- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2003

A federal jury yesterday convicted retired Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Patrick Regan of offering to sell U.S. intelligence information to Iraq and China, but acquitted him of attempted spying for Libya.
The U.S. District Court jury in Alexandria deliberated for about 25 hours over five days before returning the verdict. Regan, a Bowie father of four, showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
The jury of four women and eight men on Monday will resume deliberations on whether Regan, 40, offered Iraq documents concerning nuclear weaponry, military satellites, war plans or other major U.S. weapons systems.
If the jury finds that he offered those secrets, Regan could receive the death penalty.
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were the last Americans put to death for spying. They were executed in 1953 for conspiring to steal U.S. atomic secrets for the Soviet Union.
If the jury finds him not guilty of that charge, then Regan cannot be executed and U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee will sentence him.
U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty applauded the verdict last night. "It comes at an important moment in American history when our need to safeguard military secrets has never been more critical," he said. "This conviction demonstrates that traitors can and will be held accountable. Mr. Regan betrayed his country and the men and women in uniform with whom he served. He put his love of money before his love of country."
The jury reviewed more than 300 pieces of evidence, including records from Regan's home computer.
Regan, who had a top-secret clearance until August 2001, had worked at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, which operates the government's spy satellites, first for the Air Force and then as a civilian employee for TRW, a defense contractor.
Regan was arrested Aug. 23, 2001, at Washington Dulles International Airport while boarding a flight for Zurich.
During the two-week-long trial, FBI agents testified that when he was arrested, Regan was carrying information with the coded coordinates of Iraqi and Chinese missile sites, the missiles that were stored there and the date the information was obtained. He also had the addresses of Chinese and Iraqi embassies in Switzerland and Austria in his wallet and tucked into his right shoe.
The defense argued that Regan wasn't carrying anything of value when arrested.
"The information was not terribly significant," said Maynard Anderson, former acting deputy undersecretary of defense for security policy. "It did not provide anyone any information that was not publicly known."
Prosecutors said Regan owed nearly $117,000 on his credit cards when he wrote a letter to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein offering to sell for $13 million satellite intelligence that could help Iraq hide anti-aircraft missiles.
The letter to Saddam was found on a computer taken from Regan's home after his arrest.
The computer contained a nearly identical letter to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, prosecutors said.
The defense argued Regan's assets were nearly equal to or slightly more than his debts.
Defense attorney Nina Ginsberg said the worst Regan might have done was "get some money from Saddam Hussein."
Miss Ginsberg argued that Regan might have fantasized about spying, but never copied anything of value and had no real intention of selling secrets.
She said he "wrote down the most minute detail because he was not capable of keeping it in his head."
"No serious foreign power would ever want to deal with this person," Miss Ginsberg said in her closing arguments.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Haynes, however, argued that Regan was not playing a spy. "Brian Regan is not a fantasizer. Brian Regan is a traitor."
Government witnesses also argued that if Regan passed the information he was accused of possessing, American security would be compromised and U.S. and British pilots patrolling the no-fly zones in Iraq could be endangered.


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