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What Gibson Guitars Did with the Wood the Government Returned
American Thinker ^ | 2-2-2014 | Victor Keith

Posted on 02/02/2014 1:02:51 AM PST by sheikdetailfeather

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics
KEYWORDS: doj; gibson; gibsonguitars; government; guitar; holder; returned; wood
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first 1-5051-61 next last
The chief intimidator just got neutered.
1 posted on 02/02/2014 1:02:51 AM PST by sheikdetailfeather
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To: sheikdetailfeather; Scoutmaster

2 posted on 02/02/2014 1:07:35 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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3 posted on 02/02/2014 1:10:15 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-USA/Government-Series-II-Les-Paul.aspx


4 posted on 02/02/2014 1:10:26 AM PST by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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5 posted on 02/02/2014 1:11:56 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Not really. An act of defiance but plenty of cash for it. You know one of the very few good ideas put forth in Obamacare, even though it will fall on its face is nobody should go bankrupt over an illness. I know some here will argue that but it’s my belief and i’m not going to respond to debate on this. My point is Gibson can afford the money. I would have to accept a public defender and most likely lesser representation because defending myself in court would bankrupt me.
To me , the prohibitive cost of defending yourself is just as big an issue as the cost of healthcare. An innocent man could face incarceration because of lack of funds.


6 posted on 02/02/2014 1:14:16 AM PST by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: wiggen

Great move by Gibson. They’ll recoup a lot of their lost money by selling these special edition guitars, and I’ll bet a lot of them will be purchased by patriotic monied and capitalistic Americans who are in solidarity with Gibson guitar.


7 posted on 02/02/2014 1:26:59 AM PST by flaglady47 (Proud Conservative Republican)
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To: flaglady47

Sure it is but the real point is what if you or I had to defend ourselves from the government? Could we do it? Thats my point. The govt can pretty much bankrupt any citizen it wants by ensnaring them in the court system.


8 posted on 02/02/2014 1:34:43 AM PST by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: sheikdetailfeather
who apparently feared being garroted with a guitar string by an enraged Gibson employee.

During Basic Training at Little Vietnam, at Ft. Polk, I did make two piano wire (I can't remember for certain what wire they were, but I can ask him) garrots, one for me and one for my partner, but during orientation, as we prepared for Escape and Evasion and POW/torture, etc, the Green Beret that was leading the introduction was so convincing of what would happen if one of his Green Berets were hurt with weapons, that I told my buddy that we should drop them under the bleachers and not risk being caught with them, and like many young men, I can't explain what I intended them for, but I had felt going in that we needed to be prepared as best as we could be with what little we had available.

It is a creepy weapon, or tool.

9 posted on 02/02/2014 1:34:43 AM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Another Day In The Life of the Obama White House, or aka, When Presidents Attack!


10 posted on 02/02/2014 1:38:16 AM PST by lee martell
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To: Liberty Valance
Nice tidy looking axe.

However,I agree with one of the comments..."Strats rule"

11 posted on 02/02/2014 1:47:30 AM PST by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: wiggen

If you don’t have a good lawyer you don’t actually have any rights.


12 posted on 02/02/2014 1:56:57 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: mitch5501

+1


13 posted on 02/02/2014 2:11:38 AM PST by sauropod (Fat Bottomed Girl: "What difference, at this point, does it make?")
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To: wiggen

“Sure it is but the real point is what if you or I had to defend ourselves from the government? Could we do it? Thats my point.”

Of course that’s the point. I’m just adding my own point that when handed a lemon, make lemonade. Gibon made the best of a bad situation and will, in true capitalistic fashion, make money off of it to boot. Great American ingenuity. As to the gov’t, we’ve got a fascist one at present, that needs to be done away with as fast as possible.


14 posted on 02/02/2014 2:18:18 AM PST by flaglady47 (Proud Conservative Republican)
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To: flaglady47

Gibon = Gibson above. Typo.


