Opinion: US slanders Geronimo's name with Osama mission

"Earth to President Obama: The Apache Nation thinks you and the U.S. military are sorely in need of diversity training – and that’s putting it mildly.

Tribal members are offended that the U.S. code name for Osama bin Laden was "Geronimo," an Apache hero whom they insist was never a terrorist.

"It’s insulting and hurtful," said Vernon Petago, a member of the Jicarillia Apache Tribe at the northern tip of New Mexico. "What were they thinking? They applied a respected Apache leader’s name to the most despicable terrorist in the world."

U.S. officials haven’t yet said why the name was chosen. But they’ve made clear that when U.S. special forces reported the news of bin Laden’s death to the Obama administration, the message was: "Geronimo EKIA" (enemy killed in action).

"Linking Geronimo’s name to bin Laden was uncalled for," Petago said. "As a Native American, I resent it. It sounds like the people in government are ignorant of our history – or maybe they just don’t care.""

Get the Story:
Susan Hogan: Geronimo nothing like Osama bin Laden (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 5/3)

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Rep. Pearce: White House crowd celebrates Osama's death (5/2)

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