The War Behind Me (Basic Books)

“Jamie Henry swings open the door. He is a striking figure: tall, lean, and strong, with gray hair and a handsome face as craggy as the Sierra Nevada mountains that loom to the east. He leads his two visitors with their heavy bags to the dining room table in his small, comfortably worn house. Over a pot of coffee, he slowly pages through the records we have brought. His wife, Patty, who has been with him since he returned from Vietnam, hovers anxiously in the background. Thirty-seven years earlier, Henry reported to military officials that members of his company executed nineteen unarmed children and adults in a tiny hamlet on the central coast of Vietnam. The massacre occurred on February 8, 1968, a month before U.S. troops opened fire in My Lai to the south. The army accused him of lying and, as far as he knew; did nothing with the information. Now; decades later, he holds the declassified file of a three-and-a-half-year internal inquiry….”
“An important book. Nelson demonstrates that cover-ups happen in plain sight and that looking for an exclusive can blind reporters to the real story.” New York Times Book Review
“In the best tradition of investigative journalism.” Boston Globe
“Nelson is one of the most experienced, talented investigative journalists alive.” – Seattle Times and Philadelphia Inquirer.

War and justice resources


Reporting Justice  “All over the world people are facing the challenge of new forms of justice in the aftermath of conflict. Whether it’s the International Criminal Court in The Hague or local tribunals dealing with war crimes, citizens are struggling to understand what justice can mean to them. Journalists and students of journalism need to be able to explain these new developments. This website provides tools and links to enable the current and next generation of reporters and opinion-makers to explore and analyse these new institutions.” — Salzburg Global Seminar

Reporting on Humanitarian Crises, Internews

Reporting Justice: A Handbook on Covering War Crimes Courts, Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Conflict Sensitive Journalism, International Media Support and Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society

Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know, Crimes of War Project
CoW Teacher’s Guide, Crimes of War Project

Gender, Conflict and Journalism, UNESCO

Reporting Diversity Manual, Media Diversity Institute

To Tell You the Truth: The Ethical Journalism Initiative, International Federation of Journalists


ASIL International Criminal Law guide and research tool
Crimes of War A-Z Guide
International Committee of the Red CrossTreaties Database
International Criminal Court
Legal texts
The Rome Statute
Elements of crimes


Global resources
Amnesty International
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University
Crimes of War Project
Genocide Intervention
Human Rights Center, University of California Berkeley
Human Rights Internet
Human Rights Library
Human Rights Watch
Institute of War and Peace Reporting
International Commission on Missing Persons
International Committee of the Red Cross
International Criminal Court (ICC)
News media contact
International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative
Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Regional resources
Aegis Trust
Communicating Justice
Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda
Institute for Security Studies International Crime in Africa Programme
Interactive Radio for Justice
Eastern Europe
Mediacentar Sarajevo
Southeast Asia
Cambodia Tribunal Monitor
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
United States
Center for Constitutional Rights


International Law Prof Blog
Open Society
Opinio Juris
PhD Studies in Human Rights
Ushahidi Blog
Wronging Rights



  1. Gil Helmick


    I am attempting to contact Jamie Henry. He is a long time and dear friend. We met at Los Angeles Valley College and worked together to build an arm of Viet Nam Veterans Against the War. We testified together on Pacifica Radio along with Ron Kovic and others. We lost contact in the late 1970’s.

    I noticed this and was hoping you might connect us.

    My email address:

    My cell phone: 207 400 7543

    Thank you for your time and attention,
    Best regards,
    Gil Helmick

  2. Deborah Nelson

    I am sad to say that Jamie succumbed to cancer on July 12, 2010. HIs wife, Patty, died three years later in her sleep. He talked quite a bit about his days at the college, helping to form the local VVAW chapter. I can pass along your contact information to his son, if you’d like. I’ll send you a note by email.

    He’s a true inspiration. I am glad that I had the opportuniy to spend time with him, both of them.

    Best regards
    Deb Nelson.

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