Thomas Murphy Agent Orange Denier

Disappointing news last week as the newest acting VBA chief is Thomas Murphy, a confirmed Agent Orange denier who thinks the herbicide is harmless.

As head of Compensation in 2012, Thomas Murphy blocked expert opinions supporting service connection for veterans exposed to Agent Orange herbicide on C-123 aircraft despite regulations and other evidence supporting the determination.

I wanted to highlight this issue not just because of the huge injustice you are about to read, but also because the story and documentation about what Thomas Murphy did has effectively been buried on Google.

As a side note, I am in the upper right of the picture where Murphy provided the testimony in question to Congress that we discuss below. I am literally whispering to a buddy, “I have never seen such a large man tap dance before, much less before Congress.”

RELATED: Thomas Murphy Named Acting VA Under Secretary For Benefits

After his testimony, I met with him a few times at different conferences around the country. He even drove me around San Diego at a NOVA conference in his rental car. Not a bad guy in person.

Unfortunately for him, this policy decision is a real shameful spot on his public record. Murphy now joins a smug group of bureaucrats as an Agent Orange denier.

I am wondering to what extent his political contributions in 2008 to the Obama Campaign played a role in his climb to power within VA. I have feedback on this at the end of the article.


According to an article from C123k Cancer article:

In 2012 Mr. Murphy wrote his denial of a C-123 Veteran’s Agent Orange exposure claims, “In conclusion, there is no conclusive evidence that TCDD exposure causes any adverse health effects.” He wrote that to dismiss expert input from the CDC confirming the Veteran’s exposure.

TCDD, the toxin in Agent Orange, is recognized by science to be the most toxic of the toxins, and definitely causes “adverse health effects.” VA itself (but not Mr. Murphy) understands that it is a highly toxic substance.

This was no mere typo. Mr. Murphy’s three-page denial blocked compensation and medical benefits to a Veteran C-123 aviator. Four years later, VA itself conceded that Veteran and other C-123 Vets actually had been exposed to Agent Orange and could receive benefits.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Thomas Murphy, a non-doctor, denied a compensation claim by refuting the medical opinion of an expert on the subject. His denial essentially included a denial that Agent Orange (TCDD) causes “any adverse health effects.”

His opinion was also a spit in the face to CDC input that confirmed the exposure and input from the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, the NIH, and numerous other scientists.

Is Murphy smoking crack cocaine? No adverse effects?

No doubt, Thomas Murphy went on to tell Congress that his denial was not a blanket denial but that he would review each case on a “case-by-case basis”.

He deceived Congress by leaving out that each review would result in a denial because he already concluded Agent Orange did not cause injury, which would result in a 100% denial rate.

This leads me to one question. Who or what is Tom Murphy covering for at this point? Who is behind the great curtain hiding Agent Orange truths from the public?

Murphy does not pay the amount out of his own pocket. Taxpayers want these veterans compensated. Congress is on board. The science is there. What is the hang up?

Oh, the hang up is that VA will fight against every subset of veterans exposed to Agent Orange who did not have boots on the ground in Vietnam.

It gets worse. According to documentation cited by the same article that I have also uploaded here:

A note: if Mr. Murphy’s 2012 claim denial letter was written by a staffer for his approval, the staffer was most likely Mr. James Sampsel, manager of VBA’s Agent Orange desk and liaison to the Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC) in DOD. Mr. Samsel was also the staffer who drafted Secretary Shinseki’s error-laden letter and deceptive C-123 Fact Sheet.

Here is where we see the typical pattern of “yes” men / women being promoted within the agency. If they are willing to screw veterans over, they will get promoted. Do you wonder what new swanky position Sampsel will hold now that his boss was promoted?

The C123 article continues:

Mr. Sampel, a Vietnam veteran himself, had his perspective was made clear in a related email to Mr. Murphy. Mr. Sampsel wrote that “the real problem” in denying C-123 veterans’ claims is the amount of evidence confirming those exposures.

