Moammar Gadhafi once had such a mad crush on a prominent U.S. official who the Libyan leader knew only from her TV appearances, Gadhafi tried sending her a secret message asking if she reciprocated his love for her.
For this loopy story to make sense, you need to know three things about Gadhafi.
First, for decades, Gadhafi has been a notorious womanizer. His bodyguards are snappily-dressed young women, the “nurse” who often accompanies him is a voluptuous Ukrainian, and virtually all the journalists permitted to interview him are female, some of whom claim to have rebuffed unwanted sexual advances from Gadhafi.
Second, Gadhafi is obsessed with the color green. He led a “Green Revolution,” Gadhafi’s “Green Book” is the Libyan regime’s gospel, and the heart of the Libyan capital is “Green Square.”
Third, Gadhafi is a megalomanical nut.
In 1991, Gadhafi called a female newspaper journalist in London and demanded that she travel to Libya immediately to discuss an urgent matter. The journalist, who had interviewed Gadhafi previously, pleaded with him for details, but Gadhafi would only say it was a issue of utmost importance and urgency.
The correspondent flew to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and was taken straight to meet Gadhafi.
According to the correspondent who soon thereafter told me her story, Gadhafi made a stunning admission: He was madly in love with then-U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler, who served in that role from 1989 to 1992. Gadhafi said he fell in love with her by watching her State Department briefings on CNN.
The correspondent was aghast and furious for being summoned to Libya on an emergency basis to hear Gadhafi’s nonsensical love confession. But there was more.
Gadhafi asked the correspondent to relay a message to Tutwiler: If you, Margaret, reciprocate my love for you, please wear a green dress at your next State Department briefing.
To my knowledge, the correspondent never conveyed the message to Tutwiler, and there is no evidence Gadhafi and Tutwiler ever met or communicated directly.
But an exhaustive Google Image search provides no evidence that Ms. Tutwiler ever wore a green dress.