Skip to comments.'This Is Not Right'
Posted on 06/19/2007 8:23:37 PM PDT by FreedomCalls
DES MOINES - Cecilia Beaman is a 57-year-old grandmother, a principal at Pacific Middle School in Des Moines, and as of Sunday is also a suspected terrorist. "This is not right," she told us. It's not right!"
This past weekend she and several other chaperones took 37 middle school students to a Heritage Festival band competition in California. The trip included two days at Disneyland.
During the stay she made sandwiches for the kids and was careful to pack the knives she used to prepare those sandwiches in her checked luggage. She says she even alerted security screeners that the knives were in her checked bags and they told her that was OK.
But Beaman says she couldn't find a third knife. It was a 5 1/2 inch bread knife with a rounded tip and a serrated edge. She thought she might have lost or misplaced it during the trip.
On the trip home, screeners with the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport found it deep in the outside pocket of a carry-on cooler. Beaman apologized and told them it was a mistake.
"You've committed a felony," Beaman says a security screener announced. "And you're considered a terrorist."
Beaman says she was told her name would go on a terrorist watch-list and that she would have to pay a $500 fine.
"I'm a 57-year-old woman who is taking care of 37 kids," she told them. "I'm not gonna commit a terrorist act." Beaman says they took information from her Washington drivers license and confiscated and photographed the knife according to standard operating procedure.
She says screeners refused to give her paperwork or documentation of her violation, documentation of the pending fine, or a copy of the photograph of the knife.
"They said 'no' and they said it's a national security issue. And I said what about my constitutional rights? And they said 'not at this point ... you don't have any'."
KOMO News did reach a spokesperson with the Transportation Security Administration for comment. They said they did not have record of Beaman's confrontation but did admit that TSA screeners are, by design, becoming more strict.
Despite continued warnings to passengers, TSA screeners say travelers continue to bring banned items in their carry-on luggage. Knives, guns, and other weapons are found and confiscated daily.
Fines issued for knives and other sharp objects range from $250 to $1,500. Fines issued for firearms discovered in carry-on luggage range from $1,500 to $7,500.
The TSA web site also indicates firearms violations will be referred for potential criminal prosecution. The same site does not propose the same criminal referral for knives like the one Cecilia Beaman was carrying.
"This is not the way my country should be treating me," she said. My concern is that if that's the way they're treating American citizens I would hate to think how they're treating other people. It's crazy."
The TSA reminds travelers that is has the authority to impose civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation.
"TSA needs the help of the traveling public in reducing the number of prohibited items brought to airport screening checkpoints," reads the Sanction Guidelines section of the TSA web site. "TSA recognizes that most passengers who carry prohibited items do so without any ill intent. TSA does not impose fines on the vast number of passengers who inadvertently carry prohibited items. Dealing with any prohibited item, however, adds time to the screening process both for the traveler who brought the item and for other travelers as well."
You can find a complete list of banned items, range of fines levied for violations, and information on how to plead your case with the TSA at www.tsa.gov.
Gun found in congressman's carry-on bagThere seem to be two sets of laws in this country -- one for the well-connected and one for the rest of us.
The congressman said he did not know the gun was in his bag and apologized, the official said.
"He was pulled aside and questioned," and then was allowed to take a different flight, Jahr said, adding that he didn't know if the gun was confiscated.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
TSA should be passing out knives to passengers as they board. An armed flight is a peaceful flight. Let’s Roll!
Oh, they're getting along just fine, thanks to the lobbying of their victim-rights groups.
The real two Americas.
A friend of mine flew out of LAX a year ago and ran into trouble. His buddy had borrowed his leatherman and had put it in his rucksack instead of his A3 bag.
All the screener did was confiscate it. They let him keep the case...
It’s time to get rid of the dept. of homeland securiity and the tsa. We aren’t any safer because these clowns are working at the airports, but we do have another Federal Bureaucracy draining our wallets.
Yet another reason not to fly the friendly skies.
You can’t carry a butter knife on a plane but if you sit in first class, the airline will provide you with a steak knife.
The 9-11 hijackers sat in first class, by the way.
He might be interested in this article:
Confiscated Airline Contraband Shows Up on eBay
In recent years, air passengers in the United States have surrendered more than seven million items, such as small knives and scissors, to Transportation Security Administration officials, who are trying to keep terrorists from bringing dangerous items on board airplanes. Some of these items are showing up for sale to the highest bidder, on the auction website eBay.
She had better pray that Johnny Sutton ,Fitzgerald or Nifong isnt the prosecutor. This could turn into a capitol crime.
That has always been the case.
It is a shame there is no common sense applied in these matters.
Disband the TSA. Its all security theater anyway.
Meanwhile we let thousands of people (many of them dangerous, some of them certainly terrorists), waltz over the southern border every day.
This the government protecting the country? Stinking Keystone Cops. Can’t be very intimidating to terrorists.
Confiscated it for personal use.
Last year coming back from Florida (including Disney World) I did the same thing (couldn’t find my leatherman -like knife). They asked about my carry-on and were going to search it and asked if there was anything sharp inside.
