A member of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's campaign staff was arrested on terror charges in Uganda in 2006 and spent more than a month in prison, according to multiple news reports.
Peter Waldron serves as Bachmann's director of faith outreach and was crucial in galvanizing evangelical support for the Minnesota representative during last week's Ames Straw Poll, which Bachmann won.
Fox News reported:
Waldron said he was in Uganda “in an effort to facilitate the delivery of antiretroviral drugs to HIV infected patients.”
For four years, he worked as an information technology consultant for Uganda’s Health Ministry until he was arrested in February 2006, just three days before the East African nation’s first multi-party election in 25 years, Reuters reported. Waldron, who was 59 at the time, was charged with possessing four unlicensed AK-47 rifles and 180 bullets and faced up to life in prison.
Waldron’s lawyer told Reuters at the time that Uganda dropped the charges after he spent 37 days in a prison outside the nation’s capital because the government lost interest in the matter.
Waldron says he was falsely accused of being a spy by the Uganda government’s secret police and that his 37 days of imprisonment were marked by torture, intense interrogations and solitary confinement before the White House secured his release.
But the Atlantic, one of the first outlets to report the story, had this as well:
One Ugandan paper alleged he was working with Congolese rebel militia members to capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the Ugandan guerrilla group the Lord's Resistance Army, and claim a $1.7 million bounty on his head being offered by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, but that planning for the operation was botched, leading police to Waldron's house and the guns. But the Kampala Monitor reported that the inspector general of police "told a news conference Waldron was suspected of links to a group in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 'planned to set up a political party here based on Christian principles.'"
Waldron's experience is the inspiration for a documentary, "The Ultimate Price: The Peter E. Waldron Story." A trailer for the film released earlier this year, which has since been taken down, had the following synopsis:
Lebanon. Iraq. Syria. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Uganda. India. For over thirty years, his family never knew where he went -- never knew what he did. Based on a true story, Dr. Peter Waldron was on a mission. Was he a businessman, a preacher, a spy? Tortured and facing a firing squad, he never broke his oath of silence. What secret was worth the ultimate price?
The Bachmann campaign has said only the following regarding the reports about Waldron:
"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."