Backstory | Washington Week



The Power of the CIA

June 2, 2015
As the United States continues its military assault against terrorist groups in the Middle East and relies more and more on drone strikes, the power of the Central Intelligence Agency in foreign policy decision making has never been greater.

The Ghost of Abraham Lincoln

April 29, 2015
With a 200-year-old building, you're bound to hear stories of strange happenings in the middle of the night, but when the building is the White House, the sightings often take on a more historical flavor. Many people believe the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln is still haunting the White House 150 years after his death. The New York Times' Peter Baker tells the story of Ronald Reagan's dog Rex who exhibited strange behavior in the Lincoln Bedroom. But was it really a ghost? "I think in some ways people might like the idea that Lincoln is still hanging around watching over us," Baker says.

Abraham Lincoln's Enduring Legacy

April 22, 2015
Abraham Lincoln is the one president all future presidents want to emulate, but while his legacy is an inspiration, it can also be a burden.

The Notorious R.B.G.

February 25, 2015
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making headlines lately by speaking out on decisions coming from the Supreme Court and even claiming she wasn't "100% sober" when she fell asleep during President Obama's State of the Union address. Ginsburg's outspoken nature is changing the mold of the traditional aloof justice, and the 81-year-old Clinton appointee has become something of an internet phenomenon spawning t-shirts, tattoos and blogs. The leader of the Court's liberal wing has also been dubbed by her supporters "The Notorious R.B.G."

The Supreme Court Echo Chamber

January 16, 2015
A recent Reuters analysis of nearly 17,000 lawyers who have petitioned the Supreme Court with thousands of cases over the last 9 years found less than one-percent -- 66 lawyers -- have the highest success rate having their cases heard before the justices. Of that elite group of attorneys, 63 are white, 58 are men and nearly all have previously clerked for Supreme Court justices or worked in the Solicitor General's office. Reuters Legal Affairs Editor Joan Biskupic shares the Backstory of the Reuter’s investigation and what it means for the types of cases the Supreme Court decides to hear.

Cuba Looks Forward

December 23, 2014
On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and to open an embassy in Havana after more than 50 years. NPR National Security Correspondent Tom Gjelten, author of "Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: A Biography of a Cause," looks ahead at the changes facing the island nation. How will the changing relationship with the U.S. affect the political and cultural landscape? And as Raul Castro announces his plans to step down in 2018, who will lead the country into the future?

The Backstory: 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 10, 2014
Former Washington Post Moscow Bureau Chief and current New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker reflects on the fall of the wall in 1989 and the current state of the East/West divide. As Baker argues, the wall is now virtual and has shifted east to Ukraine where "divisions we thought were ending 25 years ago have reared their head again." As tensions rise between the United States and Russia over Ukraine, are we seeing a new Cold War emerge?

15 Years of News: A Look Back

October 8, 2014
How much has the world changed since Gwen Ifill became the moderator of Washington Week? That is the question she tackles with TIME Magazine's Michael Duffy, who was a panelist on her first show on October 1, 1999. From the impeachment of President Clinton to the consequences of September 11th to the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, they traverse the key historical news moments of the last 15 years.

Roadmap to 2016

July 3, 2014
While the 2016 presidential election is two year away, there is plenty of buzz now about who will decide to run. Gwen Ifill talks to Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz about what to look for as the race starts to take shape including how Hillary Clinton has frozen the field for other potential Democrats.
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