The Times reporter appears to have forgotten to ask his unnamed law enforcement official, aka DHS, the most important question of all: is that really how it works over at the Department of Homeland Security these days? They make good old-fashioned mistakes, and then hang ABC’s Brian Ross out to dry?

To believe this newer DHS version of events, then you must believe that a billion-dollar homeland security machine working in concert with the nation’s counterterrorism field agents — including the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Federal Air Marshal Service — neglected to first determine from United Airlines that United Airlines was responsible for the key suspicious act.

You must believe that United Airlines was responsible for sending at least one of the men’s bags on a Yemen-bound flight, while sending the two Yemen-bound travelers on a totally different flight to a totally different continent that would ultimately wind up in Yemen anyway.

If this were true, wouldn’t we be having these kinds of terror alerts every day?