Harlyn Geronimo


Geronimo’s Great-Grandson On Bin Laden Code Name

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Chief Geronimo of the Apache tribe of Native Americans photographed in captivity in 1898.

Geronimo’s great-grandson slammed the U.S. government Thursday for giving Osama bin Laden “Geronimo” as a code name.

Harlyn Geronimo submitted testimony to the Senate Commission on Indian Affairs for its hearing today on racist stereotypes of Native Americans. In his statement, he demanded that President Barack Obama or Defense Secretary Robert Gates give:

a full explanation of how this disgraceful use of my great grandfather’s name occurred, a full apology for the grievous insult after all that Native Americans have suffered and the (removing) from all the records of the U.S. government this use of the name Geronimo. Leaving only for history the fact this insult to Native Americans occurred in all its pity.

As we pointed out yesterday, some Native Americans feel particularly insulted by this code name given that indigenous Americans serve in the military at disproportionately high rates. Harlyn Geronimo is himself a veteran, having been a soldier in the Vietnam War. What’s more, so is his father, who Harlyn says served during World War II and was on Omaha Beach during D-Day.

See more of Haryln’s testimony below:

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