In this case, the administration's timing couldn't be much worse.
While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.
Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department's own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.
Homeland Security's research arm, called the Sciences & Technology Directorate, is a "rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course," Republican and Democratic senators on the Appropriations Committee declared recently.
What's worse, when it comes to looming crises and Bush's funding priorities, this seems to be part of a pattern.
--Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report