The Null Device

Bobby Fischer

Former chess grandmaster turned reclusive eccentric and al-Qaeda cheerleader Bobby Fischer is being released from a Japanese prison after Iceland gave him citizenship by act of parliament. The U.S. Government, who wanted to extradite him to face charges of violating sanctions when playing a game in Yugoslavia, is supposedly pissed off.

A question of international law: is there anything preventing the U.S. from scrambling some fighters to intercept the plane carrying Fischer over international waters, escorting it to a landing in, say, Guam, and taking Fischer off there? If there is, would be a more egregious violation of international law than torturing detainees at Guantanamo? If the U.S. wants to show the world that, as the sole superpower, it is the law, that may be a powerful symbolic gesture.

Also, if Fischer does take up residence in Iceland as a citizen, won't he have to change both his name and his father's name to recognised legitimate Icelandic names?

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