Background to The Judas Conspiracy            

This story has been many years in the making. It started in 1972 over a chance meeting
with my former modern studies tutor. I was 18, and had left school the year before. Over a
coffee, we chatted about various contemporary issues, including the Vietnam War. It soon
became clear that my ex-teacher did not have much time for the Americans, especially
their military, and their involvement, as he saw it, in conflicts which were none of their
concern. I should point out that these views were entirely his own. I did not then nor do I
now, necessarily share his opinions.                                                                             

Without warning, he suddenly blurted out things which took my breath away, and caused
me to recoil in shock. I don't think I had said anything to provoke his actions, and with the
benefit of almost fifty years of hindsight, I realize that this must have been something he
could no longer bottle up and keep to himself. For some reason, he saw me as a conduit to
release his pent-up emotions, and I was just unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong
time.  What he revealed to me was part of America's strategic nuclear response in the
event of a third world war. 

I was so shaken by what he had told me, I never thought to ask him how he came by this
awful intelligence. Was it even true, I asked myself. His information was so mind-numbing
that it was beyond belief. I think he immediately regretted his indiscretion, as he quickly
begged me never to disclose what I had just heard. It could, he said, be very dangerous for
both of us.                               

During our discussion, he mentioned other, older aspects of America's military intentions,
which did not resonate much with me at the time. But they were to do so many years later.
After our exchange, we parted company, and I never saw, or heard from him again.                                                                                                                                       
Fast forward twenty-odd years. It was now the mid-nineteen-nineties, and I was married
with two teenage children. I happened to be watching a television program on U.K.'s Channel 4 station. It was a documentary detailing the American military's plan to invade and annex Canada in the early nineteen-thirties. It even had a project name - War Plan Red. Immediately, my mind flew back to that chance encounter many years before. This was another subject he had mentioned at the time,
one in which I took little interest. He did not mention the plan by name, but there was no doubt that it was the same strategy.

What puzzled me more than anything was that the narrator explained that this project was so top secret, it had remained classified for many years, and was hidden in the vaults of the U.S. National Archives in Washington D.C. It's details were only released in 1974, two years after he had divulged them to me. So, this revelation provoked further questions for me, questions to this day for which I don't
have the answers.

First, how could a high school teacher from Glasgow be aware of classified intelligence, known only to a select few in the United States? Where did he he get this information from? Who told him, and why? Second, if his revelations appeared to be correct about secret events that were decades old, might he also have been correct in his assertions about U.S. military policy in the event of a third global conflict? And if they were, how would that augur for the rest of us?

As I was trying to rationalize what I had just seen on T.V., and how that impacted on what I had been told twenty years previously, an electrifying thought occurred to me. If what I had heard was true, it could only have been implemented and approved by those at the top of the U.S. military; the very top. It would have to have been agreed by the Commander-in-Chief of the American forces, the President, himself. With the little I knew about President Kennedy, I believed he would never have sanctioned such a policy as those proposed by the military strategists in the Pentagon, or wherever such decisions are taken. It would have been an anathema to him, and one can only imagine his outrage and disbelief when, as the titular head of U.S. forces, he would have been briefed on what his armed forces were proposing. Seeing his anger, they would, no doubt, have realized that he would never permit them to put into effect that part of their nuclear strategy.
It is my belief that those who were responsible for implementing this plan saw no option other than to remove the current president by any means. I do not believe they would have been content to wait for the next presidential election, for two reasons. Firstly, if I am right, the next vote was at least two, maybe three years away. The U.S. was in the middle of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The world had only recently come close to the brink of nuclear annihilation over Cuba. Who knew what the Soviets would plan next? It was far too long to wait for the next election, as far as the Pentagon generals were concerned.  The second reason why they had to act when they did, I believe, is that JFK was so popular at this point, it was likely that, barring an unforeseen catastrophe, he would most likely be elected for a second term. No, they could not wait. As they saw it, action had to be taken much earlier. In fact, it had to be taken immediately. It is almost certain that Lyndon Johnson would have been quietly sounded out about his attitude to their military objectives. Once the vice-president signaled his accord with the generals, the train was set in motion. The President had to be eliminated. So he was.                                                                                                                                 
I had absolutely no evidence to confirm my suspicions or my beliefs, except what I had been told by my former tutor many years earlier, and how that knowledge tied in with the T.V. program I had just viewed. I could not go public, claiming anything I said was true, because I could not prove any of my allegations. I could, however, use my knowledge to write a fictional account of my information, where much more literary license was permitted.                                                                                                                                 

For personal reasons, it took me several years before I could begin working on this novel, and it was around 2005 before I made a start. Pressures of work and family commitments prevented me from writing much more than a few paragraphs, or the odd chapter at a time. By the Christmas/New year of 2013/14, I had completed about half the novel. I would have spent less time writing the Old Testament! During this period, I had the opportunity to finally complete what I had started eight years earlier.                     

Eventually, the work was complete, and after a few edits, I submitted it to various literary agents and publishers. It was eventually accepted, by a literary agency who proposed it to Black Rose Writing. They accepted it for publication in December 2021.   

Writing is a solitary occupation, but I would never have been able to reach this stage if it were not for the invaluable assistance of several people. I thank everyone who helped me bring this work to fruition. 

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