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Bobby Fischer FBI Files Released Under FOIA 517

An anonymous reader writes: "Philidelphia Inquirer has a stroy detailing the results of a FOIA request for chess great Bobby Fischer." Turns out they thought the anti-semitic chess grandmaster(and his mother) was a soviet spy.
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Bobby Fischer FBI Files Released Under FOIA

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  • by johnraphone ( 624518 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:34AM (#4695127) Homepage
    I hope they don't release my FBI file about me watching TV and on the computer all day.
  • So.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Manes ( 17325 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:36AM (#4695138)
    Have they finally confirmed that he's playing on the internet? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think Laurence Fishburn needs to pull the non-existant spoon out of the ass of the FBI
  • by King of the World ( 212739 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:39AM (#4695151) Journal
    Just in case anyone was wondering whether the FBI were getting this guy all wrong here's Bobby Fischer's radio call-in on 9/11 applauding the terrorists [mp3] [att.ne.jp] [Newspaper report on Bobby Fischer's 9/11 radio call [telegraph.co.uk]].
    • man o man (Score:2, Interesting)

      by geek ( 5680 )
      How did that dude get so fucked up.

      For someone who is capable of such incredible reasoning you would think he would turn out much different than a southern white trash redneck.

      I'm not totally informed on all of the details but when I hear him say "dirty jew" and other nasty things about the Israelis I just wanna slap him and say "WTF happened to you?!?!"

      • Re:man o man (Score:4, Insightful)

        by FCAdcock ( 531678 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:03AM (#4695230) Homepage Journal
        And you are any better? You seem to be predijuced aginst southerners yourself. I am what you would call a "southern redneck", as I am from Jackson MS, and drive a large truck. I hunt, and fish, and even have a deer's head mounted on my wall. Does that make me a bad person? I wouldn't say so. Does it make me stupid, or slow? I hardly doubt it. What it does mean though, is you should watch your words more cloesly, and realize that when you judge others, you yourself are open for judgement.
        • by ekent82 ( 570395 )
          Does it make me stupid, or slow? I hardly doubt it. Erm, so you have a low self-image or something?
      • Re:man o man (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Moridineas ( 213502 )
        Being 'smart' is no precursor to either being a reasonable person, living a good (or happy life) or having the same opinions of other people.

        Look how many of the geniuses of the past lived fscked lives. Newton for instance (probably) died a virgin. Literary figures are another area where the greats seem to lead terrible lives.
      • Re:man o man (Score:4, Insightful)

        by slashdot_commentator ( 444053 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @05:55AM (#4695560) Journal

        How did that dude get so fucked up.

        Its called paranoid schitzophrenia [295.30 DSM-IV]. One of Bobby Fischer chess contemporaries, Reuben Fine, was a psychologist, and noted symptomatic behavior when Fischer was a teenager. It also explains a lot of odd behavior Fischer has exhibited throughout his life. Its sad, really.

        BTW, southern white trash redneck anti-semitism is not much different than your pro-zionist prejudice.

        • Re:man o man (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dze ( 89612 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @11:27AM (#4696948) Homepage
          Have you read any of Fine's stuff, such as "The Psychology of the Chess Player"? He's a real wacko too. He has all these Freudian "theories" that defy description, e.g.
          The profuse phallic symbolism of chess provides some fantasy gratification for the homosexual, particularly the desire for mutual masturbation.
          This isn't to say that he got the Fischer diagnosis wrong but he had has own issues, to say the least.
    • Hey Bobby, talk about chess. Not about your egotistical, "Singlehanded turnaround of the world's image of the US."

      Sure, the US has been guilty of many things, but putting it all of it in the context of racist fault-finding ain't gonna help your case.

      This recording is just amazing. So much hate spewing forth. When will people take responsibillity for their own lives, rather than trying to find some group to blame it on? Good 'ol Bob has got some issues and uses racism to deal with them. Makes me sad.

      I recommend listening to this interview, if only to enlighten yourself about what we all face. People need to evolve to get past the differences and prejudices that separate us all. Hate is learned.

      Bobby, you might be a good chess player, but you have a lot to learn.

    • Doesn't mean he's a spy.
      I kind of doubt that even the Soviets would want that lunatic as a spy.

