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Gary Schroen flew out soon after the attacks on New York and Washington, helping to set up the 2001 invasion, he told US National Public Radio.

He recalled his orders from the CIA's counter-terrorism chief.

"Capture Bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back in a box on dry ice," he quoted Cofer Black as saying.

As for other leaders of Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan, Mr Black reportedly said: "I want their heads up on pikes."

Contacted by the radio network, Mr Black would not confirm that these were his exact words but he did not dispute Mr Schroen's account.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4511943.stm
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I want their heads up on pikes. What is the meaning of this? Pike is a fish.
Comments  
Andrei - a pike is also a long stick! Although putting their heads up on fish might be even more dramatic!
Or a weapon: a long pole, c. 12 ft long, with a spearhead at one end. It was used by footsoldiers to repel cavalry.

Once upon a time, the British would decapitate traitors, grammarians, lawyers etc. and stick their heads on the ends of pikes.

The heads+pikes were then displayed above the gates of cities, castles, etc.

It was an eminently sensible way of dealing with public nuisances. Now I'm afraid we select 649 of the very worst, and pay them vastly inflated salaries to talk piffle all day long in an ugly building in Westminster.

Bring back the pikes, I say.

MrP
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Very by the way:

Whence "turnpike"? Anyone know?

CJ
I was hoping someone would ask! I think "in the olden days" a toll road would be blocked by a long pole stretched across the road. When the traveller paid the toll, someone would "turn the pike" aside to let them pass. It was probably fastened like a gate on a hinge, so it could either block the road or be turned parallel to the side of the road.
It's so picturesque I intend to believe it even if it turns out to be wrong!
It does seem very plausible, though.

CJ
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There's also 'as plain as a pikestaff', although my dictionary says this derives from 'packstaff', a smooth staff used by a pedlar.

How about 'he's a piker', meaning a timid gambler, where does that come from?

And then 'the diver is doing a full pike'. His body position in the dive resembles a pike?

Clive