Are the reports accurate, or is it really hyped up, or is it a hoax.


My wife found some reports of the feds raiding Gibson factories, seizing wood, and stopping production recently.


If anyone knows FACTS, I'd be interested in reading.





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It's pretty old news by now. Scott Nygaard has a good thread going on the subject on Facebook, if you're able to access that. Absent that, there's a very credible piece on the subject here. There's more to it than this, but it's a good start.


I'm not going to venture into the madness of faceless book but if you include the commentary along with the link you sent then I have trouble considering the link your provided as "credible."  Overall it makes it seem that dendrologists can't identify species acutely, that time of specimen death can't be determined closely enough to determine when a tree was cut - or how long it's been aged (most developing world countries don't cut, kiln, and store wood with sterility once downed - micro organisms grow).  If there has been a time during history when we can accutely determine these things it is now - DNA sequencing is now determining that species long that related are not and both chemical and microbiological can determine time of tree death accurately enough for these laws.  I grew up a Reference Librarian's son and weekly/monthly read both more popularly oriented science publications such as "Science Digest" and "Scientific American" as well as at least skim "Nature" and "Science" as I admit I don't have the background to follow a lot of the detail.  But after having done this for over four decaded I think I've developed a sense of "state of the technology" for these things (for example, recently in "SN" was described the ability to determine whether a snow leopard pelt intercepted in Customs was taken pre CITES or post - despite scores of documents it was determined within 1/2 hours that the animal, despite synthetic aging, had only been dead for around 3 years!).

Now if the comments don't reflect your personal opinions we probably have no dispute - but corporate and profit making entities have always used the strategy of making things "questionable" to confuse an issue - the harm of tobacco smoke (despite over 50 years knowledge on the industry's part) and the global warming issues are classic cases in point.  Find one for sale professional muddy the waters and suddenly everything "questionable' despite being well supported by the greatest part of the scientific establishment.


A link to an informative article by Chuck Erikson the Duke of Pearl regarding CITES and the enforcement of the Lacey Act:

The Guild of American Luthiers website and their facebook page are good sources for information on this.

It's all here , PLUSS some GREAT comments from Steve Swan too! ...

The Gibson Guitar saga has taken a sinister turn.

It seems that the Department of Justice wasn’t satisfied with merely raiding the law abiding factories of Gibson Guitar with armed agents, shutting down their operation costing them millions, and leaving the American company in the dark as to how to proceed without going out of business.

Now, according to CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, agents of the United States government are bluntly informing them that they’d be better off shipping their manufacturing labor overseas.

In an interview with KMJ AM’s “The Chris Daniel Show,” Juszkiewicz revealed some startling information.

CHRIS DANIEL:  Mr. Juszkiewicz, did an agent of the US government suggest to you that your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of American labor?

HENRY JUSZKIEWICZ:  They actually wrote that in a pleading
I've been following this story from afar since it started, and I must say I'm pretty shocked: Until now I thought that the government here in Germany were the world leaders in bureaucratic stupidity, but this FBI witch hunt against Gibson is very sad . What's going on in the land that is the home of the guitar as we know it?

First off I nothing about "The Chris Daniel Show" but I smell several deceased mackerel: 1) The "witness" testifying was the accused and possibly trying a CYA; 2) Who was the "US Agent" what agency, and why weren't they invited to counter comment; and 3) the kicker:  Instruments made overseas that violated CITES would still be in violation of and illegal to import.  In fact most of the items seized in raids and customs are already part of a factory product like "traditional" Chinese medicines using bear part of dagger handles using rhinoceros horns - a real big one right now is sharks fins since many of the major species are becoming extinct.  So, even if Mr. Juszkiewisz did receive some sort of advice is must have been concerning labor laws or environmental dumping or some such as CITES is unaffected by this.

For myself I'm not convinced that Gibson was "law abiding" as the company has been in constant struggle to exist for decades which seems to be an open breeding ground for parasites of all sorts.

As has often been said "the free market system is what you want to apply to your competitors!"



Thomas, from what I have read on the Collings site, the written comment sent to Gibson about using Madagascar labour, is speaking only about cutting the actual fretboards there, and nothing else.
Cam down, folks, cam down! What wes got meahr... is a good ol' govment pan-hanl'in. A... sitch'ashin of... Govmin Bail-In. Yah'see, bail in the watah, witch'yo buckets, fill it aaallllll up wid watah.... so... it makes much simplefide, to... float dim jobs ovah seas. Simple, folks, simple.

Think "Cool Hand Luke" when you read this.
I've read alot on this. Don't know whose cow it came from, but something ain't clean in the milk.

From Acoustic guitar [AG], "", 

Written by Richard Johnson of Gryphon Strings, "“Civil penalty provisions in most instances require an element of knowledge of the illegal nature of the fish or wildlife or plant in question on the part of the party against whom an enforcement action is brought. However, the Lacey Act’s civil forfeiture provisions are enforced on a strict liability basis. If illegal timber or a product made from illegal timber is brought into the United States, that timber or timber product may be seized whether or not the person from whom it is seized knew of the illegal nature of the product,” an excellent read.


It could be that Henry Juszkiewicz is creating a diversion regarding his interpretation of the pleading where he states that the US Government should use Madagascar labor instead of American labor. At this point Gibson appears to be in a indefensible position. What Henry said about the pleading is not a fact but his interpretation.


The $10,000 question is; What are the facts?


We haven't seen the pleadings. We haven't seen the documents from the first raid in 2009. We have only heard  from Mr. Juskiewicz. I think that it would prudent to let lawyer run the press conferences. Gibson could use a better informed Lacey Act person speaking on their behalf if they are seeking public support. Meanwhile, Gibson and it's employees suffer.

After reading all of the articles, the only question I have is:


Is the current government of Madagascar presently enforcing an export ban on Madagascar ebony?


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