      An intelligent man (in the logic-and-strategy-at-board-games sense)
      but a lunatic and asshole nonetheless.

      (And one of my personal favorites when I want
      to point out that having intelligence and acting intelligently are two
      very, very, different things.)
    • by Silverlock ( 36154 ) <kale DOT duncan AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @07:21AM (#4695767)
      I have played chess for years. Ever since I was a kid and received my first chess book as a gift, "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess", I have idolized Fischer. I have gone over his games over and over. They are amazing.

      Of course, he has problems. Many geniuses, and by extension, chess grandmasters, have severe psychological issues. I read Karpov's autobiography (World Champion 75-85) and it is filled with stories of both genius and complete emotional immaturity. Sometimes I felt like I was reading about the antics at a playground.

      One doesn't become a grandmaster overnight. Generally, if you are not on your way by your teens, you will never make it. It involves studying chess every day for years and years. There is a reason there are less than 500 in the world. As a result of their studies, however, I think many miss out on the basic socialization acquired by most people. They would probably make the average Slashdot reader look like a well-adjusted socialite.

      Now, I am not trying to make excuses for Fischer's comments. I'm just trying to put them in perspective. Try not to judge him too harshly for his screwed up views on politics and society. He's not exactly an expert on either. He's an idiot, in fact.

      I still idolize Fischer, but not for anything but his chess. That is quite enough for me. He created works of art in his games that will be studied for as long as people play the game.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Hi, I'm an anonymous coward, it seems, because I probably won't be coming back, and don't feel the urge to sign up.

        Let it never be said, though, that we anonymous cowards lack courage in our convictions!!

        So - I just thought I'd point out that the immaturity and lack of socialisation in some of those guys is possibly because of some degree of Asperger's Syndrome - i.e. high functioning autism. Glenn Gould is another example of one who fits the profile, and more to the point one might guess it of Bobby Fischer.

        Don't expect great interpersonal sensitivity or diplomacy from him. If I'm right, it's just not in his array of capabilities.

        Regards,

        A. Coward. (a.k.a Ron Williams)
      • One doesn't become a grandmaster overnight. Generally, if you are not on your way by your teens, you will never make it. It involves studying chess every day for years and years. There is a reason there are less than 500 in the world. As a result of their studies, however, I think many miss out on the basic socialization acquired by most people. They would probably make the average Slashdot reader look like a well-adjusted socialite.

        I'm not convinced. I collect books by Grandmasters and read chess news. For every Bobby Fischer and Paul Morphy (widely considered to be the previous American genius going back to the 1800) there seem to be a lot of chess players who are nice functional human beings. Fischer seems to be unique in both his paranoia and his complete inability to relate to other people which makes him notorious in the chess community (reporters were forced in his rematch to call him "World Champion").
        • by Anonymous Coward
          If you have studied chess you will know that Fischer did things that other chess players, grandmasters (GM) included, can only dream of.

          For example, in 1971 when he defeated Taimanov 6-0 in the first round of the Candidates matches for the World Champs. Taimanov was not only a GM but one of the world's elite players

          A match score of 6-0 is practically unheard of at this level, the weaker player always manages to pick up at least a draw or two. Certainly such a result was a first in World Championship history.

          That Fischer was able to then beat Larsen 6-0 in his next match was verging on unbelievable. Larsen was without doubt in the world's top 10, probably top 5.

          Then there was the time Fischer won the US Champs with a perfect 11/11 score, something never repeated before or since.

          To achieve such results, and whats more achieve them without the backing of a team of grandmasters such as Karpov or Kasparov had, requires a level of dedication and intensity way way beyond the average grandmaster.
  • Perhaps they should be watching him more now as he applauds the World Trade Center attacks [telegraph.co.uk].

    From the article: "I was happy and could not believe what was happening. All the crimes the US has committed in the world. This just shows, what goes around comes around, even to the US."

