UNBELIEVABLE: Gibson paid $2.4M in legal fees, then cleared by DOJ but had to pay additional $350k settlement

Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitars, tells Huckabee how the feds came in guns ablazing and raided their three factories because of the imported rosewood from India. But recently Gibson was cleared by the DOJ of all wrongdoing but had to pay a settlement of somewhere around $350k just to get them off his back – and they were never charged with anything. But Juszkiewicz says that’s small potatoes because to date they have paid $2.4 million in legal fees since the DOJ first raided their factories.

Unbelievable. They were treated like criminals and forced to pay millions of dollars because the DOJ got it wrong. Ugh. Can’t wait for November to get here.

Watch the full interview below:

Comment Policy: Please read our new comment policy before making a comment. In short, please be respectful of others and do not engage in personal attacks. Otherwise we will revoke your comment privileges.
  • WordsFailMe

    Never buy another guitar made in China. Never buy anything made in China if possible

    • toongoon

      Oh crap, whats not made in China any more?

      • KenInMontana

        My Sig Sauer. Made in Exeter, NH.

      • Female children?

        • toongoon

          Ain’t that the sad truth.

        • Is_Sense_Common

          I think they’re made, but unfortunately they don’t have much chance of survival.

          • Sad, but all too true.

      • Richard Laycock

        Kahr’s Auto Ordnance 1911a1

      • Gibson Guitars!

        • toongoon


      • toongoon

        I’ll add my own, American Patriots!

  • badbadlibs

    holder is the real criminal. My, how America has fallen, to have gone from AG John Ashcroft, a man of integrity, honesty and high morals, to the lowest of life forms in holder.
    Sorry, Jesus….truly. 🙁

    • Is_Sense_Common

      Hey badbad, be a joiner 🙂 🙂 🙂 C’mon!

      • badbadlibs

        I don’t even know how, but thanks so much! You guys are awesome!

        • Is_Sense_Common

          🙂 🙂 🙂

    • white531

      badbadlibs, I am sorry the site restricts me to only one like.

      • badbadlibs

        Thanks, White531.

    • Don

      Add to the fact that Holder is a racist to the core, it becomes clear that the best interests of Americans were never apart of Obama’s agenda. He is continuing to use what the democrats have always used: racial hatred and class warfare. The reason his division of the people is working better now is over 100,000,000 people are receiving some type of subsistence from the government, not including social security or medicare. As the rolls of recipients grows, the demise of our nation becomes more likely. The cancer, left unchecked, will only get worse. 2010 AGAIN.

      • badbadlibs

        You’re right. Well put, Don.
        And I should have mentioned that holder is a racist, it’s just so sad that America has put such awful people in charge of this once great nation.
        She can come back, but only if people will vote for freedom over their percieved notion of security in their government checks.

      • white531

        Thanks, Don. How naive we were as a nation to think that by electing our first black President, all of the racial hatred and divisiveness that has plagued us for so long would somehow vanish and we would emerge a greater nation and a better people. Little did we know how much hatred and venom Obama possessed for our established society. Racist does not even begin to describe him or his feelings for this country. When he said he wanted to fundamentally change America, he really meant it. It was not a joke. Those who voted for him at the time just didn’t understand what he was saying. Now, after three and a half years or more, we know what we are dealing with. He gained the Presidency to right the social injustices he perceives to exist. Make white people pay. Make rich people pay. Take away, once and for all, the American Dream of succeeding. Redistribute the Wealth. Establish a massive government as the only hope people should need or see as their future. Appoint a black Muslim Attorney General to carry out his orders to make all this happen. Sue every State that has even the slightest objection to Federal control. And the blacks who voted for him? They think he’s great, because they are just like him. Both he and them have been waiting for a long time to make Whitey pay. Make no mistake. They’re lovin’ it. They will vote for him again and if he re-creates FDR and runs for a third term, they will vote for him again. Because they don’t care about this country. They only care about what this country can give them. Because most of them are still on the Plantation.
        Sorry for the rant. My apologies to Allen West, Condoleeza Rice, Herman Cain and so many other black Americans who realize that we are all Americans, regardless of our skin color. Some day the racial hatred in this country will be healed. It won’t be because of anything Obama or Holder did, though.

    • deeme

      You are so right and the first thing the Department of Justice, too funny justice, did was fire anyone who had integrity , was honest, unbiased and went after corruption..

      ..Case in Point …

      President Obama swept to office on the promise of a new kind of politics, but
      then how do you explain last week’s dismissal of federal Inspector General
      Gerald Walpin for the crime of trying to protect taxpayer dollars? This is a
      case that smells of political favoritism and Chicago rules. Wall Street Journal /June 17th,2009..

      • badbadlibs

        And exactly where is the outcry of the case you mentioned? And yet when President Bush fired the federal attornies (which was perfectly legal and done routienly) the biased, liars of the media and the leftists went crazy!
        I don’t know how much I can take of the hypocrisy of the left and the media who lie thru their teeth on behalf of this lawless administration.

        • deeme

          I agree 100 percent with you, not a peep , we dont’ have media we just have media like China the government has to give the OK for them to do stories..They fired him because he was investigating a basketball player…If it makes you feel any better even my democrats will not vote for him again, the last deal where they accused Romney of murder pushed them to the brink..

          • badbadlibs

            Glad to hear you know some dems who won’t vote for bo this time around.
            Did you happen to hear biden today with his sickening sweet characture of Mr. Ryan and Gov. Romney?
            All of a sudden they both are just great guys! Guess their scorched earth policy of destroying men with lies is backfiring. I hope no one suddenly believes those two liars…biden and bo. It’s entirely too little too late!

            • deeme

              What I thought they might be trying to do is get boos which of course they did…because their crowd only knows how to tear down ..But I agree they went too far, the dems I know said the economy is everything to them, that and all the free stuff going to illegals..but that was like the straw that broke the camels back..

  • joyfulgiver

    Can one sue the DOJ? That’s a lot of wasted money, that could have been used for Gibson to create jobs. and why a settlement if there was no “wrong doing”? ABSURD!

    • B-Funk

      Yah, I kinda wondered about that too. Why would Gibson give any money whatsoever if they were cleared?

      • Betsey_Ross

        Can you imagine the full force of the government coming down on your business? Make that the full force of the IRS? Add the Justice Dept. and you are in for one mell of a hess. I hadn’t heard the the DOJ made a mistake. That news never seems to get out. This administration is evil. Just plain evil.

        BTW the DOJ is coming down on banks again. They want banks to loan money to people who have no hope of paying it back. Message to Obama. Leave us the#%@* alone.

