The Commonwealth Blog

Condoleezza Rice and Muammar Gadaffi: The Inside Story

Oct 21, 2011 @ 3:31 PM by jzipperer

In an exclusive excerpt on The Daily Beast from her memoir, No Higher Honor, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tells the story of her meeting with the now-dead Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi during the Bush administration's second term. Gadaffi was clearly infatuated with her; she writes, "At the end of dinner [in Gadaffi's private kitchen, he] told me that he’d made a videotape for me. Uh oh, I thought, what is this going to be? It was a quite innocent collection of photos of me with world leaders—President Bush, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, and so on — set to the music of a song called 'Black Flower in the White House,' written for me by a Libyan composer. It was weird, but at least it wasn’t raunchy.

Rice explains the political importance of delaying and then having a meeting with the Libyan leader, who, she notes, referred to her as his "African princess." Rice, a member of The Commonwealth Club's Board of Governors, spoke to the Club in October 2010 about her previous book and her upbringing in the segregated South. You can watch a video of that event on the Club's website.

No Higher Honor will be published by Crown on November 1, 2011.


No matter what, I am sure that the story is one that she may well want to forget. That man was a monster but I hope that now that the people are free they can find a way to promote more peace in the region.

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