The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.
It’s nice to see the government enforcing its interpretation of laws in foreign countries. Heck the Indian government didn’t even need to be consulted because our federal government is efficient like that. So what’s required to investigate a guitar manufacturer for potentially violating the United States government’s interpretation of Indias law? Apparently machine guns and theft but not criminal charges:
In 2009, more than a dozen agents with automatic weapons invaded the Gibson factory in Nashville. The Government seized guitars and a substantial amount of ebony fingerboard blanks from Madagascar. To date, 1 year and 9 months later, criminal charges have NOT been filed, yet the Government still holds Gibson’s property. Gibson has obtained sworn statements and documents from the Madagascar government and these materials, which have been filed in federal court, show that the wood seized in 2009 was legally exported under Madagascar law and that no law has been violated. Gibson is attempting to have its property returned in a civil proceeding that is pending in federal court.
A dozen agents with machine guns are absolutely necessary to raid a guitar manufacturer, they’re a dangerous lot after all with their thin wood strips and guitar strings.
This probably all went down because the head of the Justice Department wanted to give his kids guitars for Christmas.