Tag Archives: Gibson guitars

The Obama administration’s culture of intimidation.

The Obama administration’s culture of intimidation.

Sending scores of armed agents along with helicopters and dogs to confront an elderly Nevada rancher over grazing fees may seem like overkill, but critics say it’s not inconsistent with the federal government’s recent approach to environmental enforcement.

The simmering truce between the Bundys and the Bureau of Land Management comes after high-profile raids last year by armed federal agents on small-time gold miners in tiny Chicken, Alaska, and guitar makers at the Gibson Guitar facilities in Tennessee.

I should also note that this behavior is not exclusive to the Obama administration. Under Bush the federal government was playing these same games, though somewhat less aggressively.

The Gibson Guitar Company gives the federal government the finger.

The Gibson Guitar Company gives the federal government the finger.

A couple of years ago, the Feds raided the Gibson factory here in Music City, SWAT-team style, and shut the whole company down, allegedly for possessing illegally imported wood. From what I gather, it had mostly to do with how the shipping containers were labeled. Anyway, it didn’t merit a commando operation.

It was a disproportionate action on dubious grounds. Gibson later settled for $300,000. But not until after it had already lost far more than that by virtue of being forced to shut down operations.

This week Gibson has announced the “Government Series” of guitars, to celebrate the end of its tussle with the eager enforcers of the U.S. Customs Department. It’s a series of guitars made, purportedly, with the very same wood that was seized by the United States government, which was later returned at the end of the fiasco.

Gibson Guitars has struck a deal with the federal government to avoid prosecution for the use of banned wood.

Extortion does work! Gibson Guitars has struck a deal with the federal government to avoid prosecution for the use of banned wood.

The company will pay a $300,000 fine under a criminal enforcement agreement that defers prosecution for criminal violations of the Lacey Act. Another $50,000 fine will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation “to be used to promote the conservation, identification and propagation of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry and the forests where those species are found.”

Notice the political payoff to an outside environmental group. How nice. I wish my cause could get funding this way, by having the U.S. government threaten companies I don’t like and force them to give me money.

The Great Gibson Guitar Raid … Months later, still no charges

The abuse of power: Months after its raid and confiscation of a half a million dollars worth of property from Gibson Guitars, the Obama Justice Department has still not filed any charges.

Reason.tv recently checked in with Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz to see how the case has progressed. Turns out, the DOJ has filed no charges. That means Gibson hasn’t had its day in court to defend itself — and the government still has all that confiscated property.

Are we beginning to sense a pattern here with this administration and how it treats the citizens of the United States?

Gibson guitar Republican donar while its competitor – never raided – donates to Democrats

It appears that payback by the Obama administration against its political opponents is the main reason the Justice Department raided the Gibson guitar company. Its CEO donates to Republicans, while Gibson’s main competitor – never raided – donates to Democrats.