Geronimo: The elusive, defiant, and powerful Apache leader was the No. 1 target of the US military in the 1800s. That doesn't mean Geronimo's name should have been given to the operation to kill Osama bin Laden.
Some Native Americans have taken issue with the US government’s use of the name “Geronimo” for the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, America’s most hated and feared man of the 21st century. They reason that the bulletproof leader of the Chiricahua Apaches was “one of the greatest Native American heroes,” in the words of Loretta Tuell, staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
Geronimo emphatically was not a hero to Americans of the 1800s, when a bitterly-fought war to settle the southwest pitted stubborn pioneers against a Native American nation determined to defend its territory by any means necessary. Fairly or not, the Chiricahua were characterized as the terrorists of their time, with Geronimo seen as Public Enemy No. 1.