British authorities say that they have been investigating the group behind the airplane bombing plot for "about a year." The Scotsman says that the investigation began in 2005.
US authorities were only told about some details two weeks ago, apparently. It may be that the British counter-terrorism community learned its lesson from the loose lips of the Bushies in summer of 2004. I argued then that from what we could tell from open sources, it seemed likely that the Bush administration played politics with information about a double agent in Pakistan who was helping monitor a London al-Qaeda cell. It seems likely that the election-year leak allowed budding terrorists like Mohammad Sadique Khan to escape closer scrutiny, and so permitted the 7/7/05 London subway bombings to go forward.
This time, the MI5 and MI6 and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may not have told Washington everything.
So, right-wing bloggers are correct to claim that these arrests show that Dubya's security policies are keeping us safer. What we don't know can't hurt us. Right?