Fischer to Bush and Koizumi: 'You are going to pay for this!'

by ChessBase
10/18/2004 – Bobby Fischer, still in detention in Japan, has spoken out again in an interview, this time threatening the Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and US President Bush: "You are going to pay for this, and you are going to pay for your crimes in Iraq too." His new lawyer, Richard J. Vattuone, plans to release documents to prove US government involvement in a plot against Fischer.

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Once again there is a lot of new information on the situation of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, who is wanted by Washington for violating international economic sanctions by playing a chess match in Yugoslavia in 1992 in which he beat old rival Boris Spassky and earned $3 million. Fischer has been detained in Japan since July, when he was stopped at Tokyo's Narita airport for travelling on a passport U.S. officials said was invalid.

In the following we bring you four stories (click to jump to each of them):

  • A new telephone interview with Fischer
    Fischer talks to his favourite radio station in the Philippines about his fear of radiation poisoning, his outrage as being referred to as a "former grandmaster" and about Ichiro Suzuki's recent baseball record. At the end of the interview Fischer threatens Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and US President George W Bush directly: "You are going to pay for this, and you are going to pay for your crimes in Iraq too."
  • Fischer plans legal action against the US
    A number of newspapers are reporting on a press conference in Tokyo by Fischer's new lawyer, Richard Vattuone, in which he said that Fischer could file a lawsuit in federal court in the United States challenging the constitutionality of a U.S. executive order concerning sanctions on Yugoslavia and a related criminal statute, as well as the revocation of his U.S. passport. Vattuone says that newly discovered U.S. government document that proves that Fischer's arrest was plotted in advance in Washington
  • Confirmation by John Bosnitch
    Fischer's legal advisor John Bosnitch has confirmed to us that Richard Vattuone has indeed been retained by Fischer and that legal proceedings are being planned.
  • Chess Life cover story
    In its September issue the oldest and most widely read US chess magazine devoted the cover to the detained Bobby Fischer. The story deals with the connection of this case to the US administration.

New telephone interview with Fischer

A new interview has been aired by Bombo Radyo, a small Baguio City based public-radio station. It was conducted by station manager Pablo Mercado and contains vulgar language (as the Mainichi Daily News puts it: "Fischer's attack on the Japanese prime minister contains a profanity directed at Koizumi and the relationship the chess champion accused him of having with his mother"). We bring you transcribed excerpts of the key passages. If you feel you have the nerves to listen to the original, go google for it yourself.

In the first part of the telephone interview Fischer says that he has discovered that the place where he is being detained (Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, 50 km northeast from central Tokyo) is near the site of Japan's worst nuclear disaster five years ago. He suspects that he has been taken to Ibaraki to be poisoned as part of a plot to pump him up with nuclear radiation so that he dies prematurely. "I would rather be obliterated by a nuclear bomb than get radiation sickness," he says. Fischer is also deeply offended that some newspapers referred to him as "former grandmaster" ("former world champion" is offensive enough).

Fischer is deeply upset about Japan born Ichiro Suzuki shattering a 84-year-old baseball record (by scoring 262 hits in a single season). "Ichiro has no business playing in the US and for a US team," Fischer says. "Point two: The game has changed so much, the ball's livelier, the bats are livelier. The old records were much harder to make. Point three: I believe this has been staged between the Japanese and US governments. They could easily have stopped him from breaking the record, simply by giving him walks. Let's say he had been originally from Cuba and still pro-Castro. Do you think they would have let him break the record like that? No way. They would have given him walks or tried to hit him with the ball. I saw [Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro] Koizumi on TV congratulating Ichiro. Me he has put into prison, him and Bush working in conspiracy. That's perfectly okay for him. But he would never dream of putting Ichiro into prison, on an immigration charge."

