The politicized version is that the Dirty Democrats are going after Gibson Guitar because Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO, is a big Republican donor. Or, to put it in his own words (though with my emphasis):
Mr. Juszkiewicz also claims that the government won't tell him how his company has violated the law, in spite of the fact that the Affidavit In Support of a Search Warrant (pdf) with all the details, which was filed with the Court in June, is freely available online.
He also implores that, “perhaps our good friends in the media can use their investigative skills to help us to get [to] the bottom of exactly why the government has singled out Gibson for harassment.”
Well, since the traditional media outlets don’t seem to be helping poor Mr. Juszkiewicz, please allow me. From the above-linked Affidavit (sworn to, by the way, by Special Agent for U.S. Fish & Wildlife, John M. Rayfield, a Republican donor):
- A shipment of 1,250 pieces of sawn logs, 10mm in thickness, originating in India, was confiscated by the Service Wildlife Inspector at its point of entry in Dallas, TX.
- The paperwork listed the “ultimate consignee” as Theodor Nagel, GMBH and was to be referred to Luthier Mercantile in Nashville, TN after clearing U.S. Customs. Luthier Mercantile was also listed on the Customs entry declaration as the “importer of record.”
- Upon questioning, Luthier Mercantile General Manager, Natalie Swango, admitted that the actual “ultimate consignee” was Gibson Guitar.
- The Customs entry declaration described the contents of the shipment as being veneer sheets of 6mm thickness, using a code that identified it as a legal import—a code that did not match the actual contents of the shipment.
- The shipment was accompanied by an export declaration provided to the Indian Customs Authorities, using an entirely different code; one that matched a description for “finished parts of musical instruments,” which this wood was not.
So let’s make sure it’s perfectly clear for Mr. Juszkiewicz. He and his company, Gibson Guitar, imported sawn wood from India. The DOJ alleges that in an effort to make it appear as if the wood was imported legally, Gibson (and/or agents Gibson hired on its behalf) falsified customs documents for both export out of India and import into the United States, indicating product that didn’t match the contents of the shipment; that those contents were actually illegally harvested wood that is barred by U.S. law from being imported; and showing a consignee that was not Gibson Guitar, even though Gibson Guitar was the true "ultimate consignee."
But to read the rightwing outrage on the internet, the “Federal gestapo illegally raid[ed] Gibson Guitar factories [and] arbitrarily confiscate[d] millions of dollars worth of wood used to make instruments.”
Henry Juszkiewicz swears he did nothing wrong; the over-zealous government is just going after him because they hate—and have declared class warfare on—business.
Now, I don't believe for a moment that Mr. Juszkiewicz is a stupid man. I'm quite certain that he knows the difference between 6mm and 10mm, and that he knows the difference between finished parts and unfinished sawn logs.
So I'm trying to imagine Mr. Juszkiewicz picking up the phone upon learning that 10mm unfinished wood was destined for his manufacturing facility, and calling the appropriate authorities to report his source in India or his clearing house in the U.S., for sending him wood that didn't match his purchase order, and that he knew to be illegal.
Nope. That never happened.
But Gibson=Republican and Martin=Democrat! Therefore any action taken by the government against Gibson must be because they support Republicans!!!11!!1!
This is a stunning dismissal of any logic whatsoever.
Yet outlet after outlet after outlet gives Mr. Juszkiewicz a platform to make veiled and not-so-veiled allegations (including the lie that individuals need to be afraid of traveling with their guitars, for fear of being arrested) with nary a one pointing out that he is being disingenuous with his feigned ignorance of why his company is being investigated.
He is using the media to further his partisan outrage (and obvious disdain for President Obama), and traditional media isn't just reporting about it, they're promoting it.
Why are traditional media reporters ignoring one side of a story in favor of another? Why are traditional media reporters allowing an alleged criminal actor to use them to promote his political lobbying activities?
Gibson Guitar was targeted by the Department of Justice because the DOJ believes Gibson Guitar is acting outside of United States law.
Not because the Obama Administration hates business. Not because Mr. Juszkiewicz is rich. Not because President Obama didn't "subsidize" the guitar industry. And certainly not because Mr. Juszkiewicz is a Republican.
But you may never have known that had you not read this blog.
REFERENCES AND ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
▶ The Gibson Guitar Raid ~ By NFRA Staff at The National Federation of Republican Assemblies
▶ Affidavit in Support of a Search Warrant ~ Posted by The New York Times
▶ Gibson Guitar Corp. Responds to Armed Federal Raid ~ By Alex Jones at Infowars.com
▶ FRANKLIN, Tennessee (TN) Political Contributions by Individuals ~ at Citi-data.com
▶ Federal gestapo illegally raid Gibson Guitar factories, arbitrarily confiscate millions of dollars worth of wood used to make instruments ~ By Ethan A. Huff at Natural News
▶ Guitar-maker Gibson denies 'smuggling' after US raid ~ By AFP
▶ Guitars and the law, Guns N' Rosewood ~ at The Economist
▶ Gibson Guitar CEO fights back ~ By Les Christie at CNN Money