A crypted password, in the traditional unix sense, should be 13 characters long, and already in a base-64ish representation. It appeared to me, after reading a couple of incomplete sites documenting how this works in LDAP, is that since the password field is binary, it is always base64 encoded. This can be read as base64 encoding a string that is already base64 encoded.
I have since questioned the data I based my conclusion on, and all I can say at this point is... "I don't know" :)
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