by Carl Russo
Gaspare Spatuzza let spill yesterday that the Mafia experimented with remote-controlled drones for use against enemies. The reformed hit man (and killer of the now canonized priest Pino Puglisi) said of his drone field tests: "We needed to learn how to pilot it and steer it towards targets, loading it with a modest amount of explosives."
Mafia authority John Dickie tweeted about the news report: "Worthy but bit desperate stab at new angle on mafia." He's right: the idea of Spatuzza testing flying bombs is, like, wow, but it's not substantial news. The Mafia, thanks in part to him, accomplished much more mayhem and murder with terra-bound dynamite.
Besides, every time this "pentito" opens his mouth his words end up on newsprint. Like when he told a court that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his longtime sidekick, Senator Marcello Dell'Utri, had "practically placed the country in our hands."
But Spatuzza is worth listening to: Dell'Utri began serving a seven-year prison sentence for Mafia association in March, and Beslursconi faces jail time for everything from tax evasion to sex with a minor—not that he'll ever set his solid-gold culo on a cell bunk.
Still, it's disturbing to know that the US killer drone program has a precedent in the Mafia.