One of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s campaign aides was arrested for terrorism in Uganda in February 2006. Though the charges were dropped against evangelical organizer Dr. Peter Waldron, he spent 37 days in the Luriza Prison outside Kampala after being detained for allegedly trying to smuggle assault weapons into the country days before their first multi-party elections in twenty years.
He claims he was tortured at that time. Six Congolese and Ugandan nationals were arrested along with Waldron, and the weapons “were described variously in news reports as having been found in his bedroom or a closet in his home.”
Waldron says that a pressure campaign from friends and colleagues as well as aid from the Bush administration led to his charges being dropped in March 2006, after which he was released and deported back to the United States.
Peter Waldron told The Atlantic on the day of the Ames straw poll in Iowa that he was in charge of Michele Bachmann’s faith-based organizing. Alice Stewart, the Press Secretary for Rep. Bachmann’s campaign, refused to provide details about Waldron and his background at the time, just insisting that he was doing a great job and they felt fortunate to have him on the team.
There is a mysterious documentary in the works about the life of Waldron, who has been a Republican operative for almost thirty years, and had been in Uganda since 2002 and was working for the Africa Dispatch newsletter when he was arrested.
One Ugandan paper claimed he was working with Congolese militia to capture Joseph Kony, the brutal ringleader of the terrorist group the Lord’s Resistance Army in southern Uganda, in order to claim the $1.7 million bounty placed on Kony’s head by the Hague–and that the operation botched, leading Ugandan authorities directly to Waldron and his illegal stash of weapons.
Waldron claims on his website that the “secret police” in Uganda falsely accused him of being a spy, and an acquaintance who spoke to The St. Petersburg Times in 2006 claimed that Waldron had told him he worked for the CIA. This ambiguity about whether he was a spy is being used in the teaser trailer for the documentary on Waldron’s personal website.
According to article “Evangelicals v. Muslims in Africa: Enemy’s Enemy,” published in the US news magazine The New Republic in August 2004, Waldron claimed a friendship with Pastor Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan minister who became famous in the West very recently for vigorously backing what was known as Uganda’s proposed “Kill the Gays” bill.
This is very significant due to Michele Bachmann’s notoriously homophobic views. The article quotes Waldron: “It struck me that, for many Americans of faith, Uganda–a country where homosexuality and abortion are outlawed, where politicians freely mix church and state, and where outward displays of religious devotion are the norm–represents a kind of haven.”
The fact that Michele Bachmann hired someone with these horrific views is a strong indicator that her hate for the LGBT community runs even deeper than most have suspected.