Skip to comments.'This Is Not Right'
Posted on 06/03/2005 4:33:39 AM PDT by ActionNewsBill
'This Is Not Right'
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.
Instead, they would explode a bomb and murder the hundreds of people standing in line for the TSA security check.
Think about it......
"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."
Now what did she mean by that? Was she referring to the alleged prisoner "abuse" at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib? Or was she taking a jab at US foreign policy in general?
Sounds like the lady has an agenda to me.
My beautiful southern blonde friend was taken to a room because she and her 9 year old daughter were "selected" for a body search while traveling from Little Rock to New Orleans, via Atlanta.
The precious child was traumatized. It was her first flight :~(
The TSA situation is/has been just one of many Administration screwups, but like you, they sedately stroll past their little feces piles as though they don't exist.
The TSA and the FAA are organizations which fall under the Executive branch of our government.
A Presidential Executive Order, is only valid for organizations which fall under the control of the Executive branch.
Hence, President Bush could stop this TSA stupidity with one stroke of the pen.
What insanity? There's no proof that any of this actually happened the way the woman said it did.
Absolutely right! Great post.
Do you aspire to become a White House spin meister?
Why would he do that? He already initiated this stupidity with "one stroke of the pen" when he signed the law.
If this is true, the TSA is guilty of entrapment, amoung other things, a judge could throw out these charges just on this evidence alone.
It never is right when it hits you.
So long as it always falls on the other guy, it is ok.
Crap such as this is why I no longer fly [the "screening balony].
Meanwhile the real terorists waltz right on past.
But in real life, my bet is that she is one of these individuals that when a perorter sticks a microphone in front of a camera in her face that would say, "I don't mind so long as it makes me secure." Well, she has a bellyfull of security now.
Oh get serious, this happens in America almost every day.
Funny story: About 15 years ago, my wife always had a butterfly knife in her back pocket and never though about it.
One day, I was taking a flight from El Paso and my wife went along with me to the gate. While passing through the airport metal detector, all hell broke loose.
I kept on walking, since I did not know this woman!
10 minutes later, I felt guilty and walked back to see what happened to her. Eventually, I was able to locate her in the basement with airport security. After a long discussion, they did not file any criminal charges against her, but confiscated her favorite knife.
Good thing this wife of mine was not a terrorist!
We've always had a small but vocal contingent of 'real conservatives' around here who are dead set against any thing the Bush administration tries to do. You should have been around just after 9/11 when the Justin Raimondo (antiwar.com) crowd and the like were complaining that this was all our fault (except when it was the Jooos who were too blame).
I hear the BATF is mustering outside her house right now, armed with Flame Throwers......
"Instead, they would explode a bomb and murder the hundreds of people standing in line for the TSA security check."
Why don't you think about it and propose a realistic alternative to security checks at airlines? The only reason no 'terrorist with half a brain' might forgo the airlines as a target is the security measures that have been enacted.
BTW, your local mall is a much more tempting target than a security check point.
I'd love to know what gubmint agency you work for.
I am serious. What proof is there that this happened to this woman the way she said it did?
I've said it before here on Freep, the biggest pariah in America right now is a "straight, over 40, white male catholic who smokes and makes over $50,000".
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