The US Army plans to prevent media from covering Sarah Palin’s appearance at Fort Bragg, fearing the event will turn into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama, officials has said.
Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum told The Associated Press that the military post’s garrison commander and other Army officials had decided to keep media away from Palin’s book signing, which will not include a speech.
The AP and The Fayetteville Observer newspaper were protesting the decision to ban media.
McCollum said the Army did not want the Monday event to become a platform to express political opinions “directed against the commander in chief.”
“The main reason is to stop this from turning into a political platform,” he said. “There are Army regulations that basically prohibit military reservations from becoming political platforms by politicians.”
He said only one politician can use that platform, “and that person does it as our commander in chief.”
Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has already agreed not to give a speech at Fort Bragg, McCollum said. Officials said Palin will only sign her books at the event and will not stop to pose for photographs or personalise the books.