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Geronimo: A century after his death, mysteriously tied to Bin Laden, the CIA and Skull and Bones


Geronimo was an Apache leader in the 19th century. More than 100 years after his death the Native American warrior's name is back in the news when it was revealed that "Geronimo" was the code name used for Osama Bin Laden while the U.S. special forces plotted to kill him.

Born in what would later become New Mexico in 1829, Geronimo spent many years successfully fighting Mexican and U.S. armies until 1886. when he and 35 warriors surrendered to Gen.  Nelson Miles near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Geronimo was sent to an Army outpost at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, where he eventually died of pneumonia in 1909.

In 1918, according to legend, members of the secret Skull and Bones club at Yale (including, allegedly, former President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush) dug up Geronimo's grave when a group of Army volunteers from Ivy League school was stationed at Fort Sill during World War I. The grave robbers took Geronimo's skull and some of his bones.

On the 99th anniversary of Geronimo's death a group of 20 of the warrior's decendants sued the U.S. government, Skull and Bones and Yale in an attempt to rebury their ancestor's bones near his birthplace.

In 2010 Judge Richard Roberts granted a Justice Department motion to dismiss the suit. Geronimo's relatives, he said, failed to establish that the government waived its right not to be sued. Roberts also
dismissed the lawsuit against Skull and Bones and Yale, saying the plaintiffs cited a law that applies only to Native American cultural items excavated or discovered after 1990.

Though Skull and Bones is often known as a Yale organization, the college has never officially recognized it. When President George W. Bush was asked on "Meet The Press" about Skull and Bones he said, "it's so secret we can't talk about it."

Don Oldenburg of the Washington Post wrote: "Conspiracy theorists have a field day over the fact that Bonesmen were among the founders of the Central Intelligence Agency. They love to point out that statues of the patriot spy Nathan Hale, Yale 1773, stand on both the university's campus and the CIA's headquarters in Langley [Va.]."

Though one of Oldenburg's sources has a perfectly good explaination for the coincidence, there's no doubt that more conspiracy theorists will reopen their argument that there is a relationship between Skull and Bones and the CIA now that the world knows that the CIA-led mission to kill Bin Laden used the name of an alleged victim of the secret society: Geronimo.


The death of Osama bin Laden: Statements by Bush and Obama

Rush Limbaugh on Osama bin Laden's death: 'Thank God for Obama'

Donald Trump praises Obama on Osama Bin Laden's death in Pakistan

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Geronimo, photographed in 1887. Credit: Department of Defense

Comments () | Archives (54)

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Bin laden is no GERONIMO....How disrectful can our nation be...BOO!

How sad that seemingly educated people encroach and desicrate the grave of a great chief and steal bones and think its okay. What the hell is wrong with people? May a curse fall upon each and every one involved.


that has gotta be the most f'ed up thing I have ever heard...Some of well all of us Native Americans revere our ancestors and trailblazing Heros like Geronimo!!! They should have named him Govenor or House Senate even President SO and SO....they are and still are the most slimiest, sickest, most degenerate of all elusive most wanteds.

Why deface Geronimo's name by associating him with Osama? Disgraceful! Native Americans never get any respect!

Disgraceful,, the two are linked in any way by the CIA. When is the government going to stop oppressing the Native Americans? Leave Geronimo out of it-- leave him alone-- leave his decendents alone-- shame on the US government. (again and again and again)

Geronimo and the proud Apache people don't deserve to be associated with the likes of an international terrorist and so-called leader of al qaida.

Great job seal team 6, but shame on whoever came up with the code word.

I wonder how the Apache Nation feels about the fact that one of their cherished historical figures, a freedom fighter trying to liberate his land from colonial incursions, is being compared by our government to a mass murderer?

I'm not sure I like the association, either. Are they implying that we took bin Laden's land?

Couldn't we have picked a more obviously evil code name?

I am saddened and ashamed that our nation's leaders could not find a more appropriate name to use as a code name for that monster (Bin Laden). I am offended that the person/persons responsible for setting up this event did not have the sense to understand that they should not use any of our historic Native American chiefs names in such a way that is offensive to any possible presently living descendants.

I think it is an insult to the Native American community and to the Apache people in particular for our governmnet to us the name of a great American--a First American, as the code word for a mass murderer. Why not use Stalin or Dzerxhenski or Mao? Just look at our history and the way we whites tried to exterminate our Native Americna brothers?

