August 14 - 1988: Dukakis defends Bush's war record

2005: Panel opposes closing Otis AFB

1988: Dukakis defends Bush over record in war

"I don't think that kind of thing has any place in the campaign."

On this day, presidential candidate Michael Dukakis - who has a home in Bourne - came to the defense of candidate George Bush. 

Massachusetts Governor Dukakis, when questioned about a World War II gunner's challenge to Vice President Bush's account of being shot down over the Pacific, said, ''I don't think that kind of thing has any place in the campaign.''

The Democratic Presidential nominee said the challenge to Mr. Bush's war record was ''unfair'' and ''unfortunate.''

Mr. Bush ''served this country,'' Mr. Dukakis said. ''He served it well and with tremendous courage, and you don't fly 58 missions without enormous courage and tremendous patriotism.''

Mr. Bush, who was a Navy pilot, , has said his airplane was in flames when it plunged to the ocean Sept. 2, 1944.

Chester Mierzejewski of Cheshire, Conn., a turret gunner on another plane in Mr. Bush's squadron, said that the plane was not engulfed in flames, as the Vice President has recounted, and that Mr. Bush might have saved the lives of two other men on the plane had he tried a water landing.

In his autobiography, Mr. Bush wrote that his Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber began burning after it was hit in an attack on a Japanese radio installation and that he ejected after radioing his gunner and radioman to jump.

Mr. Bush's decorations in the war included the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mr. Dukakis, who is taking a couple of days off from campaigning, made his comments while meeting with reporters on Cape Cod. He is scheduled to return to Boston Sunday night and will campaign next week in Minnesota, Illinois and Florida before embarking upon a ''whistlestop'' campaign swing by train on Friday from St. Louis to Austin, Texas.

2005: Many on base-closings panel question estimate of savings

On this day in 2005 the New York Times reported that a majority of the members of the independent commission assessing the Pentagon's proposed list of domestic base closings say that the Defense Department probably overstated the nearly $50 billion in savings projected over 20 years, perhaps by nearly 50 percent.

In interviews this week, eight of the nine members expressed varying degrees of concern about the accuracy of the Pentagon figures, and said they had directed the commission's staff to conduct a separate savings analysis before the commission's final votes on the military's recommendations later this month...

Massachusetts lawmakers argued this week that it would actually cost nearly $163 million over the next 20 years to close Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod, not save $336 million over that time, as the Pentagon claims.

The new figures, offered by the Massachusetts National Guard, contend that the Pentagon counted savings from jobs that would not be eliminated and did not take into account retraining costs...

Read the rest of the New York Times story here.


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