Among items Libyan rebels found in Moammar Gadhafi's ransacked Bab al-Aziziya compound this week was a photo album filled with shots of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to Associated Press reports and photos.
The find follows a history of admiring remarks by the Libyan leader. In interviews during President George W. Bush's administration, he repeatedly referred to her as his "African Queen."
"I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much," Col. Gadhafi said in a 2007 interview with Al Jazeera.
Col. Gadhafi went out of his way to make a good impression on Ms. Rice during her 2008 visit to Tripoli, a milestone in U.S.-Libyan relations. The self-proclaimed Brother Leader and King of Africa showered her with more than $200,000 in jewelry, according to Ms. Rice's former aides, and invited her into his private kitchen to celebrate the end of fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. He presented Ms. Rice with works including 'Isralestine,' his blueprint for forging an Arab-Israeli peace agreement.
Ms. Rice, 56, who now teaches at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, declined to comment on Thursday.
A State Department spokeswoman said she wasn't totally surprised by Col. Gadhafi's apparent affection for Washington's one-time top diplomat, who played a major role in his short-lived political rehabilitation.
"Bizarre and creepy are good adjectives to describe much of Gadhafi's behavior," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said when told of the photo album. "So [it] doesn't surprise me. It's deeply bizarre and deeply creepy, though, if it is as you described."
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost