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. Doug

    Come on here.. Ms. Rice was so professional, she would never cross that line.. And even if she would, she would never cross that line with that freak.. Let's hope this story ends here !

    August 26, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. HZ

    hope the photo book was not used for the m word, LOL

    August 26, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    August 26, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Hawthorne

      Really? This is news? There are men and women dying in this conflict and CNN is publishing their hypotheses about whom Gaddhafi might have a crush on?

      August 26, 2011 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Coolius Unroolius

    This just goes to show how truly insane Gadhafi is. Condi Rice is a brilliant woman but has some seriously screwed up political and commercial associations; she's also not much to look at unless you're interested in practicing how to projectile vomit. Now if Gadhafi had a photo album of Thandi Newton, the actress that played Rice in the film "W," I'd be ready to give 'ol Gadhafi some props. Thandi Newton is off the hiznock fine!

    August 26, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      She's an accomplished pianist, and can play you to sleep! But, she can't whistle because of the gap!

      August 26, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • LD

      A woman that's knows how to play a man's game and win is worthy of admiration. That's something that's rarely seen in America...I can't even imagine it from his viewpoint. He's only human. (explicit) Media should be ashamed for covering this, while Gadhafi is running for his life.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. anonpookie

    cnn has no respect for us at all.... this is worse than jersey shore

    August 26, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. ukt87

    And now we know what made him give up that nuclear program.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. derekur

    ha!ha mr. gaddafi have good taste in admiring ms. rice ! i like to have ms. rice to go with my steak and egg !!

    August 26, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. brown

    Rice and her corrupt friends left this world is terrible shape. Shame on them!

    August 26, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. Greg

    We had Dick Cheney calling Hosni Mubarak his "very dear friend."

    Now Condi and Ghadafi.

    And they accuse Obama of "paling around with terrorists."

    August 26, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    Awww.. Isnt that just the cutest thing? The murderous,bloodthirsty dictators got a little crushy-poo. I still think the Gene Simmons post was the best.. So dang funny!

    August 26, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |

    is that so...hmmmm

    August 26, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Nelly

    Well Condoleezza Rice is a lot better looking then Madeleine Albright

    August 26, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. heehawgoat

    Fat chance in Haydes that Dr Condoleeza Rice would ever give him a second thought. She is a great woman and she has more degrees and intelligence than anyone in the Bush administration. This is a Woman that can be whoever she wants to be, if she chooses. By far she is no doubt, A World Class Icon!!!

    August 26, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Osama from Canada

      are you kidding me? Condy is an expert in Russia. What the heck does she know about anything else? See Iraq...

      August 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sneakyjooo

    He had a thing for the most powerful woman on the planet at the time. Power was obviously something he liked.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. USA Ga

    Condeleeza Rice is an attractive woman in many ways so he is not as crazy as some of you believe. She is better looking that Shrillary, that is for sure.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Justinstl

      You my friend are blind...she is nowhere near atractive as HRC. She always has a mean evil look on her face...theres a lot to be said about body language.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
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