“OOHHHH - THAT’s where I left it!” i said. (Still took awhile to find the right pocket that it was zipped up in!).
I figured it was a goner but not too upset as it was a knock-off. But the guy said there was a mail office just down the hall and I could mail it home. My wife and kids are waiting “on the other side” and it wasn’t that expensive and I was going to just give it to the guy, but he was real nice and kept saying I had time for my flight, it’s easy to mail, etc.
So I mailed it and came back through again with smiles all around. Small airport though. And the guy with the TSA and I are about the same demographic!
Someone should sit these bozos down and explain to them the difference between protection and harassment.
The Federal Government took over Airport Security, and ytou DID NOT think it was going to get screwed up?????
I won’t defend TSA, but is there ANYONE in America that doesn’t know that carrying a knife on an Airplane is now a crime?
Someone should also pass out pictures of terrorists to these guys so they get a clue
What airline? All I still get is a serrated plastic knife.
On my present business trip, I mistakenly put my 6 oz. tube of hair gel in my carry on rather than in the little zip lock bag
How will I be able to return home with it?
Sounds to me like they just consfiscated the knife and gave her a ration of $hit. Maybe her explanation was good enough.
That’s what I would think would have happened here....they would have just taken it.....I mistakenly once took a pocketknife in my purse through security....they just took it away from me. THIS is ridiculous.
And even when they do a full body and carry on search they still miss the lighter. Yep, happened to me. My teen daughter and I had the full search and they missed the lighter in the carry on.
Also, my oldest kid, 16, 15 and 14 at the time of all three searches, was tagged for a full body search, pulled out of security line, and full, ticketed luggage search. Ticked her off they messed up her luggage since she’s a neat freak.
Again, is there anyone in America that doesn’t realize just how serious it is to follow the instructions/rules? I considered it a hassle, felt bad for my teenage daughter (the body search thing freaked her out, she’s so “don’t enter my space” type of person). But she handled it and I was there since she was a minor so they couldn’t do it without me being present. And the bottom line is, sure it’s an inconvenience but one I’ll gladly put up with in today’s world. I told her, when she asked why she keeps getting searched, that she’s the easy, training person. The one they pick to train the new security personnel.
The most recent time was in Orlando airport, our family of 6 leaving Disney World. It happened another time there 10 months earlier when it was just the two of us and not all 6 of us (family). Anyway, leaving DW, she was pulled aside, me with her once they knew she was a minor, and given the search. Since it happened twice before, but my husband wasn’t present those times, he was freaking out, it was common to the two of us by this time. She thinks she’ll be searched every time we fly and I agree with her. Anyway, my husband was not happy about it but we were used to it by this time.
This latest time we flew, I made sure every shampoo/conditioner, etc. was the exact size permitted. And every time, we get pulled out of the long security line, which is a plus really since we don’t have to wait in those long lines. The search takes less time than going thru security with no problems.
It sucks. I wish they’d focus on those who pose a real threat but figure a teen traveling with her mom or her family of 6 COULD be a threat even though we know we’re not a threat.
I found the TSA and all the officers to be incredibly polite and gentle (especially when dealing with me and my kid, especially when searching my kid). They had what I perceived as apologetic looks while searching her and me. One TSA agent in SLC airport, saw me using a lighter to light my cig and was really belligerent in taking it from me and read me the riot act and how did I get through security with a lighter, blah blah blah. I had no idea we couldn’t fly with lighters then, it was the first time I flew since my honeymoon many years ago, and ignorance isn’t a defense but I really didn’t know. He snactched it out of my hand as if it were a weapon, in the smoking lounge where he was smoking and told me not to give him attitude, he thought I was giving him attitude. I called my husband on my cell, cos even thousands of miles away I expect him to fix everything, and he said “crap, I forgot, you can’t have a lighter” It was a Damn! moment. Then my carry on was searched for “explosives residue” and the TSA guy was very informative and sorta apologetic about it all. Then we were full searched and my kid was WTH? She was a teen girl. Then the last two times, she was ok with it, it was still creepy to her but she’s older and realizes it may happen. She always gets tagged for it for some reason.
I found the TSA and all the officers to be incredibly polite and gentle (especially when dealing with me and my kid, especially when searching my kid). They had what I perceived as apologetic looks while searching her and me.
Which was immediately followed by:
One TSA agent in SLC airport, saw me using a lighter to light my cig and was really belligerent in taking it from me and read me the riot act and how did I get through security with a lighter, ... He snactched it out of my hand as if it were a weapon, in the smoking lounge where he was smoking and told me not to give him attitude,...
I'm having a hard time reconciling your first two sentences with the second two.
*shrug* they just let me forfeit my 6” plastic dagger. No muss, no fuss.
Blond and big boobs?
Finally, an honest apparatchik!.
The ragheads will have no trouble getting around the geniuses at the TSA when they launch their next attack.
Hey! That old dude has a shiv tucked into his shoe!
What? Are you kidding? They probably will BE the TSA agents!
What would cause more terror and disruption - taking out an airplane or two, yawn, or destroying a bunch of irreplaceable screening equipment and several airports' worth of cheek by jowl crowded screening lines?
