August 25th, 2011
11:22 PM ET

Smitten Gadhafi? Rebels find Condoleezza Rice photo book

We'd long heard that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi admired former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In 2007, he called her "Leeza ... my darling black African woman" whom he loved "very much."

Just words? Perhaps. Or maybe, as a discovery this week suggests, he really was quite impressed.

Rebels ransacking his Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli found a photo album of Rice, The New York Times reports.

A description of the album, from the Times:

"There she is, in one (picture), smiling off to the side, her flip-do accented perfectly for the camera. And there she is in another, smiling next to you-know-who during that visit to Tripoli. He is wearing a flowing white robe with purple sash and Africa pin; she looks more businesslike in a gray pinstripe suit with white pearls, her flip-do having given way to a page-boy bob."

Rice was with the Bush administration when the United States restored relations with Libya in 2005, after Gadhafi decided to abandon his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, renounce terrorism and compensate victims of a 1986 disco bombing in Berlin and the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

In a 2007 interview with Al Jazeera, Gadhafi said this about Rice:

"I support my darling, black African woman. ... I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her because she's a black woman of African origin."

Gadhafi met with Rice the next year, when Rice made the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state to Libya in more than 50 years. CNN's Elise Labott reported on their meeting in a reception room at Gadhafi’s Tripoli compound:

"Gadhafi, wearing a white robe and a black fez but not his trademark dark sunglasses, shook the hands of the male members of Rice's staff but not Rice, instead offering the traditional greeting of his hand over his heart for her," Labott reported in her CNN.com piece, noting that Muslim men are prohibited from shaking hands with women to whom they are not related.

Rice's office, when reached by CNN on Thursday for reaction to the photo album, said she'd reserve comment until the release of her book on November 1.

Fouad Ajami, a Middle East expert, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and an outspoken critic of Gadhafi, provided some context regarding why Gadhafi would stress Rice's African roots and comment on her dealings with Arab leaders.

"He ... fancied himself at one point as something of an African," Ajami told CNN's Joe Johns on Thursday. "He basically said at one point that Libya is an African country, (that) it has nothing to do with the Arabs. And he dubbed himself king of the kings of Africa, and he turned his back on the Arabs."

Ajami said he wouldn't think Rice is thrilled.

"Secretary Rice is an esteemed colleague ... at Hoover and something of a friend, so I don't think she's flattered by this," Ajami told Johns on "The Situation Room."

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Filed under: Condoleezza Rice • Libya
soundoff (553 Responses)
  1. Justinstl

    People wonder why she is not married....Shes not married because she is hateful mean an opinionated.No one likes an opinionated woman...Look at Palin and Bachmann.....most people also hate them ...why? because they are hateful and opinionated. There is nothing wrong with women who speak their mind ....but it has to be done with tact and respect for others. HRC and Oprah are intelligent and outspoken women who are not hateful and overbearing and overly opinionated. There are classy women with power that do not feel have to try and compete or be like a man ,...they still know their place as being in the female gender.....Then there are the outspoken women full of their own argumentative opinions like the two running for president now and that Rice woman who's actions and demeanor reflect on all women ...(which is not right).

    August 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Obama is hateful and opinionated.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Sounds like you like strong and intelligent women provided they espouse your world views. Your comments indicate that you actually don't appreciate women and prefer to ogle rather than listening and appreciating their intelligence and differing positions. Shame!

      August 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moammar Khadafy

      Yeah, keep 'em barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, that's the way.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      "Look at Palin and Bachmann.....most people also hate them ...why?"

      Because they're female, duh. Same reason Democrats rejected Hilary Clinton for president.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IBON4IT

    Awkward

    August 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andrew

    I wonder if there is a connection between the distrust of the US by much of the middle east and Gaddafi's Condi Rice masturbatorium reference guide?

    August 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat2u

    Now isn't that cute. Ghadafi is smitten with Condoleezza. He probably hoped she would become another of his private " nurses. " Ghadafi and Condi sitting in a tree, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    August 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      Why you think this is such big news I can't imagine. Get a grip CNN, you are not SUPPOSED to be a tabloid.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Schmedley

      Gee M, it was big enough news for you to click on it... Why do you think they feature a particular story? Here's a hint, because they think it will get clicks and guess what? You just helped.

      Personally, I found the story interesting and amusing...

      August 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robrob

      That a (crazy) world leader was obsessed with our Secretary of State? Yeah, that might be news worthy.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • CHAR

      did connie get the memo THAT GADDAFIE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE HER FOR DINNER

      August 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Saboth

    I think the desert heat resulted in some jungle fever in the Gadhafi household. If he wanted a powerful black woman to dominate him, I bet he could have hired Grace Jones.

    August 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouisLouis

      Oh, now I LOVE Grace!!!!

      August 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Patrick Lewis

    Blah! I did not need to know that.

    August 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Moammar Khadafy

    Actually I was negotiating to buy her from Dick Cheney, but he was asking too much.

    August 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Olaf Big

    Sounds like Gadhafi badly needs a dominatrix. More on this from another fearless CNN correspondent interviewing Gadhafi's Ukrainian nurse and having a private viewing of her medical toolkit...

    August 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mama Boats

    Ha, and he can have her....she had a Daddy complex with Bush so maybe her and Gadhafi could float each other's boat

    August 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    Rice once referred to George Bush as her husband, now her pinups appear in Gadhafi's house. Hmmm. Just WHAT was this woman up to? I thought foreign affairs was just a Geo-poliical term.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roelof

    Whooohooh Rice!! Here's your big and only chance.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joe schmoe

    Gene Simmons is the true leader of Libya the rebels shall find him at his mansion in Los Angeles laundering money through a rock band named KISS. AKA Knights in Satans Service.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TEAliban

    A picture book of Connilingus Rice, were the pages stuck together?

    August 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouisLouis

      Oh, no you didn't go there.... lol

      August 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Spacial

    She is one brilliant lady and I wish she would run for President. She would be better then the current Dems, Repubs, etc.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. George

    Rumor has it some of those photos show Condi in some very compromising positions, if you know what I mean. Seems she has a thing for Camels, oh I don't mean the animal, I mean the cigarette. But yes, several of the shots are nude if anyone is wondering.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      Uh yeah sure, and I have a few pix of your grandma with a couple of Macanudos!

      August 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
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