Fischer goes on to deepen the conspiracy charges: "I am told that the whole thing [the charges against Fischer and his detention] was personally agreed between Koizumi and Bush. You are going to pay for this, and you are going to pay for your crimes in Iraq too. Koizumi has sent troops there to be poisoned by depleted Uranium, and he has put this whole country into danger of being attacked by so-called terrorists. Japan should do the same as the Philippines and withdraw their troops immediately from Iraq.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004: Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer's lawyer said Monday that Washington planned Fischer's arrest and detention by Japanese immigration authorities in advance, describing it as a plot for a "backdoor extradition." Richard Vattuone also accused the U.S. State Department of violating Fischer's rights, including forbidding Vattuone to call or cross-examine U.S. government officials as witnesses for a hearing appealing Fischer's passport revocation.

At a news conference at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan in Tokyo, Vattuone presented a copy of an internal U.S. government fax as proof the U.S. government was behind Fischer's arrest by Japanese authorities. The fax, dated Nov 18, 2003, states that the Department of Homeland Security had requested the assistance of the Passport Office "in effecting the revocation of the passport privileges" of Fischer "in order to secure his deportation from the Philippines."

Vattuone said that depending on the State Department's actions, Fischer may file a lawsuit in the United States in about six months to a year to appeal the revocation of his passport as unconstitutional and claiming regulations were not followed during the process. But despite having been detained for about three months, Fischer "is in great spirits and he is determined to prevail," according to supporter John Bosnitch, who visits Fischer regularly at the detention facility.


From John Bosnitch we received the following corroborative message:

Bobby Fischer's newly appointed U.S. lawyer, Richard J. Vattuone has traveled to Japan to protest the latest U.S. government violations of the rights of chess legend Bobby Fischer, who remains unjustifiably imprisoned in Japan. Officials of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on Friday, October 15 disregarded valid legal objections of Mr. Fischer by proceeding, in his absence, with a State Department hearing of his passport revocation appeal at the East Japan Immigration Center in Ushiku, Japan, northeast of Tokyo.

Mr. Fischer had managed to retain U.S. lawyer Richard J. Vattuone of San Diego, California, the day before the hearing, and Mr. Vattuone filed objections based on U.S. law, the Constitution and international law at the State Department hearing process held at the Japanese detention center.

Mr. Fischer has always maintained that his rights to a fair U.S. passport hearing cannot be respected while he remains detained by Japanese authorities and, as he predicted, the officials at the Japanese detention facility refused to allow him the right to meet privately with his U.S. lawyer to prepare properly for the hearing.

John Bosnitch
Committee to Free Bobby Fischer

Cover Story in US chess magazine

The oldest and most widely read US chess magazine, Chess Life, devoted the cover of its September issue to the detained Fischer. The story in the magazine is written by Kalev Pehme and deals with the connection of this case to the US administration. Here are some excerpts.

Americans of all political stripes have often defied the law, sometimes with success; however, it is one thing to defy the law, it is another to treat a powerful bureaucracy with contempt. When Bobby Fischer spit on the official State Department letter informing him that he would be violating U.S. law and George H.W. Bush's presidential order if he were to play Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia, then a rogue state, he crossed the line where all bureaucratic compromises would evaporate forever.

Why the second Bush administration has decided to go after Fischer after so many years is a matter of speculation, including political speculations revolving around the Japanese government and its desire not to send a U.S. army deserter from the Korean War back to the U.S.

One has to ask why it is that the Bush administration decided to go after Fischer. Why now? Why the revocation of his passport last December? Obviously, Homeland Security has something to do with it, as all fugitives from U.S. law are being scrutinized with much greater care, and Fischer's name probably lit up somewhere in someone's computer. Second, although internal Japanese politics may have contributed to his arrest, Fischer's brother-in-law Russell Targ in California attributed it to internal American politics: "It looks like it's a distraction from the war and the economy. Let's arrest Bobby Fischer. That will lake people's minds off their troubles."

It is very hard to believe, however, that Karl Rove, who runs all of Bush's political operations, cares at all about Fischer. Fischer does not seem to be a great distraction, except for chess enthusiasts. Of course, there are sinister enough minds who believe that Bush II's thin skin extends to gelling even with all those who did anything against Bush I.

