If you ever wonder what your government could do if targeted on you, ask the CEO of Gibson Guitar. Forbes covers the story in detail and it is chilling proof that government is by nature pure force and when unrestricted quickly becomes tyranny.
The Forbes story begins:
“Henry. A SWAT team from Homeland Security just raided our factory!”
“What? This must be a joke.”
“No this is really serious. We got guys with guns, they put all our people out in the parking lot and won’t let us go into the plant.”
“What is happening?” asks Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz when he arrives at his Nashville factory to question the officers. “We can’t tell you.” “What are you talking about, you can’t tell me, you can’t just come in and …” “We have a warrant!” Well, lemme see the warrant.” “We can’t show that to you because it’s sealed.”
While 30 men in SWAT attire dispatched from Homeland Security and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cart away about half a million dollars of wood and guitars, seven armed agents interrogate an employee without benefit of a lawyer. The next day Juszkiewicz receives a letter warning that he cannot touch any guitar left in the plant, under threat of being charged with a separate federal offense for each “violation,” punishable by a jail term.
Up until that point Gibson had not received so much as a postcard telling the company it might be doing something wrong. Thus began a five-year saga, extensively covered by the press, with reputation-destroying leaks and shady allegations that Gibson was illegally importing wood from endangered tree species. In the end, formal charges were never filed, but the disruption to Gibson’s business and the mounting legal fees and threat of imprisonment induced Juszkiewicz to settle for $250,000—with an additional $50,000 “donation” piled on to pay off an environmental activist group.
What really happened at the Nashville plant?
Tulsa Today has also covered the “Government Series II Les Paul” which remains on our Christmas Wish List. Click here for more.