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June 8, 2005

The Face Of Terrorism: Iowa Grandmother/School Principal with butter knife?

-- by Thomas Leavitt

She accidentally left a 5 1/2" butter knife with a rounded tip and serrated edge buried in a deep pocket of her carry on cooler. Now she's on the terrorist "watch list", and has been fined $500. How this helps make America more secure is beyond me.

A scary quote:

"I said what about my constitutional rights? And they said 'not at this point ... you don't have any'."

A great quote (maybe Martin Niemoller's lament won't be repeated):

"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."

Here's the article:

'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.

UPDATE: A perceptive commentator noticed that the Des Moines referred to in the article is in the state of Washington, not Iowa.

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at June 8, 2005 1:08 PM

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Comments

For an Administration so concerned about their image of being strong on terrorism and national security, I don't understand why this went as far as it did. Those people must have known this was going to blow up in their face.

Posted by: John @ Blogenlust at June 8, 2005 2:13 PM

This has to do with that awful phrase...common sense.Does anyone besides me remember the old addage...don't throw the baby out with the bath water?? No,I'd be somewhat amazed if anyone does.I'm a bit of a collector of old sayings.The baby just got thrown out with that bath water and I will be amazed if anyone has one clue what I'm talking about.
I have never tried too hard to figure it out myself.To me it just means...don't let something precious get tossed out with the garbage.The precious thing that we have to preserve is yes our freedom, it is also our dignaty, our integrity, our honesty and our right to go through an airport in what used to be our country and forget that we, at our advanced age and somewhat deminished mental state forget that we forgot a frigging butter knife in the bottom of a tote.The whole thing is so ridiculous...back to the common sense thing.She's about my age.I'm pretty sure she fits all the criteria for a terrorist.Good grief.

Posted by: Kay at June 8, 2005 7:54 PM

Slight correction: the "Des Moines" in this article, and hence the residence of this grandmother, is in the state of *Washington*, not Iowa. Des Moines, WA is just south of Seattle. But anyway... it is totally ridiculous that this woman was branded a terrorist.

Meanwhile, border guards in Maine let a scary-looking guy into the US from Canada, after confiscating his blood-stained *chain saw* and other weapons. Then they find out two people from this scary guys' town have been murdered. So put two and two together and two days later they arrested him. Sheesh!!!

See:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=829017&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

Posted by: Hannah at June 8, 2005 11:36 PM

And yet I flew from Portland to Oakland last Christmas without valid current ID - my CA state ID card had expired. This got me sent to the "extra searching" corner, where me and my messenger bag were indeed thoroughly searched, wanded, and probed. At least I thought it was thorough. A few days after I got home, rummaging in that bag, what should I find but the box knife I had absentmindedly dropped in there at work weeks before.
Box knife. Shouldn't they especially be noticing the box knives??? I'm even swarthy, for christ's sake.

Posted by: Don at June 9, 2005 4:44 PM

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