Gov’t raids strike a controversial chord
The legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson was recently raided by the U.S. Department of Justice. On Wednesday, August 24, heavily armed agents from the federal agency executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis in what some are calling an extreme abuse of power.
Reports claim Gibson is violating the Lacey Act with its guitars produced from rosewood and mahogany imported from India that are crafted by American workers in U.S. facilities. The intent of the law combats trafficking in “illegal” wildlife, fish, and plants, but Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz tells OneNewsNow that the company has been using the wood for years.
“We have letters from a very high-level government agency in India that says that this product was allowable export,” he notes. “And in fact, we have been buying the same product for well over 17 years, regularly.”
This is the second such raid in two years where Gibson employees were evacuated and computers and pallets of wood were confiscated. Gibson reports no charges have been filed from that 2009 raid, and that the government still holds the company’s property.
Meanwhile, competitor C.F. Martin & Company uses the same wood product, but has not endured similar investigations. “Wood that we are buying is being bought by other companies in the industry, and they have not had any kind of action — not so much as a letter or a postcard,” states Juszkiewicz.
In addition to questions about application of the Lacey Act, some are voicing concern about possible political intimidation. Chris Martin IV, CEO of the Martin guitar company, is a long-time Democratic supporter, donating tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. In contrast, Juszkiewicz has a long history of supporting Republican candidates.
In an interview with The Daily News in Memphis earlier this week, Juszkiewicz stated: “The federal bureaucracy is just out of hand. And it seems to be there’s almost a class warfare of companies versus people, rich versus poor, Republicans versus Democrats …. We feel totally abused. We feel the arrogance of federal power is impacting me personally, our company personally, and the employees here in Tennessee — and it’s just plain wrong.”
Juszkiewicz argues that the U.S. Lacey Act is only applicable when a foreign law has been violated. He believes his company is innocent of any wrongdoing.
In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama presented France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, with a Gibson guitar as a gift. The Gibson “Hummingbird” acoustic guitar’s construction incorporates mahogany and rosewood from India.
Leftist tactics becoming routine and ever more “in your face” under the Obama administration. This is NOT the America the vast majority of Americans desire.. this is Tyranny.