|Birth name||Rufus Lackland Taylor|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died||1978 (aged 67–68)|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Taylor graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1933. Taylor became Director of Naval Intelligence, 1963-1966. Then in June 1966, he was made Vice Admiral and Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. That September President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed him Deputy Director of Central Intelligence at CIA; he was quickly confirmed by the United States Senate. He served at CIA under DCI Richard Helms. Taylor later resigned as DDCI effective February 1969.
In April 1967, Helms asked Taylor to oversee a difficult, intra-CIA dispute involving Yuri Nosenko, a Soviet defector. CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton had accused Nosenko of being a double agent and provocateur sent by the Soviets to penetrate American intelligence. As a result of this dilemma Nosenko was held for several years by CIA pending resolution. Taylor reported that Nosenko was no double agent and that Helms should set him free. Despite strong objections from CIA counterintelligence, eventually Nosenko was released and put on the CIA payroll as a consultant, in March 1969.
- John Ranelagh, The Agency. The rise and decline of the CIA (New York: Simon and Schuster 1978) at 736.
- Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes. The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday 2007) at 276.
- Richard J. Heuer, Jr., "Nosenko: Five Paths to Judgment" in Studies in Intelligence (1987) at 31/3: 71-101; reprinted in H. Bradford Westerfield, editor, Inside CIA's Private World (Yale Univ. 1995) 379-414, at 383, 385.