A Telephone Directory for the Office of the Vice President

01.30.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Office of the Vice President under Dick Cheney seems to cultivate secrecy as an end in itself, and not simply to protect national security or personal privacy. The OVP will not even confirm how many staff people work there, who they are, or much of anything else.

“Cheney’s office refuses to give any details to reporters,” observed Justin Rood in TPMmuckraker yesterday, noting further that the OVP “is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, so any such request would be futile.”

Similarly, a Cheney spokesman recently told reporter Laura Rozen, “If we have a personnel announcement we’d like you to know about, we’ll tell you.”

Some Americans still find this willful obscurity offensive to democratic principles, and TPMmuckraker summoned the blogosphere to help pierce the veil.

Secrecy News was able to contribute a 2004 telephone directory for the OVP (pdf), which is marked “for official use only,” naturally. Though it is no longer current — it still lists the departed Scooter Libby as assistant to the Vice President, for example — it provides a good sense of the size and structure of the OVP. It is posted here (with phone and fax numbers redacted by Secrecy News).

See further discussion of the matter on TPMmuckraker here and on The Carpet Bagger Report here.