The Obama Administration Gave Them Lemons, They Made Lemonade

The American Thinker posted a follow-up story today about the government’s 2011 raid on Gibson Guitar Company.

The article reminds us of the details of the raid:

In 2011, the Department of Justice conducted raids on the Tennessee facilities of the famed Gibson Guitar company and confiscated large quantities of tonewood that had been imported from India and Madagascar.  The action included armed SWAT teams, with automatic weapons, who apparently feared being garroted with a guitar string by an enraged Gibson employee.  These raids were conducted due to the Lacey Act, which bans the importing of certain woods.  The issue at hand was not that the wood was endangered or illegally harvested, but that it was not of the proper thickness that would have meant that some labor had been performed on it by workers in India and Madagascar.  This was the law in Madagascar and India as a nod to the unions in those countries.  Gibson, who hand-makes its guitars, cannot guarantee the craftsmanship of its products if a portion of the work is done outside their facilities.

There were a number of problems with the justification for this raid. India and Madagascar, the countries involved, were not interested in pursuing the matter. The guitar manufacturers CF Martin and Company and Fender.use the same kind of wood, and they were not raided.

The article reports:

The principle difference seems to be that those companies contributed to Democratic candidates, while Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson, gives openly to Republicans, and Gibson has plants in a right-to-work state.

This is pretty much old news, but there is a new twist to the story. Gibson had a special use for the wood the government returned to it.

The article concludes:

Gibson took that wood and made it into the Government Series II Les Paul.  These special edition guitars are hot stamped in gold with the Government Series graphic, which is an American bald eagle holding a Gibson guitar neck.  It is an admirable statement of defiance of an abusive government and a refusal of a historic American company to be intimidated.

Score one for the good guys!

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Government Thuggery At Gibson Guitar

guitar Gibson Les Paul Classic

Image via Wikipedia

On August 26, I reported on the Wall Street Journal report on the federal raid on the Gibson Guitar factory ( Yesterday the Wall Street Journal updated the story.

The article reports:

Federal agents first raided Gibson factories in November 2009 and were back again Aug. 24, seizing guitars, wood and electronic records. Gene Nix, a wood product engineer at Gibson, was questioned by agents after the first raid and told he could face five years in jail.

“Can you imagine a federal agent saying, ‘You’re going to jail for five years’ and what you do is sort wood in the factory?” said Mr. Juszkiewicz, (Henry Juszkiewicz, chief executive officer of Gibson Guitars) recounting the incident. “I think that’s way over the top.” Gibson employees, he said, are being “treated like drug criminals.”

Michelle Malkin added a few new facts to this story yesterday on her blog. She points out two very interesting aspects of the story:

1)Andrew Lawton and Landmark Report note that Juszkiewicz has donated to GOP candidates, while one of his leading competitors “is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles.”

2) Stacy McCain has the transcript and Ben Howe at RedState also spotlights Juszkiewicz’s recent KMJ interview in which the CEO revealed that the feds asserted in a court pleading that Gibson would be better off shipping their manufacturing labor overseas to Madagascar… 

Aside from the thuggery, what impact does this kind of behavior on the part of the government have on unemployment in this country?

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