        • B-Funk


  • Rshill7

    I have two Gibson guitars. I think I need another.

    I need another administration too, to represent the country that I love.

    • I don’t play the guitar, but I’m feeling the need to learn. Gotta pick up a Gibson.

    • I’ve got a Les Paul. I was thinking about getting an SG but after seeing this clown dance around the truth I think I’ll experiment with a Line 6 Variax JTV59 instead.

      • Rshill7

        Have two Line 6 Amps. A big one and a smaller one. They make great amps and fun but crappy guitars IMO.

        Variax 🙂 Maybe they’re better now. It’s been a couple of years since I handled one. I should probably withhold judgement on the one you mention. Ooops, too late.

        • GreenBeretWay

          http://youtu.be/90A-spXBJXU Grace Potter

          Obama said you didn’t build that Gibson. Evil men trying to destroy good.Wash them out in November.

  • B-Funk

    I can’t wait to scour out all the creeps from both parties. It only begins in November. The real work will take years.

    • johnrhett

      Not just the politicians, but the bureaucrats, too. There are many, many Communist-leaning bureaucrats that have been in place for several decades. Many of them don’t even know that they lean left; having been corrupted inside the Beltway for years, they think they are moderates, even right-leaning (like my brother-in-law in the State Department)! They have created a cancer inside the Washington machine that must be cleared out or we’ll never get rid of the disease.

      • Betsey_Ross

        We have “friends” in the State Dept. You are so correct. They do think they are moderates.

  • badbadlibs

    Don’t tell me, the CEO is a Christian conservative….

    • BS61

      Not sure about that – but it’s a non-Union shop!

      • badbadlibs

        That could explain things. At any rate, this is a lawless administration and must be sent packing to parts unknown in November.

  • bastages. Justice… what a joke. Innocent until proven guilty? Not anymore, unless you’re in dear leader’s inner circle. Blind justice? Not anymore, unless your black panthers or OWS morons.
    I wish I could play guitar or afford one, and I’d buy one.

    • Is_Sense_Common

      Well the government’s got to find some manner of making money – clearly the daggone US companies aren’t paying enough in taxes, so this is just another way to redistribute the wealth.

  • anyonebutbarry2012

    this is not the first time they have extorted money. in my memory this is the absolute corrupt administration in history.

    • librtifirst

      Nixon was a choir boy, compared to this guy.

  • DepArtment of INJUSTICE is run by a MURDERER Eric #Holder who is RESPONSIBLE 4 PLACING WEAPONS in the Hands of KNOWN VIOLENT CARTEL GANG MEMBERS—-he DREAMed UP OPERATION FAST&Furious HOPING ,the over 2000+ weapons ALLOWED 2 WALK below the BORDER, would CREATE so much CHAOS thAt CITIZENS would BEG 4 ”GUN-CONTROL”- OR ”document 3”—–WE’VE GOT NEWS 4 #DOJ – WE DON’T WANT GUN CONTROL—–WE must arm CITIZENS NOW 2 PROTECT OURSELVES from FALSE FLAG OPERATIONS such as the Colorado theater SHOOTING -2 SHOOTERS were seen BY MULTIPLE witnesses -2witness dressed in BLACK—–WERE SEEN—‘2CANISTERS were thrown from opposite sides of the THEATER’ —–&the KID they SET UP happens 2be the SON of an EXPERT WITNESS for the Senate’s INVESTIGATION into the LIBOR BANKING SCANDAL—-The 2nd RECENT SHOOTING both FALSE FLAG OP the 2nd false flag operation. Carried out by -SOMEONE-with TRAINING, MONEY,MEN& WEAPONS murdered again on SUNDAY @the Sikh Temple SHOOTING.Look at the WITNESS STATEMENTS directly after the SHOOTING—on camera ‘4 SHOOTERS were dressed in black ‘-They were seen by multiple witnesses at the SCENE of the OPERATION before the SHOOTING 4men were REPORTED ‘CASING’ the Sikh Temple—–.Conveniently their chosen SUSPECT-the orchestrated fall guy happened 2be a ‘USVETERAN”——fitting their FALSE NARRATIVE claiming ”VETERANS,RIGHT WINGERER’S, TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS” are the SUSPECTED TERRORISTS—rather than RADICALIZED MUSLIM EXTREMIST who have ACTUALLY PLOTTED MULTIPLE ATTACKS on US CITIZENS & VIOLENTLY MURDERER AMERICANS in the name of their god. SOMETHING wrong, unConstitutionally LEGAL & deeply DISTURBING IS GOING ON in the DOD,DHS,FBI,ATF& DOJ with OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT who we FUND with OUR MONEY-The SERVANTS of the PEOPLE are TURNING into the THUGS that want 2 RAPE&PILLAGE the CITIZENS they are SUPPOSED 2be PROTECTING——-God BLESS PRESIDENT MITT ROMNEY, VP PAUL RYAN (getting ready 4 our SALVATION FROM GOVERNMENT TYRANNY)——

    • Nobody will read your comment because it looks like a mess.

      Just sayin.

      • Rshill7

        That is correct. It made my head hurt and set my retinas aflame. Couldn’t read it. Only have one set of eyes. Yikes.

        • GreenBeretWay

          Everything is blurry and now I have a case of vertigo.

    • MaxineCA

      I struggled reading through your comment (and it was a struggle). You make some very valid points, a lot to which I would agree. That being said, it seemed more like a long rant than several separate coherent points.

      A little friendly advice about the formatting of your comment. It’s more appropriate to separate different points into paragraphs (not dashes). Stay on topic. And for goodness sake, lay off the cap lock. You will certainly get more attention to your opinion that way.

    • white531

      f. lindsay, take away the caps for a starter. Caps in internet conversations imply shouting. No one likes to be shouted at. I read your comment and I find much that I agree with, but it wasn’t easy reading, if you know what I mean. Get hold of your emotions and just slow down a little. People will listen. I guarantee it.

  • Gibson contributed more to to Republicans than to Dems. Christian Martin of Martin Guitars contributes heavily to the Dems. The convoluted Lacy act can be interpreted in a variety of ways by the administration to suit their purpose. The armed raid on the Gibson plants in Tennessee were justified not by U.S. law, but by U.S. interpretation of existing Indian law.

    Just connect the dots.

    • FutureOnePercent

      It must be that wonderful “free market” everyone keeps raving about…

      This is no way had anything to do with crony capitalism or favors for the politically connected…

      “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”

      • Nothing to see here. Move along.
        ~ DOJ

  • Sober_Thinking

    How much will Obama’s criminals pay to protect Holder when Obama is no longer in power?

