Eww! Moammar Kadafi (hearts) Condoleezza Rice
Apparently, longtime Libyan despot Moammar Kadafi did not have a whole lot of time to load up the U-Haul when he left his immense housing compound in Tripoli the other day.
Ransacking rebels -- are there any other kind? -- are still apparently going through the personal treasure troves of the strange fellow who's ruled Libya since Barack Obama was an elementary school pupil who thought fundraisers were for classroom cookies or school magazine subscription drives.
This is part of the ritual dismantling of despotic regimes familiar to the aftermath of such downfalls.
Remember when American troops were going through the house of Saddam Hussein's mistress in Baghdad a few years ago? They found the predictable 6,000 handguns for amusement. Wine. Decadent impressionistic artwork of females whose faces were uncloaked along with other anatomical areas.
Most embarrassing perhaps was the revelation that ironman Hussein, one of the world's most evil men who killed thousands of innocents for no particular reason, put up with a household companion who had a particular female fetish for piling brightly colored and totally useless little pillows all over the beds and chairs each morning and then removing them again each night.
Anyway, jubilant rebels in Tripoli are showing off proof today that the self-appointed Col. Kadafi was, in addition to torture and terrorism, into scrapbooking.
And Condoleezza Rice.
He had several scrapbooks devoted to the former professor, campaign advisor, national security advisor and secretary of State for George W. Bush.
Kadafi has a longtime fondness for women; he had his own "elite" female security force and, of course, purportedly numerous mistresses who've told tales for pay of lavish gifts and decadent lifestyles, if you can believe there's hypocrisy in high places.
The smart female friends, many of them non-Libyan, retired from his circle a few years ago. Kadafi also spoke glowingly of Rice a few years ago as a strong African woman.
Rice is an avid sports fan. She's now returned to the faculty of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, disdaining repeated media talk of a political career and still dreaming of becoming commissioner of the National Football League someday. She also has an eagerly anticipated memoir coming out this fall, "No Higher Honor."
Rice, of course, is long accustomed to the public spotlight and wary of its fickle ways. She used to tell the story that as a member of Exxon's board of directors she once had an oil tanker named for her.
She appreciated the intended honor but with a smile found it a dubious distinction because "there's only one reason an oil tanker with my name would ever come up in the news -- and it's not a good one."
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos: Ammar Abd Rabbo / Abaca Press via MCT (Rebels in Tripoli display the Condoleezza Rice scrapbooks found in Kadafi's compound); Alex Quesada / Los Angeles Times (Rice, 2004).