Dictator Porn

The smut in bin Laden's compound reveals the Muslim world's dirty secret: porn is rife, everyone looks at it—and the U.S. finds it in militants' hideouts all the time.

Enric Marti / AP Photo

Enric Marti / AP Photo

Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi has always fancied himself a ladies' man, from his "voluptuous" Ukrainian nurse to his all-female bodyguards. But while looters at his Tripoli compound found a deeply strange album of photos of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, there was no porn. Rebels who entered the home of Mutassim, one of Gaddafi's sons, discovered that the younger man was not so chaste. While looting his house in Tripoli, they found copies of Playboyas well as National Geographic, the favorite of randy young teenagers. Like son, like father? The world, and Libya, may never know.

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler's porn stash—a large collection of grainy, black-and-white film reels—was impressive even by the standards of the pre-Internet era. The Third Reich leader allegedly loved pornography, particularly the racy images and stories that regularly appeared in the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer.

Mao Zedong

Like many famous dictators, Chairman Mao was certifiably crazy, as his plans for modernizing China and purging his enemies attest. But according to his doctor, he was also “a sex maniac." From the 1960s to the early 1970s, his quarters were often filled with young women. Additionally, he used to have nude water ballets in his swimming pool, and “dancing partners” were available anywhere he went. Of course, he topped this all off with a very large pornography collection.

Kim Jong-il

While much of North Korea puts up with Orwellian state-run television, leader Kim Jong-il apparently has access to something better to watch. The tyrant is rumored to have a large collection of pornographic videos, amongst other foreign films. Leslie Gelb even argues that we should worry less about North Korea’s attempts to get nuclear weapons, because Kim Jong-Il knows the U.S. can destroy him. “The boss of that country wants to watch his porn flicks," says Gelb. "He doesn’t want to get destroyed.”

Manuel Noriega

General Noriega of Panama apparently loved his porn and his prostitutes. Noriega, ignoring all warning signs, was with a scarlet woman just an hour before the United States began its invasion of Panama in 1989. Once the invasion had commenced, he called his mistress before he called his wife. When he was finally apprehended and brought to face charges in Miami, stories about his porn collection began to leak out.

Lavrentiy Beria

Chief of Soviet security and Secret Police official under Joseph Stalin, Beria had a taste for sadomasochism. When he was arrested, officials found peculiar objects in his desk drawer speaking to his interests, including blackjack clubs (torture tools), female underwear, sex toys, and pornography. Lavrentiy also kept a hidden stash of silk stockings, bodices, nighties, costumes, and a “large quantity of items of male debauchery.”

Majed Moqed

Suggesting that porn is for terrorists as well as dictators, when details of the 9/11 plane hijackers were revealed, rumors swirled that the group had engaged in a night of revelry before the attack, watching naughty videos and smoking hashish. Given that the al Qaeda martyrs’ instructions for “The Last Night” required them to “shave excess hair from the body and wear cologne” before “the day, God willing, you spend with the women of Paradise,” they may have already had their minds on subjects less than pure. And it wouldn’t have been the first time for Majed Moqed, one of the five 9/11 hijackers in the plane that hit the Pentagon-- he was spotted flipping through nudie magazines and dirty videos in an Adult Lingerie Center in Beltsville, Maryland during the summer of 2001.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

When Tunisia’s long-reigning president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to resign on January 14, 2011 and subsequently flee the country, looters raided the dictator’s palatial homes. Piles of pornography were among the treasures carried away from Ben Ali’s mansions. The late ruler and his wife did not have time to collect their most personal belongings before being exiled to Saudi Arabia.

Osama bin Laden

In addition to Vaseline and Avena syrup (a sexual stimulant) Navy SEALs recovered a fairly extensive and “modern” porn stash from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. U.S. officials revealed the news, but said it was not clear whether bin Laden himself was hoarding the videos, or if one or two of his fellow housemates occasionally indulged in some high-quality entertainment after a long day of tending to the compound’s goats.