    • Perhaps they should be watching him more now as he applauds the World Trade Center attacks

      In which case maybe US authorities should just quietly take him out of the country. As happened with the people from "Urban Moving Systems" who were caught red handed celebrating as the building burned.
      • That was the israeli company who were seen filming and celebrating the attack and were then shipped quietly out of the country. Of course all the reports at the time mentioned "men of middle eastern appearance" so that the dumb populace could just assume they were arabs.
        The owner of the company suddenly dissapeared back to israel, with a warehouse still full of other peoples belongings.
        • That was the israeli company who were seen filming and celebrating the attack and were then shipped quietly out of the country. Of course all the reports at the time mentioned "men of middle eastern appearance" so that the dumb populace could just assume they were arabs.

          The clue is that if the US press says "Middle Eastern" then odds on they are refering to Israelis, anyone else from the Middle East would either have their citizenship given or called an "Arab".
  • by Quaoar ( 614366 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:45AM (#4695172)
    Shortly after Bobby Fischer headlined a chess game in washington D.C., a knight was found in the oval office putting the president into check. It was at this time that the president marched to the other side of the room, yelled "king me," and announced a triple-word score.
  • by sameb ( 532621 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:48AM (#4695182) Homepage
    From the article:

    >The files reflect a time when nervous leaders had little restraint.

    Gee, sound familiar?
  • USA! USA! USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:49AM (#4695185)
    Now say what you want, but I for one am proud to live in a country whose government is honest enough to give detailed accounts of 4th amendment violations to it's constituents (20 years later, of course).

    What with the PATRIOT act and Homeland Security, in 20 years we should have even more interesting FBI paranoia to read.
  • "Bobby Fischer got underneath it like no one before and found at its center, art. I spent my life trying to play like him. Most of these guys have. But we're like forgers. We're competent fakes. His successor wasn't here tonight. He wasn't here. He is asleep in his room in your house. Your son creates like Fischer. He sees like him, inside."

    And in the words of Homeless Fishburne, "COME ON GRANDMASTER.. All right, CHECK to his majesty, no, no, no, no, check yourself before you wreck yourself, you can't have it, HELLO! That's right, run, run, somebody call the police, this man is loitering!"
    • by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) <djand,nc&gmail,com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @06:41AM (#4695678)
      A truely great movie, I've watched it about ten times over the last few years. It has a great Bobby Fischer narrative woven into the story of Josh Waitzkin that prompted me to read more about Mr. Fischer. I have gotten the impression that he and his family were hounded enough by the FBI to drive them towards the mindset that they were being investigated for in the first place.

      Bobby Fischer seemed to drop his interaction with most people when the FBI would investigate the people he came into contact with. It would be enough to make me very paranoid at a minimum. When I try to emulate his perspective based on his approach to chess, it gets more interesting.

      Look at a chess board and see a massive parallel and deep attack. The pieces only represent positions, the real battle is mental between two powers. Victory comes from overpowering and outlasting your opponent. If you loose concentration and perspective, it is easy for your opponent to start using your own pieces against you by limiting your movments with your pieces. That seems to explain his withdrawal from public interaction, he limited the liability of having others around that would be a liability. He would have seen the FBI as an opponent with thousands of pieces that had to be controlled. If most of those that would be considered his opponents could only focus on him, then they became the ones that had limited movment and got in each others way.

      It is late and I may be rambling a bit, but for a perspective on the different level of mental capability Bobby Fischer has over the average person,
      read this google cached page [216.239.37.100] about Josh Waitzkin and try to relate. Josh has studied Bobby Fischer in great depth and can see many of the flaws in Bobby's game/life. From what I can see from Bobby Fischers perspective, I would have become a paraniod freak from the pressures that he and his family endured.
  • Fischer's anti-semitism and his apparent approval of the attack on the World Trade Center might make him an asshole, but it doesn't make him a terrorist, and it certainly doesn't retroactively make him a Soviet spy in the 1970's or vindicate any of the FBI's suspicions.

    As explained in the article, the FBI had a long-running investigation of Fischer and his mother back in the 70's and earlier. It's just another illustration that the US govt has been spying on its own citizens for decades, long before there was any sort of terrorist rationalization.
    • "long before there was any sort of terrorist rationalization. "

      Actually terrorism has been around in the mainstream American sense, since the 1950's, which is why Kennedy formed the U.S. Navy SEAL's in 1962. Their aim was specifically targeted at terrorism, Yasser Arafat in particular.

