If that's what you think my argument is then you are dreadfully incorrect.
My argument is that both the president & congress have and since the 19870's have always had, access to analysts & managers and data that the intelligence community uses to make recommendations to the president and the NSC policy makers to set government policy. It is the legal and sworn duty of congress to conduct that oversight function in as nonpartisan a fashion as congress could design. Being an inherently political body, it cannot possibly be perfect. But it can be rational if it chooses to be.
Over the course of the past 16 years the select committees have been consistent in their advice to the full membership of both houses and both parties, no matter whom has been in the presidency and no matter which party controlled congress.
Were the committees wrong? Obviously. Was the president wrong? No question. Does being wrong mean that there was a conspiracy in place that, for 16 years directed public policy in both houses of congress, both parties and 3 presidents? That's fucking stupid, lazy thinking.
Intelligence gathering and analysis is far, far more complex than the simplistic conclusions that make cute sound bites and partisan arguments. Yet another solid reason to hold the 2 major parties in the highest contempt.
Bot, you must be blind to the pattern of your argument over time.
I think most of us would agree that Congress is a woefully ineffective and inefficient organization. The executive branch is much less of a prescription for chaos. There is a person in charge. The foibles of the Congress need not become the same stumbling blocks for the executive branch, by design.
You feel much more comfortable that the executive branch was acting in good faith when they used the WMD and Saddam = Al Qaeda arguments to justify invading Iraq. Many of the rest of do not. It is not a "grand conspiracy" theory that would demand the combined efforts of several administrations and the intelligence community for several decades. That would truly be a conspiracy of such great proportions it would fail just because of its size.
In this case our country was attacked on 9-11 and the country responded by coming together as it has not in decades to recover and strengthen itself to prevent such events from happening again, and then to find the ones responsible and basically kill them. The obsession with Saddam Hussein by GWB and cronies is not explainable with reasoning and logic. They continue to try to rewrite the historical facts. There was a reason, in their minds, to attack Saddam but it was not based on the intelligence communities' combined efforts that pointed the finger at Saddam. Congress could have and should have put a stop to the march to invade Saddam. They failed. But that does not excuse the Bush administration from conducting the march under false pretenses.
It is pretty plain. The Administration cherry picked intelligence. The aluminum tubes story. The mobile chemical weapons factories. It goes on and on. Not anything that could be verified, believing junior dweebs who made bum conclusions and scheduling meetings when more knowledgeable types who refuted the dweeb's conclusions were not available. It goes on and on. Standing up a separate "intel" group under Rummy's thumb to make the case for Saddam being the culprit because the CIA wasn't getting the job done. Just too many steps that indicate the answers, truthful ones, were not of value here. Only those bits that could be construed to justify the march were brought up. Right down to throwing the UN inspectors out while they were confirming Saddam's claims he had no WMD.
Yes, Congress failed. But that in no way excuses Bush and his cadre of Constitution burners. Jim