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 shot.

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 Oswald.

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 wrong here.

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