      We have just become complacent because since the mid 80's the American media has been more focused on what happens within our borders rather than outside them. This is what 911 changed, the American medias focus, and in affect ours.

      Its been going on for a long time.
    • by SageLikeFool ( 547462 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @06:28AM (#4695640)
      Behold! Terrorism is the new Communism! I can't wait to see what this version of Mcarthyism ends up looking like.
      • Terrorism is the new Communism! I can't wait to see what this version of Mcarthyism ends up looking like.

        Apart from the language and the details of the conspiracy theories it spins probably not much different from the last version in the US. Indeed probably not much different from any other previous version throughout recorded history.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:17AM (#4695269)
    I concur. They are making it seem like a crime to hold a certain attitude towards a certain population, the jewish people.

    Case in point. John McCain has more than once voiced his anti-Vietnamese attitude. You don't see the press calling him the Anti-Vietnamese Senater.

    Of course if Joe Smoe says anything negative about jewish people, IMMEDIATELY everyone (like a reflex action) labels him an antismetic and it's like he is a pedophile and they discount everything that he says, even the truthful elements.

    I find this behavior troubling because: 1. it creates restriction on freedom of speech and thought for the general population. 2. It creates white/non-jewish backlash against minority groups.
    Both of these troubling, growing situations can be prevented by BEING FAIR and not trying to make the jewish population untouchable from public comments, even if the comments happen to be negative ... even if unsubstantiated. With freedom of speech, people will be able to distinguish truth from falsity. When restrictions are placed and a portion of the population is given special untouchable-from-criticism status, the people are not given this opportunity to guage truth from falsehood and suspicion and corruption of truth will brew even more so.

    Of course, I'm sure I will be labeled anti-semetic after this post by the ignorant and by pro-censors. But, please think about it. I'm advocating freedom of speech, an essential pillar of our democratic society that is being chiseled away at for the past decade or so.
    • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:42AM (#4695357)
      No, you are being labelled anti-semitic by anyone capable of seeing that you cannot blanket-label a population, whether it be Jewish, German, Vietnamese or American. People who demand the right to attack whole sectors of society or entire nationalities are not supporting freedom of speech, they are promoting falsehoods. I get as angry about the illegal occupation by settlers in Israel as anyone who hasn't actually had to live under it, but I have enough brain to know that this is about a particular set of people in Israel, not about the rest of Israelis or the rest of the worldwide Jewish community. If you do not, that makes you a bigot.
      • It takes too long to qualify your attacks when you have to accurately represent things. Understanding a complex world is hard. It is much easier to make ridiculous generalizations that support your preconceptions. You burn too many cycles trying to see what is really there, so prejudice serves as a sort of blurring filter on reality. You don't see the details, just the colours.

        Hence, bigots are just being more efficient with their brains. Not more effective, mind. Just quicker to come to conclusions, and then stop thinking. Leaves more time to watch TV.
    • We should be able to mod posts down as "-1 Anti-Semitic".
  • Consider this... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rufusdufus ( 450462 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:33AM (#4695328)
    Bobby Fischer's wild paranoid anti-semitic rants really make him come across as a total asshole.
    Some time after he was locked out of the USA by the state department, he would go onto foreign radio shows and say the most outrageous things.

    In his own opinion, he did more for the image of the US during the cold war than any other individual. Indeed.

    And they fucked his family and him over. Instead of respect he got suspicion and hounding.

    So perhaps in his own opinion, he can do more to damage the image of the USA by spouting off. Retracting and degrading everything he did for the US image.

    Trying to take back what he gave them.
    • I guess that's like losing a chess championship, and then yelling "Best two out of three! Best two out of three!".

      The leadership of the U.S. has changed 8 times since 1970, when Nixon was in office.

      If, in fact, this is his motivation, he's fighting against an administration that's been out of power for a quarter of a century, and whose leadership, even if he could legitimately blame them, is already dead.

      Perhaps his time would be better spent elsewhere?

      -- Terry

      • The leadership of the U.S. has changed 8 times since 1970, when Nixon was in office.

        If, in fact, this is his motivation, he's fighting against an administration that's been out of power for a quarter of a century, and whose leadership, even if he could legitimately blame them, is already dead.


