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 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. Donald in CA

    Well, bush and condi did seem to be close with Libian oil folks. I wonder if she received any gifts from the terriost.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chad

    Who wasn't?

    August 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    Sticky pages I bet

    August 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. r.ortiz

    I dont think condi would waste her time with an ugly dude like gadhafi besides she not bad looking.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Guido

    Of course Condi loved him, he had oil.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • UmmDuh

      Another moronic statement by an idiot demtard.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      Many conservatives were O.K. with Gadhafi, because they had so much in common: condoning torture, secret prisons, that kind of thing. This "Condi Crush" is kind of interesting, but if she'd been a Democrat, conservatives would be posting all sorts of snide comments about her.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David

    what if they find george bush photo book at osama bin laden? I think it'll funny.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PaulMo


    August 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hecep

    Handle that photo album while wearing rubber gloves and using tongs.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      I was thinking of posting pretty much the same thing.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      lol thats what i was thinking

      August 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaddingtonPoohBear

      It was weird enough without that imagery, thanks haha!

      August 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Eeeeewwww!

    At least all the photos have protective plastic covers!

    August 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Condi is Freaken Ugly as hell.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Mike: Only her political leanings (torture, secret prisons, warrantless wiretaps). Otherwise, she's not bad at all. Stylish dresser, too.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lathebiosas

    Condi! Incoming Moammar scud!

    August 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. EM

    Why does the guy being interviewed say "he called Libya an African nation at one point" Libya is in Northern Africa so it is an African nation, which would make Gadhafi an African leader, and this guy is an expert?

    August 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • daniele

      Fascinating, isn't it?

      August 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • UmmDuh

      Because it is considered an "Arab" country even though it is on the continent of Africa. The writer knows what he is talking about but you don't appear to..

      August 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @UhmmDuh: African and Arab are not mutually exclusive terms. Libya is an African country because it is in Africa. Gadhafi was a bad ruler, but he knew his geography. If you look at a list of "countries in Africa,' you will find Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia all listed, even though most of the people who live in those North African countries are Arabs.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      I was thinking the same thing. He said it with such disdain as well. "This man thnks he's an African."

      August 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chris S

    Wow! Muslim men can't shake a woman's hand to whom they aren't married, but they can blow those hands and other appendages off with a bomb with no problem. Truly a culture that I will never fully understand nor respect.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maude

      You rather have and condone a culture where a priest stick his wee wee up children's butt.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danio

      Maude, you compairison is way off and truly sick.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Chris: yeah, only Muslims blow people's hands off, right? Not. It wasn't Muslims who murdered 6 million Jews in WWII. I Nazi soldiers in WWII had an inscription on their knives "Gott mit uns" ("God (is) with us"), but I doubt you'd call them "Christians." If you want to understand Muslims, you can't do it by looking at terrorists. If you want to understand Islam, read the Koran. It's quite a lot like the Bible and the Torah.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Apt Pupil

    Black women are awesome! Every white man should try a tryst with a black lady. She will rock your world in ways you just can't imagine. You'll never find what they provide in white chicks. I can't talk nasty on here, but all you dudes get the point.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      Been there/done that – ain't nothing special. It is about the woman inside, not the color of her skin

      August 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Apt Pupil: though you meant to compliment, your statement is just a stereotypical. It's no more true that every black woman will rock your world than it is to say that every white woman will. Besides, if every white dude took your advice on this, there would be a surge of divorces, right? 😉 Or maybe you're just a lawyer trying to drum up business...

      August 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Texas 44

    Hurricanes, Wars and a screwed up economy and CNN features this. Reach for the handle CNN, you are going to flush yourself away.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
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