Io9 - CIA Analysis Of The War Of 1812 Finds Same Failures That Led To 9/11
This month is the 200th anniversary of the British capture of Washington, DC, and the torching of the White House. How did this disaster happen, despite ample warnings? A CIA analyst who poured through historical documents blames the same types of intelligence failures that preceded Pearl Harbor and September 11th.
The British invasion of Washington, DC, on August 24, 1814, was a surprise attack that shouldn’t have been a surprise. The two nations were in a state of war; Britain’s defeat of Napoleon in 1814 allowed it to commit its military entirely to its campaign against the U.S., and, most importantly, the British had landed forces that were within striking distance of America’s capital city. The capture of Washington, DC, wasn’t just a defeat for the U.S.; it was, in retrospect, an embarrassing failure.