        You honestly believe that the current administration is totally distinct to those of the past? Christ on a bike, Daddy Bush was head of the CIA [tarpley.net], Cheney was Ford's assistant and Chief of Staff [whitehouse.gov]. Your current administration is chock-a-block with the same crooks and cronies as Bush Sr's 10 years ago, which was stuffed with Regan-era and earlier muppets. And now, to top it off, here comes Poindexter [thedubyareport.com] eager to set up his new Stasi. It's unbelievable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:43AM (#4695361)
    Lots of the time I'm traveling around. Europe, South America, Iceland. But when I'm home, I don't know, I don't do much. I get up at eleven o'clock maybe. I'll get dressed and all, look at some chess books, go downstairs and eat. I never cook my own meals. I don't believe in that stuff. I don't eat in luncheonettes or Automats either. I like a waiter to wait on me. Good restaurants. After I eat I usually call up some of my chess friends, go over and analyze a game or something. Maybe I'll go to a chess club. Then maybe I'll see a movie or something. There's really nothing for me to do. Maybe I'll study some chess book. -- Bobby Fischer

    Do you want to come with me to the boys' room, then we'll see who is Jewish? -- Bobby Fischer (on being reminded by a reporter that he was half Jewish)

    I am not today, nor have I ever been a Jew, and as a matter of fact, I am uncircumcised. -- Bobby Fischer

    Being Jewish myself, I somehow didn't see the problem: who cares what a mentally ill (but strangely likable) individual says? If he didn't make some money at chess, I could see him becoming a street person, shaking his fists at cars as they passed by his corner of the block. Isn't it preferable to have him in a self-sufficient position rather than as a liability of the state? -- Jeremy Silman (on Fischer)

    Of course a great player like that has no weak spots. What a player like that does have are absolutely strong spots, so you surely don't want him to utilize his strengths, because then your chances decrease to zero. It's not surprising - chess being as complicated as it is - that Fischer had the greatest problems with positions, which were unclear in an unthematic way. When in effect everything just depended on accurate calculation. In those kinds of positions, he is still better than me of course, but the difference is not that great anymore, because it's just extremely difficult for both of us. The chance that he will make an error increases, whereas in a thematic or technical position he will just play perfectly from beginning to end and your chances of surviving are zero. -- Edmar Mednis

    First of all, I'll make a tour of the whole world, giving exhibitions. I'll charge unprecedented prices. I'll set new standards. I'll make them pay thousands. Then I'll come home on a luxury liner. First-class. I'll have a tuxedo made for me in England to wear to dinner. When I come home I'll write a couple chess books and start to reorganize the whole game. I'll have my own club. The Bobby Fischer ... uh, the Robert J. Fischer Chess Club. It'll be class. Tournaments in full dress. No bums in there. You're gonna have to be over eighteen to get in, unless like you have special permission because you have like special talent. It'll be in a part of the city that's still decent, like the Upper East Side. And I'll hold big international tournaments in my club with big cash prizes. And I'm going to kick all the millionaires out of chess unless they kick in more money. Then I'll buy a car so I don't have to take the subway any more. That subway makes me sick. It'll be a Mercedes-Benz. Better, a Rolls Royce, one of those fifty-thousand-dollar custom jobs, made to my own measure. Maybe I'll buy one of those jets they advertise for businessmen. And a yacht. Flynn had a yacht. Then I'll have some more suits made. I'd like to be one of the Ten Best-dressed Men. That would really be something. I read that Duke Snyder made the list. Then I'll build me a house. I don't know where but it won't be in Greenwich Village. They're all dirty, filthy animals down there. Maybe I'll build it in Hong Kong. Everybody who's been there says it's great. Art Linkletter said so on the radio. And they've got suits there, beauties, for only twenty dollars. Or maybe I'll build it in Beverly Hills. The people there are sort of square, but like the climate is nice and it's close to Vegas, Mexico, Hawaii, and those places. I got strong ideas about my house. I'm going to hire the best architect and have him build it in the shape of a rook. Yeah, that's for me. Class. Spiral staircases, parapets, everything. I want to live the rest of my life in a house built exactly like a rook. -- Bobby Fischer (on what he'd do when he won the world championship)

    What a wacko.

