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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
National Guard Called Protesters "Enemy Forces"; Medical Peers Want Celebrity Doc Fired; New Pot Treats Hitting The Market. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired April 17, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- conducting by the book pat-downs as well.
CHAD WOLF, FORMER TSA ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR: Individual passengers may still object to that, and how they do that, as long as they're doing that correctly they're doing their job.
FOREMAN: Still, as authorities consider charges against those officers involved, the Denver story is super super-charging Harrington's idea it's difficult to tell where airport security ends and sexual assault begins these days.
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FOREMAN: We reached out to Jason Harrington, who wrote this provocative words and he so far declined to talk to us on the air about, but the Denver district attorney is talking.
He says he's heard from several more passengers, who think they too may have been groped and if we start hearing reports from other airport, you can bet, Jake, this story will intensify.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Tom Foreman, thank you so much.
The National Lead now, American guardsmen, describing American citizen protesters as the enemy? Well, that's what happened in Ferguson during those tense protests over the shooting death of Michael Brown. Could that explain why what started as crowd control ended up looking more like something out of a war zone? That story is next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
Today startling new details out of Ferguson, Missouri, the guardsmen, who had been called in to preserve the fragile calm there last summer and last fall were briefed as if they had been headed into war.
E-mails and other mission briefings obtained by CNN reveal Missouri national guardsmen labeled these U.S. citizens who demonstrated and other ones amidst them enemy forces and adversaries.
Let's get right to CNN's Sara Sidner. Sara, these e-mails obtained by CNN showed these National Guard commanders knew that using this kind of language could be seen as potentially inflammatory. How are civil rights activists, people in Ferguson, responding to today's news?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very negatively and they feel like, you know, they are American citizens, and they say, look, there are so many people who are out of this protests for dozens and dozens of days on end, and most of the time they say they weren't violent.
And to be called an enemy is just an absolutely wrong thing to call these protesters who went out every single day, just exercising their rights.
SIDNER (voice-over): This was the scene when the Missouri governor decided to call in the National Guard in Ferguson, Missouri, the first time. It happened a week after large protests had erupted twice into violence, looting and burning.
And after the highly criticized actions of the St. Louis County Police Department, which many argued enflamed tensions using military vehicles and snipers with rifles pointed at protesters turning Ferguson streets into what looked like a war zone.
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the way the National Guard saw the situation as they prepared to deploy a second time when the governor called them up again in November, as the grand jury prepared to make its decision in the police shooting case.
They list, enemy forces to watch out for. General protesters are third on that list. Following the RBG black rebels and the Ku Klux Klan saying protesters have historically used Molotov cocktails, rocks and other debris to throw at police.
Several small arms fire incidents have occurred and some they use militant tactics taught by that rebel group. Protesters, Rick Coyle, at enemy called enemy forces especially they when the majority of people protesting were not violent and simply exercising their constitutional rights as Americans.
KATHERINE JACKSON, PROTESTER: How am I an enemy? All I am is a 62- year-old grandmother who's worried that I'm going to leave my grandchildren in a world where I can't protect them anymore. I want to see change. I want to see real change.
PAUL MUHAMMED, PROTESTER: We are looked at as the enemy anytime we're vocal, anytime we're expressing ourselves, disenfranchised particularly in a black community.
SIDNER: The National Guard itself worried about the words enemy and adversary. In the documents one colonel warned the language could be construed as potentially inflammatory. A couple of days later a notification was sent to commanding officers saying all reference of enemy were changed to state criminal elements.
The head of Missouri's National Guard telling CNN in an e-mail, the documents used in the Ferguson, Missouri, case were a generic military planning format, utilized in a wide range of military missions so the term enemy forces would be better understood as potential threats.
Ultimately, in the wake of the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who killed Michael Brown, the National Guard was criticized not for its overtly military response, but the guards' lack of response.
In November, when two streets of Ferguson went up in flames, they were nowhere to be seen, something that angered the mayor of Ferguson.
(on camera): Did the governor do the wrong thing? When it comes to how quickly the National Guard was actually deployed on the streets?
JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON MAYOR: I don't know who made that call, but I do believe that the National Guard should have been out there much sooner.
SIDNER: And so as you heard there, there were businesses there, really angry that the National Guard wasn't out in force when all of that burning and looting went down on the day after the grand jury decision.
But the protesters say listening to this after they did hundreds of days of protesting peacefully, they really, really feel that something has to change and has to change fast -- Jake.
TAPPER: Sara Sidner, thank you so much.
Let's bring in Jeff Roorda. He is the business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association and a retired police officer. We should underline again this was not St. Louis Police office using this terminology. It was the National Guard.
Jeff, using terms like enemy forces. These were Americans. Do you find this disturbing as all?
JEFF ROORDA, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: Well, Jake, I understand why it is disturbing to hear these terms in hindsight, but let's remember, and I'll remind you that I was a state representative at that time, and I was briefed by the National Guard.
