CBS News has learned that President Obama spent an hour and a half today meeting with the leaders of a dozen or so human rights groups, including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Many of these groups have been quite critical of the administration in recent weeks.
He spoke to them about various policies in the war on terror, including his stance on tribunals, state secrets and the detainee photos.
One attendee said that the meeting was "energetic" but that none of the participants had their minds changed. That person felt that if the president doesn't change his mind and change direction from some of the Bush policies, that this historic administration could be wasted. Another attendee said he was "disappointed."
The president did not talk about Thursday's speech nor ask for input.
The meeting was supposed to be entirely off the record, but after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs vaguely mentioned it in his daily briefing, some attendees felt betrayed and then began to speak about it.