The last secret agent of the old guard, 61-year-old Marco Mancini, is gone. Or rather abandoned, forced into early retirement. And so, therefore, closes a phase of revision of our intelligence that had already seen the replacement of General Vecchione, a trusted man of Conte, with the highly qualified ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, the first woman to head the services in Europe. But since the last to leave is the former carabiniere Mancini already protagonist of stories and histories of the past years, yesterday we witnessed the re-release of a show already seen: the lynching of the fallen, or of the fired, or in any case eliminated. What a liver. How much ethical charge. I confess: I have never met Mancini and I have not even developed a particular sympathy.
But I have known since I have been a journalist that these men and women, who serve the services and governments, in every country even the most democratic, are sooner or later entangled in stories and stories that throw them in the news, in the courts of justice, under the headlights of the so-called fifth power, which would be that of the press. Now, it’s true: journalists should investigate rather than get primed by judges and political cronies, but all professional heroism ceases when someone who has already fallen, who has already lost his career, is stoned (he could have become deputy director in a few months as a reward, if only for stress). But certainly it is cowardly to take advantage of their expulsion, or early retirement, to give themselves frantically to the moralism of begged, entrenched in smoky soliloquent and hypocritical articulations.
Mancini was a carabiniere, he did what they sent him to do and he also had troubles and convictions of justice. Almost all the men of the services who came across the news stories have had troubles that do not make them more lovable, but not even diabolical. Let’s take the last fact: the famous interview in the sunlight in the middle of a parking lot at the Fiano motorway exit on the outskirts of Rome. Mancini spoke with Matteo Renzi (in the tondo). What will they have said? Mah. Unnameable secrets. Or maybe cold considerations, we don’t know. The fact is that just that day and in that remote but public place a video camera was filming and reporting to the Report broadcast which rightly did it from the point of view of the news – a great case.
What was a former head of government doing in a parking lot in the sunlight? History will question itself for a long time. Mancini was really at the center of dramatic events, such as the release of the journalist Giuliana Sgrena who cost the life of the official Nicola Calipari and also ended up in the spotlight and in the files of the magistrates. And he was involved in the alleged (there are many doubts) kidnapping by the CIA of a Milanese iman suspected of being part of al-Qaeda, named Abu Omar. But has none of these night lions ever read Conrad? Or Graham Greene? The British, including journalists, have an old motto: with the secret services you must take the same precaution that is used in alluding to marital sex. We all know it’s there and it’s a good thing. But it is definitely not the case to use it for porn movies.