Naming this operation "Geronimo" was a total stab in the back of all Native Americans. We have so little to hang on to and be proud of. When we do, you can be sure someone will tear it down. A thumbs down to whoever named this operation.

I am offended and saddened that our nation's leaders chose to be so disrespectful to one of our Native American leaders by using his name in such an offensive manner--as a code name for that monster. If the person(s) responsible for setting up this event is/are so educated, why could they have not chosen a more appropriate name for this mission? This is an additional insult to the one caused by the desecration of a chief's grave and theft of his bones. I hope our leaders will think about this situation very carefully before they use other chief's names in such a way.
Rebecca Elisa Watson

They should have called Bin Laden "Hitler" or "Stalin" for the destruction they reaped and NOT Geronimo. What morons the government be.

I am not an Apache, but I am a Native from California. Geronimo was one of our country first "Home Land Seruity" agent. His name has been used for years as a sign of courage not only by our military but by fools jumping out of airplans. I think the code was not used to disgrace him or the Apache people but as an American. Geronimo E Kia= Americas Enemy Killed

This story brought me to tears. I know many Native American people who cheered with victory at the capture and execution of Osama bin Laden. These very people, some decorated heroes in their own right, all branches of military service, home town heroes, on behalf of the United States of America, do not in any way deserve association with such an infamous, barbaric monster, as Osama bin Laden.

They served with pride, these proud warriors; and they still support our U.S. government and the men and women who still serve and protect us. Please let us approach this obvious act of insensitivity in not a bellicose or divisive way. Let us use this, instead, as a point from which to move toward greater understanding, ultimate peace. In the Cherokee words, To hi ge s di "Peace on Earth".

Geronimo was a war cry for our GIs in WWII. What a way to desicrate our WWII GIs. I am sure they are wondering who in the world would do such a thing.

Apparently, the top-echeleon of our military might can't get over "getting their asses-whipped" at the beginning of the second century of this government. I see the similarities and the same blunders. Don't get me wrong; I am glad Bin laden is dead. I served in the Marine Corps during Vietnam and my first assignment was Khe Sanh,...during the siege of '68! I am not angry; just a bit disappointed...!!!

Of course we got Bin laden, what would you expect from Geranimo? I don't believe the military meant any disrespect, and I for one can't imagine a better name for such a great victory. The great cheif has led us to victory once again!!

The use of Geronimo's name is a insult to the Apache who revere him as a honorable leader fighting for his people, land, culture and values. He outsmarted the US Army for some years on the run from them. I wonder why President Obama chose to allow his name to be associated with such a evil man. Was this a node to the old wild west again where the cowboys and Indians mentality rides once again? The Army should have said something since they fly Apache gunships and even have received the blessing of the Apache to use their name in the name of patriotism. The attention to detail such as carefully preparing Osama's body for burial was in stark contrast to put it diplomatically was a failure when using the code word for Osama's killing Geronimo-EKIA, thereby insulting the Apache's. Come on President Obama. Didn't you take history in college? Were you not honored by the Crow Nation recently? Mr. Obama, please send an apology for your oversight. We Native Americans may represent a fraction of your voter base, but you have insulted our intelligence and our people who continue to serve this country's military with honor and in numbers.

Grow up guys.

Geronimo just means "outlaw"

we all know the Indians were the good guys. just like the outlaw Robin Hood.

ever play cops and robbers?
cowboys and Indians?

Grow up!

The Evil Bin Laden is No Geronimo I think people and everyone should respect this great chief, we don't give a dam with the stupid code!

I'am sooo offended by our so called US Government to use such a name as Geronimo, didn't they think this would offend the first people of this Nation!!!! So many other names they could've use is right but once again the Native Americans will always be miss treated by this so called Great Nation. It's only great because of us TRUE NATIVE AMERICAN's who respect mother earth. SHAME ON YOU FOR DISGRACING A TRUE HERO OF THIS PROUD NATIVE AMERICAN NATION!

Let's make a distinction here : If Bin Laden was code named "Geronimo" then that's an outrage an I do not believe the military would have been so tone deaf...If ,on the other hand, the raid was code named "Geronimo" then that is a tribute as the old Apache was a great 'Raider' second to none...

Why wasn't John Kerry mentioned as a Skull and Bones member?

In 1919 Geronimo grave was unmarked, it hasn't even been proven the skull is missing.

And during what Administration did this operation begin?

