WASHINGTON – The top staffer for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is objecting to the U.S. military's use of the code name "Geronimo" for Osama bin Laden during the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.
Geronimo was an Apache leader in the 19th century who spent many years fighting the Mexican and U.S. armies until his surrender in 1886.
Loretta Tuell, staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said Tuesday it was inappropriate to link Geronimo, whom she called "one of the greatest Native American heroes," with one of the most hated enemies of the United States.
EMAIL Loretta at:
USING THE NAME "GERONIMO" FOR THE RAID IS NOT DEROGITORY AGAINST OUR INDIAN BROTHER BECAUSE GOING AFTER BIN LADEN WOULD BE THE SAME AS GERONIMO GOING AFTER THE WHITE MAN FOR ALL THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS WITH THE INTENT ON ERADICATION ALL INDIANS. WHEN YOU USE "CUSTER" AS AN EXAMPLE, CUSTER BEING BIN LADEN. "GET REAL." IF THE SENATE INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE WANTS SOMETHING TO OBJECT ABOUT, HOW ABOUT GOING AFTER "PECHANGA" AND THE OTHER TRIBES THAT PRACTICE ILLEGAL DISENROLLMENTS WITHOUT FOLLOWING THEIR OWN CONSTITUTION AND BY LAWS. NOW THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING FOR THEM TO SINK THEIR TEETH INTO. BUT, ALAS, WE KNOW THEY DON'T REALLY GIVE A RATS A.. ABOUT FIXING WHAT IS BROKEN IN INDIAN COUNTRY. WHAT DOES THE SENATE INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE DO FOR INDIAN COUNTRY ANYWAY? THERE IS NEVER AN INQUIRY INTO HUMAN RIGHTS VIOATIONS IN INDIAN COUNTRY, OR OF ANY OF THE TRIBES THAT PRACTICE THIS ON A REGULAR BASIS. NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE THE GOVERNMENT ATTEMTED TO ERADICATE THE NATIVE AMERICANS, AND NOW THE CASINO WHORES ARE DOING IT FOR THEM.
I think I will be writing her a letter about the civil rights abuses that are occurring on many of our reservations, for we know that she and others like her only know what Indian country want them to know. It is important to seize every opportunity that we can. It seems that the skin of Indians is a little thin when it comes to derogatory statements, but when it comes to real issues like heritage, culture, and way of life that is being systematically destroyed by the hands of our brothers it is apparent that other Indian nations as well as the government are in agreement that this new method of cultureside is an acceptable practice for there is no down side for the government. Those who would oppose Indian sovereignty know that by isolating membership there is no way that tribes can sustain cultural individuality for more than a few generations. As for the tribes that practice cultureside on their own people well we all know the reason for that. Again it is our responsibility to fight these current trends so write to these committee members again and again. Our voices will be heard. Remember that anything you write will be read, but do not call names or use improper language just tell your story and where possible back up what you say with facts such as the tribal constitution and by laws. We have a council of elders within the family so talk with them and tell their stories cultureside
May 4, 2011 8:41 AM
I keep posting in the wrong spot
You know the problem with not writing is that your voice is not heard by those who can make a difference. It may seem that no one gives a dam but by speaking up you are also saying that the issue is real and that you are one of many that seek to hold those in power accountable for their lack of action. By sheer number of people who write and voice the injustice occurring in Indian country shows solidarity of cause. This is a fight that is personal as well as cultural and it requires more than just angry rhetoric and hatred. The idea about picketing in June is a clear example of bringing attention to the cause, but it is not enough to go out every once and a wile. The best way to get something is to make your presence known by continual contact, Last by letter writing to everyone and anyone will pay off even if it appears that they could care less. There are others who will listen and there are others who are like us but how will they know who or what your about if you don’t tell them.
HEY, POST IT EVERYWHERE THERE'S NO WRONG PLACE. MORE PEOPLE WILL SEE IT THE MORE PLACES YOU POST IT.
Ms. Tuell, YOU can be responsible for exacting change in Indian Country.
Let THAT be Senator Akaka's legacy. Bring justice to THOUSANDS of Native American's that have been harmed by their tribes. If not YOU..... WHO?
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) is very grateful and proud that the U.S. government captured one of the biggest terrorists known to man kind, however, in doing so, the U.S. government once again contributed to the stereotyping of Native Americans by utilizing a historical Native icon such as Geronimo, to set the scene for American ridicule by comparing him to the capturing and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The information distributed to multiple media sources across the nation, on the U.S. government’s behalf, has proven to the Native Nations across the board, that the American people in addition to the U.S. government still don’t understand that we, the Native People of this land, are not here for constant public humiliation.
