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Latest Social Media Craze; Pakistan Agreed to Secret U.S. Drone Deal; Bugged by a Progressive Group; Rift Over Same Sex Marriage; The Cicadas Are Coming; What's in the Box?

Aired April 11, 2013 - 16:30   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

"The World Lead", breaking news only on CNN. Not a single Pakistani official has ever admitted sanctioning U.S. drone strikes in their country until now. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's former president, confessing to a secret deal in an exclusive interview with CNN.

"The Money Lead": It makes YouTube feel so six seconds ago. Twitter's Vine app lets you share videos that are barely longer than a sneeze and it's the hottest thing on social media.

And the "Buried Lead." It sounds like a biblical plague. Millions of these giant bugs are about to swarm the northeast. They're as big as shrimp. They'll cover everything you own and they will not shut up.

The "Money Lead." It is hard to believe we've reached a point where breaking records on Wall Street is almost routine. For the third straight day, the Dow set a record high and the S&P 500 hit its all- time mark for a second day in a row.

Now, imagine if I had only 6 seconds to share that stock market news. My time would have been up about 15 seconds ago. In social media, under sharing is the latest craze all thanks to the popular video app Vine.

It lets users create and upload 6-second long clips and just four months after its debut, Vine has already earned the top spot among app store free downloads.


TAPPER (voice-over): There was once a time when really short shorts meant this. Today, it means this. The video sharing app Vine was launched just in January by Twitter. Yes, the same company that has made communicating 140 characters at a time the norm.

Vine fuels creativity by limiting the length of video clips to just 6 seconds. Those videos are then posted on an endless loop to your Twitter account. Since its debut, Vine has become a go-to service for not just avid Tweeters but advertisers and celebrities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not yours he's Vine.

TAPPER: This woman created what may be the world's first Vine resume and it landed her a job. Actor Adam Goldberg has come to be known as the king of Vine, thanks to his soap series where he pieces together one man's unravelling life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey, that's a little hyperbolic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. This app has really changed you.

TAPPER: Six seconds at a time. Vine has even made a teaser out of teasers. Check out this 6-second trailer for the movie "Wolverine." Now the concept can seem a little tricky. So we decided to help out all you Vine-o-saurs still stuck in the social media ice age by getting a lesson from this guy.

The Twitter cofounder, Jack Dorsey, showed me first hand just how easy it is to point and click my way into Generation V. Before long I was a lean, mean video sharing machine.

The app has become so entrenched in pop culture the Tribeca Film Festival is now letting Vine beats vie for their shot at 6 seconds of glory with a competition for the best Vine video. Here is one contender's take on the film classic "Citizen Kane."

The beauty of Vine is you don't need to be a trained photographer or techie to create a mini masterpiece. There are no filters, no editing or ways to add audio. In fact, the biggest obstacle on Vine is time.


TAPPER: Right now, Vine is only number one in the U.S. We should note there is no version of the app for Android phones.

In other world news, a story we're breaking right here right now on THE LEAD. Pakistan is an ally, a sovereign nation, but the U.S. has killed hundreds of people inside its borders with drone strikes.

Pervez Musharraf was Pakistan's president when the strikes began. For years, he and other high level Pakistani officials claimed to have nothing to do with them, but now Musharraf is finally coming clean in an interview with our own Nic Robertson standing by live in Islamabad, Pakistan. Nic, what did Musharraf tell you?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, in all that time, those 10 years, Pakistani politicians, Musharraf included, have denied, denounced drone strikes, denied that they ever had a hand in them.

I asked him point blank, so what you're telling me is there might have been some. This is what he said.


ROBERTSON: What you're saying here, on occasion there was agreement.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: No. Only on very few occasions where the target was absolutely isolated and had no chance of collateral damage. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: What Musharraf said was there was an agreement, security agreement between U.S./Pakistani forces and if they couldn't get the Pakistani army on to an al Qaeda or Taliban target, then this is how he explained they authorized the drone strikes.


MUSHARRAF: Discussed the military level, the intelligence level to strike and if at all there was no time for our own military to act then -- and that was very, very -- maybe two or three times only.


ROBERTSON: So this is a huge revelation, never heard this before. He says it wasn't a blanket agreement that he agreed to perhaps several of these type of drone strikes, but until now again absolutely no word, no hint, only ever denials that there was ever any green lights like this -- Jake.