[16:40:12] There was clearly distinction in their mind between the violent elements within the protests that were shooting at police, that were flowing Molotov cocktails and the peaceful protesters who they were charged with protecting. I think we're making a little too much of the use of sort of standard military jargon here.
TAPPER: Well, I mean, I was in Ferguson when the people in the crowds of protesters burned stores, looted, threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, even gun shots both last month and, of course, last fall. But there were many, many more people who were peaceful protesters.
Now without question, it was a very challenging environment for law enforcement. But isn't using a term such as "the enemy" does that make it tougher for national guardsmen to distinguish between the bad actors and the larger crowd of peaceful protesters?
ROORDA: Well, they should have departed from the standard language that they use in these sorts of deployments. I totally agree with that, Jake, but I don't think it changed the outcome. Just within the report that Sara just brought forward, I mean, you can see the no-win situation for the governor in deploying the National Guard.
In one breath criticized for over-militarization by bringing in the National Guard. The next, criticized for not fully deploying them. It was a tenuous situation, and when you bring military into a situation like that, it's very dangerous.
Remember, the L.A. riots over 50 people were killed. Many of them by -- by law enforcement in these riots, we were able to preserve life and to some extent, more property than a lot of us expected, a lot more arson and carnage that we saw.
TAPPER: Jeff, I want to ask. The last time we spoke last month, it was right after two local police officers had been shot in Ferguson.
TAPPER: How are they doing?
ROORDA: Thank you very much for asking, Jake. One is a very good friend of mine, you know. His recovery is going very well. He was the St. Louis county officer shot in the shoulder. He's doing remarkably well and handled this whole thing very well.
The officer that was shot in the face, obviously, has a longer road to recovery, but he seems to be recovering well too. So thank you for asking.
TAPPER: All right, our thoughts and prayers with your friends. Please pass that on, if you would, Jeff. Thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
ROORDA: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up, the Pop Culture Lead, he might be on Oprah's list of faves, but Dr. Oz is getting called a quack by fellow doctors. Could it lead to the TV star getting pushed out of a prestigious position?
And the Money Lead, how about a little cannabis with your kale? That's right. Pot is going gourmet. How the business of weed is reinventing the stoner diet. That's next.
[16:47:02] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The Pop Culture Lead now, he is a doctor and he plays one on TV with Oprah's blessing no less. Dr. Oz has given medical advice to millions of daytime television viewers.
For some fans America's doctor is the only doctor they trust. But now, some of his peers are saying that Dr. Oz may be about as legit as that wizard who shares his name.
DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST, "DR. OZ": Whatever I shared with you guys, spread the word.
TAPPER (voice-over): Dr. Oz dispenses medical advice and care like a machine at traveling clinics as host of an Emmy award winning syndicated television show.
DR. OZ: I'm Dr. Oz with my brand new magazine.
TAPPER: And on the pages of his own magazines and web sites. The cardiothoracic surgeon also holds a prominent position as vice chair of Columbia University's Surgery Department. That sounds impressive, but his fellow doctors are now telling the Ivy League school that they are surprised and dismayed at Oz' title especially after segments like this.
ANNOUNCER: The 10-minute miracle plan to shed your fat for good.
DR. OZ: You all sold?
TAPPER: These enthusiastic spots on so-called miracle pills or diets or supplements have drawn harsh criticism from the medical establishment.
JOEL E. TEPPER, M.D., UNC DEPARTMENT OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY: If you present data as, you present statements as being data and being fact- driven, that does not represent the norm from an academic institution. That is grounds for dismissal.
TAPPER: Dr. Joel Tepper teamed up with nine other physicians nationwide to write a letter to Columbia University. Members of the public are being misled and endangered, making Dr. Oz's presence on the faculty of a prestigious medical institution unacceptable.
TEPPER: He has touted many drugs as miracle drugs for weight loss, which causes people to spend huge amounts of money for treatments that have no benefit whatsoever for them.
ANNOUNCER: The new silver bullet for weight-loss.
DR. OZ: There must be concerns you have about this pill?
TAPPER: Dr. Oz defended his, quote, "passionate language" about unconventional treatments before.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This hearing will now come to order.
TAPPER: Not just to audiences but to the United States Senate.
SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D, MISSOURI: Why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?
DR. OZ: I actually do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show. I passionately study them. I recognize them, but often times they don't have the scientific muster to present as fact.
TAPPER: In response to the ten doctors' letters to Columbia University, Dr. Oz wrote on Facebook today, quote, "We provide multiple points of view including mine, which is offered without conflict of interest."
That does sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts. The university is also coming to Oz' defense writing, quote, "Columbia is committed to upholding faculty members freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion." DR. OZ: Michelle, 92.
TAPPER: But one of the ten doctors calling for Oz's removal from Columbia University calls that flap trap. Critics say millions of daily viewers are potentially being misled.
DR. OZ: I think we put on a little weight.
