Heh Iain, count on you to find a second cynical point!
However, let's separate out the money angle just a little for the moment.
I was going to the point that if you have $Enemy, they kicked in the Big Brother mentality To Protect Us From $Enemy, Because The World Will Never Be The Same After Enemy beat us. So naive little pawns ... er, sorry, citizens, hunker down and put up with the intrusions, in the name of being patriotic to Help Beat Enemy.
So even if it spins out into this absurd "Almost Got Him, But He Got Away, Tune In Next Episode!" kind of melodrama, we can almost live with it if we are Making Progress. Oops. Turns out we were not even in the right country for the entire decade.
Then, wrapping back hoping to make my original point clearer, so a TRILLION DOLLARZ and a Pinky couldn't find Bin Laden, but sky help us if Anonymous defaces a web site! International coalition, get them Terrorists!
So what I'm grumpy about is not only did we waste a lot of money doing absolutely nothing, but we wasted parts of it destroying our freedoms in a colossal lie.