Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry defends an apparent promise to not close Whiteman Air Force Base in west central Missouri. Kerry stated during his campaign speech in Jefferson City that Missouri wouldn’t have to worry about Whiteman if he became president. When asked about the statement afterward, Kerry said he wanted to look at the overall military needs of the nation upon becomingpresident. Whiteman has never been on the base closing list, but some military experts say it could be vulnerable because of its limited mission as the base of the B-2 stealth bomber.