Armed federal agents raid Gibson Guitar again, ‘browbeat’ employees

“These guys have come at our company with the full force of the US government. They browbeat our employees—took hourly workers into a room with five armed people browbeating them without legal counsel. I’m a business guy… If I’m doing something wrong, tell me. But coming in with a SWAT team as your first step is a little bit severe.”


Kay Day
National Conservative Examiner

Imagine yourself working in the Gibson facility in Nashville or Memphis. Suddenly you freeze because coming directly at you are federal agents armed with weapons. Those agents not only decide to question you, they threaten you with prosecution.

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz told National Conservative Examiner that three or four hourly employees were scheduled for interviews by government agents. “We had to retain counsel for the employees,” Juszkiewicz said. “The federal prosecutor flew down from Washington and threatened the employees personally with 5 years in jail.”

Although Gibson employees were told by the government their legal issues were “a personal liability,” Juszkiewicz said the company had to pay “probably a couple hundred thousand dollars to defend our workers.”

On the surface, the raid appears to be related to amendments to the Lacey Act. Those amendments were passed by Congress in 2008. Both Republicans and Democrats supported the amendments that were part of massive agricultural and energy legislation. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) was key in getting the legislation passed.

The Lacey Act was first passed in 1900 to address interstate and global trade in some wildlife species.

The 2008 amendments were praised by the left of center group the Environmental Investigation Agency. The group originated in the United Kingdom.

The challenge for US manufacturers comprises complexities in international law and in domestic laws in other countries.

Gibson issued an official statement summing up the obscurities in Lacey compliance: “The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.”…

The article continues at the National Conservative Examiner.

Related: At Instapundit:

MORE ON THE GIBSON RAID: “Why would the government use armed agents to attack one of the few major manufacturers of anything remaining in the United States?” It’s like they don’t want to see the economy recover or something.

UPDATE: What a coincidence! CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican Donor. And their Democratic-donating competitor, Martin, uses the same wood but wasn’t raided. Well, when you’ve got a President who jokes about tax audits as revenge for a personal slight, it’s hard not to be suspicious, isn’t it?



Update 2: via TigerHawk, CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican donor; Democrat competitor uses same wood 

Common American Journal welcomes readers from Hump Day Report.


Comments are closed.