Free Ali Al-Timimi

August 22, 2008

Retroactive Continuity

Filed under: Con and Retcon — sandboxarea @ 10:55 pm


Pick a timeline--they're all fake

Pick a Reality... there're all fake


Retcon– or retroactive continuity– happens all the time in the world of fiction especially in long running stories. It’s happened in the BBC Doctor Who serial, the Superman graphic novels, and the 80’s soap opera Dallas. It’s when the back story of a character needs to be changed because some historical facts don’t add up… or a new writer comes up with a “better history”.

Though it’s just fiction, you feel cheated because you’ve been lied to.

In the fiction of Dallas, Patrick Duffy was never in danger even though his character “Bobby” was dreamt away for a year. But in Ali’s real world story, he has not faired well. The creative writers of Ali’s story are the government’s lawyers who change the events of his case with each retelling of the narrative.

If they can’t con a listener with one version of events, they will conveniently substitute “alternate truths” to make their case. If you explore the alternate versions of the government’s case against Ali, you will realize that either the government has committed a fraud upon the court or that parallel universes actually exist and intersect in the body of Ali.


One con version of events by the story writers government lawyers is found in a Supreme Court brief relating to some of the Paintballers. The brief relates to the mathematics of gun sentencing and whether the government is allowed to charge a person multiple times for using the same gun. Though unrelated to Ali, the fiction writers government lawyers create a new history of Ali which can only be understood as a means to prejudice the Justices in case Ali winds up in their Court. This is an old trick which worked well during the trial of the Paintballers and will be discussed in the post “Judge me, Judge me not“.


A Supreme Con

A Supreme Con


In this timeline, the government fiction writers lawyers claim that Ali was preaching violence in 1999 and this caused the Paintballers to train.


But at Ali’s trial, the government tells a different story: one in which Ali “turned radical after the events of 9/11”.  This version of the story is marginalized in the brief but is still present. You’ll find it just a few paragraphs later as seen in the next snippet:




So why the retcon?


There are 2 major reasons. First, the government wants to create it’s own sentencing rules beyond those established by Congress or in common use by courts across the country. Consequently, they rewrite Ali’s history to scare the Court into believing that if it doesn’t comply with the government’s views, then armed groups will run wild. Do you think that the government really cares if a Paintballer will spend 185 years in prison or just 135 years? 


The second goal of this brief is to make Ali a marked man with the Justices. In the Paintball trial, Ali was mentioned more frequently then some of the Paintballer defendants. This poisoned both the judge and press against Ali to such a degree that the judge kept asking the prosecutors “who is Ali? Who is Al-Timimi”? And when sentencing the Paintballers, the judge proclaimed that Ali was once a moderate but turned into a radical. So when Ali was arrested and he didn’t have a lawyer, that same judge said that she didn’t care and that his trial would begin in a few months anyway. When asked to recuse herself as perhaps being prejudiced against Ali, she refused. 

To see how the press has been biased against Ali, read the posts in the category “Labels and Libel“.

As with previous trials, the government’s goal is to prejudice both judges and the press so that every future outcome is one in which the government has previously pissed on established the truth. No need for investigative journalists. No need for inquisitive judges. The government’s talking points should be sufficient. What’s your fax number?… that’s alright, they already have it.


So even though this brief was about Khan, the government never misses an opportunity to depict Ali as the focal point. All events are described in terms of Ali:

As with all good works of fiction, the reader has to scratch the surface to find the real story. So either Ali is the nexus of all realities or the government is a master of the Con and Retcon.



  1. […] It’s an old philosophers’ debate: “If I spy on you… and you don’t know about it… did I real spy?”. Well that’s the updated version about the fallen tree in the forest. It’s OK if I rewrite history, it happens all the time. […]

    Pingback by I Spy « Free Ali Al-Timimi — September 4, 2008 @ 4:39 am | Reply

  2. […] first post on retroactive continuity provides a basic introduction on the technique of rewriting history in works of fiction and how […]

    Pingback by The Mafia Retcon « Free Ali Al-Timimi — September 8, 2008 @ 3:13 am | Reply

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