Wednesday, June 20, 2007


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.

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.

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

----It has nothing to do with unfairness. It's more REVENUE for Big DaddyGov's TSA/DHS programs and to keep the planes running on time. As Kip Hawley would say "The money has to come from somewhere."

Apparently, rather than plastic utensils, some folks haul their personal kitchen knives across country to make sandwiches. But here are the hard questions: Why is this Des Moines, Iowa middle school principal using a Washington drivers license? Hmmmmmmmm? And, why is this 2005 story being trotted out again (as if current news) by a shitload of pop-lib sites today? There has to be more frightening government domestic abuse to chat up than this 2 y/o story.

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