Is Joe Scarborough a Counter-Terrorism Expert?

I switch back and forth between CNN and MSNBC for news over breakfast, but usually don't stay at the latter for long because Morning Joe can be such a swamp of narcissism.

Like today. The guest I caught was Malcolm Nance, author of Defeating Isis. Nance is a former Navy intelligence officer and recognized around the world as an expert on counter-terrorism and torture.


But Joe Scarborough thinks he knows more than Nance about those issues. Wait till you hear why.

They got into an argument about waterboarding, which Nance denounced as torture in 2007, apparently waking the Pentagon up. Joebi-wan Kenobi said that plenty of articles have proved it works. Nance strongly disagreed. Joe countered by saying that he didn't have to be an expert in trigonometry to be able to understand articles about it. I'm not making that up.


Nance pushed back hard and said there was nothing that Joe could have read proving the U.S. had gotten actionable intelligence from waterboarding, and in fact, it had wasted our time by sending people on wild goose chases.

Joe wouldn't back off. Because Joe, of course, is the expert on these subjects since he can read, and Nance, who's lectured around the world on counter-terrorism, isn't. Why? Because Joe knows best.

Who was the next guest? Morning Joe's bestie: Donald Trump, who's said this recently about torture:

I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete" with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Trump said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS TV's "Face the Nation." Citing ISIS' beheadings of U.S. prisoners and other brutal tactics, Trump said, "We have to play the game the way they're playing the game. You're not going to win if we're soft and they're -- they have no rules.

Why bother interviewing Trump? He could have just texted the show his amens.

Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in genres from mystery to memoir.