One of Michele Bachmann’s top Evangelical organizers that helped her cruise to victory in Ames on Saturday was arrested for arms dealing in Uganda right before elections there in 2006:
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Peter E. Waldron spent 37 days in the Luriza Prison outside Kampala, where he says he was tortured, after being arrested along with six Congolese and Ugandan nationals for the weapons, which were described variously in news reports as having been found in his bedroom or a closet in his home. The charges, which could have led to life in prison, were dropped in March 2006 after a pressure campaign by Waldron’s friends and colleagues and what Waldron says was the intervention of the Bush administration. He was released and deported from the east African nation, along with the Congolese. On Saturday, Waldron told The Atlantic in Ames that he was a staffer for Bachmann and responsible for her faith-based organizing both in Iowa and South Carolina. But he also declined repeatedly to give his name.
Asked about Waldron’s role and background, Alice Stewart, the press secretary for the Bachmann for President campaign, replied in an email: “Michele’s faith is an important part of her life and Peter did a tremendous job with our faith outreach in Iowa. We are fortunate to have him on our team and look forward to having him expanding his efforts in several states.”
At the time of his arrest, Waldron was hailed on one right-wing blog as being “an arms dealer of the Lord” and “the latest victim of Christian persecution in Africa.” But his allies seeking to free him said he was being persecuted for his reports in the “Africa Dispatch” newsletter about Ugandan opposition activities, and that he denied that he owned or was storing weapons.
Copyright 2011 The National Memo