Test Your Knowledge: CIA Scandals Quiz

By: Staff

Which American president authorized the CIA's Operation CHAOS, which spied on anti-war citizens?

The program was shut down in the wake of the Watergate scandal; the operation was in many ways very, very illegal.

In 1953, the CIA's Operation Ajax was ultimately all about what?

The CIA orchestrated a coup in Iran to help England and the U.S. keep power over Middle Eastern oil fields.

How did the CIA use force to push Iranian leaders out of power during the 1953 coup?

They gave cash to mobsters and set them loose on the streets; hundreds of people died but the plan worked

PBSUCCESS was a CIA-led coup against the leader of which country?

The 1954 coup unseated the democratically-elected leader, who had been implementing policies that the CIA considered Communist in origin.

How did other Latin American counties perceive the Guatemalan coup?

Countries from around the world, including Latin American, viewed the CIA's actions as unconscionable.

How was the quality of life in Guatemala affected by the coup?

A series of authoritarian leaders tortured and repressed their people and killed democracy for good

What was the name of the CIA project meant to refine and perfect interrogation and torture techniques?

It was started in the 1950s and involved dozens of organizations; some subjects were given drugs like LSD and then tortured.

In what year were documents regarding Project MKUltra finally made public, creating massive outcry?

Many experts suspect that the CIA is continuing to operate similar mind control programs without public knowledge.

What was the name of the operation that sneaked Nazi scientists into the U.S. after WWII?

While other countries were hunting the Nazis, the CIA whitewashed their records and gave them jobs.

The 1961 CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion was designed to overthrow which world leader?

President Kennedy actually approved the plan, which flopped and spiraled into the terrifying Cuban Missile Crisis.

What did President Kennedy say about the failed Bay of Pigs invasion?

Much of the failed plan relied heavily on wishful thinking within the CIA and the administration.

What happened to the CIA's records of Project MKUltra?

In a classic move, the CIA destroyed many of the project's records, making it impossible to know exactly how many people were hurt by the mind control experiments.

Lt. Colonel Oliver North was fired for funneling funds to rebels in which county?

North became famous for all of the wrong reasons; the Iran-Contra affair became headline news for years and negatively affected Ronald Reagan's presidency.

What role did the CIA play in the Iran-Contra Affair?

It was a messy ordeal that involved a lot of other people inside and outside of the CIA.

How did an Israeli adviser named Amiram Nir die during the Iran-Contra Affair?

There's reason to believe that he may have notified top U.S. officials regarding the affair, and nobody wanted that information to go public.

The CIA had a role in the Watergate scandal.

There were definite CIA ties to this Nixon-era scandal, but proof has been hard to find.

Operation Mockingbird was created to do what?

CIA agents worked with U.S. (and later foreign) journalists to shape their views of the CIA and U.S. policies.

How did CIA agents influence journalists during Operation Mockingbird?

Some reporters were wise to the plot; others had no idea that they were being manipulated.

When a book was written to reveal secrets about Operation Mockingbird, how did the CIA plan to stop it?

They considered buying every book but the publishing company indicated it would simply print more.

1975's Church Committee was formed to investigate which CIA wrongdoing?

The committee led to some reforms meant to rein in the CIA's illegal spying.

In which country did the CIA's so-called "Secret War" take place?

After more than two decades, the CIA admitted that it took part in the proxy war in Laos; it happened during the Vietnam War era.

The CIA may have been complicit in smuggling what product during the Secret War in Laos?

The Laotian military needed money to fund its fight, and the CIA may have hand a hand in the smuggling.

In 1996, a journalist reported that the CIA allowed what to happen in South Los Angeles?

The CIA may have known that Contra rebels were selling their product to fund their fight in Nicaragua.

What happened to the journalist who wrote about the CIA's role in cocaine sales in poor Los Angeles neighborhoods?

He was run out of the business and couldn't find a job anywhere; he was found with not one, but two bullet wounds.

In the early 1990s, the CIA supported a criminal gang in which country in order topple a democratically-elected leader?

Aristide may have been elected by the people, but thanks in part to the CIA, he only lasted about eight months in office.

What did the CIA do when Saddam Hussein began planning chemical attacks during the Iran-Iraq War?

The CIA knew about the horrific plans but didn't take action to stop Hussein.

To what issue did the CIA's "Family Jewels" report pertain?

The illegal domestic spying began in the 1950s and continued for decades before being revealed.

The "Family Jewels" reports also showed that the CIA recruited mafia members to kill which world leader?

The CIA supplied poison pills but the plot was unsuccessful.

How many people died at the hands of CIA-backed government forces in El Salvador in the 1980s?

The U.S. helped suppress the rebels, but many people suffered as a result.

What disease did the CIA intentionally introduce into Cuba in an effort to destabilize the country?

Cuba was forced to killed many thousands of pigs in order to contain the outbreak.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

This shadowy group conducts many missions around the world, and some of those operations leave the U.S. with a bruised reputation. How much do you know about CIA scandals?

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!