Congratulations to Simon Romero, journalist, for getting the scoop on the French Foreign Legion in today’s International Herald Tribune.
Every few years, there’s a news blurb on the Legion, detailing the motley crew of internationals who decide to see the world from under a kepi blanc, learn a…. errr…. trade, pick up some weapons and survival skills, and in some cases, a new identity.
The anonymat is one of the Legion’s cherished traditions, offering a fresh start and the possibility of French citizenship for those looking to make a break with past lives, ex-wives, or bad credit. Maybe someone forgot to tell Romero about this, or maybe he just didn’t give a rat’s ass.
An otherwise boring piece, the only scoop he managed was to identify “Stivan Baird”, pictured above, by his real name – which I’m not going to repeat here – and provide sufficient details of his past that citizenship and immigration officials will be able revoke his citizenship for serving under a foreign flag.
Apparently the one survival skill the Legion forgot to pass on was how to keep your mouth clamped in front of journalists who don’t quibble too much about ethics and protecting sources. Good luck trying to go home when your tour’s up, Legionnaire Baird.