  • Nuts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:45AM (#4695371)
    Pure hate spews out of this guys mouth. Listen to the audio MP3. Unreal.

    One of his final gems: "The Jews made up the Holocaust". How nice, and a pure lie. What a horrible thing to say, from any angle, whatever his past was like. This guy is in the same league as the Timothy Mcveighs of the world. NUTS.

    Either you mean what you say or not. This has nothing to do with PCness. This guy is insane and filled with rage. We need less of those people around.

    Violent talks just lead to violent acts. USA doesn't need someone like him. They've got enough of those to deal with already
    • Re:Nuts (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @06:14AM (#4695604)

      Violent talks just lead to violent acts.

      And violent acts lead to more violent acts - that's why September 11th happened. Arabs hate the US because they sponsor Israel, a state which has pursued policies similar to the Third Reichs for more than fifty years. For example:

      1. Many mainstream Israeli politicians and senior military figures support the ethnic cleansing, and in some cases liquidation of the Palestinians. Sounds awfully like Nazi policies towards Jews, gypsies and Slavs to me.
      2. Israel is a state which justifies its existence on religious/political tracts from over 2000 years ago. Think Nazi "lebensraum" and interest in the Teutonic Knights, but replace Russia with Palestine.
      3. Israel ignores UN resolutions and invades neighbouring states. Think the League of Nations and the appeasement of Hitler over Czechoslovakia.

      So here we have a state that uses military aggression against civilians, essentially its own citizens. They pursue research and production of weapons of mass destruction, and have violated other states sovereignty to assasinate figures they don't like. Sounds like Iraq, but it also applies equally to Israel. Of course Israel doesn't have massive oil reserves, and the US has a powerful pro-Israeli lobby along with a president financed by oil hungry industry.

      The Telegraph article linked to a number of times in this Slashdot thread should be taken in context. It's published in Britain by a dubious Canadian with pro-Israeli views, a man who censures his own staff and others if they write anything that criticises Israeli policies or highlights Palestinian grievances. Of course Fischer isn't going to be portrayed in a balanced light by the Telegraph ... ignore Fischers disgust at the way the US has treated him and his likely mental issues, he looks more anti-semitic that way.

      Chris

  • Is it near Philadelphia?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @05:32AM (#4695512)
    " Before Bobby Fischer left for Russia in the summer of 1958, an agent posed as a college journalist to interview producers of the TV show I've Got a Secret. Bobby had been a guest on the show and won plane tickets to Russia. (Fischer's "secret?" He was U.S. chess champion. The panel was stumped.) "

    I'm stumped too. Stumped how a gameshow in America, in 1958, could give away air tickets to Russia?! What else did you win, bug detector so you could tell when the feds were watching?
  • National Security (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @06:28AM (#4695642) Homepage
    The FBI did have a legitimate national security interest in the Fischers. His mother lived and attended medical school in the Soviet Union. The KGB and GRU recruited agents from foreign students attending schools in the Soviet Union. His father fought against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. That in itself isn't a problem, but it puts him in a group that was heavily infiltrated and influenced by the Communist Party and Soviet intelligence operations. The FBI didn't have the right to harass the Fischers, but I think they had a legitimate national security interest in investigating their activities to see if they were involved in espionage or other crimes. The CPUSA (Communist Party USA) was heavily involved in Soviet espionage operations.
    • by awol ( 98751 )

      The FBI did have a legitimate national security interest in the Fischers. His mother lived and attended medical school in the Soviet Union. The KGB and GRU recruited agents from foreign students attending schools in the Soviet Union. His father fought against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. That in itself isn't a problem, but it puts him in a group that was heavily infiltrated and influenced by the Communist Party and Soviet intelligence operations. The FBI didn't have the right to harass the Fischers, but I think they had a legitimate national security interest in investigating their activities to see if they were involved in espionage or other crimes.

