Dick Lugar Wants to Save You From a Hideous, Horror-Movie-Style Death

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You can find reasons to slam the guy from both the left and the right. But not every member of Congress chooses to spend their spare time trudging through Africa on missions like this one:

Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, and a delegation of Pentagon officials visited the laboratories on Wednesday for the first stop on a three-country tour of East Africa to assess the next generation of American security concerns….

In 2004, Congress expanded the mandate of the Nunn-Lugar program, which originally focused on dismantling warheads in former Soviet states, to include geographic regions like this one. Now, Mr. Lugar’s trip will take the delegation to Uganda, Burundi and then Kenya….

The laboratories at the [Ugandan] Ministry of Agriculture, built in the 1920s, have broken windows, and a chain-link fence surrounding the compound is ripped. According to the commissioner, there used to be over 200 technical staff members, but now there are only six. In the anthrax laboratory, one doctor showed how to use a cellphone camera placed on top of a microscope to study the bacteria, a demonstration of the lack of proper equipment.

In Uganda Lugar found anthrax stored in an unlocked refrigerator, as well as samples of the terrifying Ebola and Marburg viruses, both of which are extremely lethal–and roughly as virulent as the dreaded “Rage” virus you may have seen in action.

Fortunately there’s no place more alien to Islamic radicalism than East Africa. Oh, wait.

So be grateful that someone is keeping an eye on this. And watch to see what happens to Nunn-Lugar funding in an era of austerity and ascendant small-government conservatives, who have never loved the program to begin with.

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