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Thread: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

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    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Interesting how Ockham assumes that the lack of charges against Gibson means that Gibson is innocent, while the lack of lawsuits against the govt means the govt violated the 6th Amend
    It's up to the govt to prove its case, not vice versa, or have you forgotten that?

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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Gibson will have to overcome the following:

    The filing also referred to internal Gibson e-mails: "[A] Gibson employee…wrote that '[t]he true Ebony species preferred by Gibson Musical Instruments is found only in Madagascar (Diospryos perrieri). This is a slow-growing tree species with very little conservation protection and supplies are considered to be highly threatened in its native environment due to over exploitation.' In fact, [he] spent two and a half weeks in Madagascar this June [2008],' writing on his return, 'I represented our company along with two other guitar manufacturers ... All legal timber and wood exports are prohibited because of wide spread corruption and theft of valuable woods like rosewood and ebony.'"

    "On February 25, 2009, in a reference to the potential long term solution, [he] wrote…that the company Maderas Barber ‘has been in the business a long time and may be able to help begin some legitimate harvests. Mr. [Roger] Thunam on the other hand should now be able to supply Nagel with all the rosewood and ebony for the grey market.'"
    DOJ Says Gibson Lacks Legal Standing to Claim Ownership of Ebony : Home Furnishings Business

  3. #393
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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    To their credit they are trying to overcome the governments singling them out and what I consider abuse. What's interesting is that Gibson is the only company to be raided.

    Martin Guitars uses both Brazilian and East Indian Rosewood Tone Woods and still produces new guitars using Ebony. The dealers in these expensive woods and producers are the same throughout the world, and there is still high demand.

    Leading me to believe, given the little information available, that the gubamint decided to make an example out of Gibson almost 4 years ago. And when Gibson didn't do what they wanted, they made an example out of them again... Fender? Rickenbacker? Martin? Guild? PRS? Nothing.... how about premium smaller builders who primarily work in those rare woods and sell high priced guitars like Anderson? Wingert? Huss & Dalton? Goodall? Olson? No raids there either...
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    To their credit they are trying to overcome the governments singling them out and what I consider abuse. What's interesting is that Gibson is the only company to be raided.

    Martin Guitars uses both Brazilian and East Indian Rosewood Tone Woods and still produces new guitars using Ebony. The dealers in these expensive woods and producers are the same throughout the world, and there is still high demand.

    Leading me to believe, given the little information available, that the gubamint decided to make an example out of Gibson almost 4 years ago. And when Gibson didn't do what they wanted, they made an example out of them again... Fender? Rickenbacker? Martin? Guild? PRS? Nothing.... how about premium smaller builders who primarily work in those rare woods and sell high priced guitars like Anderson? Wingert? Huss & Dalton? Goodall? Olson? No raids there either...

    I own a Gibson CS-356 and Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster both with Ebony fingerboards. I prefer my electric guitars have Ebony. My Ovation Collector's 2000 has Rosewood and provides a softer tone.

    The issue does not fall on whether other manufacturers works with the wood in question, the issue is how Gibson got the wood. The assertion is the wood Gibson had was contraband and had no claim to it to begin with.

    The investigators here have not singled out Gibson as far as I am concerned as they have targeted other companies. I have a hard time with the process itself as prosecution seems arbitrary. The Lacey Act should be done away with the targets are not criminals per se, but those who seem to make administrative errors and are prosecuted as criminals.

    Evertson, who had been working on clean-energy fuel cells since he was in high school, had no idea what he'd done wrong. It turned out that when he legally sold some sodium (part of his fuel-cell materials) to raise cash, he forgot to put a federally mandated safety sticker on the UPS package he sent to the lawful purchaser.

    Krister's lack of a criminal record did nothing to prevent federal agents from ransacking his mother's home in their search for evidence on this oh-so-dangerous criminal.

    The good news is that a federal jury in Alaska acquitted Krister of all charges. The jurors saw through the charges and realized that Krister had done nothing wrong.

    The bad news, however, is that the feds apparently had it in for Krister. Federal criminal law is so broad that it gave prosecutors a convenient vehicle to use to get their man.

    Two years after arresting him, the feds brought an entirely new criminal prosecution against Krister on entirely new grounds. They used the fact that before Krister moved back to Wasilla to care for his 80-year-old mother, he had safely and securely stored all of his fuel-cell materials in Salmon, Idaho.