      Yeah, but he was a chess player for god's sake what possible national security issue could he raise? Maybe he was deep programmed to shove a bishop in the president's brain if he got close enough? Seriously though, the thing that really sticks in my craw about all this spying and stuff in the west is that the institutions of government, are really strong enough to survive most every attempt to "espionage" them. It is the ego (technical not derogatory definition) of the office holders that leads to the "questionable" activity. Indeed, institutions such as the "rule of law", "separation of powers" or for you American's the "Bill of Rights" and the "Constitution" are made stronger by their ability to survive the most serious attacks on their incumbants by being indifferent to the specific individuals excercising them (yeah, yeah I know it aint perfect). It is funny how the greatest threats to these way of life shaping facets of our socieities are the excesses of the incumbent office holders and their needs to "protect" us from ourselves or to "protect" the institutions that seem to do a pretty good job on their own.

      • Yeah, but he was a chess player for god's sake what possible national security issue could he raise? Maybe he was deep programmed to shove a bishop in the president's brain if he got close enough?

        The sort of warped minds who'd seriously consider killing a head of state using a cigar quite probably would consider a chess set a potentially lethal weapon...
  • sigh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @07:24AM (#4695770)
    While I think the WTC attacks were totally fucked up, and that the people who did it are assholes, and should be killed; Its not as if they weren't provoked. Palestine and Israel have been fighting with each other for a long long time. We support Israel. Israel was created in 1948. We, the USA, and other allied powers / league of nations, put the israelis there, in palestine! Check up on some WW1, WW2 history. This and our continued support for israel is the reason for the WTC attacks, and for the turmoil in the middle east as I understand it. How long was palestine there before we decided to just make part of the country israel? Long long long before the USA was ever created. The first arab-israeli war was in 1948. 1948 they have been fighting for half a century. For some reason no one seems to have a perspective of the ammount of chaos and killing we helped to bring about in their part of the world. Israel and Palestine do the same shit to each other. But we label attacks by Palestine terrorism. BS. Both countries engage in it, we just support one of them.

    Now, as for him hating the USA? How about this line of the story: He resurfaced in 1992 to beat Spassky again, in Yugoslavia. That got Fischer indicted: The Justice Department alleged he had violated U.N. sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia. If Fischer reenters the United States, prosecutors say, he faces arrest. Add that up with our FBI thinking his mother was a soviet spy, and I'd say they just wanted to fuck with the guy. We all think we're free until we do something the government doesn't want us to do. If I were him, I'd be pissed at the USA also. The USA is a great place to live, the best in the world. And I love the USA. But that doesn't mean we're always right, or that someone doesn't have a legit reason to hate our country/government. Unfortunately/sadly, in this democracy for the people by the people, the people aren't always the ones who are to blame for the wrong doings, but are usually the ones who pay the price. Its to bad we can't all just get along.
    • Re:sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @10:36AM (#4696539) Journal
      Israel and Palestine do the same shit to each other. But we label attacks by Palestine terrorism. BS. Both countries engage in it, we just support one of them.

      I must be watching a different news show, reading a different newspaper than you. What happens is some palestinian nut job comes into Israel, blows himself up, and tries to take as many innocent lives as possible. Then after this provocation, Israel attempts to either assassinate the people involved with the planning of the attacks, or take out their entire neighborhood with tanks.

      Here's a good question: How many Israeli suicide bombers have you read about?

      It's not terrorism when you're responding to an attack, and trying to localize your response to the perpetrators.
      • Re:sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dvdeug ( 5033 ) <.or.liame. .ta. .guedvd.> on Monday November 18, 2002 @11:07AM (#4696787)
        Here's a good question: How many Israeli suicide bombers have you read about?

        How many Nazi suicide bombers have you read about? How many Soviet suicide bombers have you read about? If you have tanks, you don't need suicide bombers.

        It's not terrorism when you're responding to an attack, and trying to localize your response to the perpetrators.

        They take out their entire neighborhood with tanks. Imagine your neighbor went nuts, so they rolled up tanks on your front lawn. Would you feel that that was a localized response?

        I'm not arguing that Israel is in an easy position, but they are far from lily-pure here.
      • Re:sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @12:06PM (#4697366) Journal
        Several--there was that nut a few years back who massacred all those Palestinians praying.

        But the reason Isreal doesn't have suicide bombers is because they have a GNP 10000 times larger than the Palestinians. They've got bombs. Recall that operation recently where they blew up an apartment complex to get one guy? That isn't because the majority of Isrealis support things like that, but because in any conflict there will be crazies. You could be sure that if the situations were reversed (hell, if you put any two groups of people in the world in that situation) suicide bombings would be used by the weaker side. Hell, just look at all those nutty settlers. They are camping out in Hebron now (with Sharon's voiced approval).