In the New York Time’s article, “Clues Gradually Led to the Location of Osama Bin Laden”, Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, narrated “We have a visual on Geronimo,” he said. A few minutes later: “Geronimo EKIA.” Enemy Killed In Action. Since this information hit the news stands through out the nation, NAJA has received numerous calls of complaint from our fellow colleagues and tribal members who were upset to find out that again, our Native People are being equated to a terrorist/murderer/enemy number one.
We ask the Federal Government: could there not have been another name used in reference to this attack? Could we not have used another infamous enemy in reference to Bin Laden? Say, perhaps, Custer or Columbus? Throughout American history, our Native people have served in this country’s military in the highest numbers per capita of any racial group and yet sadly this is the way they are repaid for their service given to the United States. Both the Comanche and Navajo Nations helped the United States in World War II with their language used as codes.
George Red Elk, Comanche Indian Veterans Association Commander said he was, “very upset that the code name was chosen for the operation of killing Osama Bin Laden. The Comanche Nation, as well as all Native American Nations, have served this country honorably and many have paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we can still have the freedoms that are in our U.S. Constitution.”
Since 2001, 61 American Indians and Alaskan Natives have died defending our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 400 have been wounded. Native Nations also lost Lori Piestewa, the Hopi woman, believed to be the first Native American woman ever to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military. All our Native service men and women have served honorably and continue to serve. This is not a matter of being sensitive; it’s a matter of respect. It’s time the United States respect the original people of this land and the Native people who step up to defend our freedoms. It is unacceptable for the United States to equate Geronimo with Osama bin Laden. Geronimo stood up for his people, their traditions, and the land they lived upon. Geronimo was no terrorist. He was a member of North America’s homeland security, and Native North Americans will never forget that. We ask the federal government to apologize for the use of Geronimo’s name with this operation as many of our Native Nations have been offended.
It is true what Anonymous of May 4, 2011 3:51 said, the government has no excuse for using the name of a man who only wished to be free. It does show a lack of taste and sensitivity to a past that is at best shameful for the leadership of a government that advocated the death of a culture. To those of Indian ancestry and others who are offended by the militaries bad judgment reach out to us and be offended by the criminality of corrupt Indians who care not for the Indian way.
Advocate for us the victims for we are caught between the two worlds, we seek only to right the wrongs, for we are Indians as well.
Our message is simple we wish to see justice in terms of our ancestral right to participate in our culture. As is the case for both the Hunter and Apis families we know we are connected there is no changing that, so I ask those who have taken such offence to the ill mannered and derogatory usage of Geronimo’s name to listen to our story about the corruption and abuse of power by tribes who have lost their way from the path and have broken the circle that makes the life of the people separate from those would see the culture(s) of the assimilated and lost forever.
Here is the Link to The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) Tell them how you feel about Geronimo and the casino Indians like Pechanga
for those of you holding out hope that ms. tuell will support those in indian country who have had their tribal, civil, and human rights violated through non-recognition and disenrollment...THINK AGAIN...
in fact, ms. tuell has been intimately involved--both as legal counsel to, and as lobbyist for--several of the tribes who are the most blatant violators including table mountain and san pascual...
in fact, during 2011, loretta tuell has given testimony at the environmental hearing fully supporting table mountains all out onslaught to prevent the development of the big sandy proposed casino...
she is fully aware of what has been going on in indian country in terms of disenrollment issues...see her background and experience for yourself at the "open secrets" link or just google her name...you may be surprised at what you find...
ANYBODY THAT HAS FOUGHT IN COMBAT KNOWS THAT CODE NAMES ARE GIVEN FOR OPERATIONS AGAINST AN ENEMY. GERONIMO WAS THE CODE NAME OF AN OPERATION AGAINST BIN LADEN. NOT FOR BIN LADEN. THE "STUPID WHITE MAN" TAKES THE NAME GERONIMO OUT OF CONTEXT. USING THE NAME "GERONIMO" FOR THE RAID IS NOT DEROGITORY AGAINST OUR INDIAN BROTHER BECAUSE GOING AFTER BIN LADEN WOULD BE THE SAME AS GERONIMO GOING AFTER THE WHITE MAN FOR ALL THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS WITH THE INTENT ON ERADICATION ALL INDIANS. WHEN YOU USE "CUSTER" AS AN EXAMPLE, CUSTER BEING BIN LADEN. "GET REAL." JUST BECAUSE A SPOKESMAN "WRONGLY" USED THE TERM GERONIMO AS IF IT WAS FOR BIN LADEN, EVERYONE JUMPED ON THE BAND WAGON. OPERATION "GERONIMO" WAS TO GET THE ENEMY, BIN LADEN NOT THAT HE WAS GERONIMO. I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: "CUSTER BEING BIN LADEN," "GERONIMO GOING AFTER THE WHITE MAN. "THE STUPID WHITE MAN OPENS MOUTH AND INSERTS FOOT." WE HAD OPERATIONS IN VIETNAM BACK IN THE '60S THAT USED NAMES FOR RAIDS BUT IT NEVER WAS THE NAME OF THE ENEMY WE WERE AFTER. AND GERONIMO WAS NEVER THE NAME OF THE ENEMY WE WERE AFTER IN THIS RAID.
