“Sen. Paul’s 13 hours on the Senate floor won’t have any practical effect on our policy and how we’re going after terrorists on a day-to-day basis,” a senior administration official told Yahoo News on condition of anonymity.

But didn’t Paul wring a letter out of Obama’s top lawyer, Attorney General Eric Holder, in which he effectively promised that Americans who aren’t lining up to take a shot at the Capitol with a grenade launcher (to paraphrase the senator) are safe?

In a word: No…

Holder didn’t use the phrase “actively attacking.” And administration officials privately agreed on Friday that “not engaged in combat” was the key phrase going forward. None of them agreed to define the expression on the record.