15 posted on 02/02/2014 2:19:07 AM PST by flaglady47 (Proud Conservative Republican)
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To: lee martell
The action included armed SWAT teams, with automatic weapons

Unless their abuse of power used some traffic cones or registered Republicans the urban media doesn't care. I know the machine guns are for banana republic style intimidation but some government hireling is eventually going to trip on their shoe laces and cause a mass killing.

16 posted on 02/02/2014 2:29:50 AM PST by Reeses
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To: sheikdetailfeather
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.

Wait, so India and Madagascar OK these purchases, but the US Department of Justice nails Gibson because it thinks Gibson violated the laws of India and Madagascar, no matter what India and Madagascar think? So now the US government is deciding other nations' laws for them?
17 posted on 02/02/2014 2:32:25 AM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
So now the US government is deciding other nations' laws for them?

Why not? The occupant of our White House is deciding our own laws for us too. He's usurping court power by interpreting the laws unnaturally, and he's usurping congressional power by rewriting those laws that he doesn't like. Acting as if he has the authority to decide the laws of other countries too is entirely consistent with his overreach regarding American laws.

18 posted on 02/02/2014 3:01:00 AM PST by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: sauropod
I could of course be slightly biased,I named my son 'Ritchie'

Love that vicious twang.

19 posted on 02/02/2014 3:05:41 AM PST by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: driftdiver

exactly. you put in a handful of words what i tried to convey in a paragraph. My journalism professor would strangle me.


20 posted on 02/02/2014 3:12:51 AM PST by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: driftdiver
"If you don’t have a good lawyer you don’t actually have any rights."

If you don't have pull with the inner party, you don't have any rights or your rights are greatly diminished. Gibson guitars is mocking the Regime. There will be a further strike back and it will be more violent and destructive than the first. The USA is no longer a Republic or a democracy. It is now a disguised dictatorship and people need to think about how to deal with the New Mussolini.

21 posted on 02/02/2014 3:22:17 AM PST by Truth29
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To: flaglady47

...“Sure it is but the real point is what if you or I had to defend ourselves from the government? Could we do it? Thats my point.”...

I suspect they are already coming at private citizens through the IRS but if their victims are few in number, no one is the wiser except those who suffer. If the person fingered for persecution is courageous enough or has some connections, they can make enough noise to get media attention, at least from FOX and talk radio. That might help to alert the rest of the country to what is coming down.


22 posted on 02/02/2014 3:39:19 AM PST by jazzlite (esat)
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To: wiggen

>>one of the very few good ideas put forth in Obamacare,
>>even though it will fall on its face is nobody should go
>>bankrupt over an illness.

Please show me where this law guarantees that nobody can go bankrupt over an illness.


23 posted on 02/02/2014 3:43:11 AM PST by oblomov
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To: sheikdetailfeather

I think I would have made a presentation grad “Out House” with it. Put it on wheels and drop it off in front of the White House as a ‘gift’.....inside would be fresh rolls of Obama Toilet Paper.


24 posted on 02/02/2014 3:59:49 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: sheikdetailfeather

The wording of the article leads me to believe that the government paid the 300k fine, not Gibson. Can someone clear that up?


25 posted on 02/02/2014 4:02:37 AM PST by ArtDodger
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To: Liberty Valance

They ARE mocking the government Nazis -
Compare that eagle to the Nazis!

I detest these statists:
“...this same kind of tonewood is used by other guitar makers such as CF Martin and Company and Fender. Those other companies were not raided. 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.”


26 posted on 02/02/2014 4:03:02 AM PST by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: sheikdetailfeather
See Gibson Sticks Thumb in Obama Administration's Eye with 'Government Series' Guitars, especially remarks by Scoutmaster.

Scoutmaster has gone to the trouble to read the leal pleadings, followed the case, etc., and has a firm grasp on the facts of the incident.

It really is too bad that the media sucks as bad as it does, but there is a very thin connection between public press accounts, and "the facts of the matter." I assume any press account (on any story, not referring to the Gibson rosewood incident) is misleading at best. When a story stirs enough of my personal interest, I always look for underlying evidence, something other than news stories. It is hard work, but absolutely necessary if one wants to know what really happened.

