[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/21/art.cheney0721.gi.jpg caption="Secret Service protection for former Vice President Dick Cheney has been extended."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Protection for former Vice President Dick Cheney has been extended, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed to CNN Tuesday.
Donovan would not say for how long the extension will last. The extension, reportedly requested by Cheney, went through the standard process and was officially authorized by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano July 17, according to DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban.
The extension was not based on a specific threat against the former vice president, CNN has also learned. Rather, officials believed the move was justified given the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, political debate about the Bush administration's strategies and Cheney's active public schedule, according to a government official with knowledge of the matter.
Ordinarily, former vice presidents only receive Secret Service protection for the first six months after leaving office. DHS told CNN this is the first time a former vice president's security detail has been extended beyond the standard duration.
–CNN's John King, Kevin Bohn, and Martina Stewart contributed to this report.
(Updated 5:45 pm with DHS comment)