    God is keeping score…

    • Is_Sense_Common

      Nobody here on earth is going to prosecute these jackwagons after they leave office. We just keep our faith that God is a just God and that He will be the ultimate Judge. Kinda like with OJ. And with Kasey Anthony. And with Jerry Sandusky. And on & on we could go…

      • Sober_Thinking

        Dude… you’re harshing my mellow…


        You are most likely correct…

        • Is_Sense_Common


      • FutureOnePercent

        God has a lot of catch-up to do for all the evil that has gone unpunished in this world.

        • I think He’s got everthing straight and under control. 🙂

        • librtifirst

          He told us what we would do with our liberty. God doesn’t use force on us like governments do. He gave us free will, and allows us to choose our own path. The US was a nice little experiment that is just another proof example that man cannot do good with what he has.

        • Is_Sense_Common

          Thankfully, He’s fully capable. 🙂

  • Most posts that question the seemingly idiotic moves by the Obama administration have people saying, “How can he be so stupid to do something that is obviously hurting our country?”

    It would seem the truth may lie in Obama’s flawless execution of the Cloward-Piven strategy that states the country has to be financially weakened to the point where the people willingly allow the government to “rebuild the system” and do whatever they need to do to make the pain go away.

    Obama isn’t that stupid, his moves are calculated to overwhelm the system. Think why he wants open borders, redistribution of wealth, giving states prizes for signing up the most EBT card recipients, cap and trade, and even advertising U.S. welfare systems in Mexico to encourage illegals to come north.

    Obama says he’s helping while plunging the knife deeper into our backs.

    • I’ve never believed he was stupid or incompitent. He’s doing just fine… for a marxist.

      • RighteousCrow_JustCaws

        Turns out that Rush’s famous “I hope he fails!” statement was right on the money after all, eh?

      • abc – I never doubted that you “get it”.

        I felt a need to spell it out for those of diminished mental capacity who may wander over here from MediaMatters. 😉

    • white531

      james, I give him an A+ for doing what he was hired to do. He is on the Soros payroll. So far, he has exceeded expectations.

  • This is prime proof that there is no difference between the Obama administration and Hugo Chavez.

  • MaxineCA

    From the federal govt, all the way down through states and municipalities it makes me sick. When I first read about the story, lets just say it was another head explosion day.

    Let’s see, SWAT comes in, confiscates your private property worth several millions of dollars (that they will not return even with the settlement) and you haven’t broken any laws. What the hell country is this? Never thought it would happen in America. What the hell is wrong with our legal system that the lawyers would charge this guy $2.4 million to fight for justice, only to get this type of crappy settlement. I guess if the guy was a different skin color the ACLU would have been all over this!

    Think about all of stories recently of the strong arming that is going on from all levels of government, top to bottom.

    The Idaho couple that wanted to build a lake front home like many others in the neighborhood, but the DOI (I think it was DOI, but I could be wrong on that) claimed it was wetlands and there was no water on their property? They went broke, but finally won their case. Great, just great. I’m sure their attorney was happy to win the case while taking their life savings.

    And how about the SWAT intrusion on an Amish property (I think it was USDA) because they were selling raw milk across state lines.

    We now have drones flying over ranches and farms monitoring their water and manure.

    Speaking of water, how about the poor guy that just went to jail for collecting rain water on his own property.

    And how about the guy from AZ who went to jail for hold private prayer services on is private property.

    And the list goes on and on. Gosh kids these days can’t even sell lemonade, cookies or have a bake sale without some form of government interference.

    We have to restore America from the Amerika state we are living in now.

    • white531

      Maxine, I just love the way you write. I just do.

      • MaxineCA

        Thank you. But I must admit, sometimes my fingers and my brain aren’t in coordination. Thank goodness for the edit button!

        I don’t know why it posted as a general comment, but sometimes Disqus does some wacky things.

    • librtifirst

      It seems like these things are happening more and more every week. I go to naturalnews.com and the AJ show to see who they are interviewing and who government is coming down on lately. It gets tiring watching it all.

      • Is_Sense_Common

        That’s what the Marxists are counting on. They wear us out & wear us down. “Overwhelm the system” can take on a variety of meanings.

        • CalCoolidge

          Overwhelm, tear down, shoot, kill, blow up. Whatever is necessary.

    • Is_Sense_Common

      Kaboom. My head just exploded too MaxineCA. Ugh. You categorized very well.

  • I despise these g-men thugs under the direction of Obama. I really do. They are destroying the country.

  • Yazz55

    Let me preface my comment by stating that I have a Fender Precision bass, that I’ve had for 35 years or so. It was maybe 10 or 15 years old when I got it. As far as guitars go, I have to say that Gibson does make some of the best guitars and I would be just as proud of any Gibson as I am of my Fender.

    This case is all about political extortion. It has all to do with who made contributions to which political party.

  • MaxineCA

    Thank you. But I must admit, sometimes my fingers and my brain aren’t in coordination. Thank goodness for the edit button!

  • There are many factual innacuries in the presentation of the article. For starters, it is not true that the DOJ cleared Gibson of any wrong doing. Quite the opposite!

    Gibson, in fact, admitted that they had violated illegal logging provisions of the Lacey Act by importing wood that had been illegally harvested in a foreign country. Their supplier in Madagascar did not have the authority to export Madagascar ebony after bans on it’s exportation in unfinished form were put into place in 2006. The supplier continued to operate in violation of the law, and Gibson were made firmly aware of this when a company representative visited Madagascar and were informed that ebony wood shipments were under seizure and could not be moved.

    Gibson continued to receive further shipments of ebony wood from the supplier after this in violation of the Lacey Act, which were later seized by authorities.

    Gibson entered into an agreement with the DOJ to pay the penalties as stated in the Lacey Act to avoid criminal proceedings. They also agreed to surrender some $260,000 worth of illegally imported Madagascar ebony.

    Didn’t anyone find it at all odd that Gibson would just agree to pay over $350,000 in penalties and give away another $260,000 in assets if they had really done nothing wrong? $600K just to get the DOJ off their back?

    What they admitted to in their agreement with the DOJ is VERY DIFFERENT from what this clown was saying on Huckabee. And Huckabee sits there and let’s him spin a load of garbage because he’s a bigger fraud than Henry is.