TAPPER: Thank you. Nic Robertson in Islamabad and we will have more from Nic tomorrow.

Last September when asked about the drone program by a Fox affiliate WXIX, President Obama said this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our goal has been to focus on al Qaeda, to focus narrowly on those who would pose an imminent threat to the United States of America.


TAPPER: You got that? A narrow focus on al Qaeda and those who pose an imminent threat to the U.S. based on serious, not speculative intelligence is what the administration says. It turns out it does not seem to be true.

Copies of top-secret U.S. intelligence reports reviewed by Jonathan Land, a national security reporter, indicated drone strikes in Pakistan over a four-year period did not meet that standard.

Often instead targeting extremists with no affiliation with al Qaeda, posing no threat to the U.S. and of course, there are many reports from Pakistan of innocent civilians being killed.

Tomorrow on THE LEAD, we will have part two of our special report on drones in Pakistan. Nic Robertson will explore whether these killings not only of terrorists, but also women and children are creating a new generation of radicals.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can rest easy tonight. The infiltrator has been caught. Find out who bugged his campaign office in our "Political Lead," coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: The "Politics Lead." They apparently found them all, a secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisers hit the internet this week on "Mother Jones" and, well, let's take a listen.


MITCH MCCONNELL, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I assume most of you have played the game Whac-A-Mole? This is the Whac-A-Mole period of the campaign when anybody sticks their head up, do them out.


TAPPER: The more questionable part of the recording, of course, came when some of McConnell's advisers talked about the mental illness of a potential running mate. McConnell learned the recording and we have learned the recording was made by two leaders of the liberal group "Progress Kentucky" that's according to a Democratic operative who spoke to CNN's Jim Acosta.


JACOB CONWAY, KENTUCKY DEMOCRATIC OFFICIAL: They said that they were hanging out around the McConnell office and the campaign office that they were there. They overheard a conversation from the outside of the door.


TAPPER: Here to talk about this and some other issues Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen, Rachel Campos-Duffy, blogger for and wife of Republican Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, and Michael Scherer, White House correspondent for "Time" magazine.

It did seem I have to say at first a lot of people were in the media, maybe were skeptical of McConnell's, this was a bug. The bugging incident type thing, but maybe he had a point.

MICHAEL SCHERER, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "TIME" MAGAZINE: This wasn't exactly a bug. The way it's described is someone in the hallway. The big difference between a bug and someone in the hallway, one is illegal.

TAPPER: Good point.

SCHERER: If you're a party to a conversation and you can hear a conversation through a wall then you're allowed to tape that conversation. If you're not a party --

TAPPER: You are a party if you can overhear it?

SCHERER: Yes. If you leave a recording device though and then leave the room and are no longer party to it then you're in big trouble. TAPPER: Interesting. Hilary, your take on this? I know that a lot of -- I had this very jaded panel the way this broke and they were like this is what happens. Democrats and Republicans go over everything.

HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It does although Mitch McConnell's sort of faux outrage is a little amusing to me. You know, when he is in there talking about how we're going to do them out. We're going to play Whac-A-Mole with these candidates and literally trash Ashley Judd who I happen to know and is a lovely person.

You know, trash her on the basis of like calling her looney and mentally ill and the like is ridiculous. So he ought to just say, you know, this is what happens in campaigns. Campaigns are rough.

I'm sorry, you know, people had to hear that kind of conversation. That's how it goes. But to go on how now he is the victim because he was somehow overheard actually having a conversation with his strategists is really offensive.

TAPPER: Rachel?

RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY, SPOKESPERSON, THE LIBRE INITIATIVE: How about the full outrage from a strategist about what's pretty normal, you know, opposition research. I mean, everybody's freaking out about it.

Look. There should be an obvious understanding of privacy when you're in -- these people were crawling around the walls, recording things. We know they shouldn't have been there.

And then everybody's freaking out that they're actually doing their job, which is to vet candidates who are going to run against a candidate. I mean, I know she is your friend, but she has put herself out there. That's what happens.

ROSEN: That's my point. Politics can be really ugly and what he was planning on doing was being extra ugly. And what he ought to do now is just admit that that's what he was doing instead of making it about this whole other thing.


SCHERER: I would say though Mitch McConnell's problem right now is he has a problem, primary problem on the right. He's trying to unite the right and by playing this up, by saying there is an evil left out there, crawling through the ceiling.

DUFFY: Works for him.