Home > News > Headlines
Seminole Tribe letter to President Obama about 'Geronimo'
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Filed Under: National | Politics
The following is the text of a letter from Mitchell Cypress, the chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, to President Barack Obama.
Dear President Obama:
I am almost without words and I struggle to write how I feel after hearing reports that America’s number one enemy, Usama Bin Laden, was given the codename of fearless Apache leader, Geronimo. Once again, our nation’s native people were categorized as terrorists. The time has never been more appropriate and necessary for you to issue an apology to Native America.
It has been more than a month since my March 24th letter, requesting an apology to our nation’s Tribes because of the brief filed by prosecutors in the Guantanamo military action against convicted Al Qaeda, Al Buhlal. Within that brief the Seminole Tribe’s defense against a genocidal assault was compared to today’s terrorists. Although, the Department of Defense issued a written apology clarifying the use of the Seminole reference, it is yet a small step toward a shift in healing the tragic history that you promised to remedy during your 2008 campaign. My representative, Tina Osceola, is in communication with your Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Charlie Galbraith.
As the leader of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I am requesting a meeting with you at the White House to discuss how we can work together to strengthen our mutual resolve to improve the image of Indian Country beyond negative stereotypes. In 2008, I listened to your promises to our people and was assured that you would be an advocate for Indian Country. As leaders of our nations, you and I have the opportunity to be the faces of change that all Americans can believe in and the example of true government to government relations. You and I are the hope for a better tomorrow.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Filed Under: National
A great-grandson of Apache warrior Geronimo is upset by the use of his ancestor's name in the U.S. military mission against terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Joseph Geronimo grew up hearing stories about the famed warrior, who was born in present-day New Mexico. "The only thing my grandfather did was protect his family and protect the land," he told KOAT-TV.
Geronimo's family has continued to defend the U.S., Joseph pointed out. Three generations have served in the military so the use of the codename was all the more insulting.
"That was a slap in the face of my family. There's no way you can compare Osama bin Laden to my grandfather," Joseph Geronimo told KOAT-TV.
To be honest I think obama used his name as a sign of respect because Geronimo was a BAD ASS warrior,we all know.
I think this is getting blown up,and if his grandson wants to talk we should hear him ,the rest (shut up).
Im a littel confused how was Geronimo's named used. Was it operation Geronimo or something else.
LET ME REQUALIFY MY STATEMENT ABOVE. BACK IN THE '60S THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN TRUE, AND GERONIMO'S NAME WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE VILE, AMERICAN HATING MAN CALLED BIN LADEN. BUT, ALAS, FIFTY YEARS(50) HAS PAST AND LEADERSHIP HAS CHANGED HANDS MANY TIMES. IF OUR CURRENT GOVERNMENT COULD BE SO "LAME" AS TO USE ONE OF HISTORYS MOST "REVEERED" NATIVE AMERICAN CHIEFS, "GERONIMO," TO MEAN "BIN LADEN," THS SHOWS THE CONTEMPT THE GOVERNMENT STILL SHOWS FOR ALL OF US IN INDIAN COUNTRY. NO WONDER THEY DON'T GIVE A RATS A.. ABOUT ALL THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOATIONS, AND DISENROLLMENTS. WHY IS THIS? CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT GOOD IS THE DEPT. OF INTERIOR INDIAN AFFAIRS, B.I.A., SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS TO ANY OF US WHO HAVE BEEN "ETHINIC CLEANSED" FROM OUR OWN MEMBERSHIP? WE HAVE PROVEN, BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, OUR TRUE LINEAGE AND "PECHANGA" AND THE "MACARRO CARTEL" CAN JUST IGNORE THE OVERWELMING EVIDENCE. "THIS HAS GOT TO STOP." THAT'S WHY THE JUNE 2 RALLY/PROTEST IS SO IMPORTANT. LET US SEE WHAT WE CAN DO?
If you are not a relative or tribal member of Geronimo, you can't have any idea what it would mean to them to have the name associated with Bin Laden.
It's the fact that they can throw names about, without regards to the people involved. Anytime they can minimize someone, they will.
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