That would show just how effective the TSA really is.
Do that simultaneously at 3 or 4 major airports and it would be 9/11 all over again.
I believe the Israelis stop cars a mile away from the airport and muzzies have a hard time getting any closer.
The latter happened prior to the other dealings with any airport security, except for the explosives search (he was really nice). It was on our trip to SLC and while we were leaving SLC airport, coming home, layover in Las Vegas. It only involved me, in the smoking lounge in SLC with my lighter. I guess I didn’t make that clear. He was a jerk imo.
Every other contact we had with TSA was basically positive. The other two trips were in Orlando and even though they were intrusive, the personnel were really nice about it all.
I hope that cleared it up. The one guy, agent, in the smoking lounge in SLC airport, was a jerk. IMO. Everyone else was not only profressional, they were really nice about it all.
But of all the things to focus on, you focus on that and not anything else. How about a teen girl, for two years, when she was 14, 15, and 16, (two years, not 3 since our first travel experience for this happened when she was 14 1/2 in SLC, then 15 and 16 in Orlando) is tagged for a full search? And, those times, she was treated with kid gloves, as she should have been, but still tagged for this when she’s nowhere near a threat to anyone, except maybe teen age boys. The TSA, all airport security treated her well and me also (with the exception of the jerk in the smoking lounge).
Does this reconcile it for you enough? I’m relatively new here but what I’m learning really quickly is some people will focus on the most idiotic thing and miss the entire point in the process.
You could have just asked me to explain what I meant. I know I go off on tangents just like when I’m speaking in person/real life. Maybe it’s best if you ignore what I post since you’re probably going to question everything anyway and miss what I actually said or was trying to say.
And on a side note, you’re having a “hard time reconciling your first two sentences with the second two” do you really want to get into a war of words on this? Cos’ if you had difficulty understanding either then you and I couldn’t have a conversation.
You’re still missing the point.
And of course, it’s not a problem for me cos I’m just stupid mother and your smart. Please.
She was pulled out of line when she was 14 and 15 too.
You’re looking for a fight and I could give you one but why bother. You won’t get what I was saying anyway.
What does that have to do with any of it?
Light brown hair, blue eyes, and yes on the latter. None of that has to do with her being searched.
But according to a poster here, I suck as a mother because I allow my kid to get searched. Omgosh. I give up.
I still can’t believe you went there. I can’t believe you insinuated this from what I posted. I can’t believe you insinuated this at all.
I’m a complete idiot when it comes to message boards.
I agree and understand it is a small price to pay, yet, on the other hand I want it to be a fair price. When they are taking granny’s butter knife and overlooking the obvious, the price is too high. Why must we insist on pretending we don’t know things we know in this PC bassackwards society? What some would call racial profiling, I would simply call applying a modicum of common sense. I felt more secure just after 911 when there were m-16’s and soldiers around. I think the TSA, Homeland Security and Chertoff are all jokes and I sometimes wonder how many of them are legal citizens, as we have all seen the illegals in there, saw them terminated at different locations and times. Homeland Security only ever needed to be a clearing house for information not this inflated bureaucracy it has become.
I'm sorry -- "war of words"? You said the TSA were "incredibly polite and gentle" then gave a story about how one was "belligerent" and "snatched a lighter out of your hand as if it were a weapon" and told you "not to give him any attitude" and me pointing out the contradictory nature of those statements is a "war of words"? Huh? I see now that you have elaborated on it a bit and you are saying that you were relating the one and only time they were not nice, but I can't see what you think, only what you write, and what you wrote was contradictory.
That's very well said.
Now you are getting off into la-la land. Who said that? Who even implied that? If your daughter is getting pulled aside and felt up by security goons, then the problem is with the goons and the people in Washington who empower them and establish the policies and procedures under which they operate. What we are here for is all spelled out right there at the top of the front page:
Free Republic is the premier online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America.The TSA has had too much government largesse handed to it and some of its agents are corrupt (85 felons fired from TSA), and rolling back intrusive searches and mindless applications of useless rules is a long-time staple of conservativism. And don't lose sight of the next sentences either:
And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!
As to the story, everybody knows you can't bring knives on board. If every time someone is CAUGHT doing so they get to argue that "it was a mistake", then the screening is meaningless. We have to be able to punish people objectively for objectively breaking the rules.
On the trip home, screeners with the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport found it deep in the outside pocket of a carry-on cooler.
The Cooler was a "carry-on", which means it was a SMALL cooler. How "deep" could the outside pocket be? 4 inches? 6 inches? Maybe a full 10 inches "deep"?
It would have taken her a minute to empty the entire contents of the cooler, and repack it. EVERY person should completely empty their carry-on luggage RIGHT before they leave for their flight, and re-pack it carefully, to ensure there's nothing hiding in the bags that would get you in trouble.
Club Gitmo Members are treated better than that woman. If I was carrying disposable razors, would they consider me a terrorist?
Are you seriously that naïve?
I haven’t heard from her yet, but I’d be willing to bet good money that she got searched while a stinky sweaty arabic mumbling male got waved through.