Non-factor = nobody?

The retired admiral was liakle but a non-factor.

"but a non-factor" = "but had nothing to do with ... whatever" (depends on context)

(This is just a guess.)
Jim's right, of course. Not a factor, i.e. not involved in the equation. But should it be 'likable' or 'liable'? If the former, then 'non-factor' probably means 'an ineffective person'; if the latter, then more likely 'an innocent person'.
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I'd wait for another reply.

 Mister Micawber's reply was promoted to an answer.
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