Bush has already left Yale by 1919
After graduation, Bush served as a field artillery captain with the American Expeditionary Forces (1917–1919) during World War I

I hope they choppppppppped his head off and place it at Yale.

This is so disrespectful, and then you wonder why people want to bomb the hell out of us... and you wonder why people are ashamed of our government. This makes me want to puke!!!

my name is ken and im writing about this because this is awful.,you know Geronimo was a fighter for his people and to exist. I myself am part cherokee not enough to matter but still if anyone would check there history all of the treatys and peace agreements that native american people had with our govt. they (the govt,) broke every one, they lied and killed innocent indians for no reason Im ashamed of what our Govt. done back then. just think if they wouldve told the truth and held up the bargains with the indians how much history would be changed just think all the indian wars if they didnt happen nwell I would like to have read the truth about every thing. How can we make up for that. we do everything for every all races why not the native americans you no there is a very bad alcohol problem everywhere on reservations I dont think we are doing all we can anyway just my feelings Ken



I know some are offended that this administration decided to call this terrorist criminal "Osama" after "Geronimo" who certainly was not a criminal say the least,,,,however, please do not take offense. This is warfare, and in war you have to be cunning and skillful, therefore it is actually "wise" to name your enemy a code name that has absolutely nothing to do with them ..this way he can not be easily identified by enemy intellligence. If we would have name him Terrorist O or something common to denote his character our mission could have been compromised. I don't think they were trying to offend our beloved native americans or take anything from the character of Geronimo....I believe they were trying to preserve the integrity of the mission thats all.

This is the biggest slap in the face for our precious Native American's, but does it REALLY surprise any of us? Surely not them! They were lied to, starved to death, beaten, killed and over and over again decimated.
Why could'nt it be called Operation "Bush and Secret Bilderburg Killed Osama" Or even better "sorry brother" we just had to save face". Oh, sorry, lets just disrespect the most beautiful, valued,people who in their soul has more kindness and empathy than any one of us could ever achieve in a lifetime. And "No" I am not Native American, I am french/Irish. But I am very educated and I know when wrong is wrong. Obama, REALLY! But what else would I expect from a puppet of Skull and Bones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That makes me sick. The most hated man in the United States codenamed after a brave man who was trying to prevent the rape and plunder of his people. Hitler would have been a better choice.

Being Native American, I am disappointed in the naming of the operation's target. Geronimo and Osama are two TOTALLY different people! Osama is a murderer, trying to push "his" beliefs/values on people. Geronimo was a man who was protecting his way of life and land from encroachment. I thought the age of ignorance was over in America, but I guess not!

Native Americans and more importantly, the proud Apache Nations need an APOLOGY!

As Sgt Gatewood said" what good is it for a man to gain a country when he loses his soul"
that was a real poor choice for a code name.
Geronimo was born on this land, he was just protecting his home...sound familar?

When the military picks code names, they pick them so they don't give any info about the mission/person away. It's not disrespectful to Geronimo in anyway.

As I recall, the U.S. paratroopers in WII used the call “Geronimo” as they leaped from the plane. It was in honor of the courage of the Apache war leader. The way I understand it, the code name for a successful raid against Bin Ladin was also “Geronimo”. The news clip that I heard quoted the SEAL as saying “for God and Country, Geronimo, Geronimo”.

Code name Geronimo!! Washington is still dividing its citizens by labeling certain groups as inferior and worthy of insensitivity. Doesn't matter what Geronimo did but, why do you have to use a name of a person who still has desendents in the U.S. and compare him to Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist. When I heard this on the news, I was saddened at the lack of judgement of Mr. Obama. In my family, we have veterans of every branch who survived or was killed in WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, and Afganistan War. I suppose we will support our nation in future wars as well. I am a proud Native AMERICAN, Navajo mother.

George Walker Bush, is a Member of Yale Skull & Bones.
George Herbert Walker Bush was the former Director of the CIA.
The US Military uses whom? The CIA... which are nothing more than Assassins with high-tech gadgets & will kill whomever they get paid to -- and 30% of those people are 3rd Party Contractors traded on Wall Street as XE Services (formerly Blackwater).

Geronimo's Remains are in the possession of the Yale Skull & Bones, which they use in ritualistic ceremonies. The US Military has been using Native Americans for 200+ years.

Geronimo's great-great-grandson filed a lawsuit several years ago, but Vassar-Grad (slave) judge denied the return of his remains.