Get it? VA’s “real problem” is that the veterans’ proofs have to be ignored by VA so as to deny the C-123 exposure claims. Mr. Sampsel, labeling CDC, NIH, US Public Health Service as “the real problem” in his email to Mr. Murphy, insisted VA had “an overwhelming preponderance of evidence” against the vets, citing input from the VA consultant and VA’s own web site, as if somehow VA putting their policy statement online was “overwhelming evidence” sufficient to ignore the other federal agencies that came to the veterans’ defense.

Even the DoD had tried to tell Mr. Samsel it had credible evidence from many sources supporting the veterans, but were told in return that VA put blinders on and was being selective about what evidence it would acknowledge, and that VA would not request a JSRRC finding on C-123 veterans (note: this violates procedures described in VA’s own regulation VAM21-1MR, as well as the Veterans Claims Assistance Act.)

That really is the typical game.

Personally, I was unclear why VA continues to game play with these old veterans. I guess now I understand.

VA will fight against certain groups of veterans with certain similar injuries to avoid payouts to numerous vets when deciding one issue.

This probably explains why VA is fighting against service connection for burn pit veterans when they make claims for certain cancers.

VA is an insurance company, except it plays with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and holds back payment even when the American public endorses the payout.

So what do you think is behind Murphy’s assent to VBA chief and why do you think he is an Agent Orange denier?

Let’s keep in mind, when VA wrongly denies benefits for those exposed to chemicals like Agent Orange, they may also be denying that veteran access to VA health care where the cancer linkage might be Agent Orange.


I should probably also mention a rumor on the subject of Thomas Murphy.

Four years ago, I asked a DC insider how Thomas Murphy was selected for the role of Director of Compensation, in 2010. I was told Murphy was a noted contributor to the 2008 Obama Campaign.

Some of you may recall he worked under then VBA Under Secretary Allison Hickey and is now the third person to hold the position in the past year after Hickey stepped down.

This contribution was prior to Murphy being selected to be the Director of Compensation under then VBA Under Secretary Allison Hickey.

If true, and there is a linkage between the contributions, these moves certainly indicate Washington DC is still operating under – politics as usual – regardless of which party is in power.

In his 2010 VA biography, it shows Murphy managed the disability and survivor benefit programs that provided more than $45 billion annually in benefit payments to four million Veterans and their families. That biography explained his background as of 2010 being:

Murphy had been the Director of VA’s San Juan Regional Office since August 2009, overseeing benefits for 151,000 veterans living in Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Murphy retired from the military as a Major after serving 15 years in the Colorado National Guard and six years in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Murphy joined VA from The Home Depot, where he was a Director of Merchandise Planning and oversaw more than 1,950 stores, with more than $8.5 billion in annual sales.

Murphy previously was a Senior Tactical Planning Manager for Qwest Communications and worked for 10 years at the Department of Defense in a variety of positions.

So we know Murphy retired from the National Guard after serving 6 years as a Marine. He also worked at Home Depot and Quest in an executive capacity.

I guess I would wonder what government contractors he is closely aligned with during his tenure at either company prior to quickly moving up the ladder within VA.

When considering his overall career development, his tenure at VA looks as though his career at the agency was closely managed and planned for a very intentional purpose.


Joan Koester Ashley

I vote we drag his azz out in the yard and spray him down with the contents of a 55 gallon drum of Agent Orange, and see if he notices any effects! I bet he supports Monsantos use of glysophate on his grandchildren too!

Donald York

He needs to prove that Agent Orange is not Harmful by drinking a cocktail of Monsanto’s poison.
This man has insulted thousands of exposed veterans, dead and alive suffering from the effects of this herbicide!
He can go F*(k himself!

