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. Jim California

    Well, their management styles are fairly similar! Those who know Condi can see the resemblance in personality! "Give me my way, or prepare to be squished!"

    August 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ads Suck

    I'll never watch a single video of yours that has ads in front of it. Disable them. Don't make me waste my time to watch your crap. Put ads on the side and if they interest I'll click.

    August 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sanjosemike

    This was one love that just could never be returned. Ever.


    August 29, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. ibibo sawaal

    Colonel Gaddafi said that the African-American lady holds a lot of power in the Arab world. He also added, “I support my darling black African woman. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin.In accordance with the above statements of Gaddafi it is clear that he does admire her and smitten by Condoleezza Rice.Read more –

    August 29, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • NetNinja

      However his African housemaid was burned with hot water?

      August 29, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Name*despotdickedher

      Allah, the original rump ranger sand n.I.g.g.a queen and the son of a dog and a w.h.o.r.e!

      September 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fritz65

    No, I just think he needed some help folding linens in the laundry department.

    August 29, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. tcaros

    Yellow Cake Condi is an ugly woman who lied for GW Bush's war for profit.

    August 29, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. tcaros

    Get some glasses sand rat.

    August 29, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. supprimer

    This is a creepy, and completely useless article. Shame on you CNN.

    August 29, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • AK

      Take a chill pill. Not everything in this world has to be so damn serious.

      August 31, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. chang

    So then have Condi drop a line on him and tell'em to give it up or meet up somewhere for some Mc-Lovin then pinch'em,...might work.

    August 29, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eh...

    Sticky pages?

    August 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Feast of Beast

    Hey, maybe that's some good stuff. I just can't get past that constant grimace she always had on her face. Always looked like a mom who's kid just got all F's. Scary! Oh well. 12 beers, some quick nooky, and you can fall asleep while she plays the piano.

    August 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ART

    Wow I'am not a violent person but if I ever got my hands on Aline Gadhafi I'd strangle her myself

    August 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mikey

    How'd you like to have a puppy out of that litter.

    August 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disgruntled_girl

      Ok I nearly sprayed my computer with soda. THANK you Mikey.
      Oh gawd now I can't stop envisioning puppies with their faces. THANKS MIKEY!!

      August 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. timd

    I always thought that condi looked sort of like a rodent. At any rate she was a minion of shrub – sycophant would be more accurate. Pretty much useless.

    August 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Disgruntled_girl

    Bet or no bet? Upon hearing this on the news, Condi did one of the following:
    1: Blushed
    2: Rolled her eyes
    3: Spat out her coffee and choked.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
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