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Bobby Fischer's Fan Club

Thanks to Dave Weigel, I see that Bobby Fischer, the world champion chess player, has died. Fischer was also a lunatic anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, in spite of being Jewish himself. Here's what Lew Rockwell, the probable author of Ron Paul's newsletters, has to say over at his blog today:

The chess genius the US government tried to jail has died in his adopted homeland of Iceland. His crime? He played a chess match in Yugoslavia, which was then hated by the US for playing a Lincolnesque role against its secessionist states. Was Fischer thereby endorsing the Yugo Union? No, he was putting private life ahead of US orders, and good for him. Good also for Japan, which resisted extraditing him to a US cage, and for Iceland, which granted him asylum and citizenship.

No mention, of course, that Fischer was an unhinged bigot. Rockwell's eulogoy reminds me of what was printed in the November, 1992 Ron Paul Political Report [PDF]:

"the brilliant Fischer, who has all the makings of an American hero, is very politically incorrect on Jewish questions, for which he will never be forgiven, even though he is a Jew. Thus we are not supposed to herald him as the world's greatest chess player."

A former congressional Paul staffer told me today:

I think Lew’s silence is reprehensible. It speaks volumes about his complicity in this matter. If I were accused of something similar and I was innocent, I would protest most strenuously. 

--James Kirchick