Sunday, February 16, 2014


     What if someone made a claim against you and the police would show up with a SWAT team and you have done nothing wrong?  Seems like a story about a novel or a movie.  The story line is exciting in those contexts but what about real life?
      Is this really happening in the United States?  News of no knock warrants and Swat teams in action happen with common regularity.  Yet real crime is dropping.  Can it happen here in your hometown?  Very possible.
     Take the case of a time honored historic manufacturing company that not once but twice has had a Swat Team descend on its factories.  The employees were confronted by officers in full black tactical gear with guns drawn.  Not just hand guns but assault rifles and gear more military use than law enforcement.
      What could have drawn the Federal Officers down on this company?  Allegations, from an unknown source, that material used in the manufacturing of its products were illegally obtained from its foreign sources.  Not illegal in the US but by the supplying countries.  But those countries had no interest in prosecution since the transactions were legal.
      Yet the company produced all of the proper paper work proving that the materials were bought and shipped from legitimate sources and all licensing and permits were in order.  Yet the allegation had been made.  So all material was seized and put under impoundment.
      The company waited and waited for any indictment or legal accusation be made so the company could proceed to clear its name and get its workers  back to building product and earning pay checks.  In the mean time the companies name was being drug through the media muck and being tried in the court of public opinion.  After all our Federal agencies would not send an armed force against a legitimate manufacturer, would they?
      One other fact not discussed, there were many other legitimate manufacturers building the same products with the same materials and not one of them were closed or had a Swat team seize their materials.
     Who was this?  The venerable Gibson Guitar Company.  GIBSON GUITARS!!!!!!!!!!  Musical instruments are built to exacting standards and there is industry acceptance to the most superior woods to use for  instruments.  So this means that top grade instruments are using the same materials.  So was Martin accused?  Ibenez? Taylor?  Groetsch?  No.
      So has any indictment ever been brought against Gibson?  NO.  The material has been returned to the company and they are back to producing what they do best, building guitars.
    Who made the allegations?  No one is telling.  What is the only thing that has been found that is different from the other guitar companies in the United States?  The CEO owner of Gibson Guitars gave donations to Conservative candidates.
      They cannot find anything else.  So the material is back and what is the best possible course of action that the company can take to have any satisfaction?  They take the returned material and build a special GOVERNMENT MODEL GIBSON GUITAR.  Which has sold out.  The remainder of the material returned is being made into the second model Government Guitar.
      Where can you find the end of the story (so far)?  In a small story from the New York Times buried in the inner pages of other papers around the country.  After 2.5 million in legal fees and $300,000 in fines Gibson is back.
     The Swat Team legacy continues.  In the Gold areas around Alaska there is always a yearly inspection by EPA officials.  Normally they come with clip boards.  Last spring they came with a Swat Team.  No one knows why or what the threat was perceived to be.
      An elderly man was shot six times in bed by a Sheriffs officer in a no knock warrant in California.  The Swat team was called in when an officer who was watching the place for code vilolations swore he smelled chemical smells and was certain a Meth lab was working. 
    No Meth lab, one man dead, family ordered to leave.  No one being charged with wrongful death.
     This can't happen in the United States.  Right?

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