AS we wait for the publication of the Chilcott Inquiry into our involvement in the illegal invasion of Iraq it would appear that events in the United States have provided the evidence that George W Bush and Tony Blair made statements to justify the invasion knowing they were false.

The CIA finally declassified much of its 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq, which was the chief document used by the Bush administration to justify the US attack. According to the estimate, the US intelligence community concluded that "we are unable to determine whether [biological weapons] agent research has resumed" and "the information we have on Iraqi nuclear personnel does not appear consistent with a coherent effort to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program". With regard to the aluminium tubes which Condoleeza Rice claimed were for the Iraqi nuclear programme, according to the NIE, the Energy Department had already concluded that the tubes were "consistent with applications to rocket motors" and "this is the more likely end use".

But even as the US intelligence community had reached this conclusion, President Bush told the American people that Iraq "possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons" and "the evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program". Tony Blair meanwhile was telling Parliament that Iraq could strike us within 45 minutes which was also shown to be false.

We know that Mr Blair and Mr Bush communicated frequently and it is outwith the bounds of credulity that Mr Bush did not share this information with his partner in war. It is no wonder that Mr Blair fought tooth and nail to prevent communication between the two being made public. Chilcott will be a whitewash but the evidence is now available to show that statements were made to justify the war which were known to be false.

David Stubley,

22 Templeton Crescent,