Barack Obama met yesterday with people who lost relatives in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the bombing of the USS Cole in an effort to reassure them about his plans for detained al-Qaeda suspects, McClatchy Newspapers reports. The president hugged some of the 40 attendees at the highly emotional meeting and promised the White House door would always be open to them.
Obama explained his decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to drop military commission charges against a suspect in the Cole bombing during a half-hour Q&A session. He vowed that the terror suspects would face justice. Attendees said the meeting was passionate but never angry, leaving the families impressed, although not universally won over by his plans.