Michael Canfield Interview
(Coup d'Etat In America
The C.I.A. And J.F.K.'s Murder
There’s yet another book on the shelves about the Assassination of
President Kennedy. Actually, it’s a revised and up-dated version that
was originally published back in 1975.
Titled “Coup d’etat in America: The CIA And The Assassination
of John F. Kennedy” by Michael Canfield and Alan J. Weberman, the
book explores the possible identities of 3 men found hiding in a railroad
car in Dealey Plaza on November 22 nd 1963 shortly after the President was
The 3 men have come to be known as “The Three Tramps”.
But, were they just “tramps” that happened to be in the area
when President Kennedy was assassinated?
Michael Canfield doesn’t think so. He believes they were CIA agents
with ties to Watergate.
Q – Michael, the t.v. show “A Current Affair” tracked
down one of the 3 tramps and he wasn’t a C.I.A. operative, I take
it you do not accept their findings.
A – That’s right. I’ve since interviewed him. I went
to where Harold Doyle (one of the “Three Tramps”) was living.
I sat down next to him in a coffee shop. I said, ‘Excuse me, are you
Harold Doyle’? He said, ‘Yes’. I said, ‘I’m
a journalist from Los Angeles and I’d like to ask you some questions
about your days as a hobo in Dallas’. He jumped up and said, ‘I
don’t talk about that’, ran out the door and disappeared. He
turned in his key to his landlady and nobody has seen him since. He’s
totally disappeared off the face of the earth. I find that very questionable.
Secondly, I went to Dallas, Texas again and talked to one of the arresting
officers. I won’t give his name right now. But, there were 4 officers
involved in arresting the ‘tramps’ and he told me the arrest
records were forgeries, that the police officers who signed the arrest records
did not know how their names got on the arrest records. So, that is a dis-information
campaign to protect the true identities of the tramps.
Q – You don’t have a photo of any or all of the “Three
Tramps” shooting at the President. What then, do you have?
A – There’s circumstantial evidence. What were C.I.A. operatives
doing disguised as tramps in Dealey Plaza? Sam Giancana said that these
guys were out there and that they were the shooters. If you have evidence
that there was a shot from the Grassy Knoll which we believe there was and
we have evidence now that there was…..We have 3 or 4 eyewitnesses
who say somebody shooting from the Grassy Knoll including Jean Hill (“The
Lady In Red”). If there was a fourth shot and it came from the Grassy
Knoll then you have to look for someone else and you have to look at all
the suspects. And then, you find 3 C.I.A. agents hiding out disguised-----you
gotta put 2 and 2 together here. These guys are enemies of Kennedy. E. Howard
Hunt in his book, ‘Give Us This Day’ which is the account of
the Bay Of Pigs Invasion, totally blames Kennedy because he didn’t
give him the air-strike and goes as far as almost calling him a Communist.
This is the kind of mentality you’re dealing with here. These guys
thought Kennedy was a Communist.
Q – Which is totally ridiculous because he
was a multi-millionaire.
A – That’s right. But, he messed up the Bag Of Pigs. He wanted
to appeal the oil depletion allowance. He was going after organized crime
who was working with the C.I.A. at the time. Sturgio (one of the suspected
three tramps) said he was so mad about the Bay Of Pigs and mad at Kennedy
about what he did…..if you really get down and talk to these guys
and read what they said about Kennedy, you find out that they hated him.
The anti-Communist Cuban community in Miami were pissed at Kennedy. These
guys were militant, covert action assassins. Frank Sturgis said he was trained
by the C.I.A. in the art of assassination and that the C.I.A. asked him
to do domestic assassinations. Now, that in itself is a revelation, that
the C.I.A. asked a C.I.A. operative that was trained in the art of assassination
to do domestic assassinations. That is contrary to the character of the
C.I.A. It’s also contrary to the Constitution of the United States.
If you have that kind of mentality going on, and we’ve documented
it; this is their mind set and then they end up on the Grassy Knoll, what
the hell were they doing there? Only an idiot would say maybe they were
there to watch!
Q – People who believe a conspiracy was involved in J.F.K.’s
death would have us believe that elements of the C.I.A., F.B.I., Secret
Service, K.G.B., Organized Crime, Dallas Police Force, Parkland Hospital,
L.B.J., and Fidel Castro all combined efforts to either kill President Kennedy
or cover-up his death. Isn't it ridiculous to believe that all these
people got together to murder one man?
