It took a while, but President Obama will make his first trip in office to the Justice Department Friday to deliver his highly anticipated speech issuing new guidelines on government surveillance operations.
And the Justice Department is scurrying around to get ready for the big arrival, we hear, making sure the place is looking spick and span to watch the president take on an issue that has infuriated pretty much everyone, foe and friend alike, here and countries around the world, including especially Germany and Brazil.
There’s even talk that they’ll be moving some folks around on the first and second floors, apparently for security reasons — we’re dealing with lawyers after all, so you can never be too safe.
And Obama will be speaking on the second floor in the Great Hall, home to the 12-foot “Spirit of Justice” statue of a woman (known as Minnie Lou) who stands proudly to the left of the stage — as you’re facing it. She’s wearing a toga with her right breast very exposed.
Loop Fans may recall the goofy $8,000 blue curtain that former Attorney General John D. Ashcroft had put up in the Great Hall in 2002 to cover the aluminum Art Deco statue. (His successor, Alberto (Fredo) Gonzalez, took the curtain down in 2005.)
The most famous photo of the statue was taken in 1986,when photographers dived to the floor to place Minnie Lou behind shots of former attorney general Ed Meese holding up a pornography commission report.
Do not be distracted, this surveillance stuff is serious.