The guitar gestapo at work.
Gibson Guitar Corp. is claiming the Obama administration wants more of its woodwork done overseas, as a bizarre battle heats up between the government and one of the country’s most renowned guitar makers.
The dispute started in 2009, when federal agents raided the company over suspect wood shipments from Madagascar. Gibson took that case to court but has denounced the administration with a vengeance after agents returned late last month to raid several Gibson factories — this time out of concern that Indian export laws had been violated.
Gibson’s CEO has said repeatedly that the only reason his company is in trouble is because U.S. workers are completing work on guitar fingerboards in the United States. In an interview earlier this week, CEO Henry Juszkiewicz claimed that the U.S. government even suggested Gibson’s troubles would disappear if the company used foreign labor.
……Justice spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle told FoxNews.com only that agents were looking for evidence of “possible violations” of a law governing imports of plants and wildlife.
Hornbuckle also confirmed that no charges have yet been filed in either of the two cases.
Court documents help explain the root of the tree dispute. According to search warrants associated with the latest raid, federal agents in June intercepted a shipment of Indian ebony apparently bound for Gibson in Tennessee. The documents noted that Indian law “prohibits the export of sawn wood,” which can be used for fingerboards — but does not prohibit the export of “veneers,” which are sheets of woods that have already been worked on.
The search warrants alleged that the intercepted shipment was “falsely declared” as veneer, something that would have been legal. However, the documents said the ebony was in fact unfinished “sawn wood,” supposedly illegal.
The government case rests on some very thin ice. Obama’s DOJ idiots suggest that unfinished Indian wood is “illegal” not because of U.S. law, but because of a warped interpretation of Indian law.
The harassment could have roots in another cause.
Henry E. Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s Chief Executive Officer, is a donor to a couple of Republican politicians. According to the Open Secrets database, Juszkiewicz donated $2000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN07) last year, as well as $1500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Juszkiewicz also has donated $10,000 to the Consumer Electronics Association, a PAC that contributed $92.5k to Republican candidates last year, as opposed to $72k to Democrats. (The CEA did, however, contribute more to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle.)
When warrants as ridiculous such as these are issued and executed, there appears no other reason than because the company or individual at hand is being targeted, not because there is any sort of wrongdoing. As a company, Gibson is a legendary. They’ve done nothing wrong, except, apparently, deigning to have a Republican CEO.
The plot thickens, however.
One of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood.” In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson’s guitars.
Say it ain’t so. I’m not the least surprised at this. Obama and Holder won’t crack down on the New Black Panthers, illegals, or the muslim terrorist threat in this country, but political opponents are high on the list of priorities.