Colin Powell has made only a few public appearances in the last several months, although there are unconfirmed rumors that he continues to serve as US Secretary of State.
Powell has been sighted in Burma's Golden Triangle, Monaco and Paraguay, where he apparently is attempting to negotiate real estate deals in preparation for his formal retirement. A State Department spokesman insists that the Secretary "continues to serve at the pleasure of the President"; however, sources close to Powell say it is "unlikely" that he would accept a second term should Bush be re-elected.
Chalabi, a Rumsfeld protégé and former Defense Department choice to be Iraqi kingpin, is believed to be hiding out in London, resisting extradition by the current Iraqi puppet government. He is wanted in Baghdad on charges of money laundering, solicitation, and unpaid parking tickets. Chalabi had been the Pentagon's major source of information on Weapons of Mass Destruction in the run-up to the Iraq war, but lost favor when it turned out he was an Iranian secret agent.
President Bush meanwhile has made clear his displeasure that Powell will not attend the festivities in New York. "Damn," he said, during a recent fishing trip off Kennebunkport, Maine. "I wanted mah Negro to hep Saddam Hussein pull the golden chariot up to the podium when ah give mah 'ceptance speech. Good hep is so hard to find these days. Heh."
Rick James, funk legend, will also be unable to attend the Republican National Convention due to his recent mysterious death. In a cryptic telegram from Forest Lawn Memorial Park received at the White House today, the deceased James asks the President "What did the five fingers say to the face?"