A – Well, you have to understand the history behind this. You have
to understand what Kennedy was trying to do. The fact that he messed up
the Bay Of Pigs; the fact that he launched the war on crime which was dismantling
the Mob. I mean, Bobby Kennedy busted 300 Mafiosos in 6 months. That’s
more than J. Edgar Hoover busted in 30 years as Director of the F.B.I. There
was an incredible animosity between The Mob, Hoffa, and the Kennedy’s.
Bobby Kennedy had the power to take these guys out-----and he was pursuing
them vigorously! Then you have the fact that Kennedy tried to repeal the
oil depletion allowance. He started to move in Congress to take $400 million
a year out of Rockefeller’s pockets. He then gave power to print money
back to the Treasury and took the Federal Reserve out of the loop and printed
$4 billion dollars that said U.S. Treasury Notes on it instead of Federal
Reserve Notes. He had a running battle with the steel industry as to fix
price controls. Then of course his last official act was to order the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to come up with a plan to get out of Vietnam by 1965. They
had incredible amounts of motivation to take this guy out. Kennedy said
he was going to dismantle and scatter the C.I.A. into a thousand pieces.
He fired Dulles, who like he and his brother invented the C.I.A. They took
it from the O.S.S. to the C.I.A. They were the fathers of the C.I.A. the
modern intelligence community. You have to really be naïve not to see
there’s something going on here.
Q – How can you piece together the whole story
of what went on in Dallas that day, when all of the J.F.K. Files have
yet to be released?
A – Well, we have a lot of information that’s already been
released. We have a lot of documents that are pertinent, that are contained
in the Warren Commission Report. When Weberman and I wrote ‘Coup d’etat
In America’ we spent an entire summer in the basement of the National
Archives reading every document that made up the Warren Commission Report.
There’s 1,600 documents. One document can be 400 pages thick. We read
every page of every document. What we found particularly in the Warren Commission
Report was that there was a whole body of evidence that the Warren Commission
chose to ignore that pointed to conspiracy. In other words they went through
all the reports and the information. They had all the reports and the information
of the F.B.I. and Secret Service. And what they did is, they only picked
out the information that lent itself to the Lone Nut Theory. But, when somebody
who maybe was trying to find out if there was a conspiracy went back and
looked at the documents you find another entire body of evidence that proved
conspiracy that was already contained in the Warren Commission Report. For
instance, Lee Harvey Oswald’s Commanding Officer from Atsugi, Japan
brought Oswald’s Russian grades with him and testified before the
Warrren Commission as to his (Oswald’s) grades. We found a document
from the Army that showed his Russian grades. Now, the Warren Commission
never told us that the Defense Dept. was teaching Lee Harvey Oswald Russian.
(Laughs). And, the fact of the matter is, they were. That is a classic case
of training someone to be a foreign agent. But, they chose to ignore that.
And, there was a great deal of evidence like that in there-----a whole lot
of evidence about Jack Ruby’s connections to Organized Crime. Just
hundreds of connections and leads that they could’ve followed up on
which proved that he was very well connected with Organized Crime. The Warren
Commission concluded he had no connection to Organized Crime if you can
believe that. The guy was very high up in the Mob actually. But, there was
evidence in the Warren Commission Report that they chose to ignore that
he was connected Big Time.
Q – Let’s say that Oswald was an agent for the U.S. government
in Russia. How does that connect him with any conspiracy to kill President
Kennedy? Maybe the two aren’t related at all.
A – Right. Well, maybe they aren’t, if there wasn’t a
whole body of evidence to hook him to the intelligence community. First
of all, once you’re in the intelligence community, it is never impossible
to get out. You just don’t retire from the C.I.A. You can ask most
C.I.A. agents this and they will agree. It’s very, very difficult
to get out from under. Secondly, the type of personality he had…..he
was easily manipulated. Consequently, when he came back they didn’t
treat him like a spy. They treated him like an agent. They paid his way
back. He was not de-briefed when he got back. HE was not held for espionage.
But, they said he gave radar secrets to the Russians. But, they never busted
him for it. They never even questioned him about it!!
Q – If Jack Ruby was so well-connected with Organized Crime, why
did his brother have to loan him $70,000 to keep the Carousel Club (Jack
Ruby’s Club) going?
