An Easter 'bomb plot' to blow up Britain which dominated the news headlines has turned out to be a damp squib, with the release of all the suspects buried on the day of all the budget hype. When the going gets tough, the tough get going or in the case of the beleaguered home secretary - play the terror card.
There's nothing like a good old fashioned terror bomb plot to get the public pulse a-racing, the headlines a-spinning and ministers off the hook - and this was nothing like a good old fashioned bomb plot.
The Orange Party smelt a rat as Smith's pal, bungling Bob Quick, was forced to make a quick departure after exposing a dastardly bomb plot in the full glare of the media spotlight.
That was swiftly followed by a massive police swoop equally played out in the full glare of the media to capture the headlines and bury Smeargate.
Now all 12 men arrested have been released without charge. Eleven - all Pakistani nationals - face deportation, presumably back to their tribal homelands.
Second-guessing the obvious question, Manchester police chief, Peter Fahy, defended the inquiry and said he was not "embarrassed or humiliated".
Well clearly someone should be.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to press charges or hold the men any longer. Lawyers for the men point out that they have not been charged and are innocent of any crime.
In a masterstroke of political timing, the Easter 'bomb plot' came as Smith was up to her neck fiddling expenses. The Met too was coming under fire over police G20 thuggery and the unprovoked killing of bystander Ian Tomlinson.
In the shady, murky world of plots and terrorism, it's impossible to get to the bottom of what goes on behind closed doors.
But what seems to be clear is that there was no bomb, no detonators, no nothing and significantly no paper or email trail which could make a conspiracy charge stick. Innocent until proven guilty.
Of the 12 men arrested in the raids, 10 were holding student visas. The sub plot did thicken however as the sorry state of UK border security and the incompetence of government policing of bogus colleges for overseas students was exposed.
Only on Monday, home secretary Smith had the cheek to tell MPs that Quick's "error" had not damaged the operation and the raids had been brought forward only "by a matter of hours". That was a tad prejudicial, given today's outcome.
In a remarkable example of stating the bleedin' obvious, the BBC's "security correspondent" Gordon Corera said: "I think there will be a sense of a need to learn some lessons from this in terms of public presentation."
Quite. And the rest.