The US administration of President George W. Bush used false and exaggerated intelligence to justify the military invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to a newly declassified CIA letter released on Thursday by a US senator.
The declassified CIA letter was sent in March from CIA Director John Brennan to outgoing US senator Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The letter is based on a classified CIA cable sent from field operatives to CIA headquarters on March 13, 2003, less than a week before the US invasion of Iraq.
"There was a concerted campaign on the part of the Bush administration to connect Iraq in the public mind with the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks. That campaign succeeded," Levin said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday.
He said Bush officials used an unconfirmed meeting between Mohammad Atta with an Iraqi intelligence officer in the Czech Republic before the September 11, 2011 attacks to link Iraq to the terrorist attacks in the American public's mind.