Iraq case stands up without Africa link: PM
The Office of National Assessments (ONA) has released a statement revealing it knew there were doubts about the claims in January but did not inform the Government.
Mr Howard made reference to the Iraq-African connection in a speech to federal Parliament a month later.
Mr Howard says he retains full confidence in the ONA.
"The ONA have made a statement, they've explained what happened," he said.
"The important point to make is that the material would not have in any way, had it been in my possession prior to the last few days, would not have affected our decision."
But the Opposition says it is a mystery why the ONA failed to pass on the information.
Labor foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd says Mr Howard's credibility on Iraq is in question.
"Mr Howard has a record as far as dealing with the truth on national security and border security questions," he said.
"We saw Mr Howard's performance on the question of children overboard or truth overboard.
"Are we seeing a repeat of the same thing now as far as the Iraq war is concerned? Mr Howard has some very big questions to answer."
Declaring the issue "blown out of all proportion", he went on to declare his confidence in "the credibility, honesty, trustworthiness of ONA"
"If ONA was in error, it was a failing of judgement not a failing of integrity.”