Environmentalist groups vouch for Gibson’s commitment to forest preservation

posted at 6:45 pm on September 1, 2011 by Tina Korbe

As John Hinderaker put it, the Gibson Guitar case grows curiouser and curiouser. Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz might be a Republican donor, but he’s also a former board member of the Rainforest Alliance and, in his commitment to forest preservation, has aligned his company with Greenpeace and other environmentalist groups. The Wall Street Journal, with the details:

After the 2009 raid, Mr. Juszkiewicz resigned from the board of the Rainforest Alliance, which seeks to preserve tropical forests. He said he didn’t want to tar the nonprofit with bad publicity. A Rainforest Alliance spokeswoman said he wasn’t pressured to step down, and the group continues to praise Gibson’s efforts to promote responsible harvesting of wood.

Scott Paul, a Greenpeace official in New York responsible for forestry issues, said Gibson for years has done “great work” to promote better forestry practices.

In June 2008, on a trip organized by environmentalist groups, Gibson wood product engineer Gene Nix went to Madagascar to talk to local officials about selling responsibly harvested wood to makers of musical instruments.

But the government has even used that against Gibson, quoting e-mails from Nix in which he refers to “widespread corruption and theft of valuable woods” and the possibility of buying ebony and rosewood from Madagascar on “the grey market” as evidence that Gibson has knowingly purchased contraband. Gibson said Nix’s emails were quoted out of context — plausible, given how thin the case against Gibson has been from the beginning! Makes sense that Nix would write about what he learned while talking to officials in Madagascar — including any new knowledge about that suspect “grey” market.

If the Department actually cared about forest preservation — and if the wood in question actually is contraband — then Justice wouldn’t penalize a company that has proved its commitment to the same cause by its enviro ties. But then Justice clearly doesn’t care how obvious its hypocrisy becomes in this case. DOJ officials have already ignored two significant storylines: Gibson competitor C.F. Martin (whose CEO overwhelmingly supports Democrats with his campaign contributions) has used the same sketchy Indian rosewood and First Lady Michelle Obama has also been caught shipping the stuff overseas in the form of a Gibson guitar present to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

But Gibson is a non-union plant and has given no money to the democrats and is thus worthy of punishment, unlike its unionized democrat donating competitors.

Dhuka on September 1, 2011 at 6:50 PM

I have got to ask, why in the world is this happening? What did Gibson do? Give to r’s for election? Has no union at the shop?Something else is happening here and someone needs to get to the bottom of it. This makes zero sense at all! Only one company who makes guitars is getting this from the feds? This is but a tiny bit for the F&F thing happening, but the feds are involved in both.
L

letget on September 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Paying tribute to enviro groups isn’t good enough anymore in Chicagoland.

pedestrian on September 1, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Too bad the media doesn’t report what this administration is doing.

darwin on September 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I was listening to NPR right after the “first” mel scandal and he adamantly was trying to defend the forest around where he shot Apocalypto (Great Movie). I believe he really cares and this isn’t a publicity stunt to clean his reputation up.

rob verdi on September 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Maybe they should just stick to subverting the Constitution by smuggling weapons over the border.

Chip on September 1, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Gibson, like most businesses that use exotic woods, is not going the Lorax route and use up all the lumber without planting replacements. Otherwise the go out of business.

rbj on September 1, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Next, if you don’t buy an indulgence from Big Brother & The Holder Company, they’ll raid anybody who Woke Up With Wood.

Christien on September 1, 2011 at 6:57 PM

rob verdi on September 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Pretty good. :-)

hawkdriver on September 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Another example of the Obama administration attacking an American business. When will it become obvious to the rest of this country that Obama and his administration are trying to destroy America? Wait… he calls it “Fundamentally changing America…” Excuse me but it was just fine before you took over Mr. Obama.

afotia on September 1, 2011 at 7:01 PM

to officials in Madagascar — including any new knowledge about that suspect “grey” market.

Anyone who has been to Chicago or other third-world areas knows that everything qualifies as the grey market, or darker. I’d love to see those emails, but it could easily be an assessment that there is no way to do business in some areas and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything has been done by-the-book.

TexasDan on September 1, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Eric Holder proves his willingness to pervert the DOJ’s resources to crass political attacks is unlimited. No corruption is too small for the smallest and most corrupt AG in the history of the country. Unless Issa and Grassley nail his hide to the barn we can expect more political attacks from the Holder DOJ as the election approaches.

novaculus on September 1, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Mr. Juszkiewicz CEO of Gibson apparently did a radio interview where he reveal the following:

On KMJ airwaves, Juszkiewicz revealed that representatives of the US government told Gibson that their legal issues would “disappear” if they used Madagascar labor instead of American labor.

Link

Obama is focused like a laser on creating jobs and he will not rest until every Madagascan has a job once held by an American.

DeathB4Tyranny on September 1, 2011 at 7:07 PM

about selling responsibly harvested wood

is that where you bow down to the tree spirits and ask forgiveness before you cut it down?

Someone define ‘responsibly harvested’. But that isn’t what this is about is it. This is about the paperwork that certifies compliance with a complex law that is subject to interpretation, and who gets to make that interpretation. This is politics at it’s most corrupt.

Skandia Recluse on September 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Gibson needs to challenge Obama to a rawk-off.

Tenacious G v. Beelzebama(NSFW)

Christien on September 1, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Impeachable offense?

Grunt on September 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

I don’t see how any of this is legal. Gibson can either take it or fight back.

