The blog of the best informed person in Spain


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Being the director of an intelligence service in a modern state means becoming a de facto the best informed person in that country. If, in addition, you have been for almost fifteen years and with two presidents of the Government, the level of information about the most relevant people and institutions becomes almost absolute. It is the case of the general Emilio Alonso Manglano, director of Cesid from 1981 to 1995, with Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo and Felipe González.

An orderly and methodical person, throughout his life Manglano was setting up an immense personal archive in which he left a trace of his career, first in the Army and later at the peak of intelligence. In this last stage he acquired the custom of take note of meetings and conversations most relevant events that he celebrated in his day-to-day life. Over time, he came to create his own nomenclature: King Juan Carlos (SM), the presidents of the Government (PG), the vice-presidents (VPG) or the Minister of Defense (MD).

Two ABC journalists, Juan Fernandez-Miranda and Javier Chicote, have spent several years studying all this enormous information and have constructed a story that represents the most complete version of a key stage for the consolidation of democracy in Spain: from the coup d’état of 23-F to the coming to power of José María Aznar.

The highlight of the Manglano archive are the annual diaries, in which every day he wrote down in clear handwriting and a high degree of detail the information he received. The confidences that the King made him acquire special relevance in hearings and regular calls for two decades. Also noteworthy are the confidential reports that he handled in relation to any issue that posed a threat to the State: from involutionism and terrorism, issues that carry a lot of weight in the early 80s, to the corruption scandals of felipism and the attempts to overthrow the president González, who are gaining weight from the 90’s. But that’s not all. To that daily log we must add a lot of complementary documentation about his meetings with his immediate superior, the Minister of Defense; his reflections on the present and the future of the Center; and on the advances of Spanish intelligence in the international arena. They are notebooks, classifiers, and a large number of folders, dossiers, reports, awards, service sheets, personal letters and a long etcetera.

Everything indicates that every day, at the end of the day, Emilio Alonso Manglano spent a good time to clean your notes. Today, his effort and daily dedication allows access to fundamental information for the History of Spain.

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