Mr Blair, to the anger of many British voters, was one of the staunchest allies of the US, particularly over the invasion of Iraq and following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
"White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush is honouring Mr Blair, Mr Howard and President Uribe "for their efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad"."
Commenting on the award, Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East said,
It is highly fitting that Tony Blair has received this award, as he was the best friend that George Bush ever had. He didn't say no once, and happily lined up the British Labour party to do whatever Bush told them to do.
"This award is tainted with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives and, to add insult to injury, will be handed over at a time when the Middle East is once more in the grip of horrific violence and bloodshed.
"Instead of parading with his old friends in the US, Tony Blair should be focussing on his new role and negotiating an immediate ceasefire in Gaza."
Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.