The "White House" performs quite a bit of Necromancy. That is why I put "White House" in quotes. There is an immense amount of Black Magick/Sorcery that goes on behind closed doors in very lofty positions.

Consider the Zionist Cabinet...

If George W's Administration would have "agreed-upon' that code name, the media would have had a field day with him and liberals would have been all up in arms over the association between Geronimo and Osama bin Laden. GW would have been called an ignorant, insensitive, politically incorrect idiot who needed a history lesson.

But since it was Obama's Administration that "agreed-upon' that code name, he'll probably be given a “pass” by the media, and most liberals will claim it was a simple lapse in judgment. But this liberal (who voted for Obama) thinks it was totally inappropriate to associate Geronimo with Osama bin Laden. Obama is an ignorant, insensitive, politically incorrect idiot who is in desperate need of a history lesson.

Shame on whoever came up with that code name. And shame on Obama and all the others who agreed to it. In 2011 there should be no excuse for this kind of ignorance. Obama needs to acknowledge what he has done is wrong and apologize for it immediately.

FYI: The article neglects to mention that Geronimo's Apache name was Goyahkla, and he was a medicine man, a seer, a spiritual and intellectual leader and a man of great wisdom who had been given power and visions by Creator. On March 6, 1858, 400 Mexican soldiers Geronimo’s camp while the men were in town trading (NOT raiding). Geronimo’s wife, 3 young children and his mother were killed. He and the other men sought revenge against the Mexican soldiers. During the battle he ignored a hail of bullets and repeatedly attacked soldiers with a knife, causing the soldiers to appeal to Saint Jerome (“Jeronimo”). After that battle, Goyahkla became known as Geronimo.

Interesting, I hear different references about how the code name was used. Some say that the codename "Geronimo - EKIA" meant the mission was a success and the enemy was terminated. Others refer Geronimo to Osama Bin Laden. Either case it was a bad choice of using it as a code name. It's ironic though that the Army used Apache Scouts and Navajo Scouts to hunt or find Geronimo back in the days and was the beginning of the development of the First Special Forces Group (serious type it on google)and research the US Army, Fort Huahuacha, AZ. Army Special OPs - special forces uses the cross arrows to signify Army special forces. So how did an Apache War leader, supposely a renegade, get mixed up in the mission and killing of OBL? That needs to be answered from the CIA. The term Geronimo has been used by the Armed Forces since WW1 to signify courage and success against all odds and adversity, and to overcome your enemy, and to fight and live another day. That is in my opinion the reason it was chosen. And yes, I'm a native american vet and god bless our troops and SEAL Team 6. oooyah!

native and proud, you DO realize that they were calling bin Laden Geronimo, don't you? They were honoring HIM by giving him that name, most likely because he was able to evade capture for so long, just like Geronimo did. The SEALs weren't using the name to inspire their courage.

If the allegations in this article are true, I find it rather sickening to know that college-educated men would raid the grave of a hero to his people and use his bones as their private trophy/mascot.

I am an israeli jewish rabbi and I understand very well the indignation of the american Indians being in friendly links with a Lakhota person . The Indian nations today are survivors from an holocaust as well as the jewish people more recently , and the USA must give to them respect and consideration . Geronimo ( Goyatley) was a national Apache hero that only wanted to assure to his people keeping his territory and way of life and it is none comparison with the beasty terrorist murder of thousands and preparing other assassinations in future .
Ephraim .Jerusalem

The US government using the code name "Geronimo" for Bin Laden would be like the UK using "Washington" as a code name for Bin Laden, not that the UK would ever display such ignorance. Why not use an animal code name like badger or wolverine. Whether intentional or not, this action has ensured that a negative connotation will be historically linked to the actual Geronimo. Is a twist of the knife really that necessary? And why would one want to link Bin Laden to any historical figure of US history.

Is the level of imbecilic writing the best Los Angeles has to offer?

Oh, well judging by the film industry, perhaps it is.

You know what? You bet we have a field day. It is because it is TRUE and I cannot believe how you can sit there and say it is a theory when the CIA was created in term of the Skull and Bones and Bush openly admitted that it is a very secret organization in contrast to his Christian standing. That is part of satanism. People will pose as Christians while all the well take a different stand in the background. That is also how cult members show contempt for Christianity, Jesus Christ and the real faith.

How about giving it to the seals teams,and veterans.!

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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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