The Spy Who Couldn't Spell
A Dyslexic Traitor, An Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets...
In 2001, Brian Regan was arrested for conspiring to commit espionage against the American government. His marriage was strained, he was in mounds of debt, and he figured selling secrets to Libya, Iraq & China would be a way to make millions. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee's portrait of Regan and the FBI agent who led his case - Steven Carr - reads like a John le Carré novel. Regan was caught (obviously, or else this book would not have been written) due to his poorly thought out plans that he got from movies and books. However, the fact that he managed to steal so much classified information is amazing (and so is the fact that he forgot his own code that encrypted where he buried it in national parks around the D.C. area). I thought the book moved along at a nice pace. I recognize Regan is serving a life sentence, but missing from the entire story was his perspective. Bhattacharjee can only guess at his motives and his feelings throughout the trial. Also, Regan went on trial shortly after 9/11, and that important historical event was overshadowed in the tale. Of course the jury was swayed against a man who was conspiring to sell secrets to Iraq.... still - a fascinating look into the first espionage case of the digital age.