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. Tom Mulroney

    A perfect match, although I'm not sure who is the homeliest.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    If I were Condoleezza I'd be kinda scared he just might show up at her door what with his regime in Libya all in shambles....with a smile and some dark glasses on....asking for asylum a place to crash and maybe some lovin..

    August 26, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. kazz

    Why not? Rice is hot!

    August 26, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
    • paul1121

      You bet she is!

      August 26, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Moniker Lewinsky

    @Rex...CNN only bans those who are very abusive. Most comments that do not appear are due the post containing cuss words, or due to high volume. You know that you're being censored improperly when your comment is posted, and later deleted by CNN. But this is rare. It's only happened to me a dozen times or so over the past year.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Rex Lutherin

      And guess what? My last response to you was dropped. Seems the Nazis here are staffing full tonight, lest someone with some truth to their statements may speak up and be heard by others.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Cdbeee

      I believe it is also if fellow commenters and readers click the 'report abuse' button enough (different IP addresses mind you)...not only based upon CNN's consideration of the comments.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Rex Lutherin

      Thanks to both of you for your advice.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. paul1121

    I am a hawk and a right winger and I thought Rice did an excelent job as Secretary of State. She did her job and even though she had to deal with slimes like Gadhaf, she completed her mission. As professional as Rice is, I believe Gadhafi was delusional. Where the heck he ran off to?

    August 26, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rex Lutherin

    I just posted two more posts and guess what? They were never posted here. Welcome to CNN's BS censorship.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Cdbeee

      Dude do you have nothing better to do than gripe about the obvious fact that other readers are clicking the report abuse buttons on your posts? Get over yourself and go to bed for the night.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Blackxodus

    Nation of Islam member who campaigned for President Obama presents evidence that backs claims the current Commander-In-Chief used the Black Power Movement and Black Muslims as a stepping stone to the White House.
    Brother Aaron X will also deliver a “Farrakhan Challenge” to all Black Christians, Black Leaders and Journalists who have abandoned Jesus Christ and Dr. King to give cover for President Obama’s war on Libya and the U.S./NATO attempted murder of Brother Leader Muammar Gadhafi. For more details go to

    August 26, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    • disjustin

      Everyone can tell your a Nazi Fascist in disguise.. You want to be the "Master of Disguise!" Dana Carvey You@re Not!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 26, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    Bad taste in clothes and women..

    August 26, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • mom

      why mark? because the clothes are not american made and the woman is question is not white?

      August 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sharif

    Well, the Prophet Muhammad married a 6 year old girl and people worship him, so.....

    August 26, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rex Lutherin

    Comments ARE moderated.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Name*osunsami adegboyega

    the discrete game of adults is adultery as a lawyer i see d relationship as a non issue .

    August 26, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Moniker Lewinsky

    @Zenith...Gadhafi seems unattractive? Have you checked out what your avg. American looks like lately? What, do you go around barfing at wal-mart from the sheer ugliness? I mean, look at Monica Lewinsky. Hoe-lee cow! And she's bonafide AND credentialed.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
    • 66Biker

      Didn't Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels do a song about her?

      August 26, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Zenith

      My comment stated VERY clearly that Nic Robertson, a CNN reporter, who was reporting this story on the Piers Morgan show is unattractive. It says nothing about Gadhafi in that regard.

      perhaps you need to enhance your reading skills before reading and commenting. just a recommendation.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    Moammar loves Condoleezza. But does Condoleezza love Moammar? Will Moammar ever find happiness?

    August 26, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. dr.seuss

    He can have her

    August 26, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rex Lutherin

    No freedom of speech here people. Don't waste your time.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      You mean the freedom to post unrelated, vulgar, and/or inappropriate nonsense?

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