Monday, November 21, 2016

The Spy Who Couldn't Spell Straight

...and now we're going to hear a story that sounds just too bizarre to be true. 

More than a decade before Edward Snowden famously leaked thousands of classified records to the world, another U.S. government contractor tried a similar move the old-fashioned way. His name is Brian Regan. And in 1999 and 2000, he smuggled classified documents out of his office and buried them in the woods hoping to sell them to a foreign government. But he was foiled in part by his own terrible spelling.

This thrilling story is out this month in a new book called "The Spy Who Couldn't Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, An Unbreakable Code And The FBI's Hunt For America's Stolen Secrets." Michel Martin talked with author Yudhijit Bhattacharjee about the strange story of Brian Regan.

MM: Why do you think most people have never heard of this story?

YB: The main reason is that Brian Regan was arrested just two weeks before 9/11. And so his story got completely overshadowed by the coverage of what was arguably the biggest story of the last 20 years... more