Stephen LeMaster
Looks like maybe the VA finally got their man. I had some luck getting my claim and appeal moved forward with Allison Hickey. After she left, Danny Pummill finally got me to my P&T rating. I thought it was suspicious that both of them were undone by the ridiculous scandal involving Rubens & Graves. It seemed to me that this was something that should have affected Hickey (as much as I liked her) but not Pummill. Now, two people who… Read more »

He,wrote me. He is an asshole.


That typical Fat Sick Overweight Paid Faggot is eating the shit Monsanto and other Gov run Farm Factories are putting out…

Mark you like that word faggot don’t you? You are clueless, obnoxious, and intellectually challenged to post such a comment. The people here are venting against this Murphy guy who have legitimate complaints. Then their are people like you, trolls who throw out gay slurs for no logical reason. Sorry you were made fun of as a child and never got attention, I’ll bet you were nothing but a coward bully growing up. It’s obvious you have little to no… Read more »

Wow, what a kick in the balls!!

Anthony Scholte

VA is progressive left wing now. Welcome to the Nanny State. A glimpse of how the claims process will be on every claim Veterans make from hearing loss to PTSD.

Amazing! The man is driving outside his lane in the wrong direction and nobody at this Congressional Hearing asked him if he had the credentials to even speak on the matter?

Anthony, you apparently have no idea of what ‘progressive left’ resembles. I find it unfortunate that your brainwashed right wing agenda political stance, I.e., how your perceptions have been effectively managed, has led you to frame this response. I’m with you on everything else you had to say, but Tony, you are clueless if you think the VA leadership and policies are either progressive or leaning to the left. I recommend you read Death of the Liberal Class, to better… Read more »
Murphy is just another apparatchik for the Corporate Stasi State, a minor plenipotentiary, handmaiden to the shadow elite who manipulate the strings today’s bureaucrats,—across the board, all dance to. Murphy is a pig. The VA is loaded with them, all conspiring in adversarial postures against the hapless veterans. He needs to be strung up ( if you could locate heavy enough rope!) to the same lamppost Mussolini dangled from. Another recent piece posted here at this forum highlighted the injustices… Read more »

Let’s inject this asshole with Agent Orange and see what happens.

Seymore Klearly

This is not me saying this. My name is Kirk R.

Kirk with all the life threatening statements that you make I would appreciated it if you would use your last initial with the name. Given most of us know that these pages are watched.

Miguel Figueroa

This dude is an asshole.

Ronald Nesler

Vietnam vets have never gotten a fair shake from VA (or Congress) on anything, and this is the worst insult yet. How Bob McDonald could imagine that this is OK, is beyond me.

gary owen faas

How many tours did in Vietnam did Tom Murphy actually have? Did he serve in the Marines? Did he serve in the Army? Did he ever serve in the Military? If he has children how many had birth defects? Howe many live with Down’s syndrome? Did he ever read “My Father., My Son”? Is he puking maggot?

Well it looks like the head honcho’s have the big boy they all want! If Agent Orange is as harmless as big fat Murphy insists that it is; then why is the Vietnamese government demanding that the U.S. clean up those Agent Orange dump sites still in Viet-Nam? O’Bama should send Murphy to Viet-Nam and let him explain to those Agent Orange victims over there how harmless Agent Orange was? I doubt he would get a very warm reception!……I think… Read more »
gary owen faas

If you remember it was very serious when Times Beach, Missouri was sprayed with oil that had some toxic chemicals, it was the same thing that was in Agent Orange but less concentrated. The Government bought everyone’s homes and property due to the damage.


What a peice of shit. I have come used to people like this in the VA.

crazy elf

As a Vietnam Vet, “in country and Boots on Ground”, with 10 out of 15 ‘Presumptives of AO. And not receiving any comp for them!
All I can say is:
“This is one real sick fuck!”

I agree, let’s spray his ass and wait to see the effects!
Of course, a good sturdy Oak Tree Limb may be needed also!

crazy elf

I forgot.
When will this asswipe start lowering or getting veterans disabilities reversed?