Previous ChessBase articles

'We want to live together forever'
01.09.2004 She collected pictures of her chess hero after his match with Boris Spassky in 1972. One year later they met in Tokyo – the start of a romance spanning decades. Since four years the two have lived together in downtown Kamata in Tokyo's Ota Ward. In an exclusive interview for ChessBase Miyoko Watai tells us the story of her life with Bobby Fischer.

Listen to Bobby Fischer
26.08.2004 In emotional phone calls from his detention cell in Tokyo ex world champion Bobby Fischer gave a Philippine radio station two lengthy interviews. Fischer is facing deportation and incarceration in the US, and voices his nightmare fears: "I will be tried, convicted, sentenced, imprisoned, tortured and murdered." We have summary transcripts and audio files.

Dramatic moments around Fischer's deportation
25.08.2004 First the Japanese Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa issued a deportation order against former world champion Bobby Fischer's, then Fischer's lawyers filed a lightning appeal on the grounds that physical deportation would be a flagrant violation of Fischer's right to full legal recourse and protection under Japanese law. Here's the full story by Fischer's legal coordinator.

'Bobby Fischer and I have decided to marry'
17.08.2004 Bobby Fischer, the former world chess champion, plans to marry the president of the Japan Chess Association (and four-time Japanese women's champion) Miyoko Watai. This was reported in newspapers and wire services last night. Now Watai-san has sent us a statement explaining the background of her personal relationship with Fischer.

Fischer renounces US citizenship
15.08.2004 Bobby Fischer has been moved to a new detention facility in Tokyo, pending a decision on his deportation to the US, where he faces a 10-year jail sentence. A lot of new material has surfaced, including Fischer's handwritten renouncement of his US citizenship and a blow-by-blow description and picture of his arrest at Narita Airport. Harrowing stuff...

Spassky to Bush: Arrest me!
10.08.2004 Boris Spassky, who played the contentious return match against Bobby Fischer in Yugoslavia 1992, for which the latter is currently facing deportation and incarceration in the US, has appealed to President Bush to show mercy and charity for his tormented successor. If for some reason that should be impossible, Spassky suggests a very imaginative alternative...

Fischer's appeal rejected
28.07.2004 Bobby Fischer's appeal against his deportation was rejected today by Japanese authorities. Meanwhile the Icelandic Chess Federation has appealed to US president Bush to pardon Fischer and set up a petition web site to collect signatures. In Tokyo a "Free Fischer Press Conference" is scheduled for Thursday. More...

Fischer a sacrificial pawn?
25.07.2004 Bobby Fischer is still in detention at Narita Airport in Tokyo, traumatised but stubborn, "behaving like a Samorai". At the same time news outlets all over the world are covering the story, whit Fischer's brother-in-law Russell Targ assailing the Bush administration for playing election year politics with the former chess champion's freedom. There's a lot to be read...

Game of Life: Kasparov on Fischer - in full
20.07.2004 The news of Fischer's arrest in Japan came as a shock to Garry Kasparov, who was in a holiday camp working intensely on the games of his greatest American predecessor. In today's issue of The Wall Street Journal Kasparov assesses Fischer's chess career – for a public that was being exposed to his current situation. We now bring you Kasparov's full article.

Will Fischer be extradited?
19.07.2004 Chess legend Bobby Fischer, the hero of millions, languishes in the detention facilities of Narita Airport in Tokyo, waiting for a decision by Japanese Immigration authorities on his deportation to the US. We have collected all the documents and reconstructed a timeline to his arrest. Fischer, who has no legal counsel, is appealing for international assistance.

Bobby Fischer detained in Japan (updated)
16.07.2004 It's the latest twist in the sad tale of American former world champion Bobby Fischer. He has been detained in Japan and faces possible deportation to the US to face charges for playing in Yugoslavia in 1992. Fischer's website says he was "very nearly killed" in Japan. The story has been picked up by news services all over the world.

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