    According to the government, when Krister was in jail in Alaska due to the first unjust charges, he had "abandoned" his fuel-cell materials in Idaho. Unfortunately for Krister, federal lawmakers had included in the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act a provision making it a crime to abandon "hazardous waste." According to the trial judge, the law didn't require prosecutors to prove that Krister had intended to abandon the materials (he hadn't) or that they were waste at all -- in reality, they were quite valuable and properly stored away for future use.

    With such a broad law, the second jury didn't have much of a choice, and it convicted him. He spent almost two years locked up with real criminals in a federal prison. After he testifies today, he will have to return to his halfway house in Idaho and serve another week before he is released.

    A longtime resident of Spring, Texas, Norris made the mistake of not knowing and keeping track of all of the details of federal and international law on endangered species -- mostly paperwork requirements -- before he decided to turn his orchid hobby into a small business. What was Norris's goal? To earn a little investment income while his wife neared retirement.

    The Lacey Act is an example of the dangerous overbreadth of federal criminal law. Incredibly, Congress has made it a federal crime to violate any fish or wildlife law or regulation of any nation on earth.

    Facing 10 years in federal prison, Norris pled guilty and served almost two. His wife, Kathy, describes the pain of losing their life savings to pay for attorneys and trying to explain to grandchildren why for so long Poppa George couldn't see them.

    You're (Probably) a Federal Criminal

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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post

    The issue does not fall on whether other manufacturers works with the wood in question, the issue is how Gibson got the wood. The assertion is the wood Gibson had was contraband and had no claim to it to begin with.
    My point has been and continues to be that all manufacturers here in the U.S. must use the same process and uses the same suppliers. Gibson got the wood the same way Fender got it's wood. Because of the rarity and management of these woods, the suppliers are the same. Gibson has also provided the documentation to the government with the approvals from the countries in question, with the authorization that the wood was legally purchased and all FSC Standards were met. The Government has not responded, nor have they allowed Gibson their day in court to either challenge the raid, or dispute any yet to be provided charges against Gibson. 4 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    The investigators here have not singled out Gibson as far as I am concerned as they have targeted other companies.
    Then please show me what other companies have been targeted with raids since 2008?

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    I have a hard time with the process itself as prosecution seems arbitrary. The Lacey Act should be done away with the targets are not criminals per se, but those who seem to make administrative errors and are prosecuted as criminals.
    Interesting... CEO of Gibson in the link I provided above says the government should make the Lacey Act STRONGER, not do away with it. Gibson claims they have been and will continue to be good stewards of woods used in their instruments and I believe them - it's their business, and it's GOOD business to not deplete or use rare woods to the point of extinction.

    Why won't the government charge Gibson? Why won't the government allow Gibson's day in court in front of a judge to argue their case? Why is it now going on 4 years with no comment from the government?


    Again, the only answers I can come to are: Intimidation. "Crucify them".
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    My point has been and continues to be that all manufacturers here in the U.S. must use the same process and uses the same suppliers. Gibson got the wood the same way Fender got it's wood. Because of the rarity and management of these woods, the suppliers are the same. Gibson has also provided the documentation to the government with the approvals from the countries in question, with the authorization that the wood was legally purchased and all FSC Standards were met. The Government has not responded, nor have they allowed Gibson their day in court to either challenge the raid, or dispute any yet to be provided charges against Gibson. 4 years.
    Please provide sources.
    Then please show me what other companies have been targeted with raids since 2008?
    I provided a link.

    Interesting... CEO of Gibson in the link I provided above says the government should make the Lacey Act STRONGER, not do away with it. Gibson claims they have been and will continue to be good stewards of woods used in their instruments and I believe them - it's their business, and it's GOOD business to not deplete or use rare woods to the point of extinction.

    Why won't the government charge Gibson? Why won't the government allow Gibson's day in court in front of a judge to argue their case? Why is it now going on 4 years with no comment from the government?


    Again, the only answers I can come to are: Intimidation. "Crucify them".

    The CEO of Gibson is entitled to his thought as I am. The law should not have been amended as the process obviously requires very littler procedurally for the government to act. Is this not you argument?
    4 years as you cite.....the law is not a very good law it needs to be abolished and replaced with a law that carries the spirit of the Lacey Act but has more stringent guidelines regarding procedure: what is required for the government to take action together with time limitations for which all are given the opportunity to present their case.

