Gibson Commemorates Obama’s Raid with Government Series Guitars

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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I’m not sure how this is racist, but once Chris Matthews, Melissa Harris-Perry and the other good people at MSNBC put their brain cell together, they’ll figure out the answer to that.

On August 24, 2011, armed FBI agents in SWAT gear executed a warrant for the seizure of wood at Gibson Guitar facilities. At the time, the raid appeared peculiar because of the excessive forced used over charges of regulatory violations. The premise of the raid was an obscure 100-year-old law known as the Lacey Act. On the basis of this act, the Feds were able to storm the facilities, claiming that Gibson’s had broken foreign (not American) law in its procurement of the wood, even though the government produced no evidence of the crime at the time and no evidence has since emerged that the material was illegally obtained. Juszkiewicz was only told at the time that the Gibson supply chain had a “risk” of including illicit wood.

Notably, one of Gibson’s biggest competitors, C.F. Martin & Co., reportedly uses the same type of wood seized from Gibson’s, but did not face any kind of interference from the federal government. The Examiner reports that Chris Martin IV, CEO of C.F. Martin & Co., is a well-known Democratic fundraiser. The Examiner describes Martin as “a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles.” Furthermore, no other companies known to use the wood in question, such as furniture manufacturers, have reported similar prosecution from the federal government, though the wood is distributed widely throughout the world.

So now Gibson is turning government wood into government guitars.

This week Gibson has announced the “Government Series” of guitars, to celebrate the end of its tussle with the eager enforcers of the U.S. Customs Department.

It’s a series of guitars made, purportedly, with the very same wood that was seized by the United States government, which was later returned at the end of the fiasco.

The body is painted in a custom color the company has named “Government Tan”–suitably drab–a nod to the joyless reality of living under the heavy thumb of stifling bureaucracy.

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Wait… government tan. That’s racist! Anyway according to the Gibson Guitars press release

Fight the Powers that Be with this Powerful Les Paul!

Great Gibson electric guitars have long been a means of fighting the establishment, so when the powers that be confiscated stocks of tonewoods from the Gibson factory in Nashville—only to return them once there was a resolution and the investigation ended—it was an event worth celebrating. Introducing the Government Series II Les Paul, a striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014 that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s history.

A distinctive vintage-gloss Government Tan finish, complemented by black-chrome hardware and black plastics and trim, is topped by a pickguard that’s hot-stamped in gold with the Government Series graphic—a bald eagle hoisting a Gibson guitar neck. Each Government Series II Les Paul also includes a genuine piece of Gibson USA history in its solid rosewood fingerboard, which is made from wood returned to Gibson by the US government after the resolution.

  • A Z

    Awesome! In the Progressives’ FACE!

  • Softly Bob

    I think that Gibson should produce a new guitar made out of norwegian spruce and make the fretboard out of ebony. That way, the Libtards can have a limp-wristed bitch-fest over whether Gibson are racist or not because they used more White wood than they did Black wood and they can also complain that the Black wood is being manipulated (fingered) by the White supremacists who try to play the guitar.
    Maybe the Libtards could also sue Gibson for using the derogatory term ‘Les Paul’ which is obviously referring to butch Lesbians called Pauline who wish to be simply known by the more masculine name, ‘Paul’.
    I mean, to a Leftard anyone or anything can be offensive, so why blame them if they try to milk every opportunity that they can?
    Ooh.. sorry, did I say milk? That’s obviously a sexist term that suggests that nipples are only feminine constraints that don’t apply, when it’s obvious that men clearly have nipples too.

    • Les Nessman

      Damned good rant. Made me laugh after a twelve hour day.

    • glpage

      Milk.. are you insulting the memory of an iconic San Francisco politician? How dare you!!!!

    • Agent86

      You had me a Libtard /

  • worldwatchman

    They should make a series called Bite Me and another one called Anti-Constitution. That’s what the rogue nation of Federal Government is all about.

    • A Z

      Nice,

      I think that these guitars will become collector’s items as they will be rare. I can see some hipster breaking them out of principle.

      • worldwatchman

        2 Thumbs Up

  • DogmaelJones1

    There’s nothing like shoveling back the s–t government feels free to shovel on us. Two thumbs up for Gibson Guitar.

  • onecornpone

    Nothing like a sense of humor in the face of tyranny. I hope their collectors snap them all up ASAP. Too bad we didn’t get a report on what the lawyer fees totaled up to in this fiasco.

  • slhancock

    My husband always liked the Les Paul. Hmmmm! Time for a new guitar?

  • truebearing

    Where were all of those rich “fight the system” rockers when Gibson was being persecuted? I don’t recall any standing up and condemning the Obama thugs for coming down on a company that helped them become fabulously wealthy.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Some did actually. Not the big, big guys.

  • Bubba

    I’m hoping for a Series III, in yellow and black with a Gadsden graphic.

  • Michael Christian Knudsen

    It’d be most accurate if these guitars were three times more expensive than other models, and purposefully made untunable.

    • A Z

      I see the logic and humor in what you suggest.

      But I rather these guitars be seen, be used and become status items.

      I want these guitars to become beacons to generations to come. People need to be seen playing these guitars and singing bawdy songs mocking the ranchers.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      More like three thousand and were made out of disadvantaged wood

  • SwirlingWinds

    Since they’re designed to honor the government, does that mean they’ll fall apart even faster than the rest of the crap Gibson has been producing for the last 15 years?

  • logdon

    Sold out! Quite amazing really

    http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/100055-government-series-les-paul-real/

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=gibson+Government+Series+Guitars&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&gws_rd=cr&ei=M8vrUqv6Ns2y7AaB64D4Cg

    Contrary to expectation guitarists are quite a conservative breed and considering that the Les Paul first emerged in 1952 and still going strong confirms that.

    Its also the date of the first Fender Telecaster with the Strat’s birth in 1954.

    Those three guitars basically have dominated the firmament ever since conception and the desirable ones are always, in the case of Gibson LP’s, pre 1960 and with Fender pre ’65.

    Due to rarity and astronomical prices, Replicas now fill the need.

    I’m glad Gibson has bitten back.

  • Redrider07

    The shock of seeing the swat teams, stumbling through the woods, must have caused some giggles among the red necks at Gibson. I have read that an Amish farmer in Pa. was arrested by 4 swat teams, from the dept. of agriculture, for saleing un-pasteurized milk (it is used in cheese making) funny the feds don’t even know cheese is made with un-pasteurized milk. can’t quote my source, its been months back.

  • JLES

    The sad thing is that Gibson lost 5 to 10 Million Dollars an unnecessary legal fess and other costs. how many jobs did this cost the company?
    Libs do not care. It is a all out war on the freedom of the people. No matter the cost in money or lives. We have seen it over and over again, from Mussolini to Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Castro, Hugo and Obama. Lets hope we can stop the list right there