I wondered why initially few, if any mainstream news outlets, pretended to not care why the code word for terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden, among his Navy Seals executioners was that of native American leader, Geronimo. A 19th century Apache leader, born Goyahkla, Geronimo led defensive wars against illegal encroachment on native land by separate white US and Mexican armies. He was later captured by the IS government and died in 1909 after 23 years in captivity.
As many news outlets reported Navy SEALs confirmed the death of Bin Laden with the line: “Geronimo E-KIA.” E-KIA is short for Enemy Killed In Action.
According to ABC’s The Note Blog (which finally caught onto the odd association between Osama bin Laden and Geronimo) and linked to a report at Indian Country Network–native Americans are angry about the association:
“It’s another attempt to label Native Americans as terrorists,” said Paula Antoine from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.
“WTF, da gov’t code named osama bin laden “Geronimo”! wat kinda (expletive) is that?” is how Cody YoungBear LeClair of Marshalltown, Iowa, put it on his Facebook page.
On Facebook, on Twitter, on Native American websites, in local newspapers, and in what appear to be countless conservations on reservations and in schools across the country, Native Americans are genuinely hurt and puzzled by the choice of “Geronimo” as a code-name for either Bin Laden or the mission to take him out.