Situation Room

So I found this number on the Internet, it’s the White House Situation Room number, (202) 456-9431 in case anyone is interested. Although, please just don’t go randomly calling it as it is the real number. I originally came across it on digg.com (“Huge list of random but useful phone numbers“). The list1 contains “ANAC, diverters, credit card validators, hotlines, fax backs, PBX and dial tones, interesting recordings, test numbers, phone companies, relays services, and more.” I bookmarked it and came back to them a few weeks later during a lull in school (history has shown lulls in school always provide the best stories). I spent quite a bit of time on Skype calling various numbers and then I get down to the section called “Other”. The very first number is the listing for the “White House Situation Room”. Yea, that White House and that Situation Room.

For those not in the know (i.e. those who don’t watch The West Wing), “The White House Situation Room is a 24-hour watch and alert center. Its mission is to provide the President, the National Security Advisor and the members of the NSC staff with current intelligence and open-source information in support of the formulation and implementation of national security policy.” (Source: http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/EOP/NSC/html/situation.html).

I called the number (on Skype), mostly because I was curious and a little because I was doubting. All doubts were erased when a woman picked up on the other end: “White House Situation Room, this is Nancy”.

Click.

I put the number into my cell phone, for a rainy day…much like tonight. I was at Andy and Julia’s tonight for our DualBS Secret Santa Extravaganza and casually brought up the fact I had the White House Situation Room number. Jeff Staples didn’t believe me and without the need for any prodding offered to talk to the person on the other end.

We dialed (on my phone…which may have been a mistake). This is the actual conversation:

Ron: White House Situation Room, this is Ron.

Jeff Staples: Yes, this is Josiah Barlet. Can I talk to the Joint Chiefs.

Pause.

Ron: Which one would you like to talk with?

Click.

Staples was stunned. I handed the number out to those who wanted it. I’ll probably never call it again, but I’m still going to keep it in my phone book; mostly so I can say, Yea, I got the direct line to the White House Situation Room.

Update: Here’s a follow-up crank call I made to Jeff a few months later, inevitably during another lull in school:


  1. Archive: PnG-spring05