He is 59 years old and listed as a resident of Kisugu, a suburb of Kampala (the capital), in Uganda. He was arrested on February 20 in his home for illegally posessing firearms and "180 bullets".
He has since been charged with terrorism along with six other men, 2 Ugandans and 4 Congolese. These charges stem from the allegation that he was attempting to hire/arm a rebel Congolese group to capture the Lord's Resistance Army generalissimo Joseph Kony for the 1.7 million dollar bounty money.
This is somewhat verified since one of the Congolese men accused along with Waldron is Dido Manyiroha, formerly (or currently) a leader in the Movement Révoluntionaire du Congo, one of the endless numbers of militias based in that country.
The theory behind hiring the MRC is that Kony and the LRA are currently somewhere in the eastern Congo (in the gigantic Garamba Park area) near the Ugandan border and that the MDC will be able to track him down there.
Apparently court is somewhat amusing to our Mr. Waldron:
Waldron, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and black shoes appeared calm and kept on laughing throughout the court proceedings.
The first question I wanted to ask was why was Peter Waldron in Uganda in the first place. Somenews reports say he was a "consultant" for the Ministry of Health's Information Technology Department.
The WaPo says he is an "evangelist" and has "close ties" to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's family, which they deny. There are also reports that he was trying to start a political party (currently illegal) based on Christianity.
There are also reports he wrote something unflattering about President Museveni shortly before the elections, which didn't help his situation any.
According to the Monitor, this is how Waldron and his associates were discovered:
The high stakes operation went belly up when two gun couriers involved in the deal panicked and drew a gun at a suspicious civilian near Waldron's Kisugu, home attracting a mob on February 20.
The rest is history. The mob beat up the two men who then led them to Waldron's house where more sub-machine guns were recovered.
A police operation also recovered more guns in Zana, a Kampala suburb, believed to be part of the arsenal Waldron and MRC were putting together for the Garamba operation. Waldron and his co-accused including Mr Manyihora have been charged with illegal possession of firearms.
It is unclear, however, why Waldron and his colleagues were assembling guns in Kampala for an operation on Garamba park which is located in the border area between Uganda and Congo. It is also not clear if they were acting alone or in concert with other governments or organisations with an interest in the capture of Joseph Kony.
How well Waldron knew Museveni's family is unclear but his friends and family went to Janet Museveni for help on March 6 to try and get Waldron freed. I also note that he may claim to be close to Janet Museveni in particular because she is a well-known born again Christian and probably meets regularly with evangelicals, American or otherwise.
Waldron appears to be the publisher of a magazine called "Africa Dispatch", which apparently was the source of the article that criticized Museveni. You can see the article in its entirety here (PDF), which deals with riots in Kampala in late 2005. What's odd is that in a 2003 edition (PDF), it was nothing but a sales brochure for RMTG (see below) and a fashion show that Waldron's group ran.
Waldron was doing that "consultant" work for the Ministry of Health via a company called Contact America Group. Their website is about the most bland, vanilla website I've ever seen and yet they apparently have quite a client list, including major companies like McDonald's, Budweiser and Chevrolet.
What the website doesn't tell you is that it once listed Peter Waldron on its "principals" page. They took down the actual webpage but forgot to remove the images, and the picture of Waldron at the top of this article comes from that very page. If it disappears, you will know that they're onto me.
The Google cache of that page still exists and this is how they describe Waldron:
Dr. Waldron has worked on several campaigns for candidates seeking to be the President of the United States as well as a great number of U.S. Senate and House races since his first Reagan/Bush campaign of 1979/80. His organization of the faith-based community was, at the time, the beginning of a trend to involve thinking people of faith in the political process.
Dr. Waldron has traveled around the world several times on assignment for clients desiring to either pioneer work or maintain relationships with foreign countries. Dr. Waldron worked throughout the African continent and the Middle East during the period when African colonies were transitioning into independent, sovereign nations. One nation with whom Dr. Waldron has had a relationship dating back to the 70's is Uganda.
Dr. Waldron accompanied a Member of Congress, Rep. William Dannemeyer to Pakistan on a fact-finding trip. During that visit Dr. Waldron met with the leadership of the Afghani Mujahadeen who, at the time, were engaged in a war with the Soviet Union. Throughout the 80's Dr. Waldron was involved in the public policy debate to dismantle the Soviet Empire.
On Capitol Hill
Dr. Waldron makes frequent visits to Capitol Hill on behalf of advocacy groups, private sector businesses and non-profit groups on a myriad of issues.