27 posted on 02/02/2014 4:06:15 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: flaglady47
"I'll bet a lot of them will be purchased by patriotic monied and capitalistic Americans who are in solidarity with Gibson Guitar."

I bet Ted Nugent will buy one. He has no love lost for our tyranny-wannabe government.

28 posted on 02/02/2014 4:07:54 AM PST by Pajamajan (Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Don't wait. Do it today.)
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To: sheikdetailfeather
The author has no idea what the facts really are.

Two quick points:

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.

No. Gibson was raided twice.

The Madagascar ebony was confiscated in 2010, from Gibson in Nashville.

The East Indian Rosewood and East Indian Ebony was primarily confiscated from the Dallas airport, which was the place of import into the U.S. The import papers showed Luthier's Mercantile as the importer, Theodor Nagel Gmbh as the ultimate consignee, and included a request to ship to Red Arrow Delivery Service's warehouse in Nashville. Gibson's name did not appear on the import papers and Gibson had not paid for the wood.

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.No. That was one of the issues in the import of East Indian Rosewood and East Indian Ebony. It has nothing to do with the Madagascar Ebony.

Malagasy law prohibits any export of raw Madagascar Ebony except in accordance with its (corrupt) government-run system, in which certain lumber barons are permitted from time to time to cut trees, which are tracked by the Malagasy government from felling through cutting and sale.

The Madagascar Ebony Gibson bought was from Roger Thunam, a convicted lumber trafficker, through Theodor Nagel Gmbh, after Gibson employee Gene Nix visited Thunam's workplace and reported to Gibson by email that all of Thunam's wood was under seizure and there was no legal source to obtain it.

Journalists writing about the Gibson confiscations either get their sources from other journalists, Gibson PR releases, or whole cloth. They need to go to www.pacer.com and download the 70+ affidavits, legal pleading (with attached exhibits), and judges' orders for U.S. v Ebony Wood in Various Forms, Civil No. 3:10cv00747 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. Tenn.), and U.S. v. 25 Bundles of Indian Ebony Wood, Civil No. 3:11-cv-00913 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. Tenn).

29 posted on 02/02/2014 4:22:53 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Fresh Wind

Interesting posts following this article.


30 posted on 02/02/2014 4:28:22 AM PST by Mercat
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To: spankalib
while Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of Gibson, gives openly to Republicans

Republicans? Check www.opensecrets.com.

By the time of the second raid, Henry J. had made exactly one political contribution to a Republican.

At the same time, Henry J. was a co-founder of the Rainforest Alliance. Gibson (owned by Henry J. and Dave Berryman) was a near-charter member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Henry J. was a presenter at the MTV Rock the Vote where Barack Obama was honored and Bill Clinton was given a lifetime achievement award. Clinton opened the White House for Gibson's 100th Anniversary celebration. Henry J. supported a program to support diversity which included training programs in public schools, and poetry jams on diversity.

31 posted on 02/02/2014 4:32:02 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Cboldt
Thanks, Cboldt.

I barely touched on the issues in those posts from yesterday.

Another error in this article?

Also, even if Gibson had been guilty, this would have been a civil, not a criminal matter.

First, the two legal actions brought by the government were civil actions. They were actions in rem brought by the government against the items seized Customs and FIsh & Wildlife agents in Dallas and Nashville for violating Customs and Lacey Act laws.

Just read the style of the cases:

U.S. v Ebony Wood in Various Forms, Civil No. 3:10cv00747 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. Tenn.), and U.S. v. 25 Bundles of Indian Ebony Wood, Civil No. 3:11-cv-00913 (U.S. Dist. Ct. Mid. Dist. Tenn).

The civil actions weren't against any party, they were forfeiture actions against Ebony Wood and 25 Bundles of Indian Ebony Wood.

Second, there could have been two actions, a criminal action against Gibson (and Luthier's Mercantile, Theodor Nagel Gmbh, and possibly the Red Arrow Delivery Service), and a civil action in rem against the items considered to be contraband by U.S. Customs and Fish and Wildlife.

