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Defense Department says 'Geronimo' was chosen randomly

The Department of Defense says the use of "Geronimo" as a codename for the military mission against Osama bin Laden was not meant to be offensive.

The department said the name was chosen at random. No other explanations were offered to the Associated Press.

The name was used by the military team that went after Osama bin Laden. "Geronimo EKIA" was transmitted when the terrorist was "killed in action."

The name was also used by Obama administration officials, including CIA director Leon Panetta, whom President Barack Obama has nominated as Secretary of Defense. "We have a visual on Geronimo," Panetta said, according to news accounts of the situation inside the White House War Room.

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