Journalist Jeremy Scahill is among his generation's most dogged chroniclers of American empire and the national-security and intelligence apparatus, and has done especially crucial work exposing the United States' use of private military contractors (in his 2007 book Blackwater: The Rise Of The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army) and the excesses of drone warfare under the Obama administration (in 2016's The Assassination Complex). Scahill's brash, smart-assed approach—one that embraces radical perspectives and rejects the milder conventions of journalistic neutrality—makes him both divisive and indispensable. That's also true of The Intercept, an investigative journalism website he co-founded in 2014 with the even more polarizing journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Since his last visit to Madison, Scahill has also launched The Intercept's podcast, Intercepted, which mixes hard-hitting journalism and political commentary with surreal, mercilessly satirical audio sketches and performances from radically minded artists including Brother Ali and Narcy. Scahill speaks here as part of the Wisconsin Union Directorate's Distinguished Lecture Series. —Scott Gordon