TAPPER: This group, "Progress Kentucky" had a racist ad against --

SCHERER: This is the second time they basically help the guy they're trying to hurt.

TAPPER: He is married to an Asian-American from Taiwan and they did a racist ad. DUFFY: Right. That's the point. There is hypocrisy all the time on this kind of stuff. So had somebody on the right said something racial you can bet --

TAPPER: Well, people condemned it. I just called it here on CNN.

DUFFY: It was. But I haven't seen as many stories about it as I've seen about this.

ROSEN: But the other thing is that, Michael raises a right point, which is that Mitch McConnell would rather have the people of Kentucky thinking of him as a victim than actually the leader of the Republicans in Washington when he hasn't done a budget. When he's trying to help sneak, you know, and water down a gun control bill, when he's trying to do all sorts of other activities that are --

SCHERER: That serves a purpose.

ROSEN: This is what Mitch McConnell wants the story to be about instead of real politics.

TAPPER: Let's change subjects for one second. So Delaware announced new legislation today. That if passed would make it the 10th state to legalize same sex marriage. Attorney General Bo Biden is one of those leading the charge.

Rachel, I want your point of view on this. In all our coverage of same sex marriage one of the things we talked about was real world San Francisco because Pedro I think it's fair to say was a revolutionary person on television.

He was the first to a lot of Americans then young, now middle aged, the first out gay person in their living rooms.

DUFFY: Sure.

TAPPER: Bo Biden, Joe Biden, these are Catholics. You are a conservative Catholic, but you also happen to have had a relationship with Pedro.

DUFFY: Yes, I did.

TAPPER: What is your view on same sex marriage?

DUFFY: Let me just say you bring up I think a really good point. I think culturally, pop culture wise there has definitely been a softening of people's position on this. Even you see it is a generational thing.

If you talk to a young Republican these days, a lot of them will probably say they don't care about the issue. They're in the party because it's the party that promotes, you know, economic liberty and self-reliance and is very entrepreneurial and up by your boot straps kind of party and that is what appeals to them.

You know, as far as Bo Biden and Joe Biden being Catholics, look. The Catholic Church has teachings. They're dogma based on 2,000 years of history and church theology. They don't move with the winds of American popular culture. I don't know how devout these fellows are.

I will tell you that I know that, you know, Joe Biden was a member of the Knights of Columbus and I know his membership was in question because of his position on abortion. So I don't really think people are looking whether they're Catholic or say they're Catholic. Let's just say they're not in communion with the church because --

ROSEN: Clearly, the church is out of touch with this. Look, the home country of the new pope, Argentina, has legalized same sex marriage. You know, that's where he was the leader of the institution. I think this is not a religious issue though.

No religion would ever be forced to marry people of the same sex. They can do what they want, but marriage is a civil right. Granted, by the government and government benefits accrue to it and all Americans have to have that.

TAPPER: Right.

ROSEN: It's wrong to keep bringing religion into this.

TAPPER: I want you to put on your pundit hat. Will there be any Republican presidential candidates who support same sex marriage and will there be any Democratic presidential candidates who oppose it?

SCHERER: In 2016?

TAPPER: In 2016, yes.

SCHERER: I would say yes. We've had large enough fields. I don't think the nominee will support same sex marriage, but probably support civil unions on the Republican side. But you could easily have one person on the early debate stage who does trying really to do what the RNC is saying needs to be done, which is to attract younger voters.

TAPPER: And Democrats?

SCHERER: And Democrats. You could possibly also see but not really. I mean, at this point there's three left in the Senate or four left in the Senate.

TAPPER: Yes. It's an endangered species. Rachel Campos-Duffy, Hilary Rosen, Michael Scherer, thank you so much.

Does the thought of giant mating bugs falling from the sky excite you or terrify you? Well, you might want to book a flight if it terrifies you. The cicada apocalypse is coming. That's our "Buried Lead" and it's next.


TAPPER: Now for the "Buried Lead." I usually mean buried to say a story not getting enough attention, but today I actually mean it literally. This story is buried. We don't know exactly when or where it will happen, but sometime soon billions of cicadas will swarm the east coast.

These creepy crawling noise makers will make their way from deep underground in a phenomenon only Hitchcock could appreciate. THE LEAD's Erin McPike is here with more of who could bear the brunt of the cicada brood. I hate these bugs.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I thought that it was an old wives tale that they came into our lives every 17 years but it's not. It's just that there are different groups of cicadas that come around on different 17-year intervals. I know I've experienced it more than one time.