In fact, the two forfeiture cases were subjected to a judicial stay at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Division pursuant to a sealed affidavit, related to an investigation of illegal trafficking of exotic woods in the U.S. The DOJ believed that continued public discovery in the civil cases would jeopardize its criminal investigation.

32 posted on 02/02/2014 4:53:39 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Liberty Valance

It that Arlo Gutherie, Socialist Pig?


33 posted on 02/02/2014 4:57:07 AM PST by wetgundog (" Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no Vice")
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To: Liberty Valance
A Gibson J-45, "The Workhorse". A great guitar that's been in continuous production since 1942. The Southern Jumbo is nothing but a J-45 that received the Grand Ol' Opry treatment.

Probably the two best acoustics Gibson ever made and the two best Gibson makes today.

34 posted on 02/02/2014 4:58:01 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: wetgundog; Liberty Valance

It’s Bob Dylan.


35 posted on 02/02/2014 5:01:03 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: mitch5501

“Nice tidy looking axe.”

Eh,,,, fugly color! And Strats do rule!


36 posted on 02/02/2014 5:02:07 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

“So now the US government is deciding other nations’ laws for them? “

Eggs Ackley!


37 posted on 02/02/2014 5:06:55 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Imported woods bad! illegal immigration good!


38 posted on 02/02/2014 5:07:46 AM PST by ronnie raygun
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To: Liberty Valance

Hey, isn’t that little Bobby Zimmerman?


39 posted on 02/02/2014 5:24:08 AM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations: The acronym defines the science.)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

American Thinker deleted my reply in which I pointed out a few errors (such as the fact that the tonewood in question was NOT returned to Gibson, and that the issue with the Madagascar ebony was buying from an illegal source, not the thickness of the wood), and suggested the author and those interested read the legal documents for the two cases at www.pacer.gov.


40 posted on 02/02/2014 5:41:06 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Scoutmaster

Well, that shines a different light on it. On the one hand it seems Gibson made a poor business decision to buy the wood but on the other hand they’ll probably make a bigger profit off it now! Isn’t it a bit unusual that the wood was returned or would that be customary?

Thanks for posting your info’.


41 posted on 02/02/2014 6:17:23 AM PST by PoplarBluffian
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
Wait, so India and Madagascar OK these purchases

The author is mistaken. Madagascar never okayed the sale. The wood sold was under government seizure at the point of Roger Thunam's business in Madagascar because it had been illegally logged after the 2006 ban.

Gibson knew this because its employee, Gene Nix, had visited the site and had reported by email and report that Thunam was not a legal source for the wood.

Gibson bought the wood from Thunam through Theodor Nagel Gmbh, a German exotic wood company.

Thunam used falsified government papers (which don't remotely resemble the actual permits required) and false customs papers identifying the shipment by a Harmonized Tariff code that included pre-built roof joists.

42 posted on 02/02/2014 6:31:19 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

In your face, commie stooges, in ... your ... face!!!


43 posted on 02/02/2014 6:33:38 AM PST by Amagi (Lenin: "Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.")
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To: PoplarBluffian
Isn’t it a bit unusual that the wood was returned or would that be customary?

That's Gibson's PR spin.

The wood that was subject to the two civil forfeiture actions was NOT returned to Gibson.

Gibson received a return of the East Indian Rosewood (and I'd have to look through the litigation files, but I believe long ago).

However, Gibson forfeited the East Indian Ebony and the Madagascar Ebony, which were the only two woods subject to civil forfeiture actions.

Gibson doesn't mention this in its press releases, but failure to disclose the actual facts has been Gibson's normal course of business throughout.

44 posted on 02/02/2014 6:37:24 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: PoplarBluffian
On the one hand it seems Gibson made a poor business decision to buy the wood but on the other hand they’ll probably make a bigger profit off it now!

These raids probably saved Gibson.

Gibson was in financial trouble before the Nashville flood, and in severe financial trouble after the flood. Among other things, there were discussions of selling Gibson's "The Gibson" banjo business. Production of mandolins was halted for almost a year (I bought the fourth mandolin made after production re-started).