        The fact is that the Palestinians have a reason for grief, after being driven out (or leaving voluntarily, depending on the historian) during the war of Isreali independance. And after that, having their land occupied (after a war Isreal had with someone else) since the '67 war.

        Anytime you have something like that, you can depend on people not simply giving up. You can depend on them using whatever means are at their disposal to fight. And on the Israeli side, Isreal was founded by Jews running from European persecution--and later the holocaust--and now it is populated mostly by people who have been living there their entire lives, and have no other home.

        You could have predicted all this from the first kibbutz built in British Palestine. Or maybe since the first Jew burned by the Inquisiton. There is overwhelming blame to go around, but it will never be enough. The responsibility of leaders on all sides is to build a peace however they can.
      • Re:sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 )
        Then after this provocation, Israel attempts to...take out their entire neighborhood with tanks.

        ...It's not terrorism when you're responding to an attack, and trying to localize your response to the perpetrators.

        You consider a destroying a neighborhood a localized response? I pray you never get a law enforcement position. "Well, we knew that the suspect was somewhere in the neighborhood, so we blew the whole thing up."

        The Palestinian suicide bombers and ambushes are morally reprehensible, and those organizing the attacks should be arrested, tried for thier crimes, and sentenced. However, destroying the homes of family members of suicide bombers, destroying neighborhoods, and assassinating various people suspected (but not tried in court) of orchestrating these attacks is just as wrong. Is it any wonder that the Palestinians are desperate? Did your father act as a suicide bomber? Say goodbye to your home. Accidentally live too near to a terrorist and become an accidental casualty to an Israeli bomb or bullet? Tough luck.

        The entire situation is a giant mess. The leaders on both sides are acting like idiots and getting alot of innocent people killed. Both sides are left feeling desperate and lashing out randomly at each other, reinforcing their desperation.

  • by TerryAtWork ( 598364 ) <research@aceretail.com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @07:55AM (#4695845)
    Except J Edger Hoover. They thought HE was straight...
  • by dh003i ( 203189 ) <dh003iNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @12:30PM (#4697605) Homepage Journal
    Fischer is the greatest chess player who ever lived, and several pegs above the likes of Kramnick and Kasparov. The idea that he's a Russian spy is absurd. Fischer hates the Russians. He accused them of conspiring to keep the chess champion a Russian. He said the games between Kramnick and Kasparov were pre-determined. He is certainly not a Russian spy.

    The other ridiculous thing that the US gov't has done to Fischer is threatned to arrest him should he ever return to the US, because he played a chess tournament in a nation which was under "sanctions" by the US. Fischer tore up a letter from the US gov't demanding that he not play in that nation. He has the right to play chess where-ever the fuck he wants to. He shouldn't face punishment for carrying out his livelihood in a nation the US "doesn't approve of". He could play fucking Chess in Iraq and make millions for the Iraq government. That's his fucking right.

    Yes, Fischer has some obnoxious views, and has said some cruel and hateful things about the Jews, and has said some outrageous things about 9/11. Again, that's his right. He has the right to say whatever the fuck he wants to. Quite frankly, I can understand him for hating the US. He is the only US citizen who has brought honor to the US in the chess arena -- the only American who's ever been anything in chess. And not only was/is he good, he was/is the best. The US government repaid him by threatening to arrest him because he played Chess in a "sanctioned nation". That doesn't mean its right to say that the 9,000 people who died at 9/11 deserved it, but he still has the right to say that.

    As for his hatred of the Jews, though I'm not saying its good, he still has the right to hold whatever opinions he wants. Though it would make more sense if he hated Christians, as he was scammed by the "Worldwide Church of God". But from his perspective, he's been wronged by Jews. He's particularly enraged about all of the profiteering that has been going on around his name, while he hasn't received a dime. Movies like "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and biographies of him were made, yet he's received no compensation. In short, other people are making billions of dollars off of his name, and he attributes this mainly to the Jews. That doesn't justify hating all Jews, but its still his right to do so.

"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk." -- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_

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