A – First if all, I don’t believe Ruby’s brother is a
credible witness. I think a better witness is Sam Giancana who claimed that
Ruby was very high up in his book ‘Double Cross’. He claims
and gives lots of evidence that Ruby was very high up in the Mob. John Davis
who wrote a book on Carlos Marcello (“Mafin Kingfish”) also
claims that Ruby was very high up in the Mob. Secondly, our own research
discovered that Ruby was a one sixth partner with Meyer Lansky in the Colonial
Inn in Florida. Now, the Colonial Inn is the most infamous Mob place in
the world. It was, in the 50’s and 60’s, one of the ‘Big’ meeting
places for the Mob. Now, you don’t get to be a partner with Meyer
Lansky unless you are very high up in the organization. In fact, they also
gave Ruby a piece of a Havana Club because he helped break Santos Trafficante
out of jail in Cuba. You don’t go around breaking Santos Trafficante
out of jail in Cuba if you’re a low level geek. For Santos Trafficante
to give you a part of a club in Havana because of your work for him means
you’re very high-up. We also documented that Ruby started bootlegging
beer in Chicago during Prohibition. He must’ve worked for Al Capone
because nobody in Chicago was selling beer at the time could work for anybody
else or they’d be dead.
Q – Maybe Ruby worked for “Bugs” Moran.
A – Well, there’s a connection there too. The whole Chicago
thing is very interesting in his connection with Dorfman and the Teamsters.
It’s documented that Ruby was very high up. Also, I got a copy of
a list of members of a private club that Ruby had in Dallas. The Carousel
also had a private membership. People kept cards. They got certain privileges
that regular customers didn’t. On this list, it’s like the Who’s
who of Dallas. He’s got deputy sheriffs, officials, media officials
and bankers. They were all members of Jack Ruby’s payroll and that’s
why he was able to get into the basement of the police station and shoot
Q – Michael, I interviewed Detective Jim Leavelle.
He was the officer handcuffed to Oswald when Ruby shot him in that basement.
Detective Leavelle said Ruby did not know half of the Dallas Police Dept.
A – Yeah, well, I can understand why he would say that. What’s
he gonna say? The whole Dallas Police Dept. was paid off and was friends
with this now known mobster!! That would be pretty damaging material for
the Dallas Police force and to himself. Ruby was a wheeler-dealer. He was
connected with the anti-Communist, Castro organization which he was running
guns for. He was part of, possibly peripherally in the attempts to assassinate
Castro. He was hooked with Trafficante and Campisi who was the Don Capo
Supreme of Dallas who was the Number One Mob guy in Dallas. He was at Campisi’s
Egyptian Lounge all the time. You have to be able to differentiate, what
is the party line here and what is the cover story? They’re not going
to incriminate themselves.
Q – Isn’t it possible that Ruby decided
to shoot Oswald on his own?
A – Yeah, well, you know, you can believe anything you want. A number
of people have testified seeing Oswald and Ruby together on a number of
different occasions in a number of different places. Again, this was information
that was in the Warren Commission that was totally ignored.
Q – Eyewitness testimony can be wrong. People
think they see something that is really something else.
A – Right. That’s why you gotta go to things like the Carousel
Club membership records. Who were his business dealings with? And, there
were rows and rows of dozens of police officers and officials in Dallas
that went to this sleazy dive of a strip joint. I mean this guy (Jack Ruby)
was a known whacko. You begin to wonder what’s going on here. If you
go to just the officials and ask them what you’re gonna get is just
the official line. You might as well be a police reporter. What you have
to do is go out and do the investigation and dig and find out who his friends
are and talk to his friends. I spent 2-3 hours with Ruby’s best friend.
I can’t release her name at this particular point in time.
Q – Robert MacNeil of the MacNeil-Lehrer Report is quoted on the
back of the dust jacket of Anthony Summers “Conspiracy” book
as saying he believed there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.
That was in 1980. In a 1988, Larry King Radio Show he reversed his position.
He stated the Warren Commission has the evidence. Conspiracy buffs don’t.
Doesn’t he make a valid point?
A – It may be valid for him. I think there definitely was a conspiracy.
The House Select Committee On Assassinations in 1979 said it probably was
a conspiracy. They were 95% certain it was a conspiracy-----that at least
4 shots were fired in Dealey Plaza which means it was a conspiracy. The
House Select Committee brought 14 names to the Justice Dept. for indictment,
for the conspiracy to kill John Kennedy. This is the U.S. Congress. In a
poll on NBC’c Today Show, 94% of the American people do not believe
the conclusion of the Warren Commission Report. Therefore 94% have a question
of whether it was a conspiracy or not. And I don’t think the people
are wrong. I thought something was wrong the minute Ruby shot Oswald. I
said this doesn’t make any sense that all of a sudden this guy can
come in and just kill the supposed assassin just like that and the case
is closed. It was too pat. There was something inside me that went something’s
Q – Did you ever talk to anyone who knew Robert Kennedy to find out
what he thought about his brother’s death?
