Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice describes her 2008 meeting with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi as a “really, really strange, strange, moment.” Gadhafi ran a video montage of Rice with different world leaders and played an original song about her entitled, “Black Flower in the White House,” ABC News
“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 Jin Tao,” she told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “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.”
Rice called the pictures “eerie,” and said she concluded the meeting with the now deceased dictator and left for Algeria.
“And I thought, ‘Well this is a really, really strange, strange moment in my time as Secretary of State,” she said.
The exchange with Stephanopoulos occurred during an interview about Rice’s new book, “No Higher Honor,” which is about her eight years in the President George W. Bush administration. She explained that the 2008 visit was a “quid pro quo” for Gadhafi’s abandonment of weapons of mass destruction.
When asked if the Bush administration had gotten too close to Gadhafi, Rice told ABC: “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.”
“And then we started to allow business to go back in to Libya, raising some of the sanctions,” she added. “But — it — we weren’t ever really going to get very close to Gadhafi. 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.”
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