Some people think the Truth is elastic, and some times when they stretch it too far, they get hit fairly hard as it snaps back. This episode of Blognet first ran three years ago today.
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MUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.
NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
MUSIC: Up, then under …
NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. An notorious anti-First-Amendment activist and serial bomber claims that he has been exonerated and was paid a settlement because of his bombing convictions. Your job … get the facts.
MUSIC: Up then under …
ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.
MUSIC: Up and out.
SOUND: Footsteps in halway.
FRIDAY: It was Monday, October 17th. It was a bight Indian Summer day in Westminster. We were working the day watch out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The Boss is Twitter Town Sheriff W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 11:06 am when Liz and I returned to Room S-140, Internet Detail.
SOUND: Door opens and closes. Footsteps across room. Chairs pulled out.
SMITH: The notes say that he made the claim fairly early in his afternoon testimony. I’ll pull the audio files for Thursday afternoon.
FRIDAY: OK. While you try to nail down exactly what he said, I’ll start a search on PACER.
SMITH: The notes say it was a case against the Department of Justice.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh. I’ll search for cases that have Timberland and the DoJ as parties.
SMITH: I’ll use headphone to search the audio to keep from distracting you.
FRIDAY: It’s surprising how tedious a search through PACER seems, especially when I’ve had the experience of slogging through paper files in courthouses. It was early afternoon before I had given up finding a case where Timberland had received any sort of settlement from the Department of Justice.
SMITH: Listen to this. It may give you a clue for your search.
TIMBERLAND: (Through a small speaker) I won a judgment for false imprisonment.
JUDGE: (Through a small speaker) Again, Mr. Timberland, I’ve told you already that we are not retying that case …
TIMBERLAND: (Through a small speaker) This is background.
JUDGE: (Through a small speaker) … to include any subsequent civil suit you may have filed against the federal government.
SMITH: I think that the clue: “false imprisonment.”
FRIDAY: Yeah. I can modify the search to look for that term. “False.” I should have guessed.
SMITH: Why’s that?
FRIDAY: I fits with his “false narratives.”
FRIDAY: I went through Timberland’s cases on PACER doing a word search for “false imprisonment.” Eventually, I hit pay dirt.
OK, Liz. I think I’ve got something.
SMITH: A real case?
FRIDAY: No, but one I can see might be something he’s trying to spin. You remember how Timberland claimed to have been that politician’s dope dealer?
FRIDAY: Do you remember what happened?
SMITH: He wound up featured in the funny papers.
FRIDAY: That was the second time around. The first time it came up, he was briefly put in solitary confinement to keep him from talking to the press. He sued some of the Bureau of Prison officials involved and also named the United States as defendant. He claimed that being put into solitary confinement was false imprisonment.
SMITH: OK, I remember that now. Didn’t the case go up to the Supreme Court?
FRIDAY: It did. The issue was whether he had standing to sue. The Supreme’s said he did. The case went back down to the District Court, then up to the Court of Appeals, and then back down to the District Court for trial. By the time thirteen years had elapsed, the government wasn’t listed as a defendant any more, and there’s no record of the government settling the case.
SMITH: So there’s no settlement?
FRIDAY: Well, not from the Department of Justice or any other part of the government.
NARRATOR: On Tuesday, July 15th, 2003, an order terminating the Timberland v. Quinton, et al. lawsuit was issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In a moment, the nature and results of that order.
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NARRATOR: On Tuesday, July 15th, 2003, an order terminating the Timberland v. Quinton, et al. lawsuit was issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The order states that the case was dismissed with prejudice against the two remaining defendants, Quinton and Mallard, pursuant to a side agreement among the parties. The matter did not come to trial, and there were no findings with respect to any of Timberland’s claims.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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And of course, double secret exoneration are Fiction.