[16:50:07] TAPPER: And a recent study in the "British Medical Journal" looked into the perceived and alleged quackiness of Dr. Oz. That journal found that only 46 percent of the claims made on the show were backed up by science.
The Sports Lead now, we just learned that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is recovering after undergoing heart surgery. Doctors at UCLA performed a quadruple coronary bypass operation on the Lakers legend yesterday.
Surgeons say Abdul-Jabbar, a basketball hall of famer and the NBA all- time leading scorer, is expected to make a full recovery. Our thoughts and prayers go to him and his family.
On the field, he has offensive linemen who protect him, off the field, he has a lawyer. Today the attorney for former Heisman trophy winner, Jameis Winston, responded to a lawsuit by a woman who claims he raped her back in 2012. He called it a stunt that the team expected.
This lawsuit came two weeks before Winston could be the number one overall pick in the NFL draft and bagged tens of millions of dollars. The allegations haunted the quarterback through much of his college career as well even though Winston was never charged criminally.
Florida State also cleared him of any wrongdoing. Yesterday, the woman's attorney blamed the delinquent police department, a hostile FSU Athletic Department and Winston's bully attorney for the lack of charges. In other sports news, OK, look, having your car towed really stinks. We've all been there, but not even the curmudgeons on Twitter are showing sympathy for ESPN reporter, Britt McHenry today after she was caught on a security camera going all mean girls on a towing company employee.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel good about your job? I could about college dropout and do the same thing? I have a brain and you don't. Maybe missing some teeth it would help me out. Like yours? That's stunning because I'm on television and you're a (inaudible) trailer --
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TAPPER: The #firebritt is now trending on Twitter after ESPN decided to suspend her seven days. McHenry for her part has apologized perhaps having the world's bear witness how dark your soul can be will serve as its own punishment.
Coming up, the next time someone offers you an herbal drink, better double check the ingredients.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Our Money Lead, the slogan, greed is good so '80s, but weed is good, might sum up what's creating a new generation of multi-millionaires. Marijuana moguls moved past pot brown is and other THD inspired recipes. As CNN Ana Cabrera found, some companies are going even furtherer to make sure your everyday household products can take you to greater highs.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pot brownies and cannabis cookies old school. New today --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Buttery goodness.
CABRERA: Baklava baked with marijuana mints and THC infused sodas, tinctures, and gourmet candy bars.
TRIPP KEBER, CEO DIXIE BRANDS: This is the ridiculously sophisticated toasted rooster, which is a 70 percent cacao, dark chocolate coupled with papita and sea salt. So it is truly a gourmet mock chocolate bar delivering quite a punch.
CABRERA: Marijuana edibles have become a multimillion dollar industry.
PEGGY MOORE, OWNER, LOVE'S OVEN: We're in about 150 stores and we are in all corners of the state so, and everywhere in between.
CABRERA: Companies capitalizing on the cannabis craze aren't just expanding kitchens or laboratories. They are expanding their offerings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So one patch is $16, and this is one serving or one dose of the THC, correct or just the CBDs if doing going down the CBD that route.
CABRERA: There are patches and creams for pain relief, battery charged vaporizers with THC infused oils and even bath products to help with relaxation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It basically is a giant tea bag and it's called hash bath.
CABRERA: But the newest and perhaps most intriguing pot product we came across was a special THC sensual enhancement spray for women.
MICHELLE SALVATI, DIRECTOR OF SALES, NATIVE ROOTS: You would, as woman, spray the product three to four times, about 30 minutes before intimacy and it promotes everything from enhanced sensation. It increases blood flow. It relaxes you.
CABRERA: Pleasure that comes at a price, $100 for the big bottle, $50 for the smaller 10 milliliter size.
(on camera): Do you have a return policy if somebody feels like they aren't getting the full benefit?
SALVATI: There hasn't been anyone who has complained about the product yet.
CABRERA: Have you tried it?
SALVATI: I have and it works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marijuana, and -- me, too.
CABRERA (voice-over): Jeffrey Coolidge is an Iraq war vet purchasing peach tarts to help with his post-traumatic stress symptoms.
(on camera): Have you used these products before or are you just trying them out?
JEFFREY COOLIDGE, VETERAN AND MARIJUANA CUSTOMER: These I'm trying out for the first time, but I've done a bunch of research and I know that marijuana in general helps with PTSD.
CABRERA (voice-over): Since retail marijuana became legal more than a year ago in Colorado, more than 120 marijuana infused product manufacturers have been licensed as the world of pot products continues to grow, consumers are gobbling them up. Ana Cabrera, CNN, Denver.
TAPPER: Our thanks to Ana Cabrera.
[17:00:00] Be sure to tune in this weekend for the debut of CNN's new documentary series titled, "High Profits." The premiere is this Sunday night at 10:00 right here on CNN.
And that's it for THE LEAD.
I'm Jake Tapper turning you over to Wolf Blitzer.
He's right next door in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Have a great weekend. Enjoy the spring.