Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 4, 2011

Operation Geronimo and the Resurrection of Jesus

Navy Seals disembark from a Seahawk helicopter

Operation Geronimo was the code name for the successful operation to take out terrorist Osama bin Laden (Geronimo).

Since the announcement of its success last Sunday night, multiple conflicting reports have come from operation insiders.

Here is a sample of the conflicting reports:

  • We heard that Osama fired in response to a demand to surrender; then we hear that he was unarmed. In fact, only one of the five people killed in the raid was armed.
  • We heard that Osama hid behind a woman (his wife); then we hear that he did not, but that the woman charged the troops.
  • First we heard from Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan that this woman died when bin Laden used her as a shield; then we hear that she was shot in the leg.
  • First report was that bin Laden’s son Hamzi was killed. But it was his son Khalid, not Hamzi.
  • White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday following Sunday’s raid that the Seals “were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation.” Tuesday on PBS, CIA director Leon Panetta said, “There were some firefights that were going on as these guys were making their way up the staircase of that compound.” Contrary to official reports of a sustained firefight throughout the 40-minute raid, only one of the compound inhabitants was armed. Only bin Laden’s courier fired on the Seals. After they killed him at the beginning of the raid, the raiders were not fired on again.
  • The disabled helicopter was first described as having “malfunctioned.” Later officials said it had not malfunctioned but “it got caught in an air vortex caused by higher-than-expected temperatures and the high compound walls, which blocked the downwash of the rotor blades. As a result, the helicopter lost its lift power while hovering over the yard and had to make a hard landing, clipping one of the walls with its tail.”
  • Some insiders, such as CIA director Leon Panetta, say we got crucial info for the raid through waterboarding Guantanamo detainees; others deny “enhanced” interrogation techniques helped.
  • The codename for the operation has been said to be “Geronimo” and “Neptune’s Spear.” Bin Laden’s codename was reported as “Geronimo” and “Jackpot.” Which codenames were correct?
  • Chief presidential counterterrorism advisor John Brennan said bin Laden was living in a “million-dollar-plus compound.” Research showed this was an exaggeration as the land had been purchased for $48,000 in 2004 and 2005.
  • Osama bin Laden’s body was identified from photos. It was identified by his wife. It was identified by DNA tests.

Watching live video of the bin Laden compound raid from the White House Situation Room

How is it that those in charge of the operation (Obama and his advisors) produced so many conflicting stories?

They were “eyewitnesses” in the sense that they watched live video of the raid filmed by the Navy Seals’ helmet cameras. They monitored the 40-minute operation in the White House situation room, but they can’t agree on what happened.

Do these conflicting reports make you doubt whether the American Navy Seals got bin Laden? Obviously not.

Then why be disturbed when skeptics point to purported contradictions in the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus as evidence that the Resurrection never happened?

Now I do not believe the apparent contradictions in the Bible’s Resurrection accounts are truly contradictory. But even if they were, that is not evidence that the event did not occur, just as the genuine contradictions in the Operation Geronimo accounts from eyewitness insiders are not evidence that Operation Geronimo did not occur.

Conflicting reports of an event do not mean the event did not happen.

The last item in the sample list above is a list of partial details. All the identification methods are probably true. Similarly with the Resurrection, different witnesses included different details. All can be harmonized.

The Resurrection accounts look very accurate when compared with those of Operation Geronimo.

The Resurrection of Jesus which we celebrated several weeks ago is a well-attested fact of history.

Note (April 2012): For a fuller discussion including a reasoned defense of the Resurrection and resolution of purported discrepancies in the Resurrection accounts, see my newspaper article Operation Geronimo and the Resurrection of Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday May 4, 2011 A.D.

Read my April 2011 Bible-Science column
Is There Alien Life in Space?.

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:1-7)


  1. Thanks for a great article! You might be interested in a similar posting on the ID website Uncommon Descent.


  2. Aided me a lot, just what I was looking for : D.


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