    • MaxineCA

      Put up some proof of your statements, please. Obviously you must have some inside info. Oh wait, I bet you are from some environmental group, but that’s just a guess. The DOJ said they didn’t break the law, so what am I missing? The Lacey law is a joke but more like a fraud. Other guitar makers import the same wood from the same places.

      And no, it’s not odd that companies are forced into settlements when their legal fees far outweigh the fine.

      • Wow, did the DoJ really say that Gibson didn’t break the law? Can you prove that, or is it just something you heard somewhere and automatically assumed it to be true?

        Just about every statement you have made is false. Other guitar makers don’t illegally import illegally harvested wood, or else the DOJ would be onto them too! Or perhaps you have evidence that other guitar makers in the USA are illegally importing illegally harvested ebony from Madagascar? Or let me guess, it’s just something you heard and assume to be true?

        As far as environmental groups go. Nope. You missed the mark again. I just happened to be watching Huckabee on Fox News right now and noticed that Henry was being deliberately vague when it came to describing what it was that they had done that caught the DOJ’s attention. That got my interest, as well as being a Gibson Les Paul owner (Studio model, 98) myself, and I decided to do a little research online.

        Within about 5 seconds I found this:


        Inside info? Wow. Is that what inside info is these days, going to the actual source and finding out under what authority Gibson had been raided, and what the facts of the agreement are?

        Do you look at everything through the filter of only web sites that you believe are politically aligned with you?

        • MaxineCA

          Wow, thanks for the link! I hate to disappoint you, but after spending my time reading it, I knew all of the facts of the case as well as the settlement. Nothing new there. Don’t you find it odd that Gibson had to pay the National Fish and Wild Life Association $50K?

          Since you are such a great researcher, and such an expert on the DOJ, why don’t you dig up some of those Fast & Furious documents that we can’t seem to get? And while you’re at it, could you come up with the reason why the DOJ dismissed the New Black Panther party case?

          • No, I don’t find it odd that Gibson paid the National Fish and Wild Life Association $50K because Gibson agreed to do it.

            So, if you knew all the facts, can you tell me what it was in my original post that you required me to back up with a source?

            Finally, there is nothing about using Google to find publicly available documents that makes me a great researcher, or an expert on the DOJ, so I am not sure that would make me suddenly be able to produce classified documents.

            Why are you talking about matters that are completely unrelated to Gibson illegally importing illegally harvested wood?

            That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. I know why you’re doing it.

          • I’m still amused at how after my original post you claimed I had “inside info” and demanded that I provide a source. My post was basically nothing more than a digest of what the DOJ press release said, which you now claim is just old information that you already knew.

            Dishonest debaters, like you, are very, very easy to spot, sweety. I see straight through you 🙂

            • MaxineCA

              I guess you’ve never run a business. How could every business know every law of every country around the world? If you are so concerned about the darn trees, go after the countries that are chopping down the rain forests.

              And by the way only my close friends or relatives call me sweety. Good bye!!!! I’m done.

              • Maybe you missed the part where Gibson admitted that their company representative had been to Madagascar and was informed that exportatation of ebony in unfinished form had been expressly banned and that the company representative distributed this information to company management upon his return in 2008? You do realise that the raids occured AFTER this date, yes?

                That would make it a bit hard for Gibson to claim that they were unaware of this law when evidence obtained from their email systems says precisely the exact opposite, wouldn’t it?

                So ultimately your defence is ignorance of the law.

                “Hey officer, noone told me robbing banks was illegal!”

                Goodnight sweety 🙂

                • Read through the Comment Policy, and stick to it if you want to continue commenting here.

            • Why don’t you drop the snide personal comments and just argue the facts as you see them. You’re coming across as an arrogant jerk. If you are not such, moderate your tone. If you are an arrogant jerk, you succeeded in presenting yourself as one.
              Just my 2c

            • librtifirst

              We all decide who we want to believe. You have decided to believe the Fast and Furious government, and I choose to believe a long time running, respectable business man. Criminal governments have a way of getting people to fold, and in covering up their bad deeds. (such as turning off their surveillance cameras right away)

              • Not so. I have decided to believe the facts as they have been established in the agreement between the DOJ and Gibson, signed by both parties. This isn’t a “he said, she said” matter – the facts are there and Gibson have quite obvious attempt to distance themselves publicly from their acknowledgement that they had, in fact, violated the Lacey Act with regard to the Madagascar ebony.

                What I have noticed is that Gibson are intentionally misleading the public by blurring the lines of reality with regard to the outcome of the two different raids. Gibson say that the DOJ backed down with regard to the Indian rosewood and ebony but then kept the materials and still fined them. This is only half true.

                The DOJ actually returned the Indian rosewood and ebony. It was the Madagascar ebony that was impounded which was the subject of the Lacey Act violations, and the DOJ has established facts that are agreed to by Gibson that show that Gibson was aware that the Madagascar ebony they were receiving were of dubious origin and they did nothing, absolutely nothing, to determine whether it had been acquired legally.

                • librtifirst

                  I understand your position. I can even empathize with it. I used to have trust in government as well. If Gibson is lying to the public, then it is the first time that I know of. When government lies, it is just another in a long habitual string of perpetual lies. Lying is something that I take personally, because it makes me realize that the person, or entity, lying to me has no concern or respect for me. When people lie to others, it means that they don’t care whether or not they cause you harm. This is a proven reality concerning our federal government.

                  Until that changes, they get no benefit of the doubt from me.

        • 1mathteacher

          You seem so angry. Let’s just talk calmly without attacking one another. I am not angry with you, nor am I trying to belittle you or dismiss you.

          Of course the link you found does not admit any wrong-doing by the government. The statement was written by the government, so of course it makes them look good. It seems that you are doing exactly what you accuse Maxine of doing. You essentially accused her of believing whatever she heard that aligned with her political beliefs, but aren’t you just believing whatever you read that is published by the government? I think that the concern in this case is that the government is unfairly saying one thing while doing another, so using their own words to prove that they are telling the truth just is not logical.

          The people here are asserting that the government IS, in fact, treating Gibson unfairly, so your statement that “Other guitar makers don’t illegally import illegally harvested wood, or else the DOJ would be onto them too!” is EXACTLY what everyone is concerned is not the case. We are alleging that the government is singling out Gibson for unfair treatment. Pointing out that everyone is not being prosecuted does not prove Gibson is in the wrong, and it doesn’t prove the government is in the wrong. It just highlights the problem.

          In order to find out the truth of the settlement, you have to read the Criminal Enforcement Agreement between the DOJ and Gibson.

