Feds raid Gibson Guitar over wood law

With bank fraudsters running free, the US Department of Justice has nothing better to do than to harass the famous Tennessee guitar manufacturer, Gibson, and shut down lemon stands and harass children for running them, harass and arrest organic food producers in California, etc.

They harass people and businesses to redirect public sentiment towards petty issues rather than real enviro-catastrophes, and fraudsters.

What law did Gibson Guitar Corp break that caused federal agents to disrupt Gibson’s plants in Nashville and Memphis, seize guitars, cause layoffs, and cost the company $3 million from disrupted operations?

Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson’s chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company’s manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. “The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier,” he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.

It isn’t the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian’s ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name “United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms.”

The question in the first raid seemed to be whether Gibson had been buying illegally harvested hardwoods from protected forests, such as the Madagascar ebony that makes for such lovely fretboards. And if Gibson did knowingly import illegally harvested ebony from Madagascar, that wouldn’t be a negligible offense. Pete Lowry, ebony and rosewood expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden, calls the Madagascar wood trade the “equivalent of Africa’s blood diamonds.” But with the new raid, the government seems to be questioning whether some wood sourced from India met every regulatory jot and tittle.

It isn’t just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next. Source: Wall Street Journal

FBI raids Gibson Guitar over wood law. Is it fretting over nothing?
Is it political?

Henry Juszkiewicz seems to feel that the raids were motivated by political considerations.

Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO and chairman of the Gibson Guitar Corporation, tells us what happened that day and why he thinks the Feds are targeting Gibson.

Gibson Guitar Corp. Responds to Federal Raid
Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp., said: “Gibson is innocent and will fight to protect its rights. Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of ANY wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.”

Juszkiewicz said at the press conference outside the Gibson USA factory in Nashville:

“We believe the arrogance of federal power is impacting me personally, our company personally and the employees here in Tennessee, and it’s just plain wrong… very gratified at the media’s overwhelmingly supportive coverage of the issue this week and especially encouraged by the huge number of positive comments on various social media platforms….perhaps our good friends in the media can use their investigative skills to help us to get the bottom of exactly why the government has singled out Gibson for harassment.”

Click here to read the full response

In an interview with Beck radio affiliate KMJ 105.9 in Fresno, California, Juszkiewicz told host Chris Daniel that the government told him that some of his problems “would go away” if the company used Madagascar labor.

**UPDATE:

Gibson CEO: US Government Won’t Even Tell Us What Law They Think We’ve Violated
from the of-course-not,-they’re-suing-the-wood dept

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About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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