure is dressed in a toga, leaving one breast exposed.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has not issued any official statement
that we know of about the statue issue. The story was broken
by Beverly Lumpkin of ABC News who said Ashcroft had made the
request for the draperies. The Justice department has said
that the draperies were an aesthetic decision that allowed the room
to be changed for various functions and that the blue draperies
looked good on camera.
Critics say the drapery is a reflection of Ashcroft's conservative
Christian view of things and that covering the breast seems to be an
odd priority compared with other important issues for the Justice
department to pay attention to.
Supporters say Ashcroft has no problem with the art or the exposed
breast but has gotten tired of photographers strategically
positioning themselves to snap pictures of Ashcroft or other
officials framed with the breast. They say it is the
photographers who have caused the breast to be an issue, not
The same issue came up in 1968 when then Attorney General Edwin
Meese presented his commission's REPORT ON PORNOGRAPHY to reporters
in The Great Hall. Several of the photographers took pains to
get pictures of Meese holding up the report with "The Spirit of
Justice" and her exposed breast prominently displayed in the
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Subject: Ashcroft and Breasts
The following was sent on by a woman in Washington who....
"had the great pleasure of hearing the following letter read
this year's 'In Celebration of the Muse' at Cabrillo College. She
highlight of the evening for me and I'm delighted to be able to
to you. I think it worth knowing that the author is a woman of 60+
conservatively dressed and obviously quite talented. I hope this
AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED
On January 28, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that
$8,000 of taxpayer's money for drapes to cover up the exposed
Justice, an 18 ft aluminum statue of a woman that stands in the
Justice's Hall of Justice.
John, John, John, you've got your priorities all wrong.
While men fly airplanes into skyscrapers, dive bomb the Pentagon,
while they stick explosives into their shoes, and then book a seat
to us, while they hide knives in their luggage, steal kids on
take little girls from their beds at night, drive trucks into our
capital buildings, while our President calls dangerous men all
evildoers and devils,
while we live in the threat of biological warfare, nuclear
You are out buying yardage to save Americans from the appalling
abominable aluminum alloy of evil, that terrible ten foot tin
You might not be able to find Bin Laden, but you sure as heck
hooter in the hall of justice.
It's not that we aren't grateful, but while we were begging the
Afghanistan to not cover up their faces, you are begging your
to just cover up that nipple to save the American people from that
metal mammary. How can we ever thank you?
So, in your office every morning, in your secret prayer meeting,
while an American woman is sexually assaulted every 6 seconds,
while anthrax floats around the post office, settling in the
you've got another chest on your mind.
While American sons arrive home in body bags and heat seeking
around a foreign country looking for any warm body, you think of
And you pray for the biggest bra in the world, John, because you
breast on the spirit of justice in the spirit of your own
And when we women see our grandmothers, our mothers, our
granddaughters, our sisters, ourselves,
when we women see that statue--the Spirit of Justice--we see the
strength--the spirit of survival.
While every day we view innocent bodies dragged out of rubble and
children laid out like thin limp dolls and baptized into death as
and the hollow eyed Afghani mother's milk has dried up underneath
in famine and her children are dead at her breast.
While you look at that breast, John--that jug on the spirit of
deal with your thoughts of lust and sex and nakedness, we see it
testimony to motherhood.
And you see it as a tit.
It's not the money it cost.
It's the message you send.
We've got the right to live in freedom.
We've got the right to cheat Americans out of millions of dollars
just not want to tell Congress about it.
We've got the right to drop bombs night and day on a small country
no army, no navy, no military at all, because we've got the right
But we just better not even think about the right to bare breasts.
So now, John, you can be photographed while you stand there and
guns and bombs and poisons without the breast appearing over your
Without that bodacious bosom bothering you.
And we just wanted to tell you
in the spirit of justice
in the spirit of truth ...
John, there is still one very big boob left standing there in that
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