Re: Technically proficient/Tactically sound
The aikido literature has a lot of references on the issue of atemi. If the thing ever gets published, I have an article coming out on the topic supposedly in August issue of black belt magazine (that was my latest contact anyway).
Your point about O'Sensei is well taken but his students state he placed great importance on atemi. The current Doshu's book describes atemi as strikes to vital points. I would submit that to distract and destroy are but a part: positioning the body for a technique and alterning the nervous system are two other elements.