Was Osama Bin Laden’s Military Code Name Anti-Native American?

May 03, 2011

Allie Townsend at Newsweek asks why the operation to kill Osama bin Laden was nicknamed after Geronimo, the famous Native American freedom fighter:

After launching raids across the Southwest territories, Geronimo became legendary for his ability to evade U.S. and Mexican forces for nearly three decades, making him one of America’s biggest enemies of the day. Eventually, he was captured in 1886 as part of a "Dead or Alive" mission and passed away in captivity in 1909.

Since his death, the Apache warlord’s legacy has been upgraded from rogue guerrilla to freedom fighter, so it’s no wonder why the comparison between a Native American icon and perhaps the most-hated terrorist of all time would turn a few heads. Comment threads have lit up with debate, including TIME’s Facebook page. "Back in the day, America considered Geronimo a terrorist! The only real difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is whose side he’s fighting on," said one reader.

Read more over at Newsweek. Osama bin Laden certainly won’t ever be martyred in the United States, but as more details emerge about the mission that led to his death, there are probably many uncomfortable details that will come to light.