A – Yeah. I’ve talked to a number of people, including Kennedy
staffers and Richard Goodwin who was a very close friend with both of the
Kennedy’s and was a speech writer and was in The White House with
John Kennedy. When it first happened, Bobby was devastated. He couldn’t
function on any level for quite awhile. Because one of his main enemies,
L.B.J. was President he was virtually powerless at that point. As time went
on, in 1968, in the ’68 Campaign he said he needed the power of the
Presidency to get the Killers of his brother. That was a direct quote that
he made. Therefore, I believe that he believed in a conspiracy, but he also
believed it was a very powerful conspiracy and needed the Presidency to
launch any kind of investigation and resolve the problem. Of course, he
lasted about 5 minutes after he won the California Primary which means he
won the Democratic nomination which means he won the Presidency. I believe
they had contingency plans to take him out if he won and he did win and
they took him out.
Q – Why should you and Mark Lane be leading the way to re-investigate
the Assassination? Where’s Ted Kennedy in all of this?
A – Yeah, that’s very strange. I’ve been to Kennedy’s
office and talked to his staff. I actually went to George McGovern first,
because I was friends with Senator McGovern. I went to his office. He said
I had pretty startling stuff, but he couldn’t do anything because
he had a personal relationship with the Kennedy family and he promised them
he would never do anything without their permission. So, he sent me over
to Teddy Kennedy’s office to get permission. I met with about 8 of
his top staff people, in a big meeting and laid out my research. They freaked
out! Literally freaked out!
Q – What do you mean?
A – They looked at my research and were speechless!! Really in fear
I believe they said pack this stuff up and get out of here!! They just like
flipped. I never expected that reaction. They literally ran out of the room
when I showed then what I had. Then I went to Congressman Gonzalez’s
office who was in the motorcade that day. They were in San Antonio before
they came up to Dallas which is Congressman Gonzalez’s district. He
was so close to Kennedy that he flew in the private Air Force One with the
Presidential Party. Then I went over to his office, after Kennedy’s
and had a personal meeting with him and showed him the substance of my investigation.
He immediately behind that evidence authored House Resolution 204 which
was the first piece of legislation on the floor of the House Of Representatives
to open up the investigation into the Kennedy Assassination. He eventually
became the Chairman of the House Select Committee On Assassinations. That’s
the kind of documentation we had. He taught me how a bill is passed and
how you go about starting a Congressional investigation. He agreed to author
the resolution that would form the committee if I would go around and show
his colleagues the same documentation in my research that I had shown him
and I agreed to that. In 2 weeks we had 52 co-authors to the bill. That’s
why the House did the investigation. I went to Congressman Gonzalez in 1975.
In 1979, the House Select Committee eventually came out with its report
that said it probably was a conspiracy. They did a pretty extensive investigation,
although it was limited in a sense because the C.I.A. by that time through
the Downey Resolution had infiltrated the House Committee On Assassinations
and kind of stacked the deck with their staffers. Eventually Gonzalez resigned
the Chairmanship. That’s why you only got a partial report. Basically
what they’re into now is a limited hand-out. They’re sacrificing
the Organized Crime part of the conspiracy in order to protect the intelligence
community. So, it was a limited report. That’s why they brought the
14 indictments to the Justice Dept.
Q – Do you believe that one day we will finally
know what happened in Dallas on November 22 nd, 1963?
A – I believe the truth is gonna come out. There’s too many people
seeking the truth. The American people don’t believe the Warren Commission
Report. It’s gone too far. The cat is out of the bag. As far as I’m
concerned, it’s only a matter of time. Each day there’s a thousand
researchers out there digging. These are regular Joe Citizens. The government
and the government investigative bodies have blown it. They’re not capable.
They’ve lost their credibility. They’re so mired in their own
corruption that they can’t do it anymore. But, that’s the great
thing about living in America-----the people have the power. Joe Average Americans
like myself and yourself will do the investigation and eventually we will
reach a conclusion. Now, whether we can get this corrupt system to prosecute
these guys is another question. I believe the J.F.K. Assassination is one
of the reasons why the American people are disenfranchised with their government
and why it’s credibility is so low. The American people don’t
believe the government’s report. And actually, we have two government
reports; one saying it was a conspiracy and one saying it was a lone nut.
They both can’t be right. So, the American people are going to make
the decision and I just hope they make the decision at the ballot box and
put in leaders that will eventually bring this thing to a head.
© Gary James All Rights Reserved