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."

Post by:
Filed under: Condoleezza Rice • Libya
soundoff (553 Responses)
  1. kilo charlie

    sorry moammar,she was already working with a tyrannical dictator.

    August 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. vloplame

    Which American President refused to shake hands?

    August 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    Could be worse, she might have been getting dead black roses sent to her house or finding an insane amount of pictures on his bedroom wall with the eyes Xed out.

    August 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jackola

    Only a nut like Gaddafi would like that face

    August 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • BisSir

      No. If your over 40, she looks pretty.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • caeser

      She would make a great Dominatrix

      August 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • just sayin

      Maybe he's a big fan of rice. They also found pictures of New Kids On The Block under his pillow.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexasSky

      And only an idiot like you would say something like that!

      Does it mean nothing to you people, that at one point, it was her job to keep Americans (me, you, your family and kids) safe!

      August 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldstep

      Why don't you post your photo and let's see how you rate? Hiding behind a computer screen and insulting how a person looks shows how cowardly you are.

      August 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Monbois

    I had no idea the Gadhafi had a thing for lesbians.

    Just goes to sShows how "tough" the Bush administration was on the murderous dictator. He should hate her guts – I know I do!

    August 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • BisSir

      You are toxic!

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

    Condoleeza, Condolsleeza
    How lovely thou art
    Like a smelly green fart...

    August 26, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Monbois

    August 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marloes

    Also Moamar seems to have persons who he admired.


    August 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ikechukwu Emegwoako

    Its against the Islamic religion to speak overtly about your love for someone you are not even related to.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackjoe


      August 26, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    They found his picture album of her, was it sticky?

    August 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat

    @ Alex Gessong

    Well said in your 4:54 pm post.
    Lack of a non-prpagandist & objective look at & approach to other faiths & cultures is corrupting our socio-poltical enviornment.
    If unchecked this would lead us further into a mess of our own making.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. truth2power

    Wow, and he has such a great fashion sense, yea -over the top, but in a kinda rock star way -I guess there's no accounting for his taste in woman!

    August 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. alex

    I think that this does not have anything to do with a crush on condi i Think that he respect a black woman that was able to handle arabs in a intelligent smart way an is proud to see an african american woman do so after a long time dealin with political issues For his country if im wrong we will get her answer in her book nov 1

    August 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. paul1121

    Condi was a great Secretary of State. Now that the Gadhafi love crush has been revieled, I can safely say that she would never have anything to do with that man.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dogstar535

    Leeza, my Leeza!
    You incite me to passion
    And a desire to pleeza
    In a North African fashion
    Your full lips
    your hair, dark as the night
    launches a thousand ships
    and fills my solar phallus with might
    I may be but a baron of oil and lard
    but you, my Leeza, are truly great
    you make my sabre hard
    you make me late
    I cannot bear it!
    I will surrender to my fate
    rather than try to fit
    my face in your tyt
    Blow me a kiss!
    That I may tremble in my time of need
    and remember our tryst
    And lend a hand to my reed.
    Leeza, O my Leeza!

    August 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24