February 28, 2006

Who is Peter Waldron? You Won't Find Out in the Traditional Media

from - smijer

Unless you count NPR...

I caught this on the radio Monday morning, and expected it to run through the major blogs so fast that I wouldn't even need to mention it...

It occurred to me just now, that I haven't seen it on the big blogs or the big media... Maybe I wasn't paying attention at the right time... So, who is Peter Waldron?

An American citizen in Uganda, being held there on terrorism charges....

It starts with an odd story of 59 year old evangelical missionary Peter Waldron, being spied by neighbors while stashing a bag of automatic weapons and ammo...

When they were challenged, they first hid the bag in bushes, before returning to it and drawing one of the rifles.

As residents raised the alarm, a large crowd gathered.

"As the mob wanted to lynch them, they pleaded to lead them to where more guns were hidden," Mugenyi said.

When police arrived at Waldron's home, they found two more sub-machine guns in a bedroom wardrobe, he added.

Waldron had attended the politically charged High Court and military trials of opposition presidential candidate Kizza Besigye late last year, where observers took him to be a diplomat. Ugandans go to the polls on Thursday.

Ugandan authorities were criticised for posting black-clad commandos at the High Court during one hearing, but they later cited an unspecified terrorist threat.

Police displayed two business cards identifying Waldron as the founder of City of Faith Ministries, an evangelical group, and an advisor to the president of a U.S. company working with Uganda's government on IT healthcare projects.

Mugenyi also showed reporters a news magazine found at Waldron's home, "The Africa Dispatch", which listed him as publisher. It carried pictures of Waldron standing with diplomats at the High Court and army court martial.

"This confirms our suspicions of terrorists at the High Court and the subsequent deployment of the Joint Anti Terrorism Squad," Mugenyi said, pointing to the pictures.

"We also thought he was a diplomat," he added.

"We are still investigating, but we will soon parade him with his guns and you shall see him."

What Reuters and other on-line services omit, but was reported on the radio, was that Waldron's apparent aim was to use the weapons to disrupt Ugandan elections, and that his eventual aim is purported to be re-making the Ugandan government in the image of "Christian values"...

Anyway, he is now being charged with terrorism, along with 5 Congolese and one Ugandan accessories.

When I listened to the report, especially before hearing his purported motivation for religious power, I couldn't help but wonder to myself whether he was an American agent of the CIA, sent in as a provocateur...

The Venezuelan state press has already reached judgment on that question, and cite his case for support of their action to boot New Tribes Mission out of their rain-forests.

What is there to add? I just hope that the American media will pay enough attention to it that it gets investigated, and we get to find out what the hell is going on.

Update: It seems Michelle in the comments may have been correct. If the charges weren't trumped up to begin with, then it defies explanation how they could be dismissed so easily. Other clarifying details at link. Apologies to Mr. Waldron.

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Posted by smijer at February 28, 2006 10:23 PM
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