§ 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law
How Current is This?
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Redstate is reporting that the DOJ told the Gibson CEO it would all go away if they’d outsource their labor overseas. Most of Gibson’s workers are black.
http://www.redstate.com/aglanon/2011/08/31/doj-advises-gibson-guitar-to-export-labor/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Is Obama trying to put black employees our of work?

See, I’m wondering here… by what authority can the DOJ or any police organization,, just go around raiding people’s homes and business for little or no reason?

Gibson needs to file a civil rights lawsuit like ASAP and any other kind of lawsuit they can think of.

JellyToast on September 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM

So when are the freedom, and liberty loving liberals going to become outraged by this obvious act of facism???

capejasmine on September 1, 2011 at 7:24 PM

JellyToast on September 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM

You’d think the ACLU would be raising cane about this by now. Ooooooooooh. Riiiiiiiiight. Gibson gives to Republicans. So I guess we can’t expect outrage from a group that supposedly represents Americans, democracy, and protection from govt crap such as this.

capejasmine on September 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Singled out

Kini on September 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Possible explanations for this that I’m seeing so far-

1 – To prop up their Dem-supporting competitor, Martin

2 – To possibly replace their GOP-supporting management team with Dem supporters, like what happened with Goldman-Sachs after a series of aggressive investigations by Elliot Spitzer

3 – To force the company to give kickbacks to specific Dems in order to make problems disappear, like 3M is claiming happened with Dem lobbyist Lanny Davis, formerly press secretary of the Clinton administration

4 – Considering that Gibson was told “You can make this go away if you hire people in Madigascar” back after the original raid in 2009, I’m thinking that the administration wants to force Republican and/or red state companies to offshore jobs in order to hurt states and politicians who didn’t vote for Obama

5 – This is part of Obama’s fund-raising efforts for 2012, much in the way that Richard Nixon and CREEP extorted campaign donations out of companies in the early 70s.

Frankly, I’m not sure what the real reason is for all of this but I feel like I need a shower just from reading any of this.

teke184 on September 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM

hawkdriver,
thanks

rob verdi on September 1, 2011 at 7:35 PM

I got Gibson without a case
But I can’t get that even-tanned look on my face

You’ll all see I’m The One

Christien on September 1, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Gibson guitars? Never heard of ‘em.

~Charles Gibson

Christien on September 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

According to the Gibson CEO on an interview I heard today, the government sent 20 armed agents on a simultaneous raid on all three of their plants, ordered the employees outside, and began a document search and collected all hard drives, among other things. It was like a classic drug raid. I hope Gibson sues the shit out of everyone involved, even if some of taxes will go toward defending the suit and/or paying the millions in damages. Whether they’re tree huggers or not, no one in this country deserves this kind of treatment.

We need to make sure every one of our Senators and Congressmen hear about this and someone in the House needs to insist on a complete investigation of this sordid mess. President DDDisgusting.

TXUS on September 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM

The EPA eco-marxists will get a good long look at the trees – when they’re hanging from them.

rayra on September 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

“Nice company ya got here, be ashame ta have somethin’ happened to it. You purchased and DNC insurance recently?

GarandFan on September 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM

But the government has even used that against Gibson, quoting e-mails from Nix in which he refers to “widespread corruption and theft of valuable woods” and the possibility of buying ebony and rosewood from Madagascar on “the grey market” as evidence that Gibson has knowingly purchased contraband. Gibson said Nix’s emails were quoted out of context — plausible, given how thin the case against Gibson has been from the beginning!

Sounds an awful lot like a similar case I helped defend a few years back. The bunny huggers in the US Attorney’s office seemed to want to scare people off of buying even demonstrably legal material. B@stards.

RedMindBlueState on September 1, 2011 at 9:07 PM

After our many crimes against good taste, we guitar players are all true criminals now. I have 12 guitars. Only one isn’t in violation. Not to mention that they’re all tools of the devil.

Our trade association fired off the “strongly worded letter” to Obama. What we need is a massive display of feedback in front of the White House.

JerseyJeff on September 1, 2011 at 9:15 PM

It’s amusing to troll the musician’s boards right now. Our lefty creative friends are tying themselves in knots trying to square this circle. It seems they have finally rationalized that Gibson must be guilty of something or their liberal messiah would have left them alone.

stvnscott on September 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM

… I have 12 guitars. Only one isn’t in violation. …

JerseyJeff on September 1, 2011 at 9:15 PM

I have no idea if all my guitars are “legal” or not. Do Fender and Paul Reed Smith dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s? Maybe they use more Madagascarian laborers?

stvnscott on September 1, 2011 at 9:18 PM

The southern poverty center will be po’ed if Gibson has to lay off black or minority workers,Ya Think????

Col.John Wm. Reed on September 1, 2011 at 9:55 PM

a massive display of feedback in front of the White House.

JerseyJeff on September 1, 2011 at 9:15 PM

\m/

Christien on September 1, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Trees are nice and pretty and good for the environment, but if they stand in the way ideology, well, the trees can go to hell!
Isn’t it funny how the only “illegal immigrants” the Obama administration will pursue is wood?

shorebird on September 2, 2011 at 2:27 AM

I have no idea if all my guitars are “legal” or not.

Then don’t take them out of the country or you might lose them trying to “import” them back in.

Do Fender and Paul Reed Smith dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s? Maybe they use more Madagascarian laborers? stvnscott on September 1, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Fender’s factory is in California, and PRS is in Maryland, neither is a right to work state.

Akzed on September 2, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Gibson wasn’t hammered because of anything they did. Obama hates them because the ceo is a Republican.

Squiggy on September 2, 2011 at 11:38 AM