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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    Please provide sources.
    Look through this thread, they're full of sources I've provided.


    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    I provided a link.
    You're link provides no information of other guitar companies which have been raided since 2008. While Orchids are nice... it's not a direct comparison and the only thing that it has in common with Gibson is that the government used the Lacey Act.


    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    The CEO of Gibson is entitled to his thought as I am. The law should not have been amended as the process obviously requires very littler procedurally for the government to act. Is this not you argument?
    Obviously not. The law is fine the way it is. Do you really not understand the issue I'm bringing forth - I'm not gonna retype it. re-read my last post starting with "My point has been..."


    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    4 years as you cite.....
    Almost 4 years. [/quote]


    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    the law is not a very good law it needs to be abolished and replaced with a law that carries the spirit of the Lacey Act but has more stringent guidelines regarding procedure:
    That may be what YOU think, but not what I think.... I've outlined what I think already.


    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    what is required for the government to take action together with time limitations for which all are given the opportunity to present their case.
    I'm not the government therefore I do not know what is required for the government to take action. While you may think that nearly 4 years and 2 raids is reasonable, I do not. Clear enough?
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Agreed. The government acted improperly IMMHO in singling out Gibson. Further, the government is holding Gibson accountable for the corruption of the government where these wood products originate from. Madagascar in particular. It is exceedingly likely that all of Gibson's paperwork is proper with regard to Gibson's obligations. And that its origins in Madagascar are foul beyond belief. A lot of these products are exported as per agreed-upon quotas set by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; Welcome to CITES) and its member nations, of which Madagascar and the US are members. But the corruption levels clearly vary between member countries. As Madagascar usually rates as one of the 10 poorest countries on earth, the math is not hard to figure out.

    It would seem that some export of roseword from Madagascar is currently enabled by CITES.

    CITES-listed species database

    But because of this scandal, where it is alleged that rosewood was smuggled to intermediary countries, such as Mauritius and China, processed, and then shipped to such as the US, Madagascar put a moratorium on export for 2-5 years. They got caught, but needed to appear to want to fix things, as they get money from such as the World Bank for being good CITES players. And Madagascar has a lot of the world's unique stuff. They and Australia rate as the two countries with the most weird stuff.

    In the business of trade in endangered species, the actual crime is the first illegal export. After that, documents can be ginned up, and re-export appear as legal for all intents. For instance, re-export from China would need only valid Chinese documentation. As teh Madagascar Rosewood appears to be listed as CITES Appendix III (with I the highest level of protection), it also means that its import is less scrutinized to begin with. Appendix II, for instance, requires specific documentation for every measure (or head) of an import shipment, to then be inspected on arrival by USF&W. Appendix I typically cannot be imported at all for commercial purposes.

    Part of the problem is that the US may make further side deals with some countruies, such as India, to help crack down on illegal imports. But again, after the first illegal export, say from India to China, it is exceedingly difficult to hold such as Gibson accountable. I have no doubt that the Government knew this when it began this bust of Gibson. Our USF&W knows very well what their limits are when dealing with other CITES player nations. Seems the DoJ got a bit over-anxious.
    Last edited by Eighty Deuce; 05-03-12 at 11:40 AM.

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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post

    I'm not the government therefore I do not know what is required for the government to take action.
    Ok so you do not know what you are taking about, yet, you wish for the Lacey Act to stay in force because some other guy (Gibson CEO ) wants the law to stay intact.

    While you may think that nearly 4 years and 2 raids is reasonable
    I do not.
    Clear enough?
    You stated that, [you] do not know what is required for the government to take action". You are clear in your bias and outrage, but, not your factual analysis.

    Enforcement of the Lacey Act itself is not clear either , indeed, "How enforcement resources will be allocated is yet to be determined; in general, enforcement priorities and plans are not discussed in detail. In most enforcement work, if information is developed indicating a high likelihood of violations of a particular type, enforcement resources will likely focus on those types of activities".

    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_heal...nloads/faq.pdf

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    Re: US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    That is an amazingly crazy article. The fed was way out of control on that one.
    We went from sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me to safe spaces.

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