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. Bino

    Libya is indeed an African country and so why is making news if Gadhafi sees himself as an African? What is strange about he admiring Rice? Gadhafi is a human being on the wrong side of the political spectrum from western perspectives. That's the bottom line. Pursue the oil and isolate him but do not demonize and dehumanize him in a way that makes no sense. Wise up!

    August 26, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. gliese42

    Ms Rice is pretty and smart. A presidential candidate. She will do a better job than Obama

    August 26, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. marty

    I could dream up a cool caricature of Ghadaffi as Borat searching the country for Pamela Anderson.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. jennyy

    she may be smart but she is without a doubt a two bagger

    August 26, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • disjustin

      Jennyy you're neither blonde or pretty, just and ugly waste of your father's sperm and your mother's fat yet rotting and ageing egg...:0)

      August 26, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. baby got back

    "gimme a sista I cant resista red beans and rice didn't miss her"
    -Sir Mix a Lot

    August 26, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • zhawk88


      August 26, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wito

    Condoleezza Gadhafi ???? Hum?

    August 26, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. arabman

    they should stop the fight and make an arab royal wedding , and invite Osama sorry Obama and western leaders ,

    August 26, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tewrobert

    Hubba Hubba . LOL

    August 26, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gomer

    Kind of have a thing for her myself.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. sortakinda

    They also found notebooks where Moammar had drawn hearts and arrows through them, with "Mrs. Moammar Rice" written in them.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Ok, that got a chuckle! 😉

      August 26, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. sortakinda

    He still hopes to hide in the space between her teeth.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • disjustin

      Its called a Gap...:0)

      August 26, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. abd


    August 26, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • disjustin

      Your Mother Goes Down On Hebrew National Franks..:0)

      August 26, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • TIM

      abd, you and the imbecile barack obama are the ones who are disgusting. none of you will ever measure up to where condee rice has been . your mothers were never married but offered themselves freely to men. you are a fool.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Justinstl

      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 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • mom

      i hope you are happily married. idiots like you want to run other people lives for them

      August 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. donnamarinchekmarn01

    What else is New??

    August 26, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. disjustin

    I see if this was Hillary, Palin and Michelle Bachmann, you Whites would not think twice of mentioning her looks. As Albino Recessive Skin and Stringy Dog smelling hair is beautiful. She may no be Thandie Newton who is mixed Race but pleasing to the eye with a gorgeous smile, dimples and height-– powerful nevertheless!

    August 26, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Justinstl

      Thats funny because everyone knows that its the black people who have an odor and smell like animals...especially when their wet! FACT!

      August 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      You are so right justin, just ask your mom!!

      August 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kawahchan

    Wow! Moammar Gadhafi wants Condoleezza Rice to be his concubine ! That will make George W. Bush jealous and broken heart. Does Bush still make coffee every morning to his wife ?

    August 26, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
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