          In that document, found here:


          there is a paragraph that says this: “The Government and Gibson acknowledge and agree that certain questions and inconsistencies now exist regarding the tariff classification of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks pursuant to the Indian government’s Foreign Trade Policy. Accordingly, the Government will not undertake enforcement actions related to Gibson’s future orders, purchases, or imports of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks from India, unless and until the Government of India provides specific clarification that ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks are expressly prohibited by laws related to Indian Foreign Trade Policy. The Government agrees to provide Gibson notice of any such clarification from the Government of India in the future and a reasonable period of time (60 days or as otherwise agreed) to address the potential change in the understanding of the law as it relates to shipments received by or en route to Gibson.”

          So the government does actually admit that it seized something it shouldn’t have and tried to enforce something unenforceable. The government’s problem with Gibson is not that the Lacey Act was broken — it looks now like that law was not broken — it’s that they say Gibson didn’t do enough to make SURE that the law wasn’t being broken.

          The Gibson CEO’s problem seems to be more the method of the seizure than that the government wanted to investigate them on the Lacey Act. I would also add that everything that man said in his interview with Huckabee meshes perfectly with the Criminal Enforcement Agreement, and if it hadn’t, they could haul him back into court for that, too (it says so in the agreement). I’m sure he made very sure that he stuck by the statement in the agreement.

          Here’s another article that explains it even better — from a completely non-political source (TechDirt).

          Peace to you — I hope you enjoy your new guitar, whatever kind you decide to buy.

          • I appreciate the tone of your response.

            I understand that the DOJ could not prove it’s case with regard to the Indian rosewood and ebony blanks, but Gibson ultimately acknowledged that it’s import of Madagascar ebony was in violation of the Lacey Act.

            My objection to the interview with Huckabee (and I will admit I have only seen it once) was the way that Henry glossed over the details as though they did not exist. He seemed to make it appear that the distinction between finished and unfinished wood was absurd quibbling on behalf of the DOJ when it was in fact a matter pertaining solely to Madagascan law which was essentially the root of the issue. The claim that the DOJ are deliberately trying to force US companies to move overseas is also ridiculous – the alleged comment from the DOJ, in the proper context, makes perfect sense.

            Finally, I’m not angry in the least. If Maxine wants an honest debate then she should act honestly.

            • 1mathteacher

              “He seemed to make it appear that the distinction between finished and unfinished wood was absurd quibbling on behalf of the DOJ” — I can appreciate that point. I just think he would say that the Madagascans would say they didn’t have a problem.

              I also do not think that the DOJ person who made that statement was encouraging them to move overseas. He was probably more like the cop who says, “Look, you were going 45 miles per hour. On the highway, that’s fine, but on this residential street, the limit is 30.”

              I just wish that (continuing my metaphor), if the government wanted to “pull them over”, that they had done it with one squad car and some blue lights instead of a SWAT team & drawn weapons. Seemed like killing a fly with a machine gun.

              • librtifirst

                In light of the SWAT style tactics, a suggestion to move overseas is made worse than it might have been otherwise.

                • 1mathteacher

                  I see what you mean. The whole thing was handled very poorly by the government.

      • “The Lacey law is a joke but more like a fraud.”

        You do realise that the provisions in the Lacey Act that Gibson violated primarily relate to respecting the laws of other countries, yeah? Do you believe that it is appropriate for a United States company to be aid and abet illegal activity in other countries?

        • 1mathteacher

          But according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gibson presented documents from the Madagascar government stating that the wood was obtained legally.


          The point is that Gibson really had tried to go through proper channels to make sure that the laws were being followed. It’s not a conservation issue, anyway — it’s a tariff issue that revolves around the interpretation of the words “finished form,” which no one seems to be able to agree on and should have been negotiated by representatives of the various governments involved, anyway. (See #8 under Appendix A of criminal enforcement agreement.)

          • I’d like to see what the Atlanta Journal Constitution is referring to before making any comment on that. It certainly isn’t supported by the statement of facts in Appendix A which are agreed to by both parties, with section 15 highlighting that Gibson had made no attempt to authenticate that the ebony they were buying was acquired legally.

            Section 8 contains statements recorded by the company representative when visiting Madagascar. They seem to make it perfectly clear that Gibson are well aware the existing export laws are an issue for them that would need to be addressed – but they never did.

            The comments also make it clear that they are aware the Madagascan exporter is under investigation too.

            • Spin! Spin! Spin!

              I’m getting dizzy with all the spinning.

  • librtifirst

    This guy was on the AJ show a day or so after it happened. This was the second time that they had done this. The feds came in and raided Gibson in the same manner that they are raiding small farms and co-ops. What this guy didn’t say in this interview, but did in the AJ interview, was that he was told by a government entity that all he had to do was move out of the country, and his problems would go away.

    I am interested to see if Romney does anything different concerning these things, because I don’t believe that this is a temporary Obama administration agenda, but rather a long term shutdown of the country.

    • Okay, assuming for a moment that the DOJ did tell Gibson that it would be easier to move to Madagascar in order to build their guitars with Madagascar ebony fretboards… so what? It’s true!

      It is a 2006 Madagascan law that forbids the export of unfinished ebony. Get it? It’s THEIR law!

      • librtifirst

        Gibson had permission from the country in question to process the wood. They made sure of it after the first raid. The feds were not prosecuting this on behalf of this country, they were simply using another country’s law to take down an American company, and in the process told Gibson that they should move.

        Gibson had no charges levied against them, they were dropped. Gibson simply settled because of the court costs. This is gangster style criminality on behalf of the feds. The feds took their product and cost them millions of dollars just to get them to move out of the country, it had nothing to do with legitimate law.

        Watch the interviews and you will get a good idea of what transpired. The feds went into a perfectly legal company and SWAT teamed them. They then took their employees into rooms, after shutting down their surveillance cameras, and interrogated them without council present or charges being brought on them.

        The whole thing was an illegal strong arming of a good American company to terrorize them into moving out of America.

        • Gibson did not have approval from “the country in question” to “process the wood”. That is completely false. They DON’T have permission because it’s export has been expressly banned! Whoever told you they had approval is lying.

          Gibson’s claim is that their third party supplier had told them that the wood had been legally acquired, even when they knew that the export of ebony in unfinished form had been outright banned.

          The law in Madagascar is designed to protect native rainforests and local industry. It is easier for Gibson to set up in Madagascar to finish the fretboards as it is REQUIRED BY MADAGASCAN LAW if they wish to continue to use their wood. It is their law that forbids the exports of the fretboards in unfinished form, not American law.

          The Lacey Act merely respects the laws of foreign countries by not allowing American companies to participate in ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRADE.

