9/11, USS Cole Victims' Families Meet with Obama

Martha Rayner on CBS2, February 06, 2009

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At the White House Friday, families of 9/11 victims and those killed in the USS Cole bombing met with President Obama. As CBS 2's John Slattery reports, the group was upset after Obama suspended trials for Gitmo detainees.

John Slattery: After meeting with the president, loved ones of those killed on 9/11 and aboard the USS Cole in 2000 said the meeting went far better than expected.

Sally Regenhard: He, you know, spoke about the eight years of uncertainty. He wants to look forward, you know, not back, as we said. He wants swift justice.

Slattery: Sally Regenhard's son Christian was a fireman killed on 9/11.

Concerned that detainees have been held for years without trial, the president, on January 22, issued an executive order halting the terrorists' court proceedings at Guantanamo and charges were dismissed Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

The president's executive order mandating that military convictions be halted does not mean that the prisoners go free.

Martha Rayner: Their aim is to sort through these men and determine who in fact are the bad guys.

Slattery: Fordham University law professor Martha Rayner has represented seven Guantanamo prisoners.

Rayner: Obama is simply saying I want some time to take a look at each man, including Al-Nashiri, and to determine how best I can bring people like him to trial.

Slattery: Jim Riches, the father of a firefighter killed on 9/11, also applauded the meeting.

Riches: We asked all the questions about, you know, how we want accountability and it's been eight years. And he assured us we would have swift and certain justice.

Slattery: Over the next few months, decisions will be made on which prisoners to prosecute and which ones against whom there is no case.

John Slattery, CBS2 News.

There are 245 prisoners still being held at Guantanamo.