Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So we should all be proud that, according to a Foreign Policy investigation by Mark Perry, Israeli intelligence officers pretended to be CIA agents so they could recruit Pakistani religious fanatics to assassinate Iranians. How sweet.

Israel, Perry says, ran a so-called "false flag operation" during the Bush Administration in which Israelis claiming to be CIA agents tasked members of the the Pakistani Sunni terrorist group Jundallah with carrying out attacks against Iran. Jundallah is a radical Sunni group that hates Shiite Iran; it is responsible for some horrific attacks on Iranian civilians, including several mosque bombings. While it would be a bit tricky for Israel to sidle up to radical Muslim terrorists, they figured Jundallah might not object to taking guidance and resources from the CIA. So they pretended to be Americans.

We caught on to the plot, Perry says, when the CIA investigated (false, as it turns out) media reports in 2007 and 2008 that it was working with Jundallah. Bush was reportedly incensed, but did nothing. Obama, on the other hand, decided to send a message by dramatically scaling back intelligence cooperation with Israel.

Spies are horrible and lie all the time and we do the same thing to other countries and down is up and up is down. But just remember next time you hear someone talking about our special relationship with Israel: They are taking some of the $3 billion a year we give them in military aid and using it to fund a program where they pay terrorists to kill Iranians and blame it on us.

[Image via Getty]