          Surely this is sinking in?

          And as far as your videos go, let’s just say that I got tired of Alex Jones’ schtick about 6-7 years ago. I like to deal in facts, not paranoid delusional fantasies.

          • librtifirst

            So, what were the SWAT style raids all about? Is that how a government should deal with this company? Breaking down doors and pointing guns at people because of wood being used in a guitar plant is not a reasonable tactic. It is not a reasonable tactic for a government to use on small farms and co-ops either. Nor is is a reasonable tactic to use on Americans in their homes who are reported as having a little pot.

            By the way, living in Oregon, I have witnessed the feds come into our state and negate the voters will. We passed a ban on log exports to keep jobs here in the nineties, and they shot it down. So it isn’t about respecting laws of other countries, or the states in this country, it is about shutting down the country.

            There is a bigger picture here. Now, if you are a Statist that thinks government has a right to terrorize the general public in the name of national security, or just “the greater good”, then it makes sense that you would defend them.

            I get what you are saying, and I can accept that there were problems with the purchases and use of wood, but I cannot accept government that is out of control against the American people, and companies that have been established for many decades.

            Government breaks the law all the time. Our politicians break the Logan act, and pass illegal legislation. Posse Comotatus was never repealed, yet we have troops patrolling our streets and highways all the time. One of their most important responsibilities is protecting the border, but they purposely fail in doing it. They sign treaties that are nothing short of treasonous. They take orders from foreign entities such as the UN. They overthrow foreign governments that have never attacked us. They supply terrorists with arms to do so. They completely ignore the ninth and tenth amendments and run rough shot over the states. They take our income and use it to control the states via unfunded mandates, then forcing their will on us with the money they steal from us. They pass legislation that they never even read, and which is written by insurance companies and other corporations. They negate our bill of rights and walk all over our liberties.

            This government has no credibility any longer. Good luck in your future authoritarian society. I hope that you don’t mind totalitarianism, because that is where we are headed.

            • Well, first of all, allow me to say that I myself would find that a SWAT style raid with doors being kicked in, people being corralled at gunpoint – yes, I would find that objectionable, if that in fact really happened.

              But I just am not in the mood to take Henry’s word for it after witnessing his dancing around the truth on the Huckabee program. Did the officers have guns? I am pretty sure they would have! Were they being pointed at people whilst orders were being barked at them? I doubt it. I’ll need some proof on this one.

              Gibson have needlessly politicised their situation and have only themselves to blame.

              Even Alex Jones is pulling your leg when he says that musicians homes are being raided, and that 50 year old guitars are being confiscated at the airport because of the Lacey Act. This is rubbish! This has not happened once, ever, nor does the Lacey Act intend for it to happen.

            • The cognitive dissonance emanating from the environmentalist fringe does get a little deafening at times. It’s amazing how illiberal those crusading for liberal causes can get once they’re firmly mounted upon their moral high horses.

              Ironically, unclechopper and the little cohort of environmentalist zealots who unconditionally support the police state tactics of Fish & Wildlife seem to always end up channelling Richard Nixon.

              Richard Nixon—-inveterate red-baiter, enforcer in the McCarthyite mob, and unabashed champion of police state methods—- was the intellectual father of the federal government takeover of law enforcement in the United States. Christian Parenti did a great job of documenting this, as well as the inexorable expansion of the American police empire at the behest of Democrat and Republican alike, in “Lockdown America.”

              So I suppose it should come as no surprise that the New McCarthyism should invoke the same rhetoric as the old McCarthyism.

              Here’s Richard Nixon, as quoted by Parenti:


              [T]he deterioration [of respect for law and order] can be traced directly back to the spread of the corrosive doctrine that every citizen possesses an inherent right to decide for himself which laws to obey and when to disobey them.

              RICHARD NIXON, “If mob rule takes hold in the US: a warning from Richard Nixon,” U.S. News and World Report, August 15, 1966

              **end of quote**

              And here’s Andrea Johnson, one of the New McCarthyites, regurgitating Nixon. But it’s Nixon on steroids, because the New McCarthyism not only demands respect for American law, but respect for every law of every foreign nation in the world as well:

              It’s not up to Gibson or any other company to decide which laws in India or Madagascar or whatever country they want to respect. This is an issue about mutual respect for the rule of law around the world, and that’s what the Lacey Act says. That’s the principle behind the Lacey Act.

              ANDREA JOHNSON, Environmental Investigation Agency
              **end of quote**

              Nixon was responding to Martin Luther King, Jr., who in his “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” had thrown down the gauntlet to the law and order hawks like Nixon. Here’s what King had written:

              You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: there are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”

              Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law….

              There are some instances when a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I was arrested Friday on a charge of parading without a permit. Now there is nothing wrong with an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade, but when the ordinance is used to preserve segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and peaceful protest, then it becomes unjust…

              We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.”

              MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”

              **end of quote**

              • librtifirst

                Awesome stuff, my friend. I have argued often that the modern interpretation of Romans 13, as it pertains to obeying “government”, is a false teaching, and is used by government, quite literally, to promote this idea within the Christian right community. In short, we are to obey righteous rulers. Simple as that.

                I agree whole heartily that there are many unjust laws in this country, and many of them are from local municipal rule makers who have power trips. I recently watched many youtube videos of people open carrying, and was amazed at how ignorant much of our law enforcement is of our constitution and bill of rights. Subsequently, many churches have given up their right to free speech by filing for 501C3 status, which was created for that specific purpose.

                Thank you much, for the information.

          • “Gibson did not have approval from “the country in question” to “process the wood”. That is completely false. They DON’T have permission because it’s export has been expressly banned! Whoever told you they had approval is lying”

            Do you have anything to back that up?

      • GeorgiaPeachie

        THEIR GOVERNMENT didn’t give a shit. Get it? Our government has gotten so big it has turned into a BULLY and ABUSER. Time to protect the INNOCENT CITIZENS against TYRANNY!!

        “Despite Gibson playing the environmentalist game, they are being singled-out. They follow the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council, they consult with environmentalist groups like Green Peace and still .. STILL the government goes after them.

        The GOVERNMENT OF MADAGASCAR has signed affidavits that Gibson has complied with their laws and the Obama administration then decides that Madagascar is not a real government .. but still tries to enforce their laws.

        What’s even worse is that in the same interview, Gibson’s CEO relays that the Obama administration does not even recognize the government of Madagascar, but is somehow interpreting their laws differently than they do. You’ll have to listen to the audio to believe the inane behavior of Eric Holder, the Dept. of Justice and the rest of the Obama administration.

