Gimmie, Gimmie a Gibson after Midnight
Andrew Lawton reports on the surprising raid by armed Federal Department of Justice agents of the Gibson Guitar Corporation where they confiscated several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The impetus of their complaint – an obscure Indian law that frowns upon processing of this protected wood (East Indian Rosewood) by non Indian workers. Seriously, if Gibson hired Indian workers to work on the wood used in their guitars, the wood would not be considered illegal by the Federal Department of Justice.
Where does the Federal Department of Justice find authority to do this? In 1900, to protect our natural animal resources, President William McKinely signed into law the U.S. Lacey Act. Lawyers representing Gibson Guitar Corporation have released a press release regarding this raid:
The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.
Note this raid was conducted without the consent of the Indian Government. It should also be noted that the chief competitor of Gibson Guitar Corporation, C.F. Martin & Company, sells several types of guitars composed in part with the illegal ‘East Indian Rosewood’ and the CEO has a history of generous donations to the DNC. Yet to date, this company has remained unmolested by the Federal Department of Justice.
Upon review of U.S. Lacey Act, I found this section quite interesting:
The Lacey Act also makes it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any plant in violation of the laws of the United States, a State, an Indian tribe, or any foreign law that protects plants.
In 2009, the FLOTUS presented to France’s First Lady, Carly Bruni, a Gibson Hummingbird accustic guitar. Apparently, this model does contain Indian rosewood. Should FLOTUS expect a raid by armed members of the Justice Department anytime soon?