In what may well be the most awkward personal moment in U.S. diplomatic history, in her new memoir Condoleezza Rice recalls a creepy 2008 meeting with then-Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi that ended with Qaddafi showing her photos of herself he had collected and a serenade of a song he had a famous Libyan composer write for her.
Rice’s reaction? Run away, run away!!
“What was going through my head was ‘How long do I have to sit here and how quickly can I get out of here?’ You know, it was funny because when he said, ‘I have a video for you,’ I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, what is this going to be?’ But it was actually just a bunch of pictures of me with Vladimir Putin, me with Hu Jintao,” Rice tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview planned for next week. “And then he said, ‘I have Libya’s best composer, most famous composer write this song for you,’ and it was called ‘Black Flower in the White House.'”
TPM would love to see lyrics, but Rice probably does not want to relive the encounter once more, or even worse, have someone set them to music on YouTube.
Rice told Stephanopoulos she thought the Qaddafi’s scrap book and bizarre obsession with her was “eerie.”
“And I thought, ‘Well this is a really, really strange, strange moment in my time as secretary of state,” she said.
Rice was in Libya at the time to make good on a “quid pro quo” after Qaddafi gave up his weapons of destruction and wanted to be welcomed into the international community.
Recalling excerpts from her book, “No Higher Honor,” Stephanopoulas asked Rice if the Bush administration had overcompensated and gotten too close to the then Libyan dictator.
“I don’t think we ever got very close to him. I think what we did was to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction, or the most dangerous ones,” she told him.
“And then we started to allow business to go back in to Libya, raising some of the sanctions. But- it- we weren’t ever really going to get very close to Qaddafi,” she added. “And the most important thing was to try and open up this place that had been closed for so long, to get him out of terrorism, to get him away from weapons of mass destruction, to make it a little bit safer. But it’s far preferable that he’s gone.”