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Rules Differ for Palin at Military Bases

Updated 2:51 p.m. Eastern Time

Two military bases, two different sets of rules for Sarah Palin.

The U.S. Army will allow the media limited coverage of Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg but bar reporters from interviewing her or her supporters on the post, officials said Thursday.

At Fort Hood, meanwhile, officials say there will be no such limits.

"We're treating this like any other celebrity book signing tour," Bruce Zielsdorf, the deputy public affairs officer at Fort Hood, told Fox News. "It's part of selling a book -- you go different places and you're popular and people come get your autograph."

Texas' Fort Hood, of course, was recently the site of a shooting rampage that left 13 people dead. Palin's December 4th visit to promote her memoir, "Going Rogue," was reportedly planned before the tragedy.

Fort Hood officials reportedly view Palin as a private citizen, not a public official, and will thus allow troops and their family members to take pictures with her. Were Palin an elected official or engaged in a campaign for office, they say, those photos would not be allowed.

Fort Bragg officials take a different view of Palin, and have decided to treat her more like a political figure.

A Fort Bragg spokesman initially said the Army would ban the media from Palin's book signing next week, fearing it would turn into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama. After The Associated Press and The Fayetteville Observer protested, Col. Billy Buckner said the post would permit restricted access.

A small pool of reporters will be allowed to view and document the event but will be barred from the interviews. The public will be allowed.

Buckner said the more limited setup will allow reporters their right to access while preventing the appearance from turning political - something that officials believe would violate policy.

"If media are present, they can capture the imagery of what's going and sort of the ambiance of what's taking place," he said.

Fort Bragg, which is base for some 35,000 soldiers, does not hold many promotional events, especially not with political figures. Officials said they worried that media coverage would turn the appearance into a chance for people to express political opinions "directed against the commander in chief."

"The main reason is to stop this from turning into a political platform," said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum. "There are Army regulations that basically prohibit military reservations from becoming political platforms by politicians."

Palin has agreed not to give a speech, McCollum said. Palin will sign her new book for people and will not stop to pose for photographs, officials said.

Palin began a promotional tour this week for her memoir, with plans to travel through several states that were key to the 2008 election, including North Carolina. She made several stops in the state while campaigning on the ticket of GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

McCollum said it's not clear if military officials consider Palin a politician but noted that she has been critical of Obama while promoting the book. She said in an interview with ABC News that Obama should provide more troops to Afghanistan.

"It frustrates me and frightens me - and many Americans - that President Obama is dithering around with the decision in Afghanistan," she said.

Palin doesn't appear to be using her book signings to promote her politics. She spoke briefly to supporters in Michigan on Wednesday, saying it was great to be there and not mentioning Obama.

At least one person in the crowd yelled: "Palin power. 2012, yes."

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