Before the 2011 raid, Gibson had refused to provided audited financial statements to its lenders for two years. The audited financial statements were required each year. Failure to provide them was a default under Gibson's loans.

Gibson Guitar CEO picks fight with lenders after alienating retailers and employees

After the second raid, with the help of conservative bloggers who never bothered to read the official documents, Gibson's PR spin, and Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz's outright lies in media interviews, conservatives and Tea Party members adopted Gibson as a cause.

Gibson never suggested it was being targeted by the government until well after the conservative blogosphere had established that as the 'truth.'

Gibson's sales soared to levels never seen before and the company has been saved.

45 posted on 02/02/2014 6:55:36 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Taking what Gibson did, and showing some REAL class, would have been for both Martin and Fender to split Gibson’s out-of-pocket expenses (Legal and their fine) equally to show some true support for what Gibson did.


46 posted on 02/02/2014 7:35:36 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
the US Department of Justice nails Gibson because it thinks Gibson violated the laws of India and Madagascar, no matter what India and Madagascar think?

In 1960 or 1961, Gibson sought a ruling in U.S. Customs Court that these "fingerboards" were not a finished product because the blanks required planing to thickness, cutting to width and length, and other work. The Customs Court ruled in favor of Gibson.

Gibson sought the ruling so it would not have to pay a tariff on the importation of finished products.

After that ruling, it was U.S. customs law that these fingerboard blanks were unfinished products. That was the law when Gibson imported the blanks at issue.

Disregarding all of the other Lacey Act and customs problems, Gibson asserted that the fingerboard blanks imported in 2011 were 'finished' blanks, although they were the same blanks that were deemed 'unfinished' per U.S. customs law based on a determination that Gibson had previously sought.

India's Harmonized Tariff System permitted the export of "finished" fingerboard blanks for musical instruments, which is presumably why the importer, Luther's Mercantile, elected to declare the blanks as a 'finished' product contrary to U.S. law.

I feel certain the distinction between finished and unfinished blanks has not been strictly enforced.

Incidentally, in the thirteen-month period predating the seizure in Dallas of these East Indian Rosewood and Ebony blanks, Gibson had successfully imported East Indian Rosewood blanks eleven times. I've seen no indication that the eleven successful importations involved missing Lacey Act paperwork, changed Harmonized Tariff codes, mislabeling of the import container contents on the container and import paperwork, misidentification of the ultimate consignee, and other errors. Only the importation seized by Fish and Wildlife at the Dallas airport in 2011 involved those problems.

47 posted on 02/02/2014 7:38:35 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: harpu
Taking what Gibson did, and showing some REAL class, would have been for both Martin and Fender to split Gibson’s out-of-pocket expenses (Legal and their fine) equally to show some true support for what Gibson did.

Representatives of Martin and Fender accompanied Gibson employee Gene Nix on the Madagascar trip and the visit to Roger Thunam's business.

Neither Martin nor Fender subsequently bought any Madagascar ebony from Thunam.

48 posted on 02/02/2014 7:42:04 AM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Scoutmaster

Thanks.
btw, it’s http://www.opensecrets.org/


49 posted on 02/02/2014 7:44:51 AM PST by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: sheikdetailfeather
Kudos to Gibson.

I hadn't been following this story as closely as I'd like. What I find shameful is that there was little action on the part of Tennessee Congressional Representatives in either defense of Gibson or to fix the Lacey Act. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) co-sponsored the Amendment to the Lacey Act in 2008 that included wood in its wording. Government agencies then interpreted this as a violation due to a clerical error on the part of the company that imported the wood for Gibson. The larger issues here, for me, are the outrageous government response to what has been coined a 'civil matter' and the fact that neither can I find any action on the part of Congress to fix the Lacey Act nor any action on the part of Tennessee Congressmen on the part of Gibson. Gibson may very well have been on both sides of the fence, politically (smart business), but the result seems to have left then out in the cold.

I wait with bated breath the outing of this Special Edition guitar on a nationally-televised musical event. (color me 'blue')

50 posted on 02/02/2014 7:53:23 AM PST by logi_cal869
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