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. You'reSoRight

    So let me get this straight...

    A Libyan rebel buts into the compound hoping for $2,000,000 in cash or maybe 100 kilos of gold. Instead he cracks open the hidden compartment and finds a sticky album of Condi Rice photos...priceless.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Landlord

    Who wouldn't want to put some cream of mushrooms on some brown rice?

    August 26, 2011 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Moniker Lewinsky

    .ereh 'elohssa' tsop ot ko s'ti...mas@

    August 26, 2011 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Moniker Lewinsky

    Humans have always been attracted to other humans who are healthy. If you do not appear to be healthy, you do not appear to be attractive to others, no matter what ideals are propagated by the media.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. PhilG.

    What's wrong with the Great Mumzy liking Miss Rice?

    She's a stunningly attractive very smart black woman who has accomplished a heck of alot in the world.

    Anyone got a problem with that?

    August 26, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. D. Chaney

    I'm sure that would male Candi Rice wet.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. busiboy


    August 26, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. bmull

    And he seemed like such a normal guy.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Moniker Lewinsky

    Margie Shoedinger was very attractive, even as a corpse. She filed taype charhes on George W. Bush in December 2002, and turned up dead three months later. The case has never been resolved. was Margie just a gold-digger? Without an investigation, we'll never know.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Donald in CA

    I think i would have picked Halle Berry to be smitten with. There was always something weird about condoleezza.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. sam

    If they had something fine. He is a bad man and if thats what she chose than she should have left USA. I know it was about us keeping peace. but at least these Rebels are doing the world some good by getting him out. Woman and children are happy now. It will be a free and no paranoia place when he is gone. It will make the world a better place. Back to them.. I think she helped with alot of illegal things.. I guess we all have to buy Cheneys book today.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. sam

    @busiboy.. lol.. ya wanna go on a trip and split 2 million dollars.. lol

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

    Raype charges, rather. An immigrant files charges on an IMF guy, and it makes worldwide headlines. An 38 year old black American woman from Missouri City, TX files raype charges on the sitting president, and hardly anyone knows about it.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lucy

    My pretty friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
    They met-via ~himillionaires -c'ō'м~~
    It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
    You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it's worthy a try.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Lucy.. I think you have the wrong site.. You must be looking for a singles site.. This is about other stuff (looks like you would not know about) so please keep your advertisement on myspace or facebook.. thank you!

      August 26, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Trish~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey guys, will you do me a favor and visit HelpFaye.ORG , a friend of mine is fighting for her life...... Thanks

    August 26, 2011 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
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