Libyan rebels continued their hunt for Muammar Qaddafi on Friday after clearing one of the loyalists’ last major strongholds in the capital of Tripoli and taking over the former leader’s Bab al-Aziziya compound on Tuesday.
The dictator’s compound had always been a mystery to the Libyan people. One of the city’s largest landmarks, no streets signs point to its location and few ever entered or even walked nearby, out of fear of being arrested or shot by suspicious guards. Once inside the compound, however, rebels uncovered the expected – riches galore and an elaborate underground network that some claim connect all of Tripoli, explaining Qaddafi’s ability to hide; a well as the unexpected – evidence of the dictator’s crush on former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Yes, that’s right. Among the items found in Qaddafi’s compound include a photo album filled with pictures of Secretary Rice.
Rebels display Qaddafi’s album with pictures of Secretary Rice.
The leader has a history of admiring the Secretary. In interviews he repeatedly referred to her as his “African Queen” and, in one 2007 interview in particular, Qaddafi called her “my darling black African woman.” He continued, “I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders…. She beckons to the Arab foreign ministers, and they come to her, either in groups or individually… Leezza, Leezza, Leezza… I love her very much. I admire her, and I’m proud of her, because she’s a black woman of African origin.”
And while Qaddafi did not meet the Secretary of State face-to-face for more than one year later, he must have been pleased with that visit. The Bush administration’s official gift list for 2008 shows that the Libyan leader gave the Secretary a diamond ring, a “DVD with musical instrument,” and a locket with a photo of Qaddafi inside. The gifts, valued at a combined worth of $212,225, were given to the General Services Administration, which displays diplomatic gifts in government buildings.
Qaddafi isn’t the only leader to have a crush on the former Secretary, however. Others rumored to hold affections for Ms. Rice are former Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay, former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, and former Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema.
Qaddafi’s, however, is by far the creepiest.