MCPIKE: Including one big brood as we called them when I was 8 and I used to rip the wings off, isn't that nice?

TAPPER: Doesn't surprise me, by the way.

MCPIKE: I'm sure it doesn't. But now only you and I have to worry about them flying into our soda pop at happy hour outside. I think it's really the only concern. But if you hate the noise, which I think you might you're out of luck.


MCPIKE (voice-over): They're back, those giant orange bug-eyed winged creatures that sing. In just a few weeks states from Connecticut to North Carolina, watch out. You'll be swarming with cicadas.

PROF. MICHAEL RAUPP, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: When some part of the country almost any given year there is a brood of cicadas.

MCPIKE: Michael Raupp is a professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland. Basically he studies bugs.

(on camera): How many cicadas are we talking here?

RAUPP: We're talking about a boatload of cicadas. There could be as many as a billion cicadas per square mile.

MCPIKE (voice-over): Different types of cicadas appear every summer, but this spring a group known as "Brood 2" will be back after 17 years. That sound is the cicadas' mating call. They sing, mate, lay eggs, and then die in trees all in just four to six weeks.

(on camera): Well, I read earlier today that what we're going to see for four to six weeks when they crop up here is a giant sex and death party.

RAUPP: It is, the sex first the death later.

MCPIKE: One would hope.

RAUPP: Yes. Well, it's not always the case, but that's a bad day. The males will get up there. They'll get eyeball to eyeball with the women. It's going to be about birth. It's going to be about romance and love and sex. And it's going to be about death. For bug geeks like myself this is our Super Bowl.

MCPIKE: And the last time we saw an infestation like this?

RAUPP: My God, it was fantasmagorical. I mean, people were going crazy. There were people that feared the cicada. There were people that loved the cicada. There were people that ate the cicada.

MCPIKE (voice-over): Maybe you dined on chocolate covered grasshoppers, but cicadas can be prepared lots of different ways.

RAUPP: You can have boiled cicada, fried cicada, stir fried cicada, cicada shanghai, cicada barbecue. Sometimes I just like to eat them raw. It's just like eating a soft shell crab. And when you eat a soft shelled cicada it's got a delicate, nutty flavor, a buttery texture. And hints of the Tannans from the oak trees they fed on for 17 years.

MCPIKE: What kind of wine do you recommend?

RAUPP: I recommend a merlot would be perfect.

MCPIKE (voice-over): But for the bug fearing when the cicadas arrive, don't you worry. They don't sting or bite.


MCPIKE: I don't know about the eating it, Jake. But if you really hate them, this is the first time we're going to see a big brood of cicadas around in the age of Twitter. I would get if Winston Tapper, the dog, eats one you'll probably be tweeting about it.

TAPPER: I'm almost as scared by that gentleman you interviewed as I was by the cicadas. Need a little alone time? I've got the perfect place for you, a brand new ballpark in Miami. Sure the Marlins are bad but this bad? Our "Sports Lead" is next.


TAPPER: The "Sports Lead." Marlins fans were told that they need a new stadium to get more butts in the seats. Maybe what they need is a new owner. Plenty of good seats available at last night's game in taxpayer funded Marlins Park, an announced attendance of just 13,810, a new record low.

Dozens were there for the national anthem. Not sure how many stuck around to see the fish get shut out for the fourth time in nine games. They are now 1-8, a miracle team for all the wrong reasons. Somehow the Marlins are already seven games out of first place.

It's a message right out of "The Godfather." Your season sleeps with the Billy goats. Police in Chicago are now looking for the fan who reportedly dropped off a goat's head at Wrigley Field addressed to owner Tom Rickets. Police tell "The Chicago Tribune" that the severed goat's head had a U.S. Department of Agriculture tag on its ear. Of course, goats are a scary thing around Wrigley. Chicago legend says a tavern owner cursed the Cubs when they wouldn't let his pet goat into Wrigley Field for a World Series game in 1945. They have not been back to a fall classic since.

Hash tag you're it. We asked you earlier to help Jay-z out come up with a few lines with a treasury rhyme. Your best, got a culture waiver from the Treasury Department. Before he met me Castro never knew what art meant. Shout out to my boys at Treasury for all the earthly pleasures me and be hit due south of Miami.

That's all the time we have on THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I leave you in the able hands of Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."