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Clinton Seeks Answers on Niagara Air Base Reversal

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – US Senator Hillary Clinton says the Western New York delegation in Washington is working very hard to keep the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station open.

Clinton says one of the problems lawmakers are faced with is the Bush Administration has not released the data that explains why the Defense Department placed the Falls base on its closing list. Some of the information remains classified. But on Monday, a published report said the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station was considered for expansion last November that would have doubled its size.

"We have no idea what information they used. The Niagara base was considered a crown jewel up until about three or four months ago, and there were even plans to expand," Clinton said. "But then, all of a sudden, Niagara ends up on the base closing list. We want to know why. We are demanding to get that information."

Clinton says she has already lobbied some individual members of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which is now reviewing the Pentagon recommendations, trying to convince them that the Falls base is vital to the military and the region. Clinton says she and other leaders continue demanding that the information be released.

"They cannot base a decision on secret information. That is absolutely the wrong way to do it," Clinton said. "Give us the information so we can have a fair fight. I think in a fair fight we can win."

Senator Clinton says she will be in the Buffalo area on June 27th with the rest of the Western New York delegation when the Commission holds its base closing hearing.