Yesterday, my colleague Xander Snyder wrote an excellent piece that placed the Khashoggi affair into the broader context of Saudi-Turkish-U.S. relations. I recommend reading it in full, but the short version is this: The United States needs Saudi Arabia for a variety of reasons, foremost of which is to prevent Iran from expanding its power any more than it already has. This will probably trump the short-term hysteria that the assassination has engendered.
There are, however, a few points on which I would like to elaborate. The first is the victim himself. Jamal Khashoggi was high-born and well-connected. He was the nephew of Adnan Khashoggi, a prominent and powerful arms dealer in the 1980s. He used to work for Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence. Before 9/11, he conducted an interview with Osama bin Laden, someone who didn’t do interviews often. He went on to become a crusading journalist resolutely opposed to the Saudi government. I don’t know that his oppos