Here is the disconnect for me and I'm trying to get clarification.
1. Shihan in Saotome's ASU are internal and do not cross into other organizations.
2. Shihan in Aikikai Honbu are internal also, but do cross into other organizations.
If that is true then it doesn't exactly seem, well, fair.
The only reason Hombu Shihan cross into other organizations is because the organizations want a connection to Hombu, and not with each other. There's nothing preventing Organization A and Organization B from recognizing each other's shihan. But because both A and B want to be affiliated with the Hombu, naturally Hombu Shihan will be recognized by both. It's the result of the cultural and historical cachet that Hombu Dojo has, not any rigging of the system by the Aikikai.
If that is true, then does the Aikikai recognize Wagner Bull as a shihan across organizations? Or just a shihan in his organization?
If Wagner Bull was doing a seminar for an ASU dojo, would the ASU dojo call him "shihan"? My guess is, yes they would. So what exactly is the issue here?