Since it looks like this uncle fester never misses and meal and since Agent Orange is so harmless to his lard brain, how about we make him a really large banana split sunday with a healthy helping of Agent Orange glaze for starters…then there’s the Agent Orange Brandy as an afternoon nightcap? Bastards. When some of you had that conference call with McDonald recently, you may as well have been speaking with an automatic toilet by Apple with Siri’s voice… Read more »
crazy elf
@namnibor Liiks like Murphy was N.G. for 14 years. Then a Marine. I wonder what “Real Marines” will think when this news breaks? I wonder what kind of ‘job’, (MOS), he had in either one!? Something is really fishy here! Contributes to Obamy’s first term! So, I wonder if he’s contributing to Hillary’s campaign? Is he thinking ahead? Is he thinking she’ll appoint him higher up later on? What is this asswipes real agenda? He also worked for Home Depot.… Read more »
crazy elf


I think your right. I think when McDuck had that phone conference with Ben and all the others. He knew full well Murphy was going to head up the VBA.
I believe McDuck knows what Murphy is all about.
I can see it happening in the near future! Veterans benefits being stripped away! Now that Murphy’s in charge!
I can also see all this new generation of veterans being screwed by him!

Yeah, that is NO slight to Ben and Ron and supporters whom got to be on that conference call….it’s an outright SLAP in the face of integrity to NOT even bring something so insensitive as an appointee, but what I am thinking, and I could be wrong is McDonald simply is above the fray of common knowledge and not naïve but rather a TRUE YES MAN…no new transparency with accountability at the VA. I am almost wondering if the entire… Read more »
John A Gagnier

I wonder how much Monsanto is paying this POS to say that?

Reuben Castro Acosta

PENDEJO VETS WHAT DO YO EXPECT FROM VA RICO FEDRAL CRIME RACKET AGINST ALL VETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ralph D Carmona Sr

Don’t you know any other words in English…STUPID!


~~Agent Orange Hair Growth Tonic~~–Send cases to VBA, D.C. 🙂

Here is the problem that I personally saw and talked to hundreds plus Vietnam era veterans and how they actually brag about it, collecting VA benefits, and admitting that they never were been exposed to Agent Orange nor did their illness result from AO. They jumped on this VA statement to collect the benefits, now for other Vets it’s a fact and truly deserved but not the ones that read, “PRESUMES”, “DON’T HAVE TO SHOW THAT YOU WERE EXPOSED TO… Read more »
I do not ever really recall *ever* overhearing any Vietnam Veterans *bragging* about the Vietnam War, let alone people talking about scamming the U.S. Taxpayers and insulting fellow Vets by claiming AO exposure…and to be frank, the LAW our own President Obama enacted for the VA to make “Presumptive Agent Orange Claims Approved” has NOT been even followed by the VA, quite the opposite, so find it a far cry that vets impersonating or claiming AO exposure…nah…I think I smell… Read more »
crazy elf
@John says That is a large problem within the veterans community. Many veterans ASSUME too much. Just as the VA scumbags are well aware most “Vietnam Veterans” never saw combat! Here’s something else many are unaware of: the VA is the ‘entity’ which came out with the ‘title’ -“Vietnam ERA Veteran”! Basically Clumping every person in the military into “One Group” (during the Vietnam War)! Many Vietnam Veterans were angered over this “title”! Now, back to the “presumptives” of AO!… Read more »
@John you are exactly right but what man6 failed to realize is it only took a pin drop to kill you. The most toxic substance on earth.TCDD DIOXIN. Me personally I went ARC LIGHT AIN’T 68 with the 99th Bomb Wing to the 3960th Bomb Wing/4133rd provisional strategic wing 3960th Combat Support Group and three days,later was on an A1B TANK TRAILER handling, mixing by hand and power sprayed AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ON ANDERSEN.AFB GUAM and off base down the… Read more »
crazy elf

Do I smell “TROLL” for VA or maybe the union?

