If you haven’t been following the story of the feds going after Gibson Guitars because of the rosewood it was importing for making fret boards, think of this paragraph as the Cliff’s Notes version of what went down (from Gibson’s website via Mary Katherine Ham over at Hot Air) (bold emphasis by me).
Between June 20, 2008, and November 17,2009, Gibson did not ask for or obtain paperwork or official assurances from officials in Madagascar that the wood it was purchasing from Madagascar through its German supplier was legally harvested and exported from Madagascar, notwithstanding the information received by Gibson during the June 2008 trip to Madagascar. Before November 2009, Gibson further did not ask for additional paperwork or other confirmation from its supplier that the wood it was purchasing from Madagascar was legally harvested and exported, although the execution of the search warrant. Instead, Gibson relied on the fact that T.N.(the German supplier) was an established, FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) chain of custody certified supplier. Before ordering or accepting delivery of the fingerboards, Gibson should have taken a more active role and exercised additional diligence with respect to documentation of legal forestry practices in the areas of Madagascar from which those shipments from its wood supplier may have originated. Information received by the Gibson representative during the June 2008 trip to Madagascar was not further investigated or acted upon, prior to the continuing placement of orders with the supplier, T.N. Information sent to company management by the Gibson representative and others following the June 2008 trip to Madagascar also was not further investigated or acted upon, prior to the continuing placement of orders with the supplier, T.N. Instead, Gibson continued to purchase Madagascar ebony after June 20, 2008.
Basically, Gibson got themselves in a bit of trouble because of the rosewood they were importing for their fret boards. And while the above paragraph makes it sound like a pretty clear cut case of Gibson being too loose when it comes to their wood purchases (and maybe they were, I don’t know), what isn’t talked about is the hell the federal government put Gibson thru because of said wood purchases and how, in the end, the feds decided to offer a settlement and let the whole thing be dropped.
Here’s a video with the details you won’t hear about in the MSM:
Notice that the woman in the video defending the government’s decision to go after Gibson is an environmentalist that works for the EIA. Last time I checked the Environmental Investigation Agency is not a part of our federal government nor do they have the right or ability to enforce any laws.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organization committed to bringing about change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse.
Here’s my take – The reason Andrea Johnson of the EIA went on camera to defend the fed’s charge against Gibson and not someone from the government was because the whole thing was a bunch of political bullsh*t from the get go. This is why Gibson was not charged with any wrongdoing and was given the chance to ’settle out of court.’
And you may say “if they were innocent why did they settle?” That’s very simple: it’s cheaper to pay off the people accusing you of wrongdoing than to have to go to court and prove it, especially when it’s the federal government you are going up against.
This is another fine example of the federal government, especially under the Obama administration, working with environmentalists to go after a private business.
Pay up, suckas.