On the charge against the former Carabinieri Marshal Saccotelli (Nasiriya attack)


In the last few days there has been news, straight and narrow, of the charge soon to be applied against the former Carabinieri marshal Saccotelli, for the sums paid to him following the Nassiriya attack. Saccotelli has in fact a particular characteristic, that of being a survivor of the attack which, in 2013, wiped out the Maestrale base, killing 19 Italians, leaving an irreparable mark on his body.

There seems to be no doubt that Saccotelli, like his more unfortunate comrades, is a victim of duty, so much so that the protection is also considered to be extended to citizens who, while they pursue a moral duty, more or less clear principle, suffer damage, such as for example that resulting from exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens.

Not having been able to directly read the reasons for the charging order, a shadow remains which, hopefully, can at least be dispelled; however, doubts remain, given the history behind it. Beyond the fact that Saccotelli would certainly have been happier without impairments and with his uniform on, it is not clear then why he was given financial compensation to be charged so brutally; because one thing is certain, Saccotelli paid dearly for his service.

Incompetence? Ignorance of the rules? As always, it is difficult to understand the whys and wherefores, especially when moral and existential damages, those that tragically make life worse, are also included among those deserving of compensation. Or at least this is what we understand and cannot help but share. At least, this is what is part of the most common feeling, which is what remains astounded when faced with the financial charge borne by the head physician and hospital doctors who, committed to containing the pandemic, have accumulated inexplicably a remarkable amount of extraordinary. If they don't work they make mistakes, if they work they make mistakes. The third hypothesis, leaving, is missing, which however would violate the art. 32 of the Constitution, which concerns the right to health.

So what to do with a moral duty that goes out the door and comes back in through the window? Article 2087 of the civil code should protect the health and dignity of workers, a principle that the TAR of Lazio, in 2022, reiterated by establishing that “The duty of the soldier to expose himself to the danger stricto sensu of war (...) is contrasted with the mirror duty of the Administration to protect the citizen-soldier from other predictable and preventable forms of dangers not strictly dependent on war actions, primarily by preparing the necessary safeguards health prevention and treatment and providing it with adequate equipment or, at least, not completely incongruous with the context" (State Council, Section IV, 30 November 2020, n. 7560 and n. 7564). Which then seems easy, but do we always have the time and possibility to make law a subject that is immediately accessible and applicable?

However, it is no coincidence that the Court of Taranto recognized the pension adjustment provided for victims of terrorism to the heirs of a non-commissioned officer, who died of mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, and was therefore considered a victim of duty. But who should have protected first the Tarantino soldier and now Saccotelli? Oh, be careful, because there are many, too many victims due to asbestos. So many that some convictions, against high-ranking defense officials, have also been received for failure to protect the health of workers.

It is true that Saccotelli could not have been unaware of the risks he was running, but this cannot justify the lack of understanding for a very unkind fate; a situation that clashes with the positions of principle expressed by many, certainly never exposed to the danger as Saccotelli was or as regards those poisoned by asbestos or depleted uranium. Very hairy and complicated discussion, because making ethics a remote flag is too easy, especially in a country where many people from Nasiriyah don't want one, but 10, 100, 1000.

Perhaps the perception of the institutions and the Armed Forces is not as clear and accepted as we think, despite everything. Writing or speaking about very high values, so high that they can never be explained really well to everyone, is useless and self-referential. Maybe this is why there was no outcry about asbestos or even about Saccotelli; Perhaps Filling one's mouth with so much theory and little practice is really of little use, especially if the famous ethics remains, as already said, self-referential and in itself.

If people do not understand and continue to express, at best, only indifference, then the entire so-called value system is a silent totem made up of acts and gestures light years away from the present.

Let's be honest, who hasn't thought of Saccotelli: but who made him do it? And especially: but what happened to the famous sense of justice? It's sad to say, but there are only so many words left but few facts, those that would allow Saccotelli, and many like him, to live a little more peacefully as much as possible. Frankly, it is difficult to even imagine it, given the legal proceedings which, involving so many soldiers, only have the ethical value of debasing every principle..

Marius Eaterfire