U.S. military radio in Iraq off the air

Sept. 24, 2011 at 3:19 PM
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. military says its Baghdad-based Freedom Radio went off the air this weekend as the American presence in Iraq winds down.

Freedom Radio had been on the air for the past eight years, bringing upbeat music, news and announcements from a Saddam-era bunker in the Green Zone of the Iraqi capital.

"The final voice to emanate over the airwaves was Porky Pig and his classic line, "That's all folks."

The Washington Post said the breezy and sometimes irreverent style of Freedom Radio rankled some by-the-book military brass, but also created a good chemistry in which serious information was passed on to the troops in the field.

"Their intent was to reach their target audience, and they know where the line is," said Army Sgt. Don Dees, who was in charge of quality control.

The Post said the news and jokes held the attention of troops while they mixed in news about the progress of the war, the death of Osama bin Laden and what was being said in the Arab media.

Freedom Radio, which will be replaced by satellite broadcasts out of Europe, also had a number of Iraqi fans. Some of them posted farewell messages on the Freedom Radio Facebook page.

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