They also have his "client list" which doesn't format well so I will just write them here. I did the bolding:
- Alaska Marriage Amendment
- Ambassador Alan Keyes - Keyes for President
- Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge [misspelled "Artic"]
- Arctic Power - Anchorage, AK
- Campaign for Working Families PAC - Alaska
- Marriage Amendment
- Christian Scholarship Foundation - DesMoines, IA
- Christian Network, Inc. - www.worship.net
- Freedom Research Foundation - Washington, DC
- Global Celebration for Women
- Governor Ronald Reagan (Volunteer) - Reagan for President 1980
- Hon. Gary Bauer - Bauer for President
- Hon. George Wuerch - Anchorage, AK Mayor's race 2000
- Kingdom Investments LLC
- License Technology, Inc. - Houston, TX
- Life Challenge - Richard Dortch
- MC Hammer (Hammertime Holdings)
- National Republican Congressional Committee
- National Republican Senatorial Committee
- Pan East Contracting Corporation - Beirut, Lebanon
- Phil Driscoll Ministries
- President Ronald Reagan (Volunteer) - Reagan for President 1984
- Rocky Mountain Technology Group, Inc. - www.rmtg.com
- Republic of South Africa
- Republican National Committee
- Senator John McCain - McCain for President
- Sharp Technology - Houston, TX
- Tiempos Del Mundo - Miami, FL [spelled "Tiempas"]
- Vice-President George W. Bush - Bush/Quayle 1988
- Washington Times National Weekly Edition - Washington, DC
Waldron has supposedly been working for the last 4 years for the Contract Group to implement a software program to track the delivery/use of new drugs to HIV/AIDS patients at three Kampala hospitals. Who "Contact America" would be doing this study on behalf of (some pharm giant?) is unknown and is especially odd since almost all their listed clients are either retailers or in agriculture. Not a single chemical or pharmaceutical company listed at all.
At least not in the main page. But the Rocky Mountain Technology Group from the scrubbed Contact America page is indeed a seller of software to track pharmaceuticals:
Thousands of independent and small-chain U.S. drug stores and their customers soon can benefit from a new standard set by RMTG for tracking and integrating many types of critical pharmacy information.
SuccessRxTM - which RMTG will deploy beginning in 2006 is a total enterprise solution. It helps pharmacists provide proper and safe care for patients in an era when Americans use an increasing number of medications to maintain good health and avoidance of potentially dangerous drug interactions is critical. The system also speeds and simplifies the prescription-filling process for both pharmacists and their patients.
And it appears the business side of Waldron's being in Uganda comes from trying to sell Rocky Mountain's software, which is confirmed on a scrubbed page on RMTG's website, although I note that RMTG is paying for the entire operation in the hopes that the Ugandan government would eventually buy it. Waldron is personal friends with Harvey Stewart, the CEO of RMTG, which is based in Billings, Montana. There's a picture of Stewart in the 2003 edition of "Africa Dispatch", with one eye half open and semi-glazed. Frankly the man looks like he's in a drug stupor.
Kind of strange however that Waldron's scrubbed bio page mentions meeting the muhajeddin in Afghanistan, many of whom later became the Taliban and/or Al-Qaeda. I note that Dannemeyer is another hardline right-wing politician.
Waldron has a vocal friend named Dave Racer, who was one of the friends who called on June Museveni to release him. Racer has his own website here, supporting Waldron in every respect. Racer appears to be an author who writes Christian books, most if not all of them published by Alethos Press.
This is significant because the pro-Waldron website set up to demand his release is paid for and hosted by Alethos Press as well.
Both Racer and Waldron's family say that the police searched his home in Kampala three times and it was only after a fourth search that they found the guns. Waldron has stated that he did not own nor store any guns. And the Waldrons plus Racer all say that Waldron is being held solely because of the mildly critical article written about the Kampala riots. It makes absolutely no sense to arrest a man in February for writing an article in December though.
Racer is not just an author, he also previously hosted his own radio show in Minnesota. And furthermore, he served as the National Campaign Manager for fruitcake Alan Keyes in 1996. It also looks like Alethos Press is based in Minnesota and is partially (if not entirely) operated by Racer. Check this out as well.
So there you can see both Racer and Waldron were big supporters of Alan Keyes. And I see that Waldron's brother Tondo (I swear I'm not making that name up) also works for "Contact America".
Thanks to the hard work of a blogger, it seems Waldron made the appearance at an evangelical church in Uganda 2 years ago, run by a pastor named Ssempa:
The Sunday I attended Ssempa's church, after he finished his sermon, the pastor told his audience that he had a special guest to introduce, a visitor from the United States. All eyes fixed on a stocky white man with a thick moustache who wore a gray safari suit. He introduced himself as Dr. Peter Waldron of Wyoming. Waldron told the congregation that he had once been a military man and that he used to travel around Africa a lot in the 1960s. He was vague about the nature of his work. ("I'm not at liberty to say," he later told me.) But he claimed that, on one occasion, it resulted in some good people getting executed by a firing squad. After that, he contemplated suicide, he told the audience. Then he found Jesus. "When you were born again, you became a new person. You left your tribe," Waldron said. Now, he said, they were all bound together by their common love of God. The audience reacted enthusiastically, warmly welcoming Waldron's speech. When Waldron launched into a story about how he'd recently been invited to the real White House in the company of religious rapper MC Hammer, the audience was wowed.