        This is exactly how you kill jobs – American jobs – and send them overseas.

    • @ librtifirst,

      I agree when you say that you “don’t believe that this is a temporary Obama administration agenda, but rather a long term shutdown of the country.”

      As Christian Parenti documents so beautifully in “Lockdown America: Police and Prison in the Age of Crisis,” the American police empire was born with the passage of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

      Since then it has grown inexorably, cheered along by the electioneering histrionics of Democrat and Republican alike. And since 9/11, it has taken on a life of its own. The police empire has become completely disconnected from any underlying social or economic reason raison d’être. Even when the enemy ceased to be menacing, the desire to use power persisted, inebriating, addictive.

      Meanwhile the Untied States has become a poor empire, debt-ridden, incapable of solving its internal problems while insistent on playing an imperial role overseas, but begging alms from other, surplus-wealthy nations in order to finance its expensive role as a world policeman.

      • librtifirst

        Well said. It appears that China is backing out of funding our debt spending, and the fed has had to step up and destroy the currency further. We should see more of that, and soon.

        It has become undeniably apparent that the feds are preparing for the collapse that they are orchestrating.

        National elections, as I see it, are nothing more than a theatrical event. One that is orchestrated from behind the scenes, and in collusion with the MSM. They have become so confident with their sell, that they have become sloppy. This is partly due to the alternative media, and the growing Liberty movement that is getting harder to ignore. Though, they were quit successful in co-opting the Tea Party movement.

        Sometimes, it baffles me how the American people can be so fearful that they allow our government to get away with taking so much of our liberties, and fail to see the big picture overseas. It is sad that we have become so weak minded that we cannot muster up the courage to simply defend ourselves without preemptive and offensive killing and manipulation in foreign countries.

        As a Bible prophesy believer, I expect such things to happen. Terrorism is simply a means to an end, and not an imminent or fatal threat to our country. A government that is willing to sell us out, and use such things to destroy our sovereignty is the imminent and fatal threat.

  • unclesamnephew

    dear cousins, unstated is the fact that there are “so called americans” willing to abuse us. so called americans willing to branish guns in the face of law abiding productive americans, who just want to be left alone, to persue their happiness. this country is over ran with little obama wanabes

  • AlabamaPatriot2

    I wonder if the DOJ would have raided Gibson if they made Bongo drums?

    Just curious.

    • Are the bongo drums being made out of illegally imported Madagascar ebony?

      • AlabamaPatriot2

        The issue was Rosewood.

        • “As a result of this investigation and criminal enforcement agreement, Gibson has acknowledged that it failed to act on information that the Madagascar ebony it was purchasing may have violated laws intended to limit overharvesting and conserve valuable wood species from Madagascar, a country which has been severely impacted by deforestation,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “Gibson has ceased acquisitions of wood species from Madagascar and recognizes its duty under the U.S. Lacey Act to guard against the acquisition of wood of illegal origin by verifying the circumstances of its harvest and export, which is good for American business and American consumers.”


          • AlabamaPatriot2

            “The guitar maker agreed to pay a $300,000 fine and to donate $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote the protection of endangered hardwood trees, like ebony and rosewood. In return, the government deferred prosecution of the company for criminal violations of the Lacey Act, which since May 2008 has made it illegal to import wood that was harvested and exported illegally under another country’s laws.”


            • What is your point?

              They were found to be in violation of the Lacey Act for the Madagascar ebony they imported, not the Indian rosewood.

              • AlabamaPatriot2

                Then why did the Feds confiscate the Rosewood?

                • Oh, sorry, I see what you are saying.

                  In all of my comments I have referred to the Madagascar ebony that was seized in the first raid. The second raid, I understand, involved the Indian rosewood that was found to have been obtained legally and was returned to Gibson.

                • AlabamaPatriot2

                  And to be honest, I didn’t hear the part about the ebony. It seemed to me they focused on the Rosewood from India as the major issue.


    • I wonder if the DOJ would have raided Gibson if it was owned and run by liberals.

      • librtifirst

        I believe that was addressed in one of the interviews. Apparently Gibson is supportive of conservatives and conservative issues.

        • All I can remember is during one of dearleader’s addresses, STOTU? Henry Juszkiewicz, who was being harrassed by progressives, was sitting as guest of republicans, and Immelt of GE, who shipped off jobs to China, was in the presidential box with michelleantoinette. That there was a picture.

    • I know they wouldn’t have raided Gibson if they contributed to team Obama 2008. SCUM!

  • graywolf4life

    One can only imagine the severity of this administration if they win a second term.

  • BS61

    I saw this interview, and I feel like we are living in Russia – police raid you! Govt takes your product, you don’t get it back and then your forced to pay fines!

  • Sober_Thinking

    I’d like to see a SWAT team storm the White House… but I digress.

    Dictatorship… that’s our future under Obama. And this could become the norm.

  • bindare

    This is our “Community Organizer” President in action. It’s all about being fair. Is it fair that Gibson has some money and the government spenders don’t have enough? It does not matter that the Gibson Guitar Company really did nothing wrong. Obama and Holder, his cheif juice collector, get to decide what is fair, right and just. After all, they won didn’t they? If they can get away with this there is not a citizen or company in America that is safe.

  • The Oligarchy

  • From what I understand the DOJ wasn’t even enforcing American laws? Fing scum!

  • My family has been very blesssed with singers and musicians who’ve played Gibsons through their musical careers sum 70 years, to us this is very troubling.

    There was no Reports of danger from Company. why assault teams?
    I think a US Marshall could have handled this job without problems.
    It’s clear the feds didn’t understand the law they said they were protecting, and even after their raid, feds attorneys took a payoff to settle, guilty before sanity.
    (something seriously wrong with this picture.)
    I found a Senate hearing with Mr Rogers on google, but no senate hearings about the feds raid on the Gibson Company.

    I hope gibson will decide to sue.
    Just one note, Sen. Rand Paul did held his on hearing, looks to be at the capital , but a full senate hearing No, The Paul hearing was held on 10.12.11 it was called the:
    Property Wrongs Hearing. On Youtube. Mr Zuszkiewicz gave testified.

    Tea Party Patriot
    Never Forget
    *just wondering, has the Feds raided the Black Panthers HQ? or The Communist Head HQ?their commerce may be truly illegal.
    *please if you know “when and where” please let me know, I’d love to read, see, and hear, all the high lights.

