Letter to Defense Online: "The world of law"


The last shadows of the evening were already falling on the summer of 2023, when Typhoon Vannacci descended on umbrellas and tans.

General paratrooper of the Army division, former commander of the Folgore, formerly attached to the very delicate Italian embassy in Moscow, recently transferred to the command of the Military Geographic Institute, has published The world upside down. A book that in just a few weeks jumped to the top of all the publishing charts, bringing its author instant notoriety.

Alongside the editorial success, Vannacci also suffered a not unexpected - given the themes addressed and the tones used in the book - and violent media exposure. The beliefs expressed in the volume have attracted the attention of a wide spectrum of more or less qualified commentators.

It was assumed that a soldier in service could not - unlike what the Constitution of the Italian Republic guarantees to every private citizen - express his thoughts; and in any case that he could not do so if this thought concerned controversial aspects.

For weeks there have been furious interventions on social media calling for his removal from office, demotion, even not expulsion from the Armed Forces. There were those who even raised the hypothesis that the publication of the book constituted an act of subversion on the part of Vannacci towards the State and the "Constitution and laws” that every soldier swears to respect and defend. For example, Alessandro Zan, head of Rights of the PD Secretariat, declared in this regard "Simply transferring Vannacci is not enough. His presence at the top of the Army brings discredit and dishonor to the Armed Forces, which deserves recognition for defending the constitutional values ​​that he offends (...) "The Minister of Defense Crosetto must ask himself the problem of why a general feels legitimated to publish a book with openly subversive and unconstitutional contents".

To the satisfaction of some, Vannacci had been removed from his position - which in truth, although respectable, was not in keeping with his curriculum - and subjected to a procedure for evaluating his actions within the chain of command.

Months have passed, and as the forgotten summer gives way to the good-natured ghost of Christmas, the news arrives of the appointment of General Vannacci as Chief of Staff of the Land Operational Forces Command (COMFOTER). It is one of the top command areas of the Italian Army, placed under the direct dependence of the commander in chief of the Armed Forces.

It can be argued that this is the most classic of promoveatur ut amoveatur, but unless proven otherwise, this transfer proves a series of things, which we must stick to as facts of reality.

The first, the military are citizens like everyone else and maintain their constitutional rights - in particular that relating to the free expression of thought - despite their status. It may be possible to express an opinion on the opportunity to do so, but not on its legitimacy.

The second, General Vannacci has not committed any type of offence, nor do the contents of his book - whether shared or not - constitute to date the object of a crime either in form or in substance. Otherwise, in the months since its publication, the military and civil judiciary would have undertaken the mandatory criminal actions; or civil ones connected to the presentation of a substantive complaint by any citizen.

The third, General Vannacci has not committed, through the contents published, any act of subversion or attack on the Constitution and continues to be one of the most qualified soldiers in our country. The comments made at the time in this regard, therefore, are devoid of any foundation.

Ferdinando Scala

Photo: Ministry of Defense