February 6th, 2009
06:48 PM ET

Inside today's meeting with President Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/02/05/uss.cole.bombing/art.cole.afp.gi.jpg caption="Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. "]

Adam Levine
CNN Supervising Producer

Lorrie Triplett, whose husband Andrew died in the bombing of the USS Cole, said the president met with the group for one hour and discussed his reasoning for closing Guantanamo and explained what would happen.

He told the group that they are in the process of reviewing what to do but assured them that “those who need to be detained will stay and those that don’t need to be released,” Triplett said.

The President assured the families of Cole victims that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged Cole bomber being held at Guantanamo, will not be released and that his trial will go forward. Although he told them he couldn’t say yet whether the trials would be military or federal.

“We were glad to hear that,” Triplett said.

Triplett traveled with her two daughters, Andrea 16 and Savannah 12, from Suffolk, VA for the meeting. She said she appreciated the opportunity especially since the Cole families never got to meet with President Bush.

“I never in my life thought I’d be sitting two feet from the president,” she said.

Obama came in to the room around 3:30 p.m. and went around the room and talked to each person in attendance.

“He hugged everybody that wanted a hug from him,” Triplett said. She wanted a hug.

“I am glad you are here,” Obama said to her.

She described the tone as “somber” and “appreciative” but not angry, even though people expressed their opposition to closing Guantanamo.

“He said nobody could understand the pain we have been through,” she said.

The meeting lasted from one hour. President Obama told the group that there would be an “open door” to the White House for them to get information and talk to staff.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Belinda Williams

    I realize this may be off the subject. ....But....Can someone please tell Kate Bolduan to address the President with RESPECT...HE IS NOT OBAMA....HE IS PRESIDENT OBAMA..

    Thanks for your time,

    February 7, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  2. Pat

    If your son or daughter were being held INDEFINITELY in a foreign country because they had been accused of a crime,wouldn't you want their President to review each case independently to make sure that they were not being wrongfully imprisoned? Error on the side of right.When lives are at stake we must not only consider our own but that of the other person.

    February 7, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  3. Joyce Smith

    As the wife of a 30 year veteran I am apalled that justice has again been denied for the USS Cole families. I can't imagine how the President can look those families in the eyes and tell them "We will still prosecute these barbarians" but you must wait.I can see the writing on the wall. The Democrats will decide that the terrorists "rights" have been violated and set them free. When will we wake up and realize that terrorists HATE us. They wish us all dead. Marks my words, if we release these assasins, we will hear their names again. Maybe not tomorrow or next month but when we least expect it and innocents will die again. Mr. President, when the next Sailor, Soldier , Marine or Airman renders a salute, remember that you sold them out.

    February 7, 2009 at 2:11 am |
  4. deb in az

    why did he even invite these folks to the white house? he slapped them in their faces when he decided to shut down gitmo and the decision from that judge was the ultimate. i just wonder how some of these folks would feel about giving rights to these low life terrorists if they had lost someone on the cole or in the 911 masacre.. maybe they would be singing a much different tune.....and just why should these terrorists have any rights? if they were out in the world they would just resume their plans of killing and destruction... i know i dont want them to be imprisioned in the state i live in.... give them to pelosi as she deserves them

    February 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    Perhaps when Gitmo closes the prisoners who still need to remain in prison can be put in another federal prison. Something like Alcatrez maybe.

    February 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  6. dee

    I am so tired of seeing these men with white hair in suits and ties who don't have a clue as to how regular people are suffering, standing on TV making decisions on peoples lives. The Republicans have caused all this terrible situation that we are in, and now has the nerve to stand in the way of a possible workable solution. This mentality is how we got into this mess in the first place. Let them lose their jobs and their expensive houses and see how fast they would sign anything that will restore their comfortable lifestyle.

    February 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  7. Terry

    Gitmo enemy combatants....are fine right where they are..money has already been spent on the facility. Because if we have the equivalent Mumbai bombings to hotels, train, & restaurants over these Arab Islamic Murderers who strap bombs on children to blow up markets, mosques, schools...etc...and thus blow up innocent people...we've had 3,000 die already in New York.

    Guess what… The President won't be able to blame Homeland Security, the CIA.. if the same thing happens here ...he will have to blame himself and "I screwed up" is not going to cut it. Why because he made this decision in his second day of office…without thinking and briefings from people who know…these are the actions of an immature and inexperienced politician who is still spewing political platitudes and not the security of this country.

    February 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm |