Saito's not alone in this, of course, there are plenty of teachers whose students (and sometimes the teachers themselves) exaggerate their credentials. I've always thought that stating credentials that just aren't factually correct undermines the very real achievements of the people in question.
Of course - part of Morihiro's guardianship may have been that he was the only one there and was living on the property (and had been for some time) - that would make him the obvious choice doesn't it? And it doesn't require a hypothetical quality of transmission.
It get's trickier when you start talking about the quality of the transmission - just about everybody has a reason or reasons why their particular transmission is better/deeper/more authentic than the next guy's.
Why not just forget about it and just base what we're talking about on what they actually did and showed?
One preliminary point: I really don't care about the controversy between Iwama and AIkikai or any Aikido tribe... That must be said because I absolutely won't take side here, I really don't give a flying you know what.
Agree on all that as long as everybody agrees on the fact we are all reasonning on hypothesis... maybe he was the only one around, maybe he was not, everything is in the "maybe" for us... the fact is that he was chosen, what else can we say?
Understanding (and accepting) all dimensions and aspects of a situation or relation in which we weren't involved is tricky, maybe even more if we are involved,
I wasn't implying that this transmission is better than any other one, which is the last of my concerns. I have chosen mine and good luck to all others. At some point one needs to trust our predecessors and their choices, they must have had good reasons...
If you feel in your practice that the method is useful, you come to trust its author more and more I suppose. At least it works like that for me.
And I agree we should focus on more pragmatic aspects. Maybe a fine achivement of M.Saito's method is that even after years, we still find hidden gems, digging layers after layers as these articles show in a very pragmatic, technical way IMHO.
(Love your blog BTW, I'm compiling various bits of info which seem to reveal an uderlying Central Unique Truth - no I 'm joking - but at least something interesting :-)