Several days later, I met Waldron at a Kampala hotel. He told me more of his story. At different times in his career, he said, he'd been a syndicated talk-radio host, a lobbyist, and a Republican political consultant. More recently, he had run sports programs for underprivileged youths in Tampa, Florida. Now, he was in Uganda, trying to sell computer software to government ministries while preaching on the weekends. "They embrace Americans here," he said enthusiastically. Indeed, as we sat together, a steady stream of young admirers who had seen Waldron in church came up to greet him. They made complicated handshakes, the way Ugandans do, and Waldron boasted to me that he had met privately with President Museveni and his born-again wife. 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.
Precisely the kind of country where a political party on Christian values could be started. I note that Waldron represented the born-again Hammer, at least according to the scrubbed page from his company.
Waldron also has his own website with that hideous grin in front of the American flag, only they did a psychedelic number on it. That being said, it's a poorly designed website. On his foriegn [sic] travels page, he says he was in Uganda during the Idi Amin era, which is a strange thing to boast about as well. Are you starting to get the picture that this guy isn't much of a speller?
Waldron's website also delineates his theology, which is based on a guy I swear is named Rushdoony, whose Wikipedia page is here. Both Rushdoony and Waldron apparently are stalwart activists in the Christian Reconstructionism movement, which calls on evangelicals to put their faith "into action" including in the government. It is indeed a type of Dominionism. To give you an idea of this Rushdoony guy, he once said "Christianity and Democracy are inevitably enemies".
Therefore it seems Waldron was trying to use his "connections" in Uganda to sell some software and at the same time set up a ministry based on this kind of radical evangelical Christianity that calls on its followers to work for a faith-based government. No wonder Yoweri Museveni must've felt threatened by this guy - he's starting to talks similar rhetoric as followers of the insane Joseph Kony.
As this blogger also found out, Waldron is connected to the Coalition on Revival, which wants to revive Old Testament law, and the Council for National Policy, which seems to be a Dominionist group that counts Senator Frist amongst its members:
What is this group, and why is it so determined to avoid the public spotlight?
That answer is the Council for National Policy (CNP). And if the name isn't familiar to you, don't be surprised. That's just what the Council wants.
The CNP was founded in 1981 as an umbrella organization of right-wing leaders who would gather regularly to plot strategy, share ideas and fund causes and candidates to advance the far-right agenda. Twenty-three years later, it is still secretly pursuing those goals with amazing success.
Since its founding, the tax-exempt organization has been meeting three times a year. Members have come and gone, but all share something in common: They are powerful figures, drawn from both the Religious Right and the anti-government, anti-tax wing of the ultra-conservative movement.
It may sound like a far-left conspiracy theory, but the CNP is all too real and, its critics would argue, all too influential.
What amazes most CNP opponents is the group's ability to avoid widespread public scrutiny. Despite nearly a quarter century of existence and involvement by wealthy and influential political figures, the CNP remains unknown to most Americans. Operating out of a non-descript office building in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Fairfax, Va., the organization has managed to keep an extremely low profile an amazing feat when one considers the people the CNP courts.
The [New York] Times described the CNP as consisting of "a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country" who meet "behind closed doors at undisclosed locations...to strategize about how to turn the country to the right."
Yep. Read that whole article and then realize just what kind of business Waldron was trying to conduct in Uganda, besides peddling software. And it seems Waldron has friends in high places:
When contacted, the US Embassy in Uganda said it could not comment on Dr Waldron's activities because his rights as an American citizen were protected under the US Privacy Act. This means only after his express consent can they release information about his activities in Uganda.
A cabinet minister who preferred anonymity, said on Friday that the US government had contacted Kampala about Waldron.
"We are discussing his case," he said, adding that the situation was sensitive. Other sources claimed that the US government had offered to "get Waldron out of the country" if the government agreed to release him and drop the criminal charges against him.
However yesterday Ruhakana Rugunda said Uganda would subject Waldron and his co-accused to the full force of the law.
"They are facing serious charges and the law will take its course," Rugunda said in an interview.
I seriously doubt he is a CIA agent, as some people are saying. This guy is way too kooky for that.
I will definitely keep an eye on this story.
Crossposted from the new website Flogging the Simian
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