How does an inmate preserve his humanity when he knows the state is trying to execute him? What is our capacity for fascist violence, both at home and abroad? Who directly benefited in the run-up to, and immediate aftermath of, the Great Recession?

These are some of the questions explored on “Scheer Intelligence,” whose interview subjects this year included pioneering journalists, corporate whistleblowers and countercultural musicians, to name but a few. Together, they capture an America at a unique crossroads in its history, one in which even the future of its democracy appears an open question.

What follows is an incomplete list of the podcast’s most compelling episodes. Click on the headline to listen to the interview or read its accompanying transcript.

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black on Risking Career for LGBT Rights By Robert Scheer The Academy Award-winning screenwriter talks to Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer about the risky but necessary decision to pause his career in pursuit of LGBT equality.

Maj. Danny Sjursen: Dissent Is Patriotic (Audio and Transcript) By Robert Scheer The columnist and U.S. Army officer tells Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer that U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 makes us less safe.

 

John Kiriakou: Haspel Is the Wrong Woman for the CIA By Robert Scheer Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer and CIA whistleblower Kiriakou discuss the nomination of Gina Haspel as the spy agency’s director.

Filmmaker Sara Driver on Jean-Michel Basquiat (Audio and Transcript) By Robert Scheer Truthdig’s Robert Scheer discusses the American artist with the director of “Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.”

Nomi Prins on the Banks That Run the World (Audio and Transcript) By Robert Scheer The author and former banker discusses what Truthdig’s Robert Scheer calls her “most ambitious” book, “Collusion.”

From Ali to LeBron James: Howard Bryant on Revolt of the Black Athlete By Robert Scheer The acclaimed sports journalist discusses his new book, “The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.”

Seymour Hersh on America’s Capacity for Fascist Brutality By Robert Scheer In a wide-ranging interview, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discusses the My Lai massacre and more.

 

Jane Fonda Is a Living, Breathing Rebuke of the Patriarchy By Robert Scheer Director Susan Lacy reflects on the film star’s personal evolution and her sui generis brand of political activism.

 

Wall Street’s Corruption Runs Deeper Than You Can Fathom By Robert Scheer Author Carmen Segarra sounds off on Goldman Sachs, deregulation and how our culture rewards bad behavior.

 

Is California About to Execute an Innocent Man? Robert Scheer with Kevin Cooper Kevin Cooper reflects on his near-execution, the cowardice of California Democrats and his struggle to stay sane on death row. Part 1 of 2.

 

Could Kevin Cooper Finally Be Exonerated? Robert Scheer with Kevin Cooper Efforts by the inmate’s legal team and journalists lead California’s governor to order a re-examination of the case. Part 2 of 2.

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