  • Don

    What the Obama administration did to Gibson, they can definitely do to any other American business too. The reprisals by this government have come swift and without warning. Their law suits against individual states is unprecedented. The mainstream media, by their refusal to make public the attacks by Obama and his thugs, are a willing accomplice to these attacks and the circumventing of laws by executive privilege. The attack on our country from within will continue until the people wake up and address it at the ballot box.

  • Hey DOJ, Does the Lacey Act apply to giving lots of guns to Mexican terrorists?I pretty sure it does because guns are illegal in Mexico. Maybe you should bust the people who approved that operation. SCUM

  • Orangeone

    Are Gibson’s attorneys friends of O’Bambi and Holder? Attorneys give to one another all of the time.

    • librtifirst

      When a business is put under such stress, sometimes people just cave unto corruption to avoid total destruction.

      • Orangeone

        $2.4 million to attorneys is thievery!

  • GeorgiaPeachie

    THEIR GOVERNMENT didn’t give a shit!! Yet another example of obama KILLING JOBS.

    “Despite Gibson playing the environmentalist game, they are being singled-out. They follow the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council, they consult with environmentalist groups like Green Peace and still .. STILL the government goes after them.

    “The GOVERNMENT OF MADAGASCAR has signed affidavits that Gibson has complied with their laws and the Obama administration then decides that Madagascar is not a real government .. but still tries to enforce their laws.

    What’s even worse is that in the same interview, Gibson’s CEO relays that the Obama administration does not even recognize the government of Madagascar, but is somehow interpreting their laws differently than they do. You’ll have to listen to the audio to believe the inane behavior of Eric Holder, the Dept. of Justice and the rest of the Obama administration.

    This is exactly how you kill jobs – American jobs – and send them overseas.”

    • Terrenceor

      That is the objective of Obama. De-industrialize the US.

  • How long until the IRS starts carrying guns?

  • Landscaper59

    Holder goes home and his buddy BHO

  • Terrenceor

    OMG I just saw Denesh’s new documentary this morning and this is what Denesh demonstrates in his movie. Obama believes that America has become wealthy by using the 3rd worlds resources and it is Obama’s job to redistribute those riches back to the 3rd world. Those guitars should be made in India not the US.

    Go see 2012themovie.com when it is near you. You will be shocked about what you don’t know about Obama’s background.

  • wolfveryne

    If this can happen to Gibson ,, then the Government can do this to ANYBODY .
    Where are the People,, that took the OATH to Defend the Constitution ,, in Congress? ?

  • MacSwain

    Demonstrating perfectly….Obama-ism is nothing more than a replication old Soviet style dictatorship.

    If someone with the resources to do so (The Right Scoop?) would compile a list of all the incidents such as this one so they could all be seen together it would be a wake up call for for a drowsy America.

  • Vatcha

    2.4 Million … really. I guess that does sound like something Juszkiewizc would say. Makes you wonder how much they spent on legal fees trying to sue PRS (an American guitar company) you’d think it would have to several times more. Of course that’s one of Henry’s main business tactics. Trying to bully smaller competitors. PRS is a purely American guitar company unlike Gibson who only makes the Gibson brand in the US. The vast majority of the instruments Gibson makes under the various brands they own are made in Asia and Eastern Europe.

  • Jay

    The real crime here was Gibson donating to the R’s. It’s a shot over the bow of any company that that leans right.

  • Opposed to the Alice in Wonderland world that the environmentalist fringe and Fish & Wildlife agents inhabit—-a world distorted by runaway emotions, the pursuit of self-interest and an unbridled quest for power—-is a world of objective truth and reason. For those interested in exploring this latter world I suggest reading the settlement Agreement, which can be found here:


    What one finds is that the only thing the feds had to hang their hat on was their own narrow interpretation of some arcane technicality in Madagascar law. What the Lacey Act, which is the law Gibson was accused of violating, does is to allow the U.S. federal government to prosecute violations of other countries’ laws. Madagascar law (the justification for the 2009 raid) allows the export of ebony, but only if that wood is “finished,” otherwise the export is deemed illegal. So this entire imbroglio boiled down to whether the ebony that Gibson imported was “finished” or not. The law was promulgated by the Madagascar government to protect the interests of manufacturers and labor in Madagascar, and has nothing to do with the protection or preservation of forests or illegal logging.

    The feds also alleged illegal import of wood from India (the justification for the 2011 raid). But that part of the government’s case fell apart when Gibson, as Gibson has stated in previous press statements, obtained an affidavit from the Indian government confirming that they had violated no Indian law.

    So the STATEMENT OF FACTS portion of the Agreement is a confirmation of what Gibson has been arguing all along, and that is that this had nothing to do with curtailing illegal logging, and everything to do with enforcing India’s and Madagascar’s labor laws. That was quite an admission that Gibson won from the government.

    Of course these police state tactics which the Fish & Wildlife Service employs against individuals and small businesses do not come billed as political repression, but come cloaked as some noble cause like saving the forests, saving the elephants, or saving the whales. But one should not assume that Fish & Wildlife and its cohort of fanatical, fringe environmentalist supporters have a monopoly on the moral high ground. While they always attempt to portray themselves as being on the side of the angels, “evil” self-serving business interests are lined up on Fish & Wildlife’s side as well, as this quote from “The Tennessean” confirms:

    There was praise for the Gibson agreement from the U.S. hardwood industry, which strongly supports the Lacey Act because of provisions that disallow importation of some woods that the industry contends might unfairly compete with American lumber.

    ‘I feel those of us who have been working hard to defend the Lacey Act have been somewhat vindicated by the agreement and Gibson’s acknowledgment that they imported illegal materials and did not follow due care,’ said Jamison French, chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Hardwood Federation and chief executive of Northland Forest Products.

    According to opensecrets.org, the U.S. forestry industry spent more than $17 million last year alone in lobbying and campaign contributions.

    Any delusions that Fish & Wildlife is a sincere and genuine guardian of the environment, and not just the handmaiden of corporate interests, should have been dispelled long ago when, a couple of years before the BP Gulf blowout, it placed its imprimatur upon “the conclusion that deepwater drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico posed no significant risk to wildlife, despite evidence that a spill of even moderate size could be disastrous, according to federal documents,” as reported by the NY Times:


  • Prime example of how Obama administration treats smell businesses. It favors large corporations that can afford to hire legal firms. People have to wake up to what is going on. Soon, individuals will not have any rights.

  • hongryhawg

    Bastards. I hope their swan song is played on a Gibson.

  • Mark Bjorke

    A criminal enforcement agreement defers prosecution it’s like PBJ they were not cleared of anything.