New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a previously ardent supporter of the NSA and its growing role in domestic spying, has “changed his mind,” his press secretary Jordan Morris said.
“Governor Christie has decided to take back his words about Rand Paul,” Morris said, referring to Christie’s remark that Paul and other privacy advocates are dangerous. “The governor now believes that citizens are, in fact, entitled to their privacy and should be not subject to warrantless surveillance.”
“Governor Christie would like to note,” Morris added, “that his change of heart has nothing to do with any voice recordings of the governor that his detractors might claim to possess.”
Over the weekend, a source from within the NSA leaked thousands of hours of ludicrous and embarrassing voice recordings of a man claimed to be Christie. The authenticity of the recordings has not yet been verified, it is important to note. However, many people familiar with the New Jersey Governor say the voice heard on the recordings definitely sounds like him, right down to the orotund vocality and incessant breathlessness.
Ana Wetzel, a linguist at Penn State, said the speaker definitely has a Lower Hudson Valley accent, tinged with the slightest bit of “turnpike tonality.”
“That could be very well be Mr. Christie, given his upbringing in Livingston, New Jersey,” Wetzel said.
The leaked audio recordings are an ironic contrast to comments made last week by Christie, who was attending a forum in Colorado. He denigrated privacy advocates and fellow Republicans like Rand Paul as representing a “dangerous” strand of libertarianism. The NSA, he implied, is serving a vital role in the fight against terrorism by spying on US citizens in the United States.
The leaked recordings of the man purported to be Christie suggest he has been the target of intense monitoring by federal agencies since sometime around 2007. Unlike the average citizen who might be spied upon without reasonable cause, however, Christie has been the subject of various fraud and corruption investigations.
The recordings contain the following:
- 17 full hours of humming Bette Midler’s 1979 hit song “The Rose”
- 192 hours of debating the merits of Neapolitan cooking with an imaginary Sicilian donkey named Carlo
- 23 hours of unsuccessful attempts to say the tongue twister “she sells seashells by the seashore” without taking a breath
- 139 hours of cell-phone conversations with a Latvian phone psychic name Valda
- 3 hours of what sounds like the governor doing a nasally imitation of the rockin’ guitar solo in Pantera’s “Floods”
- 22,384 hours of a man snoring and a woman’s hapless attempts to make him stop
Libertarian groups are asking the public to not search online for the recordings, out of respect for personal privacy but also because the average citizen is “no less tangled in the mind” than Governor Christie and likely has just as many “heated dialogues with imaginary foreign quadrupeds” as he does.