Klein claims that his activities - training outlaw paramilitary groups - were approved of by the Colombian government and also the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Klein made his statements in the book 'The Klein Case: The Origins of Paramiltarism' (El Caso Klein: El origen del paramilitarismo), by Colombian journalists Olga Behar and her daughter Carolina Ardilla.
Still, Klein is believable. For many years, it was an open secret that Colombia's military collaborated with right-wing paramilitaries and let them do the military's dirty work.
But Klein's excuse that he believed he was training people for no more than innocent self-defense against guerrillas sound like the worst sort of self-deception - at best. After all, during his years in Colombia violence by left- and right-wing organizations, as well as narcotrafficking groups, was widespread. And his comments also contain a chilling historical echo. After all, Klein's own nation Israel was founded to a large degree by survivors of the Holocaust - a crime committed in many cases by men and women who claimed they were just following orders or didn't know the consequences of their actions.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours