Ethan A. Huff
Monday, August 29, 2011
(NaturalNews) Due process under the law and assumed innocence before being proven guilty are two concepts that are apparently no longer applicable in the United States of America, at least as far as the federal government is concerned.
For the second time in two years, armed federal agents have illegally raided the manufacturing facilities of Gibson Guitars Corp., this time confiscating more than a million dollars worth of imported wood and ebony — and they did so without proper notice or warning, without any valid reason, and without lawful charges ofanykind.
Gibson, one of the world’s premier guitar manufacturers, and a company that has continually tried to honestly and readily abide by domestic and international laws concerning its material sourcing while continuing to provide quality products to its customers, has for some reason landed in the cross fire of the federal gestapo.
Though Gibson has not violated any laws, and has gone above and beyond mandated requirements for sourcing sustainable wood and other materials for its instruments, the heavy hand of a bloated and out-of-control government has decided to unlawfully target the company for extinction.
According to a recent press statement made by Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s Chairman and CEO, armed marshals stormed the company’s Nashville, Tenn., and Memphis, Tenn., manufacturing facilities on August 24, and proceeded to evacuate the buildings, shut down production, order all employees to go home, and steal more than a million dollars worth of rosewood and ebony that had been legally imported from India.
“It is extremely troubling,” stated a calm and collected, but obviously shaken, Juszkiewicz during a recent press conference. “What is more troubling is that the Justice Department’s position is that any guitar that we ship out of this facility is potentially an obstruction of justice, and to be followed with criminal charges.”
US officials have actuallyrefusedto tell Gibson what it allegedly did wrong, and why the raid was conducted. The company was never notified of any potential violations prior to the raid, and no official charges were ever filed. By all appearances, the government simply decided one day to unlawfully storm the company’s manufacturing units with loaded weapons, and is now attempting to destroy one of the last honest American manufacturers in existence.
“It is not illegal, it was exported legally, endorsed by the Indian government, it was Forest Stewardship Council recognized wood,” stated Juszkiewicz concerning the stolen wood. “We’re not in the wrong. We haven’t actually been charged with any wrongdoing. And yet our entire operation has effectively been noticed to be shut down.”
The fact that the US federal government is refusing to disclose why it raided Gibson, as well as its added failure to press any proper legal charges against the company, suggests that there is trulyno legitimate reason at all. Every guitar manufacturer imports rosewood and ebony from India and various other countries — and many do not even have the same high quality standards as Gibson — and yet, for whatever reason, Gibson has become the government’s chosen target, despite the fact that it has broken no laws and has never been convicted of any crimes.
In today’s America, in other words, government officials do not even need a legitimate reason to target a company, seize its goods, and shut it down. In total desecration of the rule of law, the federal government simply targets whomever it wants to these days, without reason or cause, and sends in its taxpayer-funded minions to perform the execution. In this case, the target is a leading US manufacturer of musical instruments.
While many other US instrument manufacturers have outsourced production to other companies, Gibson has hired 580 American employees in the past two years alone, which build its guitars domestically. It is one of the few major US companies that still produces a tangible, valuable product within the country’s borders, and one that is led by a humble and forthcoming CEO who has chosen to stick his own neck out on the line in defense of his company and his employees.
But apparently none of this matters to the corrupt federal government which, ironically, is charged withdefending and protectingcompanies like Gibson, not raiding and terrorizing them.
Be sure to watch Juszkiewicz’s roughly 30-minute press conference here:
Though federal officials have ordered that Gibson stop manufacturing and selling guitars, Juszkiewicz has instructed his employees to continue operations, indicating that he alone will take personal responsibility for any potential repercussions. Ceasing production indefinitely at the arbitrary command of federal officials, especially without a valid reason, would destroy the company.
So for the time being, Gibson is still manufacturing and distributing guitars, and waiting to see how the government responds. It is also trying to seek justice for the stolen wood, which was certified as legal and sustainable, though it has yet to make any considerable progress in this endeavor.
In the meantime, those who own Gibson guitars, and potentially even guitars of other brands, may want to prepare themselves for potential targeting by the federal government as well. The vague wording of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Lacey Act of 2008, which is the law that was somehow used to warrant the Gibson raids, placesall guitar owners and resellers in the cross fire of potential federal scrutiny.
“According to [The Lacey Act], if you bought a guitar from us and you resell it, you are criminally liable,” stated Juszkiewicz. “Everyone who touches the product, the store owner who sells that guitar, is criminally liable. It doesn’t matter whether you knew or not that there was some issue here. It’s a pretty dangerous precedent in my opinion.”
Coverage in theCalgary Heraldadds that guitar owners who do not have proper documentation for their instrument could potentially face its confiscation if the Feds feel as though something about the guitar is in violation of the Lacey Act.
It does not matter if the guitar was produced in full accordance with the law — if the government decides that some aspect of the guitar is in violation of the Lacey Act, it could theoretically seize it or any other wood-containing instrument at airports, country borders, and other areas, and even arrest the instrument owners in the process.
“Most people would say you have to know you did something wrong to do something wrong. This law says no, you don’t have to have done anything wrong to be going to jail,” added Juszkiewicz concerning the Lacey Act.
So there you have it. The US has literally devolved into an unbridled police state where the federal government freely raids companies, arrests innocent individuals, and performs other acts of domestic terrorism for absolutely no reason at all. The enemies of freedom that now run our government presume guilt rather than innocence, and they deny the constitutional protocols of due process that they are tasked with upholding in the process.
“People assume that if you’re gonna be investigated by the federal government that you’re guilty,” stated Juszkiewicz about the lunacy of what his company now faces. “We can’t even say that we’re not guilty of this because we’re just guilty of something that they can’t tell us yet. Think about that, how do you respond to that?”
Sources for this story include:
This article was posted: Monday, August 29, 2011 at 2:18 am