Jack booted storm troopers

The IRS wan’t the only government agency focused on enemies of Obama. There was Gibson Guitar.

On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. …. Two hostile raids on its factories by agents carrying weapons and attired in SWAT gear where employees were forced out of the premises, production was shut down, goods were seized as contraband and threats were made that would have forced the business to close.”

In one raid, the feds hauled away ebony fingerboards, alleging they violated Madagascar law. Gibson responded by obtaining the sworn word of the African island’s government that no law had been broken.

In another raid, the feds found materials imported from India, claiming they too moved across the globe in violation of Indian law. Gibson’s response was that the feds had simply misinterpreted Indian law.

Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood,” which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?

Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. Recent donations have included $2,000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and $1,500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles.

Gibson, fearing a bankrupting legal battle, settled and agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to the U.S. Government.



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13 responses to “Jack booted storm troopers

  1. Anonymous

    So making $3.5K of donations makes you an enemy of Obama? God he must have a lot of enemies.

    • More likely that a Democrat contributor wanted to harass a competitor and Obama obliged.

      • Anonymous

        Gibson were pursued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for breaching the terms of the Lacey Act. The Act was introduced into Congress by a Republican, in 1900! Who knows why the Fish and Wildlife Service needs a SWAT team. Scary stuff.

  2. Anon

    Mark my words. The IRS story of intimidation and targeting is going to hit the fan now that those targeted feel some safety net to speak about it. The Gibson story is a perfect example of exactly what Obama and his Gestapo of men want to accomplish in America. Meanwhile ABC and NBC are highlighting Obama’s prom photo.

  3. Walt

    Dude –
    I have the perfect cure for your recent pissyness. One word. HULA HOOP GIRLS!!
    Check this out:

    I will bring them to the BBQ. Have you picked a listing for it yet?
    Your Pal,

    • Libertarian Advocate

      Thank you Walt!!!!! Ummmm…. is there an adult version anywhere? C’mon, I know you know were to find it….

  4. business or personal

    bourke a successful republican handbag maker, who even hangs with famous democrats like Senator “make me rich” George Mitchell, looks to be hounded by this Federal “crime?”


    is this blog self serving for the lawyer?
    much like your blog does for you?

    • I’ve posted many times here what I think of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As for self-serving blogs, I refer you to Adam Smith:
      “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

  5. Libertarian Advocate

    Extortion under color of law = The Chicago way

  6. FRF

    East Indian Rosewood is perfectly legal. The better part of my taylor 814ce is East Indian rosewood.

    It’s the Brazilian rosewood that’s illegal to cut.

    But you can still find used ones out there.

    • Anonymous

      That is like listing your house in Cos Cob for $4mm. It doesn’t mean anybody would pay that price. You can get great Brazilian rosewood guitars by manufacturers like Collings for $8-10k, and probably a great house in Cos Cob for $2mm as well.

  7. David Smith

    Why do you need a gun?

    1) The police can’t be everywhere.
    2) The secret police can.