And, I’ve never fuckin bragged about anything!


It’s a cabbage-like odor…

crazy elf


Naa, more like ‘kim che’!
Rotten cabbage!

@crazyelf- Glad you got that, and although I am NOT a Vietnam Veteran, my favorite uncle who was only 10 years older than me indeed DID go and he died of horrible brain cancer back in 1979 and even though everything sure seemed to be self-evident that Agent Orange was the culprit, my uncle’s widow was NEVER compensated and in-fact even had to fight the damn VA to pay for a proper burial…she eventually just gave-up fighting the VA because… Read more »

So sorry for all of this heart ache and sorrow brother. Our God will make things,right I know for sure. These,evil bastards will have their day in front of us all being thrown in the pit of hell for eternity. I know this for a fact. These son of bitches will be nashing their teeth and screaming in pain for eternity.


I think they are doing the same thing with Gulf War claims. My claim for various issues due to Gulf War service have been denied and I am currently awaiting a decision from my NOD hearing which was held in March of this year. I will probably be denied again and have to go to the BVA unless someone has a better suggestion.

James Hall

You may wont to look into the court of veterans appeals, A none v.a.controlled court with real lawyers and judges. AND JUSTICE FOR ALL EXCEPT FOR VETERANS .


The VA will never change. All of us , Ben , congress or senate or a president cannot change the VA . It is a corrupt to the bone jobs program .

James Alto
Well quoting Forest Gump ” Stupid is as Stupid does.,”. And I guess they don’t believe that we have global warming or that the world isn’t flatWell they can all fall off of the cliff as they try to convince themselves that they are right! I for one was drenched with Agent Blue and had to spend time in a Naval Hospital until my fever, welts, etc. got somewhat better and I am surprised that I haven’t came down with… Read more »

*sniff* *sniff* Are those old hotdogs I need to throw out or is it coming from below a bridge? Billy Goat gruff anyone? 🙂

What this disgraceful pig is doing is setting up a road block to any veteran that is not already covered under the presumptive law. He can’t do anything about that law, but he can make life damn hard for any other vet that was exposed. What’s so stupid about this is the science has been settled enough for Congress to presume exposure and service connect several diseases. The VA constantly ignores veteran health problems from exposures to toxins until most… Read more »
Reuben Castro Acosta
Danny Robertson

Let that guy take a shower out of a 55gl barrel, that was filled up with AO


Joan really, that’s your solution, knee jerk reactions are the reason people like him are put into positions of authority, some idiot didn’t think when recommending him for the job. Your type suggestions are never the answer and would never be carried out so save your breath and use your head please…

If he believes what he is saying, then he would have no difficulties about taking a full dose in the face for two or three days. With no shower between doses. I DARE HIM TO THIS! Other wise he is just another LYING POLITICIAN. Back up your statement id you dare. An outside agency would have to verify the Agent Orange as Viet Nam grade. Personally I thank he is just a low life without the balls to back up… Read more »
gene Sivard
I served in AFRES 1975-84 as an Acft Maint Spec. My entire service other than basic or Tech school was served at Westover AFB I spent 1000s of hours servicing and inspecting several 123’s and explicitly remember 362[patches) and another tail # I can’t recall nicknamed stinky. Many hours removing panels ,floorplates and spending many hours in the hanger or on the flightline confined to the cargo bay sometimes all I have eaten , slepted, worked and flew in these… Read more »
Folks, Tom Murphy is still there as VBA Administrator under Trump, and his lackey, Jim Sampsel, made the news on ProPublica for further delegitimizing Vietnam Veteran’s legitimate Agent Orange claims. It has become clear this is a concerted effort at the highest levels of government and industry to protect bad actors like Dow and Monsanto and to leave Soldiers, Marines, Sailors (even Blue Water), and Airmen exposed and flapping in the wind. New legislation has been proposed to deny concurrent… Read more »