DENVER — A Colorado man who spent 13 hours in one of the most controversial battles of the modern era, says the event he’s organizing for Sunday at the state capitol may be even more crucial to the future well-being of both Colorado and the country..
“We need to open up,” John “Tig” Tiegen said. “The cure can’t be worse than the cause, and the cure is becoming worse than the cause.”
Tiegen is best known for his role with the Central Intelligence Agency’s Annex Security Team that on Sept. 11, 2012 held off radical Islamic terrorists for 13 hours at the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya until more than 30 CIA employees in the complex could be evacuated.
Tiegen, a Marine turned co-author of the book “13 Hours: The inside account of what really happened in Benghazi.” said enough is enough. Colorado needs to fight back before things get worse.
The day that became one of the most controversial terrorist attacks on Americans during Barack Obama’s presidency, with security failures on the part of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was all for nothing if Americans continue to allow their freedoms to be chipped away at in the name of a virus that appears to be less of a threat than originally predicted, he said.
“People are struggling to feed their families,” Tiegen said. “They are struggling to keep their lights on. We had the 30 days of let’s play it safe. That’s cool. I get it. But people are starting to push back, and I think that momentum needs to keep going.”
Tiegen has planned a rally from 12-2 p.m. Sunday at the state capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave. It includes a motorcycle rally with staging areas across Colorado to ride to the capitol as a united front. He stresses that the rally is for all Colorado residents, however, not just motorcyclists.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” he said. “But it needs to be done. I want everyone there.”
Benghazi culminated a career for Tiegen that besides the United States Marine Corps, included security detail with Blackwater Security on missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and his role on the Global Response Staff for the CIA. However, Tiegen said the fight to take back Colorado and America is even more important to stop the growing numbers of those fighting Covid-19 related depression and leading to increased suicide numbers.
“It’s only going to get worse, the longer we stay shut down,” he said. “My other fear is if (Polis locks the state down again) people will actually take up arms and shake that tree of freedom.”
He was clear he believes the virus is serious, and people need to take it serious, but that the governor needs to let personal responsibility take over.
“Businesses have a right to do that,” he said. “No shoes, no shirt, no mask no service. Fine. I just won’t go in there. But it’s an overreach of authority when government does it.”
Much of his frustration lies in the inconsistent messages being sent by the government. Don’t wear a mask. Wear a mask. Don’t gather in large groups. Stand in line to get into Walmart. Restaurants are too close and personal. Outside parks are shut down. He said when he thinks about the sacrifice made by so many who fought for the freedoms being taken away, he is really disappointed in the lack of leadership.
The rally, he said, should be peaceful and he asks that no one open carry a firearm. He said it is designed to excite Colorado residents in advance of Memorial Day, remind them what that day stands for, and to send a message to Gov. Jared Polis that it’s time to let people get back to work.
“It’s the main reason I’m doing this,” Tiegen said. “All those people who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Those freedoms are getting trampled on in the name of public safety. That’s how dictator’s rule, in the name of public safety. It’s a rocky road. We need to get back to how things were.”
- When: Sunday, May 17
- Time: 12-2 p.m.
- Where: Colorado State Capitol
- Motorcycle Staging Areas:
- Bass Pro Shop, 13012 Bass Pro Dr. Colorado Springs, 9:30 a.m. start, kickstands up at 10:15 a.m.
- Sam’s Club, 4385 Venetucci Blvd. Colorado Springs, 9:30 a.m. start, kickstands up at 10:15 a.m.
- Wide Open Saloon, 5607 Highway 85 Sedalia, 10 a.m. start, kickstands up at 11:30 a.m.
- Dirty Dogs Roadhouse, 17999 West Colfax Ave. Golden, 10 a.m. start, kickstands up at 11:30 a.m.
Anyone who would like to help organize a location to stage riders